Today I dove into my first attempt at, Tiny Towns solo.
Solo mode in Tiny Towns is simple and well done. It is a "beat your own score" type variant, which are not my favourite, but it's definitely still an acceptable way to play for me. Also it has various scoring totals listed (about 5 different levels of scoring to shoot for), so I like that. 😃
The game is pretty to look at, and honestly it's very easy to grasp the rules. It's the puzzle side of it that's tough. And that was evident very quickly into my first game. 🤣 In solo mode, you use the "resource cards" (smaller cards next to the tarot sized ones on the left). These offer you 3 options of a resource to choose to use on your player board, that will later go towards constructing your buildings. After you take one and place your resource, that card is placed at the bottom of the resource deck and you replace it with another, to offer your next three options to choose from. Simple.
Each game is different based on the building cards you draw. I played today's two games with the suggested starting cards for your first few games. To construct each building you have to place the resources as shown on the building card, in the same pattern but any configuration/orientation on your player board. For example, the cottage in the foreground of the picture here, shows you need a 'brick' (red), 'glass' (blue) and 'wheat' (yellow) resources to construct a cottage. Once you do, a building will provide you points at the end of the game (as the cottages do, if they're 'fed' with a farm) OR they'll offer you an ability helping you build your town more efficiently.
This is an example from game-1. I've placed my brick, glass and wheat and I'm ready to build my cottage. To do so, I take the three resources off and I must place my cottage in one of the three spaces that had resources on it. But be careful - Once you place your building, it's in that location of your 'tiny town' for good. That's where you can run into trouble as your spaces become less and less ... 😮
That puzzle element is one that I'm sure my family is going to enjoy, and I like it too. It's a relaxing game for the most part; until things get pretty tight, or you realize you completely screwed yourself! Why would you put that tavern there of all places!?!? Aw man! 😂
This pic (right) is nearing the end of game-1. I finished with 20VPs which makes me a "Carpenter". That's sort of mid-level on the scoring targets, so that's not bad, but still room to improve.
At the end of the game, the scoring is pretty straight forward based on what you've constructed, and what their scoring says on that building's card. Unfortunately, empty spaces are -1VP during scoring. If you're stuck with a couple unused resources when the game is over, they are taken off your board and considered an empty space. Be careful!
I finished a bit better in game two. The above pic is my final tiny town and I only had two empty spaces which gave me 24VPs. That's the top spot in the "Carpenter" level. SO CLOSE! 😉
OH! I almost forgot. I did play both my games with the suggested "Cavern Variant". This is a variant suggested in the manual that you can choose to utilize or not (it's recommended the first few plays). Each turn (in solo and multiplayer) you MUST take a resource and place it. The "Cavern Variant" allows you to basically "stock" up to two resources that you can use later. Meaning, if you don't have somewhere on the board where you want to chance placing it just yet, you can place it in your "cavern" instead. Even with that extra help though, you have to be careful because once your "cavern" is full with two resources... uh oh! 😯 I speak from experience...
This is definitely a game I'm glad to have in my collection, finally. And I have a feeling this will make it to the table for more than solo play for sure. It feels like a nice intro game for people as well.