Roll to the Top: Journeys and Adventures
About Roll to the Top:
Roll to the Top, designed by Peter Joustra and Corné van Moorsel and published by Allplay (formerly Boardgametables.com), takes players on a whirlwind dice tour of the globe.
Be the first to complete your landmark sheet on one of 12 different global landmarks, each which brings its own special challenges.
Roll to the Top had been previously published by Cwali, and there were a number of previously released expansions. Development focused on selecting the best previously published content to collect into two new products: a new 6-map base game and a new 6-map expansion.
We selected four previously published maps for each product, and designed and tested 2 new maps for each box.
- Solo Mode Design
- Content Design
We LOVE roll and writes, and were incredibly excited to get a chance to work on one of our favorites. What we love about Roll to the Top is that it's very approachable, but with a lot of hidden subtleties to each map's design that drastically change how you plan and how you can take risks within each game.
We weren't initially sure if we were going to include new maps. We pretty quickly settled on a product size of 6 base maps and 6 expansion maps — and there are 16 previously published Roll to the Top maps. After a little back and forth, we decided that there would be 8 republished maps and 4 new ones. This let us select our absolute favorites from the published Roll to the Top maps and curate a selection. (like our favorite, Heydar Center).
"But wait!" you say, "I'm a Roll to the Top superfan with a perfect memory of every published map title. I checked the rulebooks and there are 7 maps listed I've never heard of!" A.) Thanks for being a fan. B.) That brings us to our first set of "new" maps — rethemes.
The Rethemed Maps
Major Oak: This map was originally published as "Tree", and myself and consultant Michael Dunsmore brainstormed a lot of potential iconic real trees we could theme the map to. In the end, we chose the Major Oak, which is a huge English Oak in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England. Legend has it that the Major Oak is where Robin Hood and his Merry Men slept.
De Stijl House: This map was originally published as "Wooden House". We loved the overlapping puzzle of its unusually shaped pieces, but wanted to give it a specific theme and character. The long horizontal planes of the shapes reminded me of De Stijl architecture, and art director (and graphic designer) Anca Gavril worked with our artist to really nail the feel of this style.
Chengyang Bridge: This map was originally published as "Cube House", based on the iconic Piet Blom housing project in Rotterdam. With the addition of "De Stijl House", we didn't want to overload on modern European architecture. Anca suggested this Chinese landmark as a replacement that could fit the same core outlines. The Chengyang Wind and Rain bridge is an incredibly beautiful example of traditional Dong architecture. Fun fact — it was built entirely without nails or rivets.
The New Maps
In the base game, we have two new maps: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park and the Marina Bay Sands.
We wanted to include a few iconic United States landmarks in the new edition, and while there were a few buildings we considered, we kept coming back to the National Park system. The new Half Dome map may at first glance seem similar to the Matterhorn map, but don't let it fool you. The way these columns merge creates some tricky situations you'll need to manage carefully as you climb.
The Marina Bay Sands is an iconic modern skyscraper in Singapore, with three towers supporting the Skypark that sits across the top level. In the new map, each of the three towers has a slightly different climbing pattern for you to balance, then they all come together at the end.
In the expansion, we have two new maps: Arches National Park and Big Ben & Parliament.
Arches National Park will have you ascending, descending, and then ascending again as you traverse the unearthly arches of this Utah landmark. It combines the descending rules we love so much in the original Heydar Center map with the addition of allowing subtraction.
Big Ben & Parliament introduces two new ways to get "bonus numbers". When placing in Big Ben, stacking identical numbers lets you place a bonus number in Parliament, and in Parliament, covering the special dice icons lets you place the number rolled on that die into Big Ben. The interplay between the two buildings on this map opens up a number of strategies to explore.
Brieger Creative Team
- John Brieger