1-6 players, ages 12+
Designer: Bobby Hill
Artist: Sam Phillips
Publisher: Garphill Games
When thinking of roll/flip&writes, we always think of quick and easy filler games, where the roll of a die or the flip of a card determines what to cross off on the sheet before you.
Now don’t be mistaken, Hadrian’s Wall is a lot more than that. Of course you’ll also have 2 (large) sheets of paper in front of you, and over the course of the game, you’ll be checking off boxes. But with over more than 400 boxes to tick off, and a plenitude of different areas where you can choose from, Hadrian’s Wall goes way deeper than your regular X&write game.
You’ll play the game as one of the Roman Generals, taking part in the construction of the Emperor’s fort and wall. But you’re also responsible for the defence, and providing services and entertainment to attract more civilians, who then again will help you further with the development of other areas.
Each round starts with turning over a Fate Card, and each player gains the workers and resources shown on the card. Players also draw 2 cards from their personal deck, play one for the endgame bonus points, and gain additional income for the other one.
All of the cards in Hadrian’s Wall work as multi-use cards, as those Fate Cards will also determine which parts of your wall will be attacked at the end of each round. Your task will be to provide enough defense with your cohorts, as the disdain you receive from these attacks will cause you to lose points at the end of the game.
After receiving their income, players start spending workers and resources to tick off boxes on their sheets. This part of the game feels to me like an expert version of ‘Clever’, as some boxes allow you to tick of boxes in other areas on your sheets, other boxes will gain you additional workers or resources which you can immediately use – that’s definitely the most challenging but also most satisfying part of the game, the search for combo’s allowing you move on in another area – and then again in another one…
Okay the game plays very solitaire with little player interaction, but then again it doesn’t add many additional rules for solo play, and it’s one of the few games that convinced me to play solo, and I have to say that each play again feels like a challenging puzzle to solve.
So if you’re interested in quite a challenging game, offering a lot of options and that plays in just an hour, then make sure to check out Hadrian’s Wall!