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Subject: Survival of the Saddest: A Beginning, Middle, End Review rss

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Shane Is Board
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If you'd rather watch a video instead of reading, you can check out my video here:



If you’d rather read, well, then keep on reading.

OVERVIEW

Friday is a single player deck building-ish game. The way you acquire cards is fairly unique since you have to defeat challenges instead of simply purchasing new cards and there’s a lot of pushing-your-luck as well as a clever trashing mechanic.

We’re going to skip past the rules and setup; you can find that information easily enough. We’re going to jump right into how it feels to play the game from beginning, middle to end.

BEGINNING

Your deck sucks. Really, really sucks. It’s a miracle you’ve survived this long on the island before Friday comes along to save your sorry soul. You mainly have a bunch of worthless cards with a few things that will give you the tiniest bit of hope.

In the early game, the biggest decisions you’ll make are when to lose and how much you hope to lose by; losing is the only way to get rid of your cesspool of a deck. It’s a very tense time as you’ll likely push yourself to the brink of defeat trying to get your deck to resemble something that doesn’t look like a flaming pile of garbage.

With a bit of tactical thinking and luck, hopefully you’ll get yourself into a semi-workable situation.

MIDDLE

Now’s where things start to get interesting; the game gets harder but hopefully you’ve gotten enough useful cards to not be a complete failure. You’re still probably living on the edge like Aerosmith but should have some way to regain a bit of life; of course, now you’ve probably got some of those nasty aging cards mixed in as well (especially if you have a LEAN deck; the aging cards punish you more the smaller your deck is).

This is where your combos really start coming together and you can get a bit riskier; you really start to weigh whether it’s worth burning life to draw more cards or just throw in the towel and let yourself fail. Failure does hurt more but you can probably mitigate it a bit better, and you can start doing some clever things with the cards.

END

At this point you’re either laughing as you steamroll the majority of threat cards, hands raised in the air as your voice booms from on high, “Tremble all ye mighty and despair,” or your hands visibly shake as you reach for a card, holding your breath as you slowly flip it over to either breathe a sigh of relief or curse the day you were born.

That isn’t to say things are pre-determined or boring at this point; there are still plenty of choices and you can go from a winning position to losing (not usually the other way around) surprisingly fast. Generally though this is the point where you’re feeling pretty good about yourself if you haven’t lost horrifically.

The pirate cards honestly feel a little anti-climactic at this point. There are a few that are kind of difficult but they don’t really feel like some awesome final boss that you’ve conquered. Again, this goes back to the whole if-your-deck-is-awesome-it’s-just-not-a-big-deal. Still, the late game and pirates give enough challenge to wrap it up relatively nicely, and I’d rather finish up with some boss fights than just start counting points.

CONCLUSION


I love this game. It sets up quick, plays quick and its fun. Yeah, sometimes you just get a whole lot of terrible luck and get smashed apart, but more often than not I really do feel like I’m making decisions that affect the course of the game. Besides, I love me any kind of survival theme. The play time is a huge bonus as well, considering you can sit down with this bad boy for 30 minutes and feel pretty satisfied with your time spent.

If you dig solo games or nice, bite sized tidbits of gaming goodness you’ll probably enjoy this. If you don’t like deck building or you just want something meatier than this is definitely not for you.
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Karl Bunyan
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Re: Survival of the Saddest
I agree on the pirates being a little anticlimactic: if you make it that far, you've probably got a good enough deck to win. Although I did (once) over-thin and not have enough cards to beat them, so they do give a little bit of direction as to how to build your deck.
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Shane Is Board
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Re: Survival of the Saddest
Had a very similar rare case where I was fighting whatever pirate that has a huge number and I had thinned it to the point where it was impossible to beat.

Rare occurrence ha but absolutely possible.
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