For those who might not be in the know, there are annual game design contests that are run over on BoardGameGeek. These range from designing a game with only 9 cards (and a few components) all the way up to designing wargames. Right now the 9-Card Nanogame PnP contest has closed to entries and is in the playing/voting stage, and there are 23 solitaire-based games in the contest right now. Check the games out, print out one or two of them, and be sure to take part in providing feedback to the designers and casting some votes.
I’ll be doing the same with a few of these over the course of this month! Hopefully, between all of us, we can get every game on this list at least one new playtester by the end of this month!
300 Spartans: The 9 Card Thermopylae Game by Chris Hansen
300 Spartans: The 9 Card Thermopylae Game is a solitaire wargame. You will control the Persian army at the famous battle. At your disposal are regular infantry men, your elite infantry (the Immortals), and archers. The game uses a Command and Colors style mechanic to activate units and make your assault. Each turn you will have two cards and must decide which to use for activation and which to use for tactics. You have a limited amount of Tactics Points to use so you must carefully choose how to spend them. The Greeks will be controlled by special events – none of which are good for you. Will your troops survive against the vastly superior Spartans long enough for Ephialtes to betray the secret path that will allow you to outflank them? You win the game by meeting or exceeding the historic result.
Carnival Games by Rachel Bruner
You and your companion (child, grandchild, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, younger sibling, significant other, etc) are going to the carnival and you have promised to win for them a JUMBO prize! To accomplish this lofty goal you will go on a few rides, eat yummy food, and play the carnival’s 12 mini-games. Overall, have fun!
Count of Nine by Scott Allen
Count of Nine is a solo eurogame using only 9 cards. You are the Count(ess) of the small territory of Nine. With limited resources, you will need to make wise decisions on how to build your county and earn your reward.
Danger Dungeon by Jason Carter
Danger Dungeon! is a 1-3 player infinite (or nearly anyway) dungeon crawler. It’s meant to be reminiscent of the early grid-based PC games but with arena style PVP and a push your luck mechanic to make every card flip a challenge. Do you stay in the dungeon and hunt for more loot or make your escape to the pub? The choice is yours…
Doctor Smuglfreud’s Marvelous Machine by Onthewayover Anonymous
In this set collection programming card game, you and up to one other player act as the former apprentices of Doctor Fritz Smuglfreud, attempting to run your mentor’s demo booth for a modular perpetual motion machine after his unexpected disappearance. To prove the validity of his invention (and show up your old rival while you’re at it), create different arrangements of the machine’s parts that interact in as close to a perpetual cycle as you can manage. Wow the audience, earn Prestige, and discover the bizarre secrets of Doctor Smuglfreud’s Marvelous Machine!
Epidemic by Marek Kolcun
A vicious disease started to spread across the world. For now, nobody knows its origin, not even if it’s bacteria or virus. Nothing helps. Mortality is 100 %. That’s why team of specialists – you – was formed. Your goal is to find the cure before it’s too late and disease mutates to its final form. Save the humankind!
Escape the Alps! by Joseph Propati
You are a WWII Airborne Ranger whose been captured by the German SS and held prisoner in a castle near the alps. You’ve escaped and your only shot at rescue is to climb up the mountain and head back over the front lines. If you can make it to the top of the mountain you are home free. The only problem is you don’t have any equipment and you must free climb with out a rope but its certain death anyways in the hands of the Germans so its your only way home.
Folly by Preston Meyer
Folly is a meeple-rolling game, whereby you accumulat “interest” points, and press your luck. Points are accumulated for rolling your jester-meeple, and appealing to the various members of the court; when the show is over, collect points from only one member of the court.
Franky’s 1st Christmas by Chris Hansen
In Franky’s 1st Christmas, you will play the role of Victor Frankenstein. Your goal is to take Franky to the lairs of the six other monsters so they can each teach him their favorite thing about Christmas before fleeing Van Helsing. They are all eager to help, but when it comes time for their turn to meet with Franky, they will feel a bit nervous because Van Helsing will be hot on their trail. The other monsters will help you convince them to take the time with Franky (after all, it keeps the heat off of them for awhile) and you’ll have family friend, Dr. Jekyll, with you to help convince everyone. However, be careful with him because if you use him to much, he’ll transform into Mr. Hyde and draw Van Helsing to you. You must balance teaching Franky his Christmas lessons, leaving false clues to throw Van Helsing off the trail, and attacking the irritating humans who live in your city to ensure that this is the best Christmas ever! You will choose which action each monster performs before fleeing the city. You win the game by teaching Frankie all six lessons of Christmas and ensuring that each monster can evacuate safely.
Goblin Mountain by Roman Flückiger
Goblin Mountain is a competitive dice-placement game, where 2 players take turns to move their adventurers (dice) through a linear, randomised dungeon to maximise their gold and fame and make it to the exit without getting caught by the goblins.
Hyperdrive Odyssey by Alex Cannon
You’re a freelancer in a wild quarter of the galaxy. There is a lot of opportunity out there for young pilots willing to haul freight or collect bounties in the far reaches of space. Fire up the Hyperdrive: adventure awaits!
