Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Getting reminded how far PnP has come

I recently tried out an PnP game called Lost Artifact, which I found going through the entries for the 2018 Solitaire Contest. I played it five or six time in a row and found it pretty much a null experience. It wasn’t even a bad experience. I wasn’t offended by the game but I basically got nothing out of it. 

This isn’t a review and, in fact, I’m not sure I’d have anything to say about the experience if it was for my experiences with Bandido Covid-19 and Nytelyfe Solitaire earlier in May. Our son had a lot of fun with Bandido and Nytelyfe Solitaire was surprisingly engaging. I wouldn’t describe either of those games as the high end of my PnP experiences and they were worth making and playing.

But even five years ago, I’d have been more impressed by Lost Artifact. Even ignoring PnP projects that are offered by publishers as either demos or products you pay for, the last few years have raised the bar for PnP projects, as well as my expectations for them. I will honestly argue that you could have a functional and enjoyable game collection through nothing but PnP.

That said, I am not bashing Pasko Zhelev and his Lost Artifact. Dude, you set out some specific design goals of making a simple, accessible game that would be easy to craft and you succeeded. That’s no small thing. I have a similar attitude towards Alex Kremer. I don’t honestly want to play his games now but he put out a lot of content back before it was cool.  And that is cool.

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