Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Sojourn

Product-Sojourn

Producer– Wyvern Gaming

Price– $20 here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wyvrengaming/sojourn-a-journey-through-time on kickstarter

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 5-10 minutes (1 player)

Type- American

Depth-Light

TL; DR– A great intro to solo gaming. 92.5%

Basics-  Our next leap might be home!  Sojourn is a single player adventure game where you’ve broken your time machine watch and need to randomly jump through time to find pieces to fix the machine.  You start out during dinosaur times. On your turn, you can play cards to heal, gain charges for your time machine, or jump to new locations in time to avoid others.  Aside from that, every time you jump to a location a new location opens ahead of you in the time stream. When you enter a location you have to discard charges from you time machine and cards.  Also when you arrive, you must roll a d100 die to see if you are hurt from the events of that time ranging from nothing bad happening during peaceful negotiations to taking four of your seven hit points at once dodging the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which damages you 90% of the time!  If you survive you can then jump to the next location. You can also spend charges from your watch to open another location in the same series above your current one, hoping for a better draw, but knowing that each charge means you could be stuck in the past! If you draw a piece of the time machine from the deck, then you draw a location in time where it is.  You can jump to that location as normal, and if you survive, you get to take the piece. Get all four pieces, not die, and have a charge to power the machine, you jump to the safety of your home in the future in the year 2020. Die, not have cards to discard, or not have enough charges, and you’re dead or stuck in the past. Good luck!IMG_20180521_212426890

Mechanics–  I do and don’t play a lot of single play a lot of single player games.  I don’t think it’s fun to pull out cardboard and play some game by myself because I feel why bother.  On the other hand, I play lots of Onirim and Star realms on my phone. Downtime at a line-rock a game of of Onirim.  This game feels like an Onirim. I get to make choices, but there is random factor that you have to figure out how to deal with.  You could jump from punishment to punishment and be absolutely wrecked based on the randomness, but it’s still fun. It’s amazingly simple, and that’s a good thing.  I don’t have tons of things to keep in mind. It’s just hit points, charges, and cards in my hand. It’s got enough pieces to keep me making choices, but not too many to make this a slog.  It’s 10 minutes of fun that hits the table fast and feels fun. It’s not too punishing, but it is not for the only hardcore. If every game must be a gut punch, then walk away. I’ve won more than I’ve lost, so some of the ubergamers might be turned off by difficulty.  I am not! 4.5/5

Theme-This game honestly feels like Sliders.  You jump to a place, try to survive, and look for the way home.  Do not expect a year long DnD game of story in this one, but for five minutes of game, I do feel like there is a story I make when I jump through time.  I feel like I’m the time traveler,and that’s the sweet spot! 5/5IMG_20180521_212639339.jpg

Instructions-The instructions are the weakest part of the game.  That said, these instructions are pre-release rules, and furthermore, they are not horrible, they could just use a bit more.  It just took me about two read throughs to make sure I had it down pat and wasn’t cheating by accident. Not as many pictures on the simple text document I got with my review copy, but the rules will be better going into a nicely polished book with real production.  The rules are not bad, but they could use another fresh coat of paint before it’s ready for prime time. 4/5

Execution– This game feels like Fantasy Flight made it.  It’s a simple card game, so we obviously need lots of different colored tokens, dice, and two different sized cards.  Again, I got a pre-production copy, so I expected some crappy cardboard, simple chits, and cards. Heart and soul went into this game!  The art looks great. It is way better than it has any reason to be, and it handles major events like September 11th with tact while still showing its importance.  Card layout is easy to pick up and well done. Once you’ve got the rules down, it plays in 5 minutes because you can easily see what each location needs and if you want to try a jump there.  It even has nice cubes to give the game a little extra bonus. It would be easy enough to have one cube for each thing, and have them act like a slider. But, it’s an extra little touch to have lots of cubes for each resources that even makes me forgive the cube being plastic and not wood (I have issues I need to deal with, and my compulsive need for only wood cubes is one!).  I like everything in this! 5/5

Summary-I was given the chance to review a pre-production single player game.  I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this pre-kickstarter game, but I’ve been won over.  It’s a fun, fast game that makes me feel like a time traveler. For a hardcore gamer, I don’t game as much as I should and single player games like this might just convince me to pull out physical solo games more often.  It’s 20 bucks, and that feels right. You get a lot in the little box from phenomenal arts to great components, and it’s something simple and a blast to pay but won’t overstay its welcome. The rules need a bit more work, but I expect a full color rule book with pictures is easily going to fix any problems I may have.  Hands down a fantastic game and something that you can pull out anywhere when you just want to get some gaming in on the fly. 92.5%

 

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