Monday, June 17, 2019

How I learned to love Friday

One of my failures as a casual solitaire gamer is that I had never really gotten into Friedemann Friese’s Friday, not even enough to decide if I didn’t like it. I’d have to say that since it’s been around long enough and remained in print long enough to count as a standby/beloved classic of the genre.

Don’t get me wrong. I had played it. I even bought when it first came out and still own it. But I never played it enough to really get how it worked, not enough to grok it.

So I knew getting it as app would let me play it over and over enough to actually get an idea of it really works. So I did that. (Some games, particularly solitaire card games that require lots of shuffling, are more fun for me on devices)

Okay, now I’ve finally played Friday enough to grok how it works and I like it.

Elevator pitch: you are Friday, whose peaceful island has been accidentally invaded by Robinson Curroso who it turns out has the common sense of Bertie Wooster. You need to keep him alive and help him beat two pirates at the end so you can get him out of your hair and off the island.

Friday is a deck building game but it has a huge difference from just about every other deck builder I can think of. You don’t have a hand. Instead, you draw X number of cards per turn. (It’s more complicated than that but that’s the thumbnail of how it works)

One of the most important things I learned about making the game work is that you are managing two decks, not one. You need to not only manage your own deck but the hazard deck. Every card you don’t take will get cycled around.

The other thing I learned is that Friday makes trashing cards more important than any other deck builder I have ever played. AND IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN DECK BUILDERS! I REMEMBER WHEN THE CHAPEL WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT CARD IN DOMINION! But smart trashing of cards in Friday is absolutely essential. The game will beat you like Captain America beating a nameless Hydra mook if you don’t. 

Friday, as I knew it would, joined my reliable collection of solitaire games that I play on a device but feel like I’m really playing a card/board game. Sometimes,’you don’t have the time or space to set up a physical game but, by golly, you have your phone.

Friday isn’t perfect. It can be formulaic but that’s kind of the case for just about any solitaire game. It is very engaging and fun and a game that I’m glad I took the time to figure out how to enjoy.

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