There is a genre of games which are often over-looked, but thanks in part to crowdfunding, are turning up more often these days, and that is the solo game.
Solo games are not for everyone. For many there is a highly social aspect to board games, and playing a solitaire game runs counter that aspect of the experience.
But there are nights your gaming buddies are unavailable, and television is a mix of re-runs of bad shows like Duck Dynasty and Keeping Up with the Kardashians and suddenly a solo game looks really good.
In such circumstances it’s a good choice to have a copy of Pulp Detective from creator Todd Sanders on hand.
Sanders is something of a print and play legend on Board Game Geek, noted for lavishly created art in games which have generally been available to just print out and delve into.
But Sanders is finally taking his skills and talents to a bit broader audience by offering a printed version.
Pulp Detective can be played as a two-player game, but I would suggest it is primarily for solo play.
As the name implies, in this one you are a gritty gumshoe out to solve a case.
“To solve the case, find all the four clues and confront the criminal to win,” states the rules. “If ‘time’ or your ‘stamina’ runs out, the case remains unsolved, and you lose. You may be able to replenish your stamina, but time is a tenacious and merciless mistress. If the time marker ever passes the one hour icon (i.e. you have moved the status cube off the time track), you lose the game immediately.”
The neat thing here is that in a rather small box, with a small ruleset, there are multiple cases increasing replay ability.
You may choose any case to play against:
• The Case of the Death’s Door Damsel: It is suggested the first few times you play the game to choose this case first. You will need four clues to solve this case.
• The Case of the Pilfered Photo: For this case you may not use any Persuasion Twist Markers during the game. You will need three clues to solve this case.
• The Case of the Bullied Banker: For this case you may not use the Red Paperboy die during the game. If you gain it as an item, you may choose any other item instead. You will need four clues to solve this case.
An expansion has already been released which adds seven additional cases to take on.
The expansion also introduces the sidekick.
“Players will be able to use each of their sidekicks once during the game and may use several Sidekicks within the same phase of play,” notes the rules.
“Sidekicks have different abilities whether it is daytime or nighttime. Once a player has used one of their special abilities, remove the sidekick card from the game.”
The base game and expansions uses a combination of in-game decisions, and the roll of dice to give the game a definite level of tension, especially since time moves on as the game gets closer and closer to its end.
This one is a solo gem by a talented designer that is well worth looking at.
Check it out at www.avstudiogames.com