What is this game about?
Friday is the first game I talked about on this blog back in 2016. In it, you are Friday, and Robinson Crusoe has washed up on your island. Also, he is a complete idiot. To get him into fighting shape—and back home—you need to train him.
Robinson's training is a brutal trial by fire in the heart of the jungle, after which he must battle two vicious pirates before he can leave the island. Friday offers a fun (if nasty) twist on the deck building mechanic, because it's almost impossible to get rid of all of your bad cards, and even one can completely scupper your plans.
Robinson starts with a pathetic deck of cards that often lead to his defeat. His tendency to get his butt kicked causes him to lose life points, but also allows him to burn bad cards. Enemy cards, if defeated, become cards in Robinson's deck that represent the experience he has gained under your tutelage. His first successful fights allow Robinson to acquire beneficial cards with special abilities that help him as the difficulty level rises. But don't trust Robinson to end up in perfect fighting shape—every time you cycle through your deck, Robinson ages and acquires another really terrible card.
How does it play solo?
Friday is a solitaire game and made explicitly with the solo player in mind. In fact, it is one of the solo games first recommended to players who become interested in our branch of the hobby. And you know what? Despite the incredible array of games available to solo players these days, I still think Friday is a great place to start.
Friday can be a frustrating game. Even on "easier" difficulty levels, the game is punishing, and the addition or subtraction of even one aging card can make a huge difference. That level of fine tuning is impressive in a game, and I still appreciate it.
I wouldn't necessarily say that Friday is one of my all-time favorite games at this point—I tend to prefer fantasy themes, and there are a lot of deck builders out there that excite me. But it's a classic, and I still pull it out from time to time. It has a permanent place in my collection.
Do I recommend it?
Yes. Friday remains one of those games that every solo gamer should at least try. Its small size, low price point, and easy-to-learn rules make it a small investment with a potentially large payoff.
Overall Rating: 4 stars
5 stars — I love it!
4 stars — I really like it.
3 stars — I like it.
2 stars — It's okay.
1 star — Meh.