Beyond the Box Cover: Super-Skill Pinball 4-Cade
That’s a mouthful of a game name, but does this game that promises to be a roll and write pinball game, live up to that, at least at it’s first playthrough?
In Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade, you are rolling dice and filling in spots, hitting targets on a pinball table. You can nudge it to try and adjust where the ball is coming down, you fill in the bumpers so that you can unleash more points, as well as getting special bonuses for completing special challenges. You bounce around from place to place on the board, but you always end up going down, with the exception of the three bumpers in the middle where you can ping around inside of them, like you do in actual pinball. You have three balls in the game, so you score points over those three balls until you’ve lost the last one, and then that’s your end score. Each round the dice are rolled and everyone picks one of the two dice to use.
Game play for this makes a lot of sense. Of course your ball in a pinball game would drop further down. It makes sense that if you’re up in the three bumpers it can rattle around inside. All of it game play wise makes a ton of sense is really enjoyable. The scoring is also simple enough, when you hit things they show that you either get points or you get points if you fill in full sections, so that’s easy to track. The one thing that I did have trouble tracking was where my ball was on the table, now that was my own fault as they give you an awesome pinball to move around. I just did a bad job of keeping up with moving it around. That’s more on me than anything else.
This game has really nice components. I mentioned them above, but the pinballs that you love around to keep track of where your ball(s) are, that is amazing. It comes with four dry erase boards as well for each of the four pinball tables, as well as four dry erase scoring boards/bonus boards. Really nice components and very nice dry erase markers. The only knock that I have on the dry erase markers is that I want to be able to stick the cap to the back of the marker, and that really didn’t stick well.
Now, the rule books, the rule book is huge and is going to be a bit of effort to get through. This is because they have to explain how each of the tables works and what is unique about it. That is a lot to get through for what looks like it should be a fairly quick game to get to the table. However, they make it easier to get to the table by giving you a cheat sheet to get the simplest of the pinball machines up and going quickly. I like that more games are starting to have their tutorial or shortened rule book to get your going faster.
Roll and Write Comparison
This roll and write feels different than most other ones that I’ve played. Granted, I only played the first introductory machine out of the box thus far. But it feels like it does some fun things, and that it is one that people will find interesting as the table. The theme definitely works for the game. Most roll and write games are pretty themeless, even one of my favorites, Cartographers, that theme really isn’t that there that much.
It also does one thing that I expect in most roll and writes now, and that is limit the downtime. In Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade, downtime doesn’t exist. Well, it exists in one very specific spot. When the dice are rolled, everyone uses the dice. It isn’t one roll per person, it’s a roll for everyone and everyone picks one of the two dice. That means that no one is ever waiting during the bulk of the game. There is one time when you might be waiting. And that is at the end of the game. If you lose your ball before the other player(s) do, you might be sitting there waiting for them to finish so you can compared scores. This is a minimal issue to me because the game goes quite quickly, and it’s one that I have only played solo thus far, I can just see that downtime occurring to some extend every game.
Not final thoughts because I need to play it more, but initial thoughts on the game. I like this roll and write. Now, I like most roll and write games so keep that in mind. But I think that I’ll like this one a lot. It has a good thinky element to it and some solid push your luck in terms of nudging the dice and trying not to get a tilt on the machine. It is also surprisingly thematic for a roll and write which gives it a whole lot more points in my book. I also was really impressed by the level of production in the game.