Tag: Solo Game

Top 10 Big Games in Little Packages

Top 10 Big Games in Little Packages

A lot of big games people think of as being heavy or having lots of decisions, but what are some small games that pack a big punch?

Back or Brick: Epic Seven Arise

Back or Brick: Epic Seven Arise

Based off of an app game, Epic Seven Arise is a dungeon crawl, fantasy, adventure where you play as the heir of the covenant trying to stop the cycles of destruction. Pros Epic fantasy game Theme Artwork Campaign Solo Cons Artwork Price First time company 

The Collection A to Z: NOPe Games

The Collection A to Z: NOPe Games

What, that seems wrong, how are there no games? No, it’s just that there aren’t that many games out there. So instead I’m looking at games with the Letters N, O, and P.

The Collection

Numbers

A’s – B’s – C’s – D’s – E and F’s – G and H’s – I, J and K’s – L’sM’s

N, O, and P’s

Not Alone

I am always looking for big group games that aren’t just light party games. And Not Alone definitely hits that where it has a one versus all. And I really like the one versus all aspect to it. I have a lot of fun playing both on the monster side and the crew member side. I think that I prefer to play as the monster as I keeping track of what everyone is playing down is a lot of fun and offers an interesting challenge. I also like that as the crew, though, you can talk amongst yourself, but the monster player always has to be able to hear it. So you can plan, and planning isn’t bad, but it lets the monsters know some of what is going on.

Status: Played

Image Source: Z-Man

Onirim

Onirim is my go to solo game for one simple reason. It’s really small and doesn’t take up much table space. It was also the first game that I played solo, if I remember correctly. I’m not counting when I was a kid and I’d take stuffed animals through a game (can you tell I like board games). This game’s puzzle is really interesting, and I like the odd artwork that it has. If someone is looking for a solo game to try, this would be what I recommend first.

Status: Played

Pandemic

This is just base Pandemic, not the Legacy versions, which will be coming up next. Pandemic is a great game. It’s a gateway game that tells a story each time you play it, and while there is certainly a fair amount of mechanics too it, it is still an experience. I like in a cooperative game how you don’t have enough time to do everything. That’s really important because it keeps the tension for the game high and the replayability high because there is always more to do.

Status: Played

Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1, 2, and 0)

I love Pandemic Legacy in each version that I’ve played. In fact I’ve played Season 1 twice and had a blast with it the second time that I played it as much as the first, and that was playing it solo. Pandemic Legacy games, while you can’t play them again once they are done, are just such amazing gaming experiences. They add in story to the game of Pandemic, and definitely have an evolving ruleset that you need to remember. If I could go back and play it again for the first time, I would because the twists and turns, while not that shocking always, are really good. And I’m excited to go and play Pandemic Legacy Season 0 sometime soon.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2: Played
Pandemic Legacy Season 0: To Be Played

Papillon

The second butterfly game on the list, this one also has you building a garden and amazing looking 3D flowers. This is an area control/area influence game, a drafting game, and just has a great table presence. I had a lot of fun punching out everything and putting it together. I picked this one up because when I can get it played, it’ll sell itself with the 3D flowers and with the butterflies that are on clothespins.

Status: To Be Played

Image Source: Z-Man Games

Parade

A small game, this one is a great filler that has some strategy to it. In it, with it’s pasted on Alice in Wonderland theme, you are trying to get the fewest points possible. But you are taking cards that are lower number or the same color as the one that you play down, but only so far along the path. It’s an interesting puzzle that has a mechanic that I really like. If you end with the most of a color, those cards are worth 1 point each, instead of face value. So you can shoot the moon a bit in a color, as long as you don’t get too many and end up with a low score. So it adds in good strategy to what is a small game.

Status: Played

Patchwork Doodle

I love roll and write games (or flip and write) and this one is an interesting game about making a quilt. What is really interesting is that you score points based off of the largest solid square you’ve made in your quilt. So compared to some polyomino style flip and writes, this one has you really wanting to keep things tightly packed together. And you are moving around placing the different shapes to build your quilt in less of a flip and write way and more of a rondel, which is unique as well.

Status: To Be Played

Phase 10

A mass market game hits the list again. Phase 10 is a game that kind of has that got me into the hobby and one that I grew up playing. I know this game has issues, mainly that someone could get stuck on Phase 1 for 10 rounds, and lose the game just like that. Now, that’s almost impossible, but it could happen, and that’s no fun. The game that I don’t own, Five Crowns, does something similar to Phase 10 but fixes that problem. I still have it in my collection though because it’s a classic and it’s easy to pull out and teach.

Status: Played

Photosynthesis

This is an abstract tree growing game that I need to play more of. I love the way it looks on the table, you have 3D trees, and I like the that the sun rotates around the board. What drew me to the game, besides the look, is that rotating sun and the fact your trees cast shadows. So you get less points to use if your tree is being blocked from the sun by another tree that’s taller or the same height possibly. This means sometimes you end up with great turns, but if things go poorly, or I place a tree just right, you might get no points to spend on actions. It’s a mean game if you want it to be, but that’s a lot of the fun.

Status: Played

Image Source: AEG

Point Salad

A point salad game is any game where you have a million different ways to score points. If you put a piece down in spot X, you get 10 points. This takes the concept and makes it into a little filler card game. On your turn you draft either a scoring card or two vegetable cards. The point card might say that you get five points per pair of tomatoes that you have. So you’ll draft a lot of tomatoes. But if another tomato scoring card comes up, I can take that, or I can draft a vegetable from that row, causing it to flip over. The game is clever, it scales well, and you do score a ton of points, especially possible at higher player counts.

