Friday review

Friday solo review
Designer: Friedemann Friese
Players: 1
Ages: 12+
Play time: 25 Min
I prefer my gaming on the heavier side, or if not heavy at least games that can be enjoyed with others. Some of my favourite solo games are Clans of Caledonia and the 7th Continent, and I love the depth of games like Gaia Project, Vinhos and Kanban. So, Friday doesn’t exactly fit the mould of the games that I would normally play. So why did I buy it at all?
I grew up loving adventure stories, from the Hardy Boys through to Choose Your Own Adventure and the works of authors like Jules Verne. There was something in the imagination that really called to the unknown and especially the sense of surviving in inhospitable lands. I remember once ‘running away’ from home and climbing a nearby tree, armed only with a Tic Tac container filled with water, my wits and a pocket knife, man, my 20’s were a weird time. Anyway, that is why the solo card game Friday appealed to me so much when I saw it, to chase the sense of adventure and to see if I really had the wits to survive.
The games conceit focusses on you, as Friday, trying to assist Robinson Crusoe off the island and fighting pirates. The game is therefore like an exceptionally pared down version of Portal Games Robinson Crusoe..well, no not really at all.

Friday, I’m in love?

What I love about this game are the multi use cards and that feeling when you beat and threat and can then use it’s flipside as an ability for yourself, thus building your deck. Don’t beat the threat and you will be fighting it again somewhere down the track, maybe even at a harder level.
Friday feels as though it is constantly moving, the island itself is going through the seasons and the threats shift as time passes. The more that you use your deck, the quicker that you will build aging cards (and they are not nice) and the less energy that you may have? But is it better to burn through your deck, discard bad cards and have the more powerful at your disposal? Seriously, I don’t know, please answer my smoke signals…
What I don’t particularly like is the total unforgiving nature of the game, you could easily be knocked out of the game without achieving very much at all, only because of the luck of the cards that you randomly deal to yourself..BUT..I think that the reason that I like it it because it builds that sense of frustration. Much like I imagining being stuck on a desert island and having the problems and frustrations constantly coming at you and never knowing what is the right decision.
My mum taught me how to play Solitaire, with real life cards (they didn’t bounce across the room after a win) when I was young. Very quickly in Solitaire you come to notice when you have made an error that you can’t come back from and it is a matter of reshuffling and starting again. The grind is what makes that eventual win really worth it, so it is with Friday.
I used to watch my mum sit and play for hours, often winning game after game, or at least winning more than she lost. So I feel that it will be with Friday, once I finally break the code of the island and work out how to bust those big cards early, then I will finally be free of it. Right now it feels that Friday is a great challenge, but I fear that once I unlock it’s secrets then I will be left with just another version of solitaire, each game predictable once certain beats are hit.
Until then, I better fill up my Tic Tac container and see if I can finally beat this game..
Context of the review – The game copy is the reviewers own. Review has been written after 10 solo plays.

Cameron B Author

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