Tuesday, March 2, 2021

My February R&W

 Every solitaire game I taught myself how to play in February was a Roll and Write. It’s definitely not the first time I’ve done that but I feel like unpacking my thoughts about the experience this time.

Santa’s Sourhern Cross is a variation on tracing a pattern without lifting your pencil. The twist is that you randomly create the pattern on dots on a map of New Zealand. It ultimately is an exercise in creating a puzzle that doesn’t have a solution and it was very unsatisfying.

I am willing to try oddball experimental PnP games because that’s the best place to see concepts and ideas that you won’t see anywhere else. Its the legit punk world of gaming. But sometimes, that means playing something that doesn’t work on a fundamental level.

On the other hand, that’s kind of what I expected when I tried out Clockmaster from the fifth Roll and Write contest. You use four dice to draw a clock face before you fill in the timer. Which sounds super dull but I found myself playing it four times in a row.  There are some design choices I question but the game went from forgettable to justifying more discussion at a latter blog.

On the third hand, I went into Bargain Basement Bathysphere with high expectations and it hasn’t disappointed yet. I am going to get a lot of blogs out of it. I have looked ahead to chapter one but I’m trying not to spoil the game by reading through it. 

One conclusion I’ve come to is that I need to stop trying to go to the end of the track every time since that kills me every time. I need to prioritize staying alive, particularly with the long game in mind. 

I also want to mention my further play of Handful o Hazards. I had predicted that the second set of cards, which turn the game from random scenarios to a campaign game would dramatically improve it and I was right. It boosts the game from a cute little dice game (which is nice but easy to find) to something more interesting.

So much of my gaming time are tiny bits of free time as opposed to sitting down for a longer, more formal playing time. Hence all that little Roll and Writes. Print and Play is my hobby focus right now but I’m pretty sure it won’t always be. However, I have a feeling PnP R&Ws will remain a mainstay for me.

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