I have described Alone Among the Stars as the journaling game you have to try to figure out if you want to play any others. That’s because it is both very flexible and accessible and can be as king or as short as you want it to be.
Here’s the elevator pitch. You are a lone space explorer. You use dice and a deck of cards to determine individual encounters/ discoveries/ scenes. You write down a journal entry for each and you can stop any time. Whenever you stop, the rules explicitly have you decide to either keep the journal or get rid of it.
There’s also an online application for Alone Among the Stars, making it even easier for causally play. It has also inspired a ton of hacks. Heck, I made one myself so I could use the system for a Castaway story.
Alone Among the Stars isn’t the deepest or the most intricate journaling game I’ve seen, not a long shot. I also wouldn’t say it’s the best or my favorite. But the ease of play and the flexibility to play long form or short form make it a good, reliable game.
I’m warming up to try out some journaling games for November since it’s NaMoWriMo month. I’d already played The Swamp You Die In but I knew I wanted to play some Alone Among The Stars as well.
During the course of my game, I kept on rolling planets that had only one discovery on them. And so I kept on going through five or six planets.
Then the site had a hiccup and erased everything I had written.
I’ve made it a point to save all my journaling games but destroying your records is an option in the Alone Among the Stars. So I decided that this was my time to do that.