SNAP Review – Hex Roller
Roll dice, write down numbers. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not hardly.
Enjoy an abstract roll and write puzzle with Hex Roller, designed by Rustan Håkansson and published by Renegade Game Studios. Listen to why Anitra loves it in just a few minutes, or read on below.
Hex Roller plays exactly the same no matter how many players you have. (The instructions say up to eight players, but it could be played with more, as long as you have enough scoresheets and everyone can see the dice.)
Any player rolls all the dice. Everyone chooses a number from what is shown. Then write down that number in some hexes on your score sheet, as many times as it is shown on the dice. The first number you write must touch another hex that already contains that number (some are pre-printed). Each number after that must touch the number you previously wrote. Essentially, you create a line of identical numbers.
Now choose a second number that appears on the dice, and write it down onto your score sheet in exactly the same way.
Finally, write the two numerals in the round-tracking section of your score sheet; one in the light gray box and one in the dark gray box.
Now it’s time to roll the dice again!
After eight rounds, the game is over and it’s time to score. As you can see on the sheet, there are several different ways to score points.
Fill hexagons: For each of the outer areas that is completely filled, score points equal to the most common number that appears in this area.
Central area: The central orange area scores similarly, but here you get to double your points, since it’s much harder to completely fill.
Connected numbers: Connect a pair of pre-printed numerals with a path of identical numbers to score that many points.
Straights: Examine the numbers in your round tracker. Attempt to count up, starting at 3 (3-4-5-6-7-8). Score the highest number you can count in each of the two rows. The order of the numbers doesn’t matter, just the presence of consecutive numbers.
I (Anitra) love Hex Roller because I love abstract games and puzzles. Numbers just make sense to me, and patterns of numbers are fun.
We both like that Hex Roller is all business. There’s no pasted-on theme or story; even the instructions go straight to how to play.
There are small gray shapes in every hex to help distinguish each different colored area for colorblind players. This is such a simple touch, but very welcome.
We love the balancing act we must perform between the different kinds of scoring patterns so we can maximize our points. For example, 3s aren’t worth much in filling hexes or making paths, but they are absolutely necessary to get any points at all in “straights”.
Hex Roller stands out from a lot of other roll-and-write games because it’s honest about being “just” a puzzle game. It dispenses with any fluff or theme, to concentrate on making the puzzle the best it can be.
If you like number puzzles, this is a game you will enjoy. If you prefer more theme in your gaming experience, Hex Roller is not the game for you.
Since Hex Roller is at its core a puzzle, its solo experience is nearly identical to playing with friends. I wish there was some kind of ruler to measure against, rather than simply trying to beat my own high score. There is a mobile app in development, so that will give enthusiasts another way to play and compare scores.
Buy Hex Roller for around $15 on Amazon or directly from Renegade Game Studios.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Hex Roller for this review from Renegade Game Studios.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Number of Players: 1-8 (could play more)
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 15 minutes