Status: Played

So three letter there, but not a ton for each of them. You might be surprised that I didn’t add Q in as well. But that’ll wait for another day. What’s your favorite game starting with the letters N, O, or P? What game do I need in my collection starting with those letters?

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Back or Brick: Tomorrow Dies Today

Back or Brick: Tomorrow Dies Today

You might be the worlds foremost super spy, but you cannot stand against my evil plans. – Some Evil Mastermind Somewhere Sometime Pros Theme Cons Number of game modes Shipping not listed Artwork consistency Metal Minis First Time Creator The Page This page to me 

Back or Brick: The Umbrella Academy Game

Back or Brick: The Umbrella Academy Game

Take the fight to the villains as a member of the Umbrella Academy, take down your greatest threats and deal with your family in this card game. Pros Theme Solo Play Art and Aesthetic Cons Simple Game Play First time creator The Page While I 

Back or Brick: Railroad Ink Challenge

Back or Brick: Railroad Ink Challenge

Roll and Writes are some of the hottest games out there right now and the number of roll and write games is huge. Some of the big ones are games like Quixx, Welcome To…, or Ganz Schon Clever, but one that’s done quite well for itself is Railroad Ink.

Pros

  • Roll and Write
  • Based off of previous game
  • Previous successful Kickstarters
  • Solo Play
  • Variety of Price Points

Cons

  • Doesn’t seem massively different than previous versions of game
  • $80 all in for a roll and write
  • Not backwards compatible to previous version

The Page

You can tell that they’re a company that has done Kickstarters before, they have everything planned out well. They do a good enough job of explaining the game and how it works and still get you to what you get and shipping costs quickly. They’ve set-up their pledges well so that you can get in at the level that you want.

The disappointing piece of this to me is that the Railroad Ink Challenge core rules aren’t backwards compatible to the previous version. I understand that it probably makes sense because of game play, but it makes me wonder about using them to create a giant game, so multiple copies of the different colors of the game, getting the original and new stuff wouldn’t allow for a big 16 player game.

Back or Brick

For me this is a brick, not because it doesn’t look like a lot of fun, I think that it does. But I can get the Red Box now, and in fact I wrote about it on Monday and not have to wait for 6 months or so to have the game in hand. I think that the challenge also bumps up complexity, and I want to try the simpler version first. I’m hoping, if I like it, that I can get the other boxes later, which seems like it is the case. So it’s not really a knock on the game, more my having not played it previously.

How about for you, is Railroad Ink Challenge a Back or Brick for you?

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Back or Brick: Hel: The Last Saga

Back or Brick: Hel: The Last Saga

The north is a cold and dangerous place where monsters roam the lands, but the Vikings are hearty folk but even this might be too much for them, will they be able to survive the horrors that await? Pros Established Company on Kickstarter Pedigree of 

Back of Brick: Veilwraith

Back of Brick: Veilwraith

It’s Wednesday, that means we’re heading back to Kickstarter for another Back or Brick. This weeks game Veilwraith by Hall or Nothing. Pros and cons time as we checkout this solo gaming experience. Pros Plays solo Established company for Kickstarter projects Interesting art/black and white 

Back or Brick: Tumble Town

Back or Brick: Tumble Town

It’s the wild west, and dice slowly are blowing through the streets of your town like tumbleweeds. Can you build up the best dice town possible in this engine building game?

Pros

  • Game looks easy to teach
  • Solo play
  • Good price point
  • Light engine builder

Cons

  • They kickstarted Dreams of Tomorrow which I don’t like
  • Aesthetic is just okay
  • Graphic design is just okay

Thoughts on the Page

They do a solid job of laying out the campaign and giving you a rules overview. The page isn’t as polished as some and that’s mainly because of the graphic design, but in terms of information presented, it looks good and interesting. The one thing I will knock them on is having “reviews”, a lot of those are previews, not reviews, and reviews don’t matter on a Kickstarter page because you are only going to post good reviews anyways.

Thoughts on the Game

But I really like the theme of the game, the old west is fun, and there are definitely some fun things you can do with dice manipulation and engine building. However, how massive does this differentiate itself from Old West Empresario, an old west dice rolling and town building game? I know this relies more on the dice, but is it going to be better than Old West Empresario which it’ll be fighting against for market space. For me, that would be a tough sell because Old West Empresario is already out and available for purchase and from a company that I trust more to put out a good game.

Back or Brick

For me, this is a Brick. Not just because I have limited funds, I’d say something’s a back even if I don’t back it, but because Old West Empresario already exists. Do we really need another dice based old west game? Probably there is room in the market for both, but Dreams of Tomorrow was such a miss for me that seeing this Kickstarter it’s making me more likely to get Old West Empresario now than back this game. Now, it’s very possible that this might be a game for you. I think that if you’ve enjoyed their other games, the price point and shipping are great.

Would you back or is this a brick?

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Back or Brick: Chiseled: A Deck-Sculpting Game

Back or Brick: Chiseled: A Deck-Sculpting Game

Pros:– I like action selection– Cheap price point– Variability in game play depending on actions available – Solo Play– Interesting theme Cons:– Aesthetically only okay– Previously failed– Limited rules description Thoughts on the Campaign Page:They’ve only sent it out to one or two people to