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Ronin
Publisher: Green Little Thing
by Dan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2022 20:31:55

Fun little solo experience. I find that solo games tip somewhere on a "game" vs. "guided journaling experience" scale and I'd put this pretty solidly on the "game" side. You could journal your experience if you wanted to but you don't need to and the game is going to move along without you having to be at all creative to advance the story. Maybe the downside to that is that you're going to be on rails, so if you want to free roam you're going to have to kind of hack it in between game encounters. Just depends on what you're looking for from a solo experience. I did find my enjoyment was enhanced by taking a little extra time to envision the scenes the game was putting in front of me and to take advantage of some of the "fluff" that the game offers, but it's also something you could just roll your way straight through and still have an interesting experience. I've never had much interest in either anime or Japanese history but this made me want to research shoguns a bit, so bonus there too.

To be honest my first playthrough ended in kind of a stalemate situation where (if I was interpreting the rules correctly) I could not die but yet I was also stuck needing a series of improbable rolls to proceed which, technically, I eventually would have made if I kept trying long enough but it felt a little unsatisfying so my character just gave it up. I guess if I had one criticism it's that... I wouldn't mind if the game were just a little more lethal so there was more dramatic weight behind the encounters, but obviously with a solo game that's someting you can adjust to your own taste. I'm just one of those weird people who gets physically uncomfortable when I start making up my own rules, I guess I just don't like to color outside the lines so I'm reviewing it as written.

That being said, it's well written, easy to understand, the art is attractive. All in all a great package. I used PWYW to try it out, and definitely went back and purchased it, I for sure got my money's worth.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ronin
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No Day To Die
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Dan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2022 13:19:24

Very enjoyable game, as more of a casual James Bond fan than a hardcore fanboi I thought it captured the theme quite nicely. I was particularly intrigued by the card based conflict resolution and I think it works very well and that could easily be adapted to a lot of other themes. Lots of clever stuff here, when I first saw the game I wondered how the author would handle all the crazy gadgets that Bond has, my assumption was a long list of stuff that you could "buy" which didn't seem very thematic at all, but instead every once in a while you earn the right to "just have" some neat device that solves your problem. It puts the responsibility on you to think up something cool, but it works very well within the idea that you're in a 007 style movie rather than in a game where you're having to keep track of carrying around a bunch of crap that you might never actually use.

Solo systems always tip somewhere on the "game" vs. "guiding journaling" scale and I'd call this more of a journaler, the onus is definitely on the player to make sure the story keeps moving forward and to choose the direction it goes with the game providing inspirational suggestions. There are lots of great oracle tables to help you there with spy themed oracles for NPCs, locations, missions, etc. My story bogged a little because the first mission I drew was "investigate murder"... in my experience mysteries and investigations are just about the hardest plot type to pull off in solo play... but there are things like "transport item" or "eliminate target" and corresponding tables to flesh those out to help a plot like that develop a little more easily. As a solo player I think the more you can be surprised by what happens next the better, and there are things here to help make that happen. I've yet to discover the solo RPG that can make me say both "wow, I never saw that coming!" AND "wow, that makes perfect sense!" at the same time, but if your take on the spy theme is less about complicated investigations and more about hanging from the skid of a helicopter while shooting a grappling hook out of your watch I think this has you covered. Heck, massive plot holes are a staple of Bond films anyway, maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on myself.

A very fun experience that I'll definitely come back to. I suspect any time Netflix throws 007 in front of me this will somehow find it's way back into my mental gaming focus a day or two later.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Day To Die
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Outbuildings Paper Models Set
Publisher: Dave Graffam Models
by Dan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2022 00:33:53

I'm sure if you took a lot of time to very carefully measure and glue, maybe even attach them to a very sturdy backing, you could get some very professional looking results with these but the best part for a guy like me is that you can completely half-... it and they still look pretty darned good. Definitely a huge step up from drawing a square on a game mat and writing "barn" in the middle of it in dry erase marker. Money well spent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbuildings Paper Models Set
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