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Apotheca is an abstract game that comes with a solo variant. This variant is one of three rule sets included with the game. Overall, I feel it plays like a puzzle game that is played alone. This game reminds me of something you would play on a computer.
And this leads to my biggest complaint that I would rather play a game like this on a computer. I feel it is better represented with a computer and move parts around. I am not the biggest fan of abstract games so maybe it is me, but I felt like this is a game where placement of the tiles before any decisions are made is just as important as your decisions. I am not saying I had zero chance of "winning" before I started playing, but it may have been impossible to score the best without a lot of luck.
Technically, you cannot win the game. You just get a score and try to improve. Yet, I want my decisions to matter. Yet, I'm adding tiles to the board without a lot (any!) of information to where it should be best placed. This means I can be making great decisions and on my way to scoring great, but some tiles being placed with zero information cause me to score worse that I should have based on my decision.
I understand this is a multiplayer game with a solo variant tacked on. It is clear. I also acknowledge that a lot of thought has gone into adding this variant. Yet, it still isn't very good. I'm not having a good time playing it and I think it is better done on different platforms. I find there are a lot better solo games and I would rather recommend those.
The components are really good. All of the tiles are super thick with a great finish on them. The cards are really good and large enough to read from across the table. The board is super thick and a delight to use. All of the components and their quality really raise this game up a notch.
The rules for the solo game is very clear. They do assume you know how to play the base game. Otherwise, it will take you about 5 minutes to read through them and there is a good picture included to help you with set up.
Flow of the Game:
1. Each corner gets a tile place face down. Then you fill in the board in a checker board format.
2. Then add tiles around the board in a 2 x 4 format.
3. Shuffle the deck of apothecary cards.
Playing the game (I'm going to discuss the changes from the main game):
1. Take 2 actions on a turn (it can be the same action)
2. Hiring cost is raised from 2 gems to 3 gems.
3. After taking 2 actions, you then choose a portion on the outside of the board and add it to the board.
4. When you match 3 (or more) potions of the same color are stacked together on of the spaces.
The game ends when you cannot add a potion to the board. You then compare your score to the chart to see how good (or bad) you did.
Should I buy this game?:
I am not sure I would recommend this game for solo gamers unless you really like "puzzle" games in your gaming experience. Many computers give you games like this and I would just rather player a puzzle game on my phone than a board game. Your mileage may vary.
- Last edited Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:20 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:13 am