Friday is from Friedemann Friese’s Freitag Project, a series of games loosely linked with the theme of Friday. No it doesn’t make much sense to me either, but Friedemann does have green hair so it probably makes perfect sense to him.
You’re Man Friday, helping Robinson Crusoe escape from the island where his ship has capsized and stranded him. You must train Robinson up so that he can overcome the various perils of the island, and eventually defeat the pirates and escape.
I received this game as a gift from a mysterious benefactor, I’m certain they are reading this, so I wanted to get a quick “thank you” in before I go any further! So… Friday is a quick & light solo deck building game. I don’t think I’ve heard of a purely solo deckbuilder before (well apart from Thunderstone, hoho!) so it’s unique in that regard. There’s three card piles – