LOTS is a competitive building game that uses chunky wooden tetromino blocks. Our family really fell in love with this game from designer Zach Connelly. LOTS: Filled In is a roll and write follow up to this great family game that keeps the same playful style.
Even if you’ve not played the original game LOTS, this new roll and write is easy to learn and teaches in about 3 minutes. Each player will take a building sheet and black pencil. These come in different shapes not only for variety but also because each player should have a different building layout.
Building with Color
The active player roll 2 dice per player plus 1. So for a 3 player game you’ll have 7 dice on the table to draft from. Players draft a single die first then in reverse order a second die is drafted. The dice in LOTS: Filled In contain a shape in a specific color or a purple question mark. Players will take the shape from one die and the color from the other die and fill in the appropriate blocks on their building sheet.
Similar to something like Tetris, shapes have to fall to the lowest point in the building and you have to be able to fill in all the appropriate blocks. You can move the shape anywhere to the left and right within the space of the building.
Each time a player fills a row on their sheet, they’ll record the number of colors represented in the row on the “Level” column to the left. If you’re the first to fill in a row, you’ll get a single bonus point noted by filling in the little triangle for that row.
Throughout your tower there are numbered boxes in the 5 different colors in the game. Covering one of these boxes in the matching color will award additional “Tool” points. These points increase the higher you go in the tower. Hitting all of these tool boxes will award 15 additional points.
The game ends when a player isn’t able to legally place a block that they’ve created from the dice.
Build to the Sky
LOTS: Filled In has a variety of diverse crew cards that are going to help with your building project. Each crew card will offer a way to bend a rule, reroll the dice or draft a die that wasn’t accessible. These crew cards are usable only once so holding out until just the right time is important.
At the end of the game players will be given 3 bonus points for the player with the largest area of each of the 5 colors in the game. These bonus points can make a huge difference at the end of the game. BUT, don’t forget that you want a variety of colors in each of your rows so that you score enough points on your “Level” scoring column.
These two scoring criteria will have players trying to create this balance between drafting the same color die over and over along with having plenty of color variety in their tower. LOTS: Filled In even has a mechanism for the player that may not have had the best plan. Once per turn, players can color in a single purple square on their tower. This is recorded at the top of the score sheet and gives the player negative points. The more a player takes this action, the more negative points they’ll receive at the end of the game. It’s a great way to fill in mistakes during your build but risky if you’re too reliant on it.
LOTS: Filled In is another hit for our family from Royal N Games. It’s simple to teach, quick to play and enjoyable enough to say “one more game” when you finish. Players are going to have to find the right balance when drafting dice and pivot when the perfect color or shape doesn’t show up. Hitting the tool and color bonuses during the game feel satisfying and award the best planners.