Friday, August 11, 2023

Dabbling with one-card games

In order to ease myself back into the mindset of both making PnP projects and learning PnP games, I made a few of the simplest entries in this year’s One Card Contest: Flyswatter, The Flea and the Circus, One Card Maze. None of them feel like I could get an entire blog out of them but I’ll throw them together as a pack. 


Pick one of three different cards that each have ten flies and three fireflies in different patterns . Flip the card up in the air and catch it between your hands. Every fly you cover is a point but if you cover all the fireflies you get nothing.

Was this designed as a drinking game?

I don’t even mean that a knock. I found even catching the card to be tricky. I don’t know how much skill as far as earning points can come into it.

But I can see it being fun with drunk people.
Maybe not for drunk people but definitely fun with drunk people.

The Flea and the Circus

It’s a Roll and Write where you draw a line across a minuscule grid. Roll a six-sided die, draw a line that many spaces. You get points by drawing over tickets and you win by reaching the far corner of the grid. Ending on dogs can let you teleport.

The Flea and the Circus occupies the same space for me as 13 Sheep and Blankout.  Very short and simple Roll and Writes that work well for when I am either time strapped or brain dead. And, yes, they get more use than I care to admit.

That said, The Flea and the Circus doesn’t have the decision space those two games have. In fact, bad rolls can easily make sure you can’t make it to the far edge. 13 Sheep manages to take that tiny design space and be a good game. 

It will still get added to the folder for now for variety’s sake.

One Card Maze

Honestly, One Card Maze is what made me decide to do this little exercise. It does come with this caveat: it is most certainly not a game. It is a puzzle.

It’s a card-sized maze that double sided and part of the gimmick is that you flip the card and special spaces let you reorient the card to unlock gates. 

And it is impossible for me not to compare One Card Maze to Thin Cube/Flipuzzles from the 2021 contest. And the Flipuzzle family wins that comparison. They offer more variety and trickiness, hands down.

The one thing One Card Puzzle does better is being casual. I can sometimes struggle to track where I am in a Flipuzzle. It’s much easier with One Card Puzzle. Mind you, that also makes them simpler to solve and remember the solutions.

I still signed up for their mailing list and have looked at the other two mazes available. My one disappointment is that there hasn’t been an additional mechanic added to the spin room and orientation locks. Still, I want to see what else they can do.

Honestly, none of these games/puzzles set me on fire. However, it was a fun exercise.

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