In this series, I preview some upcoming board games that are relevant to the solo player audience and give my thoughts on them.
Salvation Road is a post apocalyptic cooperative survival game from Van Ryder games. In this case, who the publisher is is important for two reasons. The first is that Van Ryder games has published games before and that very fact gives some reassurance this kickstarter has a better chance of not falling through.
Secondly, Van Ryder games has published Hostage Negotiator, which as of writing this is about to be in my FLGS. The fact that Van Ryder has published a solitaire game and is aware of the solitaire community gives me faith that this game will scale and work well for the solo player.
The road cards seem to be the coolest part for me. They allow you to preplan a bit but still leaves some uncertainty and randomness in the game which is usually a book if not a staple for the solitaire. I worry they might not make thematic sense in all situations, but we will see.
On the negative side, their kickstarter video is less than exciting and does not telling me anything about the game just the setting/background. I compare and contrast this game with Defenders of the Last Stand and can’t decide which, if either I should back. I am leaning towards the latter but will keep my eye on both.
Commissioned is a Christianity themed deck builder that is coming to Kickstarter in June to coincide with Origins 2015. While not technically solitaire able, it is cooperative and looks to be soloable by endeavoring players. I generally think that religiously themed games of the past have been at best meh and a worst not even games.
Comissioned focuses on the 150 years of the Church and I think that is a smart move in order to focus the theme and avoid abstractions. I am curious how deck building will work as a mechanic because I tend to think deck-building as a mechanism is anti thematic. Note I have not played Aliens Encounters as that would be the foremost refute to my point and it may very well be. If this theme is up your alley, give it a look when the kickstarter launches next month.
The Networks is a game about being a T.V. network. It is not clear if you run the network, work at the network, are a robot or if you are an amorphous blob alien from Star Realms that feeds off electricity to keep you alive and people refer to you as a network. In fact, there is so little information about this, I will quote the game description below. I include it here because the theme is unique and awesome and BGG says 1-5 players. Pray to the solitaire gods it is good!
“In The Networks, you and your opponents are new television networks, and you need new programming. For this, you’ll need Shows, Stars, and Ads.
Shows need Stars and Ads. Stars give you bonus viewers (points), and Ads give you extra money. You’ll need everything you can get; you’ll have a small amount of resources and time, and you must grab the latest hot show before your opponents.
And some Stars will give their best effort only if you put them on in the proper conditions. For example, some Stars only want to be put on dramas. Other Stars want to be the only Star on the show. And your Ads will give you the most money only if you put them on in the correct time slot.
Finally, Shows age and viewers lose interest, so you have to keep your line-up fresh by canceling shows and sending them into reruns. Fortunately, you can get viewers from your reruns, and the player with the most viewers from reruns each season gets a bonus. Thus, timing your reruns will be important.
If you need a special push, Network Cards can give you special powers — but will a Network Card be better than another action? You’ll have to make that call.
The player with the most viewers after five seasons wins!”