Do your kids love the idea of playing Magic: The Gathering, D&D or other tabletop games with you, but they’re just not old enough to understand the games yet? If you’re looking for something to help your kids get started on role playing table top games and you want something different than trading card games (TCGs) like Pokemon, Roaches may be the game to try. This multiplayer table top game utilizes strategy and role playing in a simple yet enjoyable manner. Roaches can be played by as few as two players or as many as six all together.
Roaches is a basic card and dice game aimed at getting kids interested in table top gaming. This Kickstarter funded game puts players head to head in turn based battle in an attempt to win an entire house. Players act as roaches, each with a varying class and color coded dice.
The four classes of roaches available are: Cowboy, Luchador (Fighter), Ninja, Soldier and Spy. The Cowboy is imagined as a quick drawer who is fast on his feet, the Luchador is known for his ability to quicky defeat opponents, the ninja is stealthy, the Solder is battle ready and intrepid while the Spy is great at disguises and the art of surprise. While these abilities do not give actual abilities to the player, they help kids to get a sense of what type of character they are playing, inspiring them to not only use strategy but to also role play as their chosen character would do. Each class is color coded with matching dice to make it easy for everyone to keep track of who’s roaches and dice are who’s. The Cowboy is yellow, the Luchador (Fighter) is purple, the Ninja is red, the Solider is green and the spy is blue. The Game Master (GM) holds a white dice used to set up each scenario.
Once each player has selected a class, the GM will roll their dice to determine which of the six rooms in the house the roaches will battle for first. Once the room has been selected, the GM rolls again to determine which type of danger the roaches will encounter in the room. Dangers include items like a fly swatter, bug spray, a newspaper or even a cat. Each player has two chances to roll their dice and see if they can meet or beat the dangerous item’s number. If a player rolls a lower number, that roach is eliminated for that round. Once all players have rolled against the dangerous item’s number, the next phase begins.
The second phase puts the roaches in one-on-one combat, again through rolling dice to try and beat their opponent’s dice number. The final winner collects the room (though this win does not secure the item forever!) and their roach(es) guard it safely in preparation for the final phase of the game. Once all six rooms have been battled for and won, the roaches must all regroup to battle the room holding roaches in an attempt to win all the rooms in the house. The roach that wins all the rooms is the winner of the game.
In each room scenario of phase one and during each battle, the GM will create a story about the room and the dangerous item that the roaches encounter in the room. This again helps new gamers to learn how to immerse themselves in the game as they imagine themselves in these scenarios playing and interacting as these various roaches.
While some parents may not enjoy the fact that this game has violent elements (battling, weapons), overall this game is a good way for kids (and new table top gamers in general) to get used to turn based play style dice games before advancing on to more complicated games.
The Roaches game website has helpful resources for players including more information on class characteristics, GM tips and a RP generator tool. While personal preference is key, Roaches is a suitable game for kids from elementary through middle school age.
Colorful yet simplistic in it’s design, Roaches offers a sound platform for new gamers to explore the world of imaginative table top gaming in a way that is both inviting and accessible for new and young players alike.