Thursday, May 24, 2012

T. G. I. F. - a micro-review of Friday....

In Canada, we have a long weekend in May to celebrate Victoria Day and this past one I spent out on the shores of Lake Huron at my wonderful in-law's cottage, drinking some delicious micro-brews from Toronto's great Mill St. Brewery and learning a new juggling trick, the 2-Hand Weave (which you can see me doing here).  When I wasn't outdoors, I was inside glued to the kitchen table playing solitaire.  Yes, solitaire.  But not any kind of solitaire - I was playing Friedemann Friese's brilliant and challenging Friday.  Over and over and over and over.....

Final two pirates to battle
Now I feel like I could thoroughly describe the mechanics of this fun little 1-player deck-building card game but I think it would sound rather confusing.  The game isn't complicated but it does take a few rounds to get the hang of the rules and then a few more rounds to actually learn how to not die almost immediately. 

Hazards which flip to fighting cards
At a high-level, you are fighting a bunch of hazards of ever increasing difficulty and every time you defeat one, you add the defeated card to your deck.  However, when you lose to a hazard you lose life points but you also get the opportunity to remove cards from your deck.  And you start with a lot of bad cards.  And unfortunately, every time you reshuffle your deck you add another REALLY bad card.  So basically you're struggling to prune your deck and build it up at the same time, all the while not losing all your life, only to face two monster pirate battles right at the end.  If you survive till then.

Hazard battle in action
I've won the game only once in the near 20 times I've played it on the easiest possible level (yes, you can amp up the difficulty to insane levels) but I've seen a continuous improvement in my skill.  I've gotten a feel for the cards and the hazards and started planning ahead I'm now choosy about which battles to fight to balance my deck as certain cards give you very distinct skills.  In short, I've gotten smarter and more strategic and I feel like I have control over whether I win or lose the game.  And I almost always lose.  Yet I keep playing. 

I think that's the sign of a great addicting little card game.

The final pirate battle in the only game I've won!


  1. You've got me interested, but I have a couple of questions:
    1) The pic of the box cover looks like the box is the same size as Black Friday. Is it really that big for just a card game?
    2) Do you see any way this game could be adapted to play with two or more players?

  2. Two answers:
    1) Box is actually quite small - 5 inches by 5 inches by 1 inch. A bunch of cards, some tokens, and 3 small placement boards.
    2) This is definitely a solo game only as Friese intended it. However, there may be some variants online. But I can't imagine they would be very good. Very much a deck-building game with one deck. Yours.

  3. Thanks for reviewing a solo game. I am always looking for some good 1 player games.

  4. Thanks, Eric. I don't think I would buy it unless I had an idea for a multi-player player variant first. It sounds interesting enough to keep it on my radar.

  5. Long time reader, first time commenter. It's great to see the awesome games coming out lately, and this one really interests me. It's like there's a Board Game Renaissance happening. Any idea where I could buy this in America? I was hoping for Amazon, but I couldn't find it. Also, sorta off subject, but have you ever played Quarriors? Similar to Dominion but with unique dice instead? It's pretty fun if you've never tried it.

  6. You could try at some point but it looks like they're currently sold out (he's local to me and I really like him). But it looks there are a ton on Amazon:

  7. Yeah, apparently I'm horrible at searching on Amazon, because I told my wife and she found it in about 15 seconds. Thanks for the link though. It's been ordered and I'll have it next week! I really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work!

  8. Fryday?! :D:D now that's how you name a game like this :D