An interview with a board game rental company: Rent, Shuffle & Roll

It’s the next in my series of interviews with people from the world of tabletop games, and this time I’m lucky enough to sit down with the folks from Rent, Shuffle & Roll, a recently launched board game rental service.

Dice In The Dark: Hi folks from Rent Shuffle & Roll, thanks for being here today. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourselves: who are you and what do you do?

Rent Shuffle & Roll: Hi Mark/Dice in the Dark! Thank you so much for having us. We are Jen and Glenn, a couple from Aberdeen, Scotland. We have been together for 12 years, married for 4 years and big boardgame fans for longer than we would care to count!

Image from @rentshuffleandroll

DITD: How did you first get involved with the world of tabletop gaming?  Do you have any particularly fond memories from that time?

RSR: We have both grown up with fairly traditional boardgame experiences and memories – the classic Monopoly table flip from family at Christmas and rainy afternoons spent playing Scrabble. It was only when we went to university that we became aware of the world of modern board games which cater to everyone with a huge range of styles, varieties and themes and we really fell in love with exploring all these options.

DITD: What are some of your favourite games? What do you love about them?

RSR: We absolutely love games with a well-executed theme – for example Dinosaur Island which is like an incredible cross of Rollercoaster Tycoon and Jurassic Park. Or Robinson Crusoe which is really brilliantly inspired by the book. We also love games which get you talking as a group – Betrayal at House on the Hill really ticks that box as a player is revealed as a traitor which really shifts the dynamic during gameplay. Or for a bigger group The Resistance is always entertaining as you accuse each other of being the spy – we have seen it get fairly heated!

DITD: Those are some great games! I’ve had tonnes of fun playing Betrayal at House on the Hill and The Resistance over the years.

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DITD: You run a board game rental company. How did that get started?

RSR: It is something we have spoken about doing for years and have dipped our toe in slightly in the past when some other services arose, but the opportunity presented itself towards the end of last year to obtain a large number of games to really round out our personal collection and we decided it was the perfect time to make the leap! From there it has been a whirlwind getting the business up and running which has been incredibly exciting.

DITD: A company that rents out board games via post seems like an idea that wouldn’t have been able to exist even just a few years ago, but you’re clearly making it work. Why do you think board games have grown in popularity so much over the last few years?

RSR: I think tabletop gaming has some really important and really highly valued aspects. Lockdown obviously had a big impact on a lot of people’s mental health – the isolation was a big part of that. Board games bring people physically together, round a table with no Zoom screens or technical issues and that has been incredibly refreshing. There is a nostalgia and wholesomeness to boardgames as well which could be seen as corny but when you balance that with a mix of incredibly modern themes that literally cater to everyone it is a pretty magic mix. For us personally, boardgame rental during lockdown was an absolute lifeline – we were both stuck in the same house and it gave us something brand new to look forward to and enjoy every month.

Image from @rentshuffleandroll

DITD: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced since you launched Rent Shuffle & Roll?

RSR: The biggest challenge we have faced has been the couriers – finding a courier which is reasonably priced but takes due care and delivers in a timely fashion was significantly harder than we anticipated. We were using one courier during our alpha test and first few deliveries which was a disaster as we had damaged and delayed deliveries so it wasn’t a suitable option for us. We then switched to another courier service which has improved the quality of delivery – delivery times were still an issue but we have managed to adapt our timescales to ensure our customers still get their games for an entire month. It took some tweaking but we have got there now!

DITD: How has it been going so far? What’s the reaction been like?

RSR: It has been fantastic! Really full on but in the best possible way. We had a flurry of local press activity which was amazing and led to an interview which Jen did on BBC Radio Scotland – absolutely surreal and incredible! The community online has been wonderful and really supportive. Despite the challenges we have mentioned above everyone has been very understanding of any tweaks we have had to make as they are always with the view to the customer having the best possible experience.

DITD: Are there any games in your company’s library that you’re eager to try yourselves?

RSR: Oh absolutely! Honestly so many – we wouldn’t pretend for a second we have played even half of our library and we are adding all the time! There are so many we can’t wait to get stuck into.

DITD: Can you tell us, what’s been your most popular title so far? Are there any games that fly off the shelves as soon as they come back in?

RSR: Our top two most popular games at the moment would be ‘Burgle Bros’ which is a Tim Fowers cooperative game where you try to execute a heist without being caught and ‘Above and Below’. We have always enjoyed ‘Burgle Bros’ – a cooperative game always goes down well in our competitive household! The hardest level on this we have yet to defeat though. ‘Above and Below’ is one which is yet to hit our gaming table – mainly because it keeps getting ordered before we have a chance to play it! They definitely seem to be popular at the moment!

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DITD: What’s next for you?

RSR: We are actually providing the board game library at Tabletop Scotland in August which is really exciting and we will have a stand at Tabletop Gaming Live in September as well which we are really looking forward to. In terms of the website the next feature coming soon will be gift subscriptions so you can treat your loved ones to a whole world of games! We have lots of other exciting things on the drawing board so you will have to check out our Instagram to see what we have ahead!

DITD: Where can people find you on the web?

RSR: We are at and you will find us on Instagram @rentshuffleandroll

DITD: Just for fun, what would you say is the greatest movie of all time, and what makes it so great?

RSR: We are not really movie buffs! A lot more guilty pleasures on this list than what we would probably consider ‘greatest movie of all time’! Glenn would have to say ‘Saving Private Ryan’ as he is a bit of a history buff and thinks the grittiness shows the reality of war. On the other hand Jen prefers something more light hearted like Sister Act – Whoopi Goldberg dressed as a nun, what more could you want?!

DITD: Thanks for being here, it’s been a pleasure.

RSR: Thank you so much for having us it has been a blast!

A massive thanks to Jen and Glenn for agreeing to be interviewed, it was great to speak to them.

If you’re in the UK and looking for a board game rental service, Rent, Shuffle & Roll are well worth checking out.

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