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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Very easy rules to explain
  • Lots of sheets included
  • Quick game time

Might Not Like

  • No theme
  • Component quality not great
  • Doesn’t give the combo feeling of other roll & writes
  • Can end abruptly
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Encore! Review

Encore! dice

Roll/Flip and Writes are a go to favourite in my household. I have played so many and have been amazed at some of the clever inventiveness as demonstrated by Cartographers, Welcome To, The Castles of Burgundy the Dice Game and my personal favourite Harvest Dice. I also really enjoy the more ‘mathy’ theme-less Clever series due to its amazing combo-tastic gameplay. So how does Encore! fit into the genre and is it one for your collection?

One More Game?

Encore! comes in the traditional size and shape of box normally associated with roll and writes. In the box you will find a set of instructions, a very large pad of players sheets, 6 pens and 6 dice. The quality of the pens is not brilliant and you will soon be swapping these out for something a bit more durable, but that's not too much of an issue. Also the dice feel very light in the hand and don't give that satisfying feeling when rolled, however, I appreciate that these component choices were made to keep the overall cost of the game very low. 

So, Where’s The Theme?

Roll and Writes do not always need a theme and sometimes a tagged on theme can get in the way of the gameplay. However, I find the best Roll and Writes have a great theme that enhances the gameplay and immerse you in the game. Encore! does not try to pretend it is anything other than a ‘dice-chucker’ and ‘box-ticker’ which is normally fine if there are some great combos or special powers to unlock, but unfortunately this is not the case. 

This game is a race to claim columns and/or colours before your opponents with the end game being triggered when one player claims their second colour bonus. This can occur without warning as the player sheets are quite small and you may not have noticed that one of your opponent is so close to finishing the game. 

Roll Them Dice!

Encore! is a 1 to 6 player, 15 to 20 minute game. One player will roll all of the dice and then chose a combination of one number and one colour dice. The remaining four dice are then available to all of the other players to also take a combination of one number and one colour dice. 

With your chosen dice you then mark off squares on your player board starting from the middle H column. So, if you chose a number 4 and the colour blue, you would mark off the 4 blue box starting in the H column and moving to the G column. You can only ever mark off boxes in one cluster at a time and any future box must be connected orthogonally to a previously marked off square. Once everyone has chosen and marked off their squares the dice are passed to the next player (in a clockwise order) and the game continues. 

The first player to complete a column will get the top bonus score of that column, all other players can now only receive the bottom bonus score for completing that same column. When a player marks off all boxes of one colour they receive the 5 points associated with that colour. No other players can receive the 5 points, instead they will receive 3 points if they complete the same colour. 

On the Encore! player sheets there are stars which provide minus two per star not marked off so these need to be completed as quickly as possible. 

The number dice provides the numbers one through to five as well as a question mark. If you choose the question mark, you can use any number (between one and five) however you also have to cross off one of your exclamation marks on the bottom of your player sheet. Each one of these not used by the end of the game provides one bonus point. The colour dice also provide a black X which once again can be used as any colour, but you also have to cross off one of your exclamation marks. 

There are some other rules and exceptions but essentially that is the game in a nutshell. There are no combos to be used or special powers when you achieve a completed row or column, you are just crossing off boxes and trying to score the maximum points before someone triggers the end game. 

Final Thoughts

Despite Encore!’s negative points, it is still an enjoyed game in my house and when taught to friends. There isn't any particular theme and it is, in essence, the very pure definition of a Roll and Write “Here are some dice, roll them and cross some boxes off”, however some people really like the speed in which the game is played and the unpredictable end game. 

So to who would I recommend Encore!? Either die hard fans of Roll and Writes, or people new to the genre who are happy to not have a theme, but please be aware you are getting a ‘bare bones’ game with fairly low quality components, this does however reflect in the price.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Very easy rules to explain
  • Lots of sheets included
  • Quick game time

Might not like

  • No theme
  • Component quality not great
  • Doesnt give the combo feeling of other roll & writes
  • Can end abruptly

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