Trek 12 is a roll & write with different levels and a surprising campaign. In Trek 12 you go on an expedition in the mountains and draw routes and areas. Each turn someone rolls 2 dice. You must add, subtract, multiply the result of the dice or you may use the highest or lowest result. Each option can only be used a few times. You choose one of the options and fill it in on your score sheet. You are going to try to make climbing lines (these are consecutive numbers next to each other) and climbing areas (the same numbers next to each other). The bigger your climbing line or climbing area is, the more points you get.
What's surprising about Trek 12 is the fact that you have different scoring blocks with different levels of difficulty. You can play these as standalone games, or you can play the campaign. In the campaign you play 3 different levels, after which 1 person is the winner. During this campaign you can complete certain goals. When you complete a goal you may open an envelope. In the envelopes are fun surprises (but of course we keep them secret)!
Trek 12 offers a lot of fun for how small the game actually is. The rules are easy to understand and the theme is also very nice. The actions you can do during the game also fit very well with this theme. You are mapping out routes and areas on a mountain and this is exactly what you are doing on your score sheet. We also think the actions you can perform with the dice very unique. We have not seen this before in such roll&writes.
Basically Trek 12 is a very simple game, but it is still quite difficult to get good at it. You may get bored of the fast-paced version fairly quickly. But fear not, because this game has more than just a quick version. There are several mountains and variants you can play with. You can also choose a longer 'expedition'. In this expedition you play 3 mountains in a row. You try to score as many reputation stars as possible on each mountain. We thought this was simple, but it is still quite difficult to obtain reputation stars. In addition, by fulfilling certain conditions, you can unlock envelopes or materials. Materials can be used to make things just a little bit easier. For example, you can draw a result somewhere else on the mountain that is not next to a previously drawn result. The envelopes are still a secret, but they guarantee a lot more fun!
If you like a lot of tactics and don't mind a little math, this is really a perfect game for you. It plays nice and fast and you get the hang of it quickly. In addition, this kind of roll&writes are easy to take with you. For example, you can take some scoresheets, a pen and the dice.
Pros and cons
+ Fast and easy
+ Theme really adds to the gameplay
+ Lot of gaming fun for the price
- The fast game can bore you quite quickly