Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Okay, it's just one card...

Bonsai Samurai is a good example of a micro game where micro is pretty much the point of a game. 

It is a print-and-play from 2006 and it's big claim to fame that it consists of one card. It's far from the only game made out of one card out there and you still need a couple tokens. Jungle, from DiVinci games, is a one card game where the card is the only components, making it a more 'perfect' example of that goal.

Bonsai Samurai is a duel between two samurai warriors. I'll wait until everyone stops laughing. It's really rock-paper-scissors variant where you use the card as a spinner to help determine damage. Really, the only interesting mechanic is that throwing the same symbol doesn't automatically neutralize the action.

But really, novelty is the only interesting thing about the game. In fact, for many years, it's one of the examples I've used that micro games don't need to focus on being small but being good games.

And I am still planning on making a nice version of it.


Well, it's a five minute project that I can toss in my bag. If something terrible happens to it (which would actually be impressive since I'm laminating it), not a big deal. If nothing else, it'd get a few laughs at a con.

And it might be a game to distract our son when he's just a little bit older at restaurants and such. I'm sure that it will quickly get replaced by deeper and frankly much better games like Cinq-O and Pico 2. But if I even get one session like that of Bonsai Samurai, it will have been worth making.

Which isn't to say that I'm calling it a good game. I can make some pretty compelling arguments that straight up rock paper scissors is a better game. But I will have fun crafting it and if it sees play, what the heck.

(The thought of one card games has made me plan on reformatting Jungle, which I mentioned earlier, with low ink line drawings. Having a game that really is just a card and nothing else will be worth putting the side Coin Age in my wallet.)

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