Scythe and Tapestry designer Jamey Stegmaier has released a free roll-and-write board game called Nine Worlds that you can download and play at home.
According to Stegmaier, Nine Worlds was created over a weekend to provide something for tabletop enthusiasts who are currently practising social distancing or in self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A roll-and-write board game - meaning that players roll dice to fill in a sheet and gain points - Nine Worlds can be scaled infinitely, allowing any number of people to play the game at once.
Each section of Nine Worlds’ sheet is based on some of the best board games released by publisher Stonemaier Games - including Wingspan, legacy board game Charterstone and Stegmaier’s most recent game, Tapestry - with players choosing three areas to play through per game.
Rounds begin with players rolling two dice and applying the results to the sections in play. Some areas have players assigning a single dice result, whilst others - such as Between Two Cities - enable players to contribute both dice to the section. Completing certain objectives in each section will net players bonuses that they can then use to gain additional stars and points, or cross off required dice results for free.
Every section works differently and, when combined, provide a different experience during each playthrough. For example, the Between Two Cities section works somewhat like sudoku, in that players cannot have the same result in adjacent squares - so a six cannot be written in a square next to another six - while in Between Two Castles players must arrange results from highest to lowest.
The sections also score differently, with some sections granting stars per row completed, whilst others score based on how many stars players have collected in the other sections. As scoring is done at the end of the game, players can plan ahead in an effort to gather the most possible stars from each section.
After nine rounds, players calculate their scores and determine a winner. Nine Worlds can also be played as a solo board game with a high score mode.
Other than designing Tapestry and Scythe, one of the best board games of the last decade, Stegmaier is also known for creating vineyard management board game Viticulture and city-building game Euphoria.
After playing the game live on Stonemaier’s Facebook page in a video later uploaded to YouTube, Stegmaier said he will continue to play Nine Worlds over the next week or so, continuously taking feedback and altering the game in response to people’s comments. Players can also use the videos to play along with Stegmaier.
Nine Worlds is available to download and play for free now.