The COVID-19 lockdown was truly the best of times and worst of times for the board game industry. Forced inside for months on end, consumer demand for board games skyrocketed while supply chain problems made getting those games harder and harder. The most popular games to come out of the pandemic are the roll-and-writes, a genre of game that lends itself well to socially distanced and even Zoom-based gameplay. That popularity was reflected at this year’s Gen Con, where the presence of these games at numerous companies’ booths suggested that we’re entering a new age of innovation for the genre.
Roll-and-writes represent a lot of opportunity for the designer since they can accommodate higher player counts, flexible asymmetry, and brand-new ways to approach co-op and competitive gameplay. , the “writing” portion of these games has shifted from pad-and-paper setups (as in games like cartographers) to laminated dry-erase mats (which most