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Top 5 Flip & Fill Games

Flip & Fill Cartographers

A few years ago the roll and write genre exploded on the gaming scene. You couldn’t look anywhere without seeing another roll and write based on a previous big box release or, more commonly, themeless with dice flying on the box cover. I do enjoy a good roll and write but what I found myself gravitating towards more was the sub genre of Flip & Fill (sometimes known as the Flip & Write).

There are so many to choose from and I am sure I have neglected a few but below is a list of my top five Flip & Fill games. I have tried to cater for all skill levels and genres so I hope my list inspires you to get flipping.


I am starting off strong as Cartographers (a rollplayers tale) is not only my favourite flip & fill game it is also in my top five games of all time.

You play a cartographer trying to map the region for the queen. At the beginning of the game four different scoring cards are revealed and then over four rounds you will score a combination of these cards so that each card will be scored twice. Each player is given a player sheet and then the game can begin.

The deck of cards is shuffled and cards are flipped over one at a time. Each card will show how much time it uses, what polyomino shapes it can form and what type of terrain you can draw. You draw your chosen shape anywhere on your map (keeping scoring conditions in mind) and then another card is flipped.

You score each round when the time limit has been reached. Player interaction comes from monster cards which, when revealed, require you to pass your map to either the player to your left or right and they draw a monster anywhere they like, you of course get to do the same to the player on the other side. At the end of the round any monster space that hasn’t been surrounded will provide negative points.

Where the enjoyment comes from in this game is the decisions as to when to go for the different scoring cards. Should you go all big for the final round scoring (when you map will almost be full) or try to score each round and adapt your strategy on the fly. Don’t forget to surround monster spaces and mountains as this can make the difference between winning or losing.

There is so much variety in the base box with all of the different combinations of scoring cards and the two different maps but if that is not enough for your mapping needs you can buy the expansion (playable on its own or with the base box) or even just map packs.

Trails Of Tucana

In Trails of Tucana from Aporta Games you are trying to connect villages together on an island by creating paths across the different terrains.

Everyone plays with either the small map, Isla Petit that lasts two rounds, or the large map, Isla Grande that lasts three rounds, and then the positions of the villages are randomised by the set up cards.

The aim of the game is to score the most points by connecting matching villages together (such as village A to village A) and by connecting the various wildlife and sights to the villages. You do this by flipping two cards each turn and then everyone must draw one straight line on their map between two adjoining terrains that match the card (such as water and forest). You continue to do this until only one card is left and then you score the round (points are awarded for sights and wildlife that are connected to your villages).

At the end of the game you score all your connected villages, sights and wildlife and the winner is the player with the most points. You can also play with a small variant that provides a one time bonus to the first player to connect two particular sights / wildlife.

There is so much re-playability in this game due to the variable set up, two maps to choose from and the order in which the terrain cards are revealed. There is also an expansion which adds a bit more complexity and some new maps.

Silver & Gold

Phil Walker-Harding is one of my favourite designers (Baren Park, Sushi Go Party) and his entry into the Flip & Fill genre is Silver & Gold, a game all about searching for buried treasure.

Everyone is dealt a score card and four treasure cards (from which they must keep two) and then the game can begin. The starting player flips one of expedition cards and everyone must mark off the same polyomino shape on one of their treasure cards. Each gold coin you cover allows you to cross one coin off on your score card and if you cross off all four in a line you take the next available bonus score from the round tracker card.

Covering a red X will allow you to mark off one more spot on either of your treasure cards and covering a palm tree will provide a bonus score of 1 point per palm tree in the display of four available treasure cards plus the tree you covered.

Once you have completed a treasure card you place it to the side and take a new card from the display.

The round is over when there is only one card still to flip and then you shuffle the expedition cards and start round 2. Once all four rounds have been played final scoring is calculated. You will receive points for each coin crossed off plus any coin bonuses you obtained, your palm tree points, the values of the cards you completed and finally any bonuses obtained from the cards such as two points per orange card completed.

What I love about this game is how simple and easy it is to teach and how few components there are but it still provides a really satisfying gameplay experience with lots of really important decisions to be made each turn, in other words a Phil Walker-Harding game.

Metro X

Metro X from Gamewright has the fantastic sub heading ‘ The Rail & Write Game’. The aim of the game is to fill as many stations on the underground as possible with the best scores obtained by filling entire routes and having high transfer stations.

Everyone plays the same side of the map (metro city or tube town) and then the main deck is shuffled. Each card is flipped one at a time and all players must use that card to cross off stations along the train lines. You must start at the first possible point of the line and place as many crosses as possible. You then write the number you used in the train car at the beginning of the line. If ever you hit a station which has already got a cross in it you must stop unless the card that was flipped had the word skip on it, in which case you can jump over the station and continue with crossing off.

If you flip over a transfer card you must place a cross in a train car and then find the first available space on that line and write a score equivalent to twice the number of different lines that go through that station. There is also a card with ‘Free’ on it which allows you to place a single cross anywhere on the map. Finally there is a card which crosses off 6 stations and then you must reshuffle all of the cards.

The first player to finish a line scores the larger score for that line whilst all other players can only score the smaller number. The game ends when all of the train cars windows have been filled up and then you calculate your score by adding up your completed lines and transfer stations and then deducting your penalty for unfilled stations.

This game is a real step up on the difficulty as forward planning is required together with a healthy dose of luck, but this is nowhere near as much forward planning that is needed in my final game.

Welcome To Your Perfect Home

The last game in my Flip & Fill list is Welcome To Your Perfect Home, from Dude Games & Blue Cocker, in which you are tasked with building a beautiful new neighbourhood in 1950’s America.

This flip and fill provides so many choices each turn that no two players maps will look anything alike within just a few minutes of starting.

To start the game three scoring objectives are selected which everyone will work to achieve as quickly as possible. Once again the first player to complete an objective scores higher. The game end is triggered by either one player completing all three objectives or by completing every house on all three streets. The deck of cards is shuffled and then placed in three equal piles and finally all players receive a map / street plan.

This game is all about choices and point salad scoring as on each turn all three decks will have their top cards turned over and you must choose one combination of card flipped with its corresponding draw pile. The cards are two sided with one side showing numbers and the other showing either a surveyor, real estate agent, landscaper, pool manufacturer, temp agency, or BIS. You must then place your chosen number into one of the streets in ascending order.

The surveyor allows you to draw fences which blocks in houses into groups which helps with scoring and objectives. The real estate agent increases your multiplier for the group sizes of houses. The landscaper increases your park points. The pool manufacturer increases your pool points (as long as you can place a pool with the corresponding number). The Temp Agency allows players to change the number by one or two and then provides bonus score at the end of the game for the players who used this the most. The BIS allows you to place additional houses in your streets but comes with a negative score.

Each time you cannot place a house you have to mark off a negative score, if you mark off all three of these scores the game end will also be triggered.

I know that this is a lot to take in but this is just the basic game. There are variants that allow for roundabouts and more complicated scoring objectives and even an expert mode. I think that due to the slightly more complicated nature this game has proved very popular and there are several expansions and even sequels set in Las Vegas and Space.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my list of my top five Flip & Fill games and maybe inspired you to to get flipping.