4 in a Roll - New game concept - testing

Hey All - About a year ago, I started working on a concept for a game using my 3D printer. It’s a marble game that my family and a few friends have enjoyed. Recently, I thought about converting it into a laser cut design (this comes out faster and is still just as playable!)
The game is called “4 in a Roll” and can be played with 2-4 players in about 3-5 minutes.


Object-Be the first player to get 4 marbles in a row (either horizontaly, vertically, or diagonally).
Game Rules for 2-3 players-Players take turns placing their colored marble from either end of the game. The marble will roll to the middle and come to a stop along the fence. Turns continue until 1 player reaches 4 marbles in a row!
Game Rules for 4 players- Partners compete against another colored team. Sit across from your partner. Your teammate may only play on 1 half of the board opposite from yourself across the fence and may not play on your half. Teams must work together to defeat the other colored team.
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I would buy this game in a heartbeat! What a fun concept.

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Thanks! I forgot to mention that it only works with 14mm marbles which I think are the most common.

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Looks like a fun game that’s simple enough for players of all ages. The 4-player version sounds like a lot of fun for a family.
It also looks like pretty simple design to mass-produce, if you decide to go that route.
I’ve have been staring at it for the last several minutes, trying to work out if there is an always-win or always-draw scenario that will end up getting used by default once players figure it out, like tic-tac-toe.

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This could scale easily to larger size and smaller travel sizes, nicer collectible marble sets, custom woods. It’s a pretty awesome idea. Perty neat.

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Similar to tic tac toe in many ways. One strategy that we quickly figured out is that you shouldn’t allow the other person two in a row with blank space on either side or they will be hard to stop.

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Thanks. I’ve been tempted to try and create a bottom box portion to hold the marbles but haven’t yet so as to continue to save materials. Thanks for the feedback!

Looks like a fun, easy to transport family game.

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Why would it only work with 14 mm marbles? Because of the spacing between the arches?

I suppose it could work with different sized marbles in a modified design. this design, as you noticed, has spacing to not only keep the marbles from falling but also keeps them close enough to each other without bumping into marbles in the adjacent column. I feel like it the marbles are too large they would not be able to roll past each other.

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Makes sense! It’s an awesome design by the way, really aesthetically pleasing, I feel like people could put this on their coffee table and make it a conversation starter.

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Cute concept!

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With a bigger board you could make a pente derivative pretty easily, jump rules, etc.

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Weird you said that. I’m working on making a Pente/9 Mens Morris board.

Also, thinking about 4 In A Roll and the question of the… anti-Kobayashi Maru (the always-win scenario)… And I would never dream of insulting @Joshua with this idea, and I know it goes against the entire name of the game… But if it were expanded to allow for 5 - or 6-in-a-row, that would make for increased complexity if 4 gets too easy. I used to play a game we called Tic-Tac-Tough that I’d come up with in high school where the board size and goal chain size were variable depending on the number of players or level of difficulty. When I saw 4 In A Roll, it reminded me of Tic-Tac-Tough.

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That sounds fun! The original prototype did actually start out much larger and I kept trimming it as I found the game play keeps pretty close to the center usually.

No offense taken at all. Some friends and I tossed the idea around of expanding to 5 in a row. It’s fun to try. I used marbles from a Chinese checkers set and may need to increase marble supply if you try that version.

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I wonder if not having the fence and having gravity change alignment might really throw a wrench on things

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Yes! your right. it does slightly throw a wrench on things. The fence in the middle is there as the marbles come to a rest to keep visual alignment of the position and direction of your marbles (or I could see some folks arguing about having 4 in a row when they don’t) a slight saddle is cut out on the fence so that marbles can just about touch the marbles across the fence without crossing the fence.

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I could just see a move where you add marbles to one side sliding the column till you get your 4 in a row really catching me off guard.

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Ooh! interesting. that would be the wild west version. almost like “Sorry”. I’ve even been dreaming of some kind of hole that is placed where it opens up and marbles fall through changing the dynamic almost like tetris- but I’d have no idea what that would do.