Once again, we return to Yokohama, Japan in the Meiji era! This time, it’s the roll & write version. Unlike its predecessors though, Yokohama Roll & Write neither contains an English rulebook nor English on its components. Thankfully, the artist of the game, Ryo Nyamo uploaded an English translation of the rulebook! Thanks, Ryo!
Now, for a look inside!
If you’re familiar with Yokohama, you’ll notice several familiar faces. The building locations are all the same. The tech is all the same. You have Ryo Nyamo’s playful art splashed all over the game. This should help ease you into what I think is a very unique roll and write experience. It definitely plays differently than other roll & writes I’ve played and yet somehow still feels like Yokohama.
Here’s the play through followed by some thoughts.
Neither Yokohama nor Yokohama Duel offers solo play, so Yokohama Roll & Write definitely stands out there. While you have no workers that go on the board, you still have this feeling of a logistical train that you need to somehow manage to get what you want in the short time you have.
There are definitely interesting decisions to be made, and thankfully, none of those decisions are the Yahtzee re-rolls (because there are none in this roll and write). You can only have 6 out of 12 possible techs per game, and there are 24 techs in total, so there is some good replay value there.
Double-sided player sheets are always welcome and should keep the game feeling fresh. Extra location cards come in the game to add even more variety. And the optional Start Player token (which you should definitely use) adds more player interaction.
Remembering which die (the singular form of dice) you chose can be challenging for new players. We use extra player tokens sometimes to help out other players. Thankfully, Formosa Tea has white, grey, and black meeples and the rice farmer hats help add to the theme.
From my understanding of the rules, when players get tech cards, the tech cards don’t go to the player’s tableau; the cards stay available for everybody. This can be seen as a negative and a positive for some players. What is frustrating though is that it’s hard to remember what each tech does. A player aid would have been nice.
Although this version of Yokohama plays differently than other roll & writes ( a plus! ), it can make learning this game a bit challenging (sad face).
Also, it must be said that this game is a beast with table space; at least, as far as roll & writes go. It also must be said that the lack of English on the tech cards may be a deal-breaker for some players.
8 out of 10 – I would suggest playing this game if the situation called for it.
I really like Yokohama Roll & Write. After replaying Duel, I think I like the Roll & Write version more. I’m not entirely sure though and go back and forth on that decision. They’re both solid games though.
If you’re looking for a solo version of Yokohama, you can’t go wrong with this version. I think Yokohama Roll & Write is a real winner for Asian board games this year, which already has some stiff competition. (Mini Express, Crash Octopus, Let’s Make a Bus Route the Dice Game, Take the A Chord 2nd Edition just to name a few.)
I recommend Yokohama Roll & Write for roll and write fans looking for unique roll and write experiences. This one definitely feels unique and offers some solid replay value.
If it’s worth the shipping, that’s up to you. I live in Asia, so it’s fairly cheap. But that’s why I’m here. I play these games first and let you know about them to help you decide. Stay safe everyone!