Solo real time games... I can accept they have their fans. But surely they can't be too many? I mean, who returns home after a stressful day, decides to unwind with a solo board game, and proceeds to switch on the timer??
Don't get me wrong, I like frantic dice rolling and giggles as much as the next person. But only when I have company. Flipping the hourglass when you're on your own does not mean fun, it means panic. Stress. Quick pulse. High blood pressure. Risk of a stroke!
When Renegade games announced their Solo Hero series, my interest was piqued until I saw the name Kane Klenko, the designer of games on speed. Never mind, Proving Grounds didn't appeal to me regardless of the time element, I'm not missing much. But recently I read about another solo game, and it hurt: Lux Aeterna looks like something I want to play. It is a card game. By Tony Boydell. Asks you to fix your spaceship. Has great artwork too. Can it not convey the feeling of hopelessness without this easy tension-maker? Why does it have to be played within 12 minutes?
I think I know why. If you follow mr Boydell's blog on BGG, you can see him taking strolls in the countryside, frequenting thrift stores, and having a beer with friends at the pub. Whenever he is annoyed, he vents on the blog. I can see why he thinks some real time anxiety can be fun. But for me, no. When I play solo and deal with a disaster or hordes of enemies, I'll be taking my sweet time. Let's open that box of Rise of the Zombies. Oh.