Let’s begin with something free: there’s a new series of solo games playable with a traditional deck of cards called Solitaire Legends. So far, two titles have been released: Tiger Lily and Guinevere.
But you’re here for the shiny, right? The big boxes full of art, silk-screened meeples, custom dice, and plastic monsters. I’ll start with adorable woodland critters meeples then. In Golden Ei, a game that very much looks like it's aimed at children (age 6+ on BGG), you play as hopping bunnies involved with easter eggs smuggling, while a fox is relentlessly chasing you.
I’m missing the mark, is it? So, it’s minis or nothing then? I have something for you (even though you can’t see anything but a very purple box art for the moment): Shaar: The Motley Lands Massacre. From the description, it sounds like a semi-abstract Fantasy adventure game, with card play, character progression, endgame bosses, and both duties and sub-duties (apparently ‘quests’ has lost all fanciness as a word).
Since we’re in the Fantasy department, I have The Old King’s Crown: ‘a game of card-driven conquest’, featuring secret unit deployment, simultaneous play, betting, bluffing, all in a race to gain enough influence to claim the crown! No info has been given on solo play.
Nah, OK, I get it, dry and convoluted Euros with clever flowchart nemeses are all the rage now. So, you’ll get what you asked for in An Age Contrived. If you go read the description, they’ll serve you with a whole back story to flatter your ego about you being a God worshipped by idolizing crowds of mortals. But when you come to the part where they ask you to ‘channel your energy into the mortal realm’ (however dubious that may sound), you’ll get that it’s basically a network building, resource management exercise to rake in victory points.
Now I’ll move to two games that have already been announced in the lounge by a fellow Solitaire Times habitué, starting with Thorgal: The Board Game. Apart from that it’ll get crowdfunded through Gamefound and that it’s the adaptation of an old French comic series (still ongoing), what do we really know about it? The game is played on a story book and will lead you through ten 2 hours long independent scenarios. Mechanics listed are dice-rolling, deck construction, resource gathering and items crafting, character progression, and crippling wounds that counterbalance it.
In the same Scandinavian flavor, but with a historic/realistic take on it this time, Vendel to Viking. The game is set prior to the Viking era explored in the already published Pax Viking. It unfolds as a true saga, since every round corresponds to a generation passing, and the goal is to push your family towards the most glorious accomplishments.
Next one is Dobro, and, to be entirely honest here, I only included it because I found the box art way too creepy to be ignored. It’s an abstract card game that apparently suits solitaire play (although I can’t see how from the description).
Since we’re living in happy times, with a pandemic on one side and a nuclear warfare threat on the other, I thought you’d be pleased with a title that cleverly combines both, namely Pharmageddon. Actually, it’s more harmless than it seems, as the subtitle ‘Bugs vs. Drugs’ reveals; you’re only here to fight bacteria with antibiotics, and the game is coined as a ‘medical education’ one. Sanitizing.
But as I hear rumors about people hiding from the world chaos into their caves, I’m happy to offer an alternative with Island Alone. It's a PnP roll and write game in which you venture into different scenarios on a desert tropical island to survive, escape your fate, or dig up treasures (which should be everyone’s priority when stranded on some piece of land in the midst of the ocean; otherwise you might end up talking to a volleyball, you know).
Meanwhile, I’d personally rather dive straight into Purgatorio, a solitaire-only Dark Fantasy and Exploration tile placement game, featuring a heroine with a fading soul you must save before darkness prevails.
I’ll end the tour by featuring publisher Lagniappe Games, who just added lots of soloable print and plays in the database including Honey, Airships and Automatons, Carnivorous, and Magpie, although I am not sure to which extent they are free and available right now.
#TigerLily #Guinevere #GoldenEi #Shaar #TheOldKingsCrown #AnAgeContrived #Thorgal #VendelToViking #Dobro #Pharmageddon #IslandAlone #Purgatorio #LagniappeGames #Honey #AirshipsAndAutomatons #Carnivorous #Magpie
All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.