LAUNCH THE DRAGONSLAYER! by Onthewayover Anonymous
Summary: A medium-weight dexterity RPG based on the mechanism of launching a paperclip from a stack of dice to hit one or more targets. It features rich character customization and growth, tactical resource management, a dynamic world with thematic challenges, the ability to save your progress between plays, and a number of variants to try. But in the end, your heroic success or tragic failure will depend on how well you can Launch the Dragonslayer!
Micro SRPG by Stefano Molinari
You are an adventurer, a Hero, in the land of Mjhrghor wandering from the majestic Red Mountain toward the King`s castle . Scope of the game is to reach the Castle alive, bringing with yourself the highest amount of Victory Points (VPs). On the path you will explore caves, searching for Magic Items and VPs hopefully avoiding Orcs and Trolls which, if met, you will have to defeat in combat.
Nuclear Solitaire by Iffix Y Santaph
This game is called Nuclear Solitaire because I wanted to create my own fusion power plant. And since it’s a tiny game, the whole objective is to light a lightbulb. (And if using a whole fusion power plant to light a single lightbulb sounds crazy to you, welcome to my world.)
Orchard by Mark Tuck
A quick solitaire tile laying game. Try to collect as much fruit as you can from the three types of tree in your growing orchard.
Race for the Solar System by Christopher Melenberg
Race for the Solar System is inspired by a long time favorite of mine: Race for the Galaxy. My wife and I played hundreds of games, while dating and in the first year of our marriage. We still come back to it occasionally. This is quasi-express version (smaller, but not necessarily quicker). It is a no luck euro that encourages optimization of actions using a cube management system. Players are racing to colonize planets, develop them, and expand their resources and abilities. Whomever manages their actions and resources the best, while taking advantage of the actions their opponents take will claim victory by having the most points at the end of the game.
Sunstarter by Caroline Berg
You are a member of an eldritch race of starfarers whose task is to give proto-stars infusions of hydrogen to spark their internal fusion, turning them into stars. You have been given a section of the galaxy to tend with a selection of proto-stars to cultivate. Can you make it to all the proto-stars before your power runs out?
The Braves by Thor Jw
The appearance of a Giant Monster up north have made the usually peaceful smaller Monsters in the forest aggressive. Some of these Monsters have started appearing dangerously close to the small populated towns situated at the edge of the Monsteria Forest. The Braves are a group of adventurers tasked with defending these towns against this looming Monster threat. You and your teammates are part of that group. Work together to defend the towns and defeat the giant monster responsible for the aggressive behaviours of the smaller monsters.
The Coin Tribes’ Revolt: Boudica’s Rebellion against Rome by Iyidin Kyeimo
It is 60 AD. Romans have occupied the wild lands of Britannia, and exist in an uneasy peace with the tribes of the land… When the Iceni king dies, Roman greed triggers a rebellion led by the Iceni queen Boudica that tears across the south-west of Britain. With the Romans weakened due to being engaged elsewhere in Britain, the revolt could change the course of history.
Tricolor flags by Gregg Jewell
Choose a tricolor flag on the map. Randomly flip and shuffle the 9 cards. Place the cards horizontally on the table in a 3×3 grid layout. On each turn, swap positions of any two cards and then flip them over. When the colors and positions of the cards match the tricolor flag you chose, you win the game!
UP by Christopher Melenberg
“UP” is a puzzly solitaire card game that uses a simple action system that uses cubes to represent a climber’s strength’s and abilities to overcome aspects of the rock climb. The cubes are continually recycled, but slowly deplete making the choice of when to chalk-up or make a desperate move important if they are going to make it to the top! There are 2 main game modes right now: Multipitch and A Day At The Crag, both of which will challenge players to climb to the best of their ability.
Wokou by Joe Schmidt
Wokou is a Solitaire Game of Revenge. You must sneak into the Wokou camp, take back your Father’s stolen sword, and avenge the deaths of your fellow soldiers. Variable setups and a tense sense of action management make for a fun, light take on the classic story of revenge.
Zombies all around us!! by Joseph Propati
Synopsis: You’ve found yourself and your partner stuck in the middle of the apocalypse and all hell has broken out around you. After getting stuck in a massive traffic jam trying to get out of town, you realize your car will become a death trap since off in the distance you can see the dead walking towards you. You decide to make a break for the closest house to find safety and shelter for the night. The first house you find looks as if the occupants left in a big hurry and didn’t clean the house out. Your goal is to secure all the entrances and survive the night
Which of these games are you most likely to try out? I am relatively certain I’ll be diving into 300 Spartans: The 9 Card Thermopylae Game, Count of Nine, Hyperdrive Odyssey, Race for the Solar System, The Coin Tribes’ Revolt: Boudica’s Rebellion Against Rome, and Wokou. Who knows, maybe I will try out even more than just those! Just know that, no matter which one(s) you help playtest, your input will be invaluable to these designers.