Friday, January 25, 2019

My ongoing adventures with micro games - Slicer

Slicer is 1) a free PnP game 2) a solitaire 3) just nine cards with some dice and tokens 4) an incredibly abstract interpretation of computer hacking. Yup, that about covers it.

In the spirit of William Gibson devotees everywhere, you are a hacker who is hacking their way through a series of servers in order to reach and open up a corporate database. So, each card represents a server and you roll dice in order to successfully hack it. (Am I even using that verb right?)

Slicer has different modes of play. Each mode has you lay out the cards in a different pattern and easy mode makes it easier to successfully hack servers. In fact, you might even win on your first turn on easy mode since the database is shuffled in. On the other hand, the layers of cards you need to go through on hard might require loaded dice.

To add to the fun, you have to complete the game in six turns and messing up a roll can cost you two turns. You do get two to three tokens that let you bend the rules a bit.

Proverbially cards on the table. Slicer is not a good game. It really boils down to flip a card and roll three dice and hope you roll high. The dice and card manipulation that your help tokens give you isn’t enough to really give you choices or control. When I’m complaining about the lack of control in a nine-card, six-round game, it’s pretty bad.

That said, there are some things I like about Slicer. It’s a super easy build. I like the variable set-ups. And it works well as a parent break game, taking up little space, time or brain power.

What Slicer really reminds me of is Muses, another nine-card and some dice game. Muses, which I’ve bashed, is better though, because it allows more dice manipulation. I ended up playing Muses than I ever expected because it works so well as a parent break and I suspect that I’ll do the same with Slicer.

I do think Slicer missed a trick by not giving any of the cards special powers. For instance, being allowed to flip a card after successfully hacking a midrange server would add decisions to the game.

I wouldn’t recommend Slicer for anyone to make. Still, I don’t regret making it and it will see some play from me.

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