Have you ever dreamt to become Hollywood famous? Roll Camera might let’s you fulfill this dream, but you have to work together in order to accomplish your goals. In this game, each player chooses a roll and tries to make the best (or worst) movie possible as a team. as big movie lovers ourselves, we couldn’t wait to start producing our first movie. We also had the chance to meet the creator of this game on Spiel in Essen. He told us this game was inspired by his former work in the movie industry and he was surprised no one has ever thought of a board game like this before. Ever hearing the background story and talking to the creator, it was time to start producing.
How to play.
For the setup, place the main board on the table and let each player choose a character board together with an aid card. Shuffle the top scripts and bottom scripts randomly and select five of each to form a face up top and bottom script deck on the main board. Shuffle the problem deck, ideas deck and scene deck. Place the scene deck face up on the main board and reveal two more cards beneath the deck. The problems are placed facedown above the board. Give three ideas to each player and place the remaining deck facedown below the board. Next, place the set piece tiles in two stacks face up on the board an adjust the budget and schedule dials to the difficulty you want to play. Place the quality marker on the starting space and the blocked tokens close by and give the starting player the six crew dice to begin the game.
When it’s your turn, start by drawing a problem card. Place the card in the first space to the right of the problem deck. If there are any other problems, slide them one space to the right. Problems can cause obstacles like blocking set pieces for example. Problems are effective immediately and will remain in play until resolved. You can resolve problems using crew dices in your turn.
After the problem has been drawn, roll the crew dice. Each dice has six unique faces that can be used in various actions. The VFX side is wild and can be used as any face. On your turn, you can take as many actions as you have dices. The rulebook shows you exactly how you can assign dices. Some spaces require any two of the same faces to be placed, others can just be any dice with any face for example. You may also choose to lock-in dice if you are not fully able to complete an action on your turn. This way, the next player will have one less dice to place.
One action you can take is solving problems. If you pay the dice needed to resolve a problem, you may flip the problem and place it with the resolved side up. If you have five problems resolved, you can choose a bonus of two dollars or +1 on the schedule to get one more turn. You can also maintain your set pieces as an action. To build a new one, pay one dollar and take one of the face up set pieces. You can rotate this and place it within grid how it best fits you. Or you can choose to re arrange all your set pieces to make it fitting for your new scene. If you didn’t roll the dices you wanted on your turn, you can also choose to get an intern. If you sacrifice one dice and take one extra problem, you may change one unused crew dice to any face of your choice. You can’t take this action if your problem que is full.
Also make sure you keep your ideas in mind. When you think you have a good idea that you all can benefit from, hold a production meeting. Three ideas will be pitched in this meeting. One of your own ideas, and depending on the player count one or two from other players. If there are not enough players, simply draw ideas from the deck until you have three ideas to choose from including your own. Now you can discuss with your team which will be resolved immediately, which one will be saved for later and which one will not be used and discarded. The active player is the one who makes the final decision. If you want to play other saved ideas later, you can always do this by paying with the needed dices. Every character also has some unique actions to take on their character board. Your aid card explains them in detail.
The goal of the game is to shoot five scenes without going bankrupt or run out of time. To shoot a scene, you need to make sure there is enough crew on set and that the set is build right. Every scene shows you a set pattern that is needed for shooting. By taking the build or rearrange action with set pieces, you can build your set. Then the only thing left to do is assigning crew by placing dices on the blue pieces of the set. Once the dices match with the pattern on the scene, you are ready to shoot. Note that a pattern can always be flipped, but not mirrored. If you choose to shoot a scene, you have to pay the cost next to the scene you are shooting. Shooting a scene will always cost some money and sometimes quality. Then move the scene to the editing room and flip the card to reveal the final scene product. Some scenes show a purple star with an arrow up or down. This means you gain or lose a quality when the scene is complete. In order to win the game, you need to make sure the quality of your film must be outside of the red zone, being either so bad it’s good, or being a good movie.
After you have taken your turn, make sure you collect all the dices (except for locked-in dices) for the next player and lower your time schedule on the dial by one. Now the next player can take his turn, starting by taking a problem again. Once you have managed to create five scenes, your movie is complete and you can count your score. To determine the final quality of your movie, compare the scenes in the editing room with the script cards on the board. Script cards will tell you what color scenes you have to try to shoot. You can often change these with ideas or character actions on their player board. You can have a script that tells you to shoot blue and yellow scenes, but to avoid purple scenes for example. The rulebook explains each script in detail to make sure you know what movie to create. If at the end of the game, you didn’t run out of budget or time and the quality of your movie is good enough, you win the game and you can premiere your movie!
Playthrough of the game.
In the setup we were already pleasantly surprised with how many difficulties you can choose which are printed on the back of the budget and schedule dials. We choose for normal and moved on to choosing our characters. I of course wanted to be the star which also gave me the privilege to ask for applause from the other players at all time. Tomasz choose the director which allowed him to yell action during the shooting of a scene. Now that we both felt important, it was time to create a movie. We quickly found out we were not given much time at all and drawing a problem each turn often did not help with our existing problems. We tried to solve each problem as quickly as we could to prevent it from becoming more difficult to solve and held many production meeting where we pitched our ideas. When we had created five scenes, our budget and schedule were both running very low and we stumbled upon a problem that blocked us from adding more scenes to the editing room. We had no ideas left to help resolve this issue which meant we had to sacrifice two dices to shoot the scene. The set was ready to go, but with only the exact amount of dices left for the set, we had to be very lucky in our dice throw. Thankfully we had two VFX sides and even a wild dice placement extra on set which allowed us to finish our movie just before all resources run out. We had a script that fit great with the edited scenes what made us come to the conclusion we had created a masterpiece. And so, we proudly present our movie: Bloody Bloody Murder. There will not be a sequel, this is a standalone movie.
For a first board game we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the components, smooth gameplay and all the creativity that can be found in the game as well as a lot of humor. Not a single script fits together which create hilarious movie titles. The problems don’t make sense, since you can come across problems like wasps building nests in the editing room. The ideas in this game are however a little more realistic already with ideas like ‘put your fingers in your ears and pretend that everything is just fine’ . All together, we found that this game is through and through thematic and everything works really well together. With different difficulties, a lot of different ideas, problems, scenes and scripts, you will never have the same game or produce the same movie. Also the characters in this game are all very different and each of them has unique actions to take. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play the game if you don’t have certain characters. The game is made in a way that the characters unique actions can often help you in the game, but are not necessary to win which gives you a lot of freedom to choose in each game.
Roll Camera is a highly thematic cooperative board game with a lot of humor. You will need good communication skills in order to make a good quality movie within budget and time in order to win. We have highly enjoyed this game and were very proud once we had finished our first movie. Since then we have made several movies (or tried to) and the outcome was different every time. This game is already good with two players, but when played with four it adds to the fun since there are more unique character actions you can use. Overall this game has a very good design with a theme that is found in every element in the game, good gameplay and a lot of humor. If you like cooperation games, definitely check this one out.