Way behind my time, here is the last segment of the UKGE 2018…the original version became lost in the aether…I have tried to recreate it as best I could. Sorry all!
Stuffbybez- a multiple solo variant using Wibble
In short, I didn’t get time to visit Bez after the game I had during the Press Evening of Thursday evening, but I have subsequently been in contact with Bez and now have in my possession a number of rulesets for solo variants using the original Wobbell++ deck of cards…yes, solo wordgames…you did indeed hear me correctly…
or more precisely, “read” me correctly. Although they are works in progress, I will be bringing a special solo word-play review of Bez’s games in August featuring Mickell, Yuzabell and Extendabell so keep an eye out for that…and at the rate Bez adapts new ideas, that may well be more. (Although some rules and ideas are neither finalised nor made public, a titchy spoiler…they do play really well as solo games)
Accentuate Games- Frenetic
An excursion from the norm, I actually went looking for Franetic (and I know it is a multiplayer word game) because No.2 daughter is a Chemistry fan and loves all things to do with the periodic table…so I had to follow-up on Frenetic
.Although the game isn’t restricted to science words, merely using the scientific element symbols as a basis for letter tiles, it does have a very clever scoring system. The atomic numbers of the various elements form the foundation of this system so careful element/letter selection is imperative for that all-important win.
The game looks inviting unlike its ancient relatives Scrabble and the like…and, from what I discern from my chat with Kelly Jones, Frenetic is a far more exciting and involved game too.
If you are a fan of word games I do recommend you taking a look at Frenetic as I think it offers a more tactical wordy-gameplay than the majority of games in this genre.
Mythic Games- Solomon Kane
Making a massive impact on Kickstarter at the moment, Mythic Games delve into that adventure/miniatures market but with something slightly different when it comes to the cooperative gameplay…and after a really long chat with Az on the stand, I discover how a solo variant goes beyond requiring the soloist to merely operate multiple cooperative characters.
Obviously the market has started to become saturated with miniature adventure games but I think Solomon Kane goes a way to be different. Firstly by loosely telling the Robert E Howard stories but allowing four players to work cooperatively as the four Cardinal Virtues: Courage, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice, each with special powers that reflect their unique role. they are forces that help the Kane character complete his ourney…but importantly for us, the avid soloist, we get opportunity to not play al aspects of a coop, with huge book keeping…no, a special player board will be created to combine the skills and reduce the soloist’s headache.
I admit to never having read the Kane stories but wat was displayed and talked about at the expo certainly makes me excited to see how this turns out. Definately one to keep an eye out for.
Dark Orbit Games- Repel Boarders
I had a chance meet with Charlie who talked me through Repel Boarders, a sci-fi coop game for 1-6 players, where we can take control of any number of crew under Cpt Frank Smith in either one of the 9 included missions or, if we are so inclined, we can design your own!
Gain weapons and armour from the chests scattered about the ship in your attempt to defeat the forces of space pirates that are attacking our ship.
Missions have different objectives ranging from simply surviving a massive rush of pirates to securing vital parts of your ship.
Will you take on the role of a marine and attack the enemy head on or the role of medic and assist your fellow players in staying alive as wave after wave of blood thirsty pirates swarm the ship.
The choice is ours so they say, currently with 6 different characters to play and missions with varying degrees of difficulty to test and titilate.
I hope to be able to bring more information on Repel Boarders as Steve has asked if I would like to take a look at a prototype copy to play & pre-view…soloable sci-fi game? I would be nuts to not jump at that opportunity. I shall endeavour to keep you all posted.
Repel Boarders website http://www.darkorbitgames.com/index.php/our-games-range/board-games/repel-boarders
Frank West- catch up & General chat
It would not be a con without having a chat with Frank but as I have already spoken at length about City of Kings and my efforts to encourage the busy chap to contribute to BSoMT’s A Guest Knows Best …here are links to my previous city of games encounters…
Grey Fox Games-Rising 5
Grey Fox was my first port of call on the Friday…and purely by chance, too. I spotted Rising 5 which had caught my attention on Kickstarter but very much fence sat at the time so now I thought I would get first hand explanation as to what I missed out on.
Rising 5: Runes of Asteros is a co-operative deduction and adventure game with a mobile phone application or a game master. Players must find the answer Code with the four Runes in the right arrangement before the evil power devours the planet. Players can explore the planet to collect energy or clues and to fight against evil monsters. When players try to unlock the code, the App or the game master will give signs that lead to right code.
It actually proved to be a much more interesting game than I initially thought. Some interesting decisions to be made and a goodly amount of puzzle solving and deduction to keep the soloist occupied. Definitely worth looking at in more detail.
…further reading https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/185196/rising-5-runes-asteros
Dice Sports- Exodus:
I managed to have a chat with rob from Dice Sports about Exodus:ZWar one which looks most intriguing on the display. An escape the room feel but on a much grander scale. Abandoned on a typical zombie infested island, navigating the island and the decks of a potential escape ship…
From the website on the campaign mode…
The Exodus campaign, which can be played either solo, or 2 player co-operative, sees players taking on the roles of two war veterans, stranded on an island ravaged by a rapidly mutating super virus. Their perilous journey will take them from infested towns and harbors, to the claustrophobic corridors of an abandoned cargo ship and even out onto the open water, where untold horrors lurk.
There is a meld of comic book narrative intertwined with miniatures sprinting frantically about in a blind panic through doors, rooms and corridors. This campaign has the all important solo mode but the game comes with a Party mode allowing a quicker version for multiple players and a Directors cut version allowing a player to work against the heroes through use of a dedicated Director’s deck of cards. it all looks very promising and hopefully soon I may be fortunate enough to play a preview copy and report back if it is, in fact, as promising as it looked t the expo.
BSoMT preview of Exodus …of Molotov Cocktails and Seeker’s Entrails (Exodus)
Ore details from the website http://www.zwargame.com/exodus-1/
…of Conks and Conclusions:
It was a ridiculously busy time as my first UKGE as press but I have managed, having extended my visit through mild misadventure, spoken to some amazing designers and got to see first hand some amazing games…most of which were actually solo, had solo variants or had solo modes in the pipeline. I think it is evident of a positive change in the gaming industry that solo variants…proper, well thought out variants, aimed to give solo players a fulfilling game experience, has taken a much higher profile in the design process. Although the “tag on solo mode to pacify soloists” approach still exists, most discerning designers go that extra mile to include a quality variation for solo players. There are, sadly, still some designers/publishers who for their own reasons were stand-offish and a little arrogant but the majority I visited were friendly, accommodating and valued my interest in their products/design process. It is this latter group who I have wanted to share with you and will recommend deserve your time and attention. Those who were less accomodating…well they have failed to get a mention!
So all in all it proved to be an amazing experience and I have discovered some incredible publishers/designers and some equally increadible solitaire variants of their games. Hope in the fulness of time to be able to bring you news of most, if not all, of he titles I have looked at during the UKGE 2018…and will endevour to report back to you, the discerning soloist just how good a gaming experience they offer.
Until UKGE 2019…