Roll-and-writes have come of age, because they are no longer just themeless games in which players cross off boxes and write their points on a score sheet, just like Yahtzee. The basic principles remain the same (throw dice, choose and write down), but the evolution of many roll and writes has become a lot more complex. For instance, in Fleet players can work on their harbour and ships by rolling the dice and crossing of bonuses, they can build real infrastructure in Railroad Ink and go on adventures in dungeons in Paper Dungeons. In Dungeons, Dice & Danger (DD&D), players also go on adventures in dungeons, defeat monsters and collect treasure in a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) inspired world. No complex oddly shaped dice, in DD&D players face the dangers equipped only with a pencil, five regular dice and a sheet of paper.
Dungeons, Dice & Danger is created by Richard Garfield, whom you may know from Magic the Gathering, King of Tokyo, Keyforge, Bunny Kingdom and his love for lasagne. Players are given a large, colourful sheet of paper divided into different boxes. Some of these boxes contain treasure, some contain monsters, and some contain bonuses or hazards. Most of the boxes contain numbers. Each turn, the active player rolls the 5 dice. There are 4 white dice and 1 black die. Each player may now make two pairs from the available white dice. Only the active player may use the black die. Other players who want to use the black die have to “pay” for it.
Depending on the pairs, players can check boxes on their playing field. They can only check boxes at the beginning of the dungeon or adjacent to previously checked boxes. The squares containing monster can be attacked in a similar way, but these monster squares contain several boxes which players have to cross. By defeating monsters and exploring the dungeon, players can collect diamonds. At the end of the game, these diamonds score points. The first player to defeat a monster gets a bonus and the game ends when a player has defeated all monsters on his or her sheet. The game contains 4 different dungeons and therefore also 4 different matching score sheets. All these dungeons also contain unique boxes and surprises that players are confronted with.
Dungeons, Dice & Danger can be compared to Qwixx with a strong theme. It is a simple and light-hearted game that players can enjoy in a relaxed way. The comparison with Paper Dungeons is easily made because of the genre and theme, but Paper Dungeons is a more complex and fast-paced game. Dungeons, Dice & Danger is simpler and at the same time lasts a bit longer. Due to the longer playing time and depending on the speed of players and the chosen dungeon, the game can sometimes feel a bit drawn out. DD&D is beautifully designed, easy to learn and therefore ideal for players looking for a simple and light-hearted game that lasts a little longer than regular roll and writes.