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ROFL! from Cryptozoic Entertainment

By Tim Kidwell
Published: October 14, 2013
Cryptozoic ROFL!
Product: ROFL! is a party game for three to seven players. It includes 170 message cards, a cardholder, seven game tokens and matching dry-erase boards, seven dry-erase markers, a game board, and scoring chips. A 30-second timer is also included. John Kovalic, of Munchkin and Dork Tower fame, designed and illustrated the game.

Gameplay: In ROFL!, players are presented with a phrase and have to condense it into the smallest message they can using only letters, numbers and symbols found on a common keyboard — just like when sending a text message.

Each player receives a dry-erase board and marker and chooses one of the colorful tokens. The game board is placed within easy reach of everyone. A game turn consists of one player being the “Guesser” and the other players “Writers.” The guesser takes the top message card and shows the message to the Writers. The Writers reveal the phrase’s category (TV shows, movies, politics/history, sayings, and books and comics). Once all of the Writers have seen the message, the card is placed faced down on the table and the Guesser starts the timer.

Over the next 30 seconds, the Writers must condense the message as best they can and write it out on the dry-erase boards. Once they know the number of characters in their message — not including spaces — the Writers put their tokens on the corresponding number on the game board. But you have to be quick! If someone else beats you to the number you wanted, you have to take the next highest number, or modify your message for a lower number be-fore the time runs out.

Once the time is up, it’s markers down and time to reveal the messages to the Guesser. The player whose message has the fewest characters, as shown on the game board, gets to reveal first. The Guesser has 30 seconds to guess the full message, and he only has one shot. No shouting out answers and taking them back and modifying them. No hints. No charades. Just chortling as the Guesser struggles to come up with the right answer.

Both the Guesser and the Writers are invested in having their message deciphered. If the Guesser figures out the message with the first reveal, then both players get three points; on the second reveal, two points. If the message is guessed on any subsequent reveal, both the Guesser and the Writer get one point. The end of the turn comes once the message has been guessed or there are no more messages to puzzle out. Then the next player becomes Guesser.

When every player has had a chance to be the Guesser, that is the end of a round. Play continues for three rounds. At the end, everyone tallies his or her points. The player with the most is the winner.

Marketing: ROFL! can be played with anyone who can read and has a sense of humor, and is perfect for casual gamers. And as is the case with most party games, the more people playing, the more fun it is.
Cryptozoic has gone all out to produce a nicely packaged game with quality materials. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have John Kovalic associated with it. This gives you at least three possibilities for cross-promoting ROFL! with other products:
• Display ROFL! with Munchkin titles featuring Kovalic’s art.
• Stock ROFL! with other party games, such as Wits & Wagers.
• Many games by Cryptozoic and other companies are keyed to pop culture and target the casual gamer. Pull a variety of those titles together into a prominent display that will appeal to parents bringing their children in for Magic or D&D.
Product: ROFL!
Maker: Cryptozoic Entertainment
ISBN: 9781617680762
MSRP: $35
Availability: Alliance Game Distributors

• Laughs all around
• Easy to learn
• Wide audience appeal
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