Roll Z an App Driven Print and Play on Kickstarter


How do you keep the production times down? Release your Kickstarter as a Print and Play! Roll Z looks like an exciting diversion.

It’s been a little while since a smaller Kickstarter has caught my eye. Lots of bigger ones, to the point I have had to reign in my spending. But some smaller ones? They seem to have slowed down a little bit. Until Roll Z appeared on Kickstarter today.

The gameplay mechanics are from quite a few different games, but this little game looks like a good investment.

You don't need a lot of anything to play Roll Z.

How to get attention on Kickstarter – quick turn around

A lot of Kickstarters promise quick delivery. We all know how many times that actually comes around. But Roll Z has a straightforward way of keeping this timeline.

The solution? Roll Z is being delivered as a Print and Play game! No production delays, no proofing back and forth. Just designing the files, and releasing them onto the world.

The other benefit because of this is lower cost. For just AUD$5, you can get Roll Z in all its glory!

OK, it’s cheap. What is Roll Z?

Roll Z is a real-time deck and dice management game. The abridged version – you are escaping a zombie outbreak, and your car breaks down. You need to find parts to fix your car and escape before time runs out, or your defensive barricade fails.

If you have played Dead of Winter, the gameplay of Roll Z will feel familiar. You roll some dice, and you need to spend dice to carry out actions. You can move anywhere with any value die, and other activities become harder (need higher values) as the game continues.

You can find vital parts, handy bonuses, or waste your time. Searching is as stressful as enemies.

For example, to search for parts, you need to be in a specific location requiring one die spend. Then, you need a die with a value of 1 + the number of trash cards to search. You can find trash (bad), parts, or weapons and other bonuses.

This with a time limit is hard enough, but with Roll Z, there is also a noise element which can attract zombies. This is where the app comes into play. Not only is it a timer, but there is a randomised call for zombies whenever a card has you making noise.

Whenever the Roll Z app tells you, you put a Zombie on the board. Whenever you reroll your die, you need to take down the strength of your barricade by the number of zombies on the board. So you need to balance defeating zombies and repairing the barrier with searching and repairing your car as well.

Five minutes sounds like a lot of time. But when you have to do so many things in that time, it's not that long.

So why wouldn’t I just play Dead of Winter? It sounds very similar.

In mechanics, yes it does sound like Dead of Winter. But a game of Roll Z takes about 5 minutes, and you can play Roll Z on your own.

While the game mechanics have that Dead of Winter feel, Roll Z does feel like a very distilled experience that will be fun to play. The ‘Zombies have been done to death’ is a fair call, but Roll Z uses this theme well here. I gave it a fair bit of thought, and I can’t think of another way of implementing these mechanics without the theme feeling contrived.

But I don’t like app-driven games.

That’s fair. When I first saw the tagline, I had visions of the app being a themed timer, or where a lot of the game is played similar to X COM the Board Game.

You could implement the noise mechanic with counters, or keep some of the random nature with a deck of noise cards. I think the app keeping the appearance of zombies a random probability helps add to the tension. It also helps keep the players’ attention focused while playing, as they don’t have to deal with bookkeeping.

The lose conditions are clear, but the timer leaves no doubt.

I don’t play a lot of solo games.

I am looking at Roll Z as a quick solo game. The tension of the real-time and multiple areas to manage should be a lot of fun, and when I get my copy, you know I will be streaming it.

There is also a stretch goal for a cooperative expansion. Looking at the rules of Roll Z, I think the game will work well as a solo game. I don’t know how this will work as a multiplayer experience. It could turn out to be fun, but for right now, I am putting my money on Roll Z as a solo game.

So you are backing it then?

Yes, I am. The rules are straightforward, and I can see how this would be a bit of fun. Even if I just set up Roll Z on the coffee table while I partly pay attention to the TV, it should be a bit of fun.

The Kickstarter campaign has a full copy of the rules, including video tutorials and people playing the prototypes. The videos aren’t in English, but you can see people enjoying themselves. And the tutorial is subtitled, and clear enough I can see myself playing Roll Z.

So if you have made it this far, I am guessing you have some interest in Roll Z yourself. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and let me know on Facebook or in the Kickstarter comments if you decided to back it!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD.