The Isaludo Series - The Sandwich Guy
Recently, 1 Player Guild member Wil Su posted a free PDF with games he has designed himself called Isaludo (Ten modern solo games using a standard card deck).
The name of the book means to salute in Filipino. It’s also a combination of the Filipino word isa (one) and Latin ludo (game), owing to its solitaire focus.
Athena loves card games and decided we'd cover them all, handing me The Sandwich Guy. With her vote of confidence: "it's dead simple, you can handle it".
So. You're this sandwich maker. In your hand are eight cards, the ingredients. You put three together for a tasty snack. Unlike what I thought, you're not trying to make combinations like 9-6-9 or J-Q-J. A sandwich is made by having the same interval between the first and second, and the second and third card. The Ace is a 1, Jack 11, Queen 12, King 13 and the cards loop around. So you can have 2-5-8 or 8-Q(12)-3. One I nearly missed, is that 6-6-6 is also valid, the interval being nought.
Every time you make a sandwich, you sell it. Some good looking sandwiches will pay better than lousy ones. You can buy new ingredients with the money made (draw new cards). A same-suit sandwich will bring four new cards, a same-coloured one three cards and a mish-mash of ingredients will just give you enough income to buy two new cards.
I liked the idea. It's more thematic than stacking piles from Ace to King, for sure. Unfortunately, I didn't have much fun playing. There were two things that got in the way.
First of all: if you don't have a brain wired for numbers, you'll need to count. Every time. I'm going from 7 to J, which is 11, which is 4 steps. So now I need four steps from J (Q/K/A/2) ah, two. No I've got a three. Let's see. From 3 to 7 is... And on and on. Very problematic for me, especially as I don't have 13 fingers to count on.
Second: it's random. You need quite some luck with your draws and when looking at your hand the decision space is small. I lost one session right after drawing my first hand of cards. The only time I felt like influencing play, was when I had two sandwiches in my hand. One of those would give me four cards, the other two. There is a strict hand limit of eight cards. So I had to sell the lousy sandwich first or I'd waste a card. Apart from that: gameplay consists of hoping for the best, and counting.
You win when you draw the last card of the deck. You lose when you can't make any more sandwiches. I played six times. The best I did was sell nine sandwiches. Which is six short of a win and eight of a perfect score. But I don't want to try anymore.
That said, I do appreciate the Isaludo project. I am certainly going to try the more complicated games. It's always nice to have more games you can play with a normal deck of cards., and not just variations on Patience (though, if you are interested in these - like I am - a nice place to get started would be Ender's Review: The most popular builder solitaire card games). The Sandwich Guy may well be the lightest in this collection, and I'm sure a lot of people won't be bothered by my negatives. It can be seen as a nice, fast, simple filler game.