Sunday, 26 May 2013

Exploring the world of one player gaming.

So I found my self with a few hours to kill this afternoon and as the sun was shining and I'd opened a bottle of cider I thought I'd enjoy the benefits of having a conservatory and play a game in the sun*. Unfortunately I found myself sans any other willing participants so I decided to try out Mice and Mystics as a one player game.

In all it's glory (see I told you it was sunny!)

 But was it a satisfying gaming experience or is there good reason for people pooring scorn upon the single player options?

*Yes I know I have a lot to paint but I also have a rule that says I can't paint after I've started drinking (I don't discuss how this rule came into be being).

So this won't be a proper review of the game in full as it deserves a four player run out to get a feel for it full potential. Instead I'll just focus on how it performed as a one player experience.

Quick over view:

You are a group of Mice completing different parts of a quest in each of the games. This plays much like Descent monsters popping up and and needing their faces pushing into the dirt. Where it differs is that it is always co-op and you'll always be working together to get to the end before you run out of time.

Things I liked:
- The rules are pretty simple and once you've played through a tile or two you have all the basics sorted. This makes playing it alone really easy as too many rules and you'd never keep up with all things you are supposed to do without it slowing right down.
- Loads of customisability and options to complete side missions means that despite being extremely story driven (I believe you can buy audio files to avoid having to read out all the story sections!) you feel you want to try again and do better.
- It plays pretty quick once you are into it. It takes no longer than your average movie so if you're looking to relax for an hour or so it fits right in (good box control helps too).
- The graphics are really good and other than a couple of things everything is pretty intuitive.

Yay I win! But only just the timer is one jump away from the end and I was only two cheeses/one death from making it move one again!
Things that made me go hmm:
- I'll get this out he way first as it's not a legitimate complaint: I was far better at rolling for the minions! Every time I rolled for a minions attack/defence there was cheeses on the dice (this advances the game timer). These are 1/6 chance rolls but the minions where just all over it. This made me realise how sad I would feel by being beaten by a game on my own.
- You just don't get the same excitement from playing without other players as when those crazy good/bad luck moments come up there's no one to high five.
- I've never been a fan of controlling more than one character in a role play/adventure game as I really want to get into the spirit of my character and having for to control took a lot of this away. 
- The timer seems extremely random as if you don't take a healer I can't see how you could ever win (each death pushes the timer on one) and the models can earn cheese when attacking and defending (one minion made four cheese just defending before it died). 

Final thought on single player mode:
Fun game and a great way to work your way through the story but I think I'll keep my one player board games on the Ipad for now as I'm going to enjoy playing this more with three other Mice adventurers. 

As a quick add on I taught myself how to turn a bowl this week! It may be the start of a new obsession so there could be lots of bowl shaped presents being given as gifts.
I made this!

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