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Railroad Ink

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Railroad Ink (2018) is a roll-and-write game where you create a map of transport connections. You play by rolling dice to provide the road and track you need to draw efficient routes on your map. It is a game of making better use of shared resources than your opponents, forward planning and strategy are key as you never know which road and track shapes you'll have next.

You are a city planner competing to make the best road and rail network for your city. Each turn you roll four shared Route dice and then try to draw the best route on your wipe-clean Map board grid. Three of these Route dice contain different shapes of road and rail connection and one contains overpasses and stations that can connect between routes. Because you all use the same dice creative placement and careful planning are key to success.

As you play, you use the dice rolled to extend your routes and connect more of the exits from your city together. You score points for your longest route, for the exits you join together and for using the nine central spaces of your board. So on each turn, you must decide where best to place all of the symbols from the dice in order to complete your goals.

This is a calming puzzle game where although you are competing with other players, you rarely tend to notice. You get so stuck into crafting your own city connections that you begin to visualise your city as a real place and when you manage to join a long route together. It is such a pleasing feeling that you might be forgiven for quitting your job and taking up a course in city planning.

Our examiner, Rob Prior, first checked Railroad Ink 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 5 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Roll-And-Write and Traversal game with Puzzle elements. You can play with 1 to 6 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 20 minutes to learn. The mechanics are simple, you roll dice and draw images into squares. The complexity comes from understanding how the routes connect together and how the end-game scoring works. It is a game that you are best learning by playing as after a few games (and comparing how other players used the dice) you should fully understand the rules and start to develop your own strategies.

Play Time: This game will take between 20 minutes and half an hour to complete.


This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Really young players need the physical dexterity to draw the routes accurately and need to be able to grasp the way points are scored at the end of the game.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
There are a number of different versions and expansions, which include:
  • Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition (2018) adds dice with volcanoes and lava.
  • Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition (2018) adds dice with rivers and lakes.
  • Railroad Ink Challenge: Lush Green Edition (2021) adds forest dice and more player interaction.
  • Railroad Ink Challenge: Shining Yellow Edition (2021) adds desert dice and more player interaction. 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2018

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 1-6

Genres: Roll-And-Write, Traversal and Puzzle

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Dice and Pen and Pad

Developer: Horrible Guild (@HorribleGuild)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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