If you’ve come here looking for solo play reviews – welcome!
What We Are Playing is not limited to solo play reviews – but we’re getting a nice collection. I love a good competitive multiplayer game . . . when I can get one. But sometimes I (and probably you) must, or prefer to, play solo. I played 33 different games solo in 2019, and enjoyed most of them.
Some games go really well solo; some are even a bit better in that mode; others are . . . the word ‘limp’ comes to mind 😦
Are popular games actually fun? Are they any good solo? Will you like them? These are the questions we’re trying to answer in our What We Are Playing solo play reviews.
You can click on the ‘solo play review’ category in the top menu or side navigation to find these – or here is a current list (click any picture for the review):
IS: Roll & Write has a specialised solo ‘Adventure mode’ in the box. This is a pad of 48 different sheets, spanning the factions and themes of the IS ‘universe’, and the key to making this a quality solo game.
The best bit of this game is that Adventure mode pad – it’s really neat and thematic. Having 48 different sheets is really neat.
The worst bit of Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write is that it can be a bit fiddly tracking your ‘people’ each round – since you get them all from one die. I ended up making tally marks on the main sheet for each round, but a more elegant solution would have been nice.
I am a fan of Imperial Settlers, but Portal Games’ recent catalogue has been patchy² and I was skeptical about whether this game would be any good. I was pleasantly surprised – it’s deeper than you’d expect and I found myself needing to stop, think and re-think decisions (and I made plenty of strategic / tactical mistakes, which is a good sign of depth) in my first few plays.
The Adventure pad drags you into the Imperial Settlers universe and you do feel like you’re helping the bumbling Barbarians or fruitful Japanese with their labours. Part of the advanced rules involves making patterns on your playsheet to gain extra benefits and this adds a welcome layer of variability and replayability to the game.
It’s enjoyable, thoughtful and easy to learn and play, but has depth too – give it a try!