The Architect is a free PnP game consisting of eighteen cards where you are designing the blueprint for a home. The artwork is seriously minimalist, just simple lines and squares. (Which is still quite effective since that is evocative of blue prints.) All in all, it’s an easy, very ink friendly build.
It’s a solitaire tile-laying game, draw a card, place a card. You know the routine. The placement restrictions are that the support columns must form a grid. Beyond that, you can overlap cards, turn cards sideways and even slide cards under other cards. You need to create a central corridor. You get points for rooms directly off the corridor but you lose points for big holes in the outer walls, doors that open into walls and rooms you can’t get into.
Here’s where The Architect surprised me. Even with the really open placement rules, I found the game surprisingly hard. I went into my first game, thinking it would be easy and I ended up completely messing up the central corridor.
I did much better on my second game and I might be done with the game after ten or so plays. But if I get that much play out of a free PnP micro game, I feel that’s really good.
There’s apparently plans to make a multi-player version, which I’m curious about. In the solitaire version, you have two cards with double doors that you can place anytime that define the central corridor. I can picture each player having their own set, turning the game into a vicious fight.
I have a feeling I’ll be writing about the Architect again. It might fizzle out quickly or it might get more interesting the more I play it. However, I went expecting meh and it surprised me.