Railroad Ink Review, box art

What do critics think of the roll & write game, Railroad Ink? Dive into The Metagame: Railroad Ink Review Roundup for a one stop summary!

Critic Reviews

Note: The numerical ratings below represent individual critics’ opinions based on the BGG rating scale.

Quintin Smith: 9

Shut Up and Sit Down: Recommends

There’s no mid-review turnaround here waiting to pull into station. Railroad Ink is just great. It’s pretty, it’s accessible, it’s got some depth, it’s delightful, it’s moreish… it’s just a wonderful little box!

Shut Up and Sit Down

Richard Ham (Rahdo): 8.306

“Everything that one would enjoy about roll & writes is here.”

Rahdo Runs Through

JonGetsGames: 8

Dan King (The Game Boy Geek): 7.5

The Game Boy Geek: Saxophone Serenade

Zee Garcia: 7

Dice Tower: Seal of Approval

“By roll & write standards, this has quite a bit going on in it. So I do enjoy it. It is, production-wise, lovely, and, gameplay-wise, really deceptively interesting and engaging.”

Zee Garcia

No Pun Included

“I think it’s clear that I like Railroad Ink very, very much, but this is where I have to come clean… If you don’t have Welcome To and Ganz Schon Clever, you should get those first simply because they are better games.”

No Pun Included

Blazing Red Edition (also includes red expansion dice)


  • 1-6 Players (1-12 when combining editions)
  • Great At: All player counts
  • Best At: 2 players. Real life competition with minimal down time. 


  • Age 8+
  • Family Rating: A
  • Non-Gamer Friendly Rating: A+

Play Time

  • Play Time: 20-30 Minutes
  • Setup + Tear Down: 1 Minute
  • Teaching Time: <5 Minutes

Deep Blue Edition

Nick’s Railroad Ink Review

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every time I’ve played Railroad Ink. I think having multiple editions to the game hurt its ranking and prominence on BGG (as most people probably only own and rank one of them), but maybe it was a great decision for sales, who knows.

Railroad Ink plays fast enough and different enough to grant multiple plays in a row. The theme of route building fits the roll & write mechanism perfectly. The included expansions are a fun way to mix things up between each session. It works great with any player count, although you may have to wait a little longer sometimes if you play with slow players.

We enjoy the expansion differences between the Blue and the Red, but most people won’t need to own both to be content. If you don’t enjoy roll & writes, Railroad Ink isn’t going to change your mind. That said, Railroad Ink is currently our favorite roll & write in the Murray household and earns a spot in my Top 50 Games


  • Juicy, puzzly, thematic roll & write fun
  • Quick and easy to break out and play
  • Gorgeous production and art
  • Interesting replayability with included expansions


  • Above average potential for AP (analysis paralysis) compared to other roll & writes
  • Must buy each edition to get all the expansions or to play with more than 6, but on the other hand, it costs less if you only care to own one edition
  • Some may not like the more random, chaotic nature of the meteor expansion (in the Red Edition)
  • Zero player interaction, but that’s par for the course in roll & write world. Note: there will be more player interaction in the upcoming versions.


Two Thumbs Up!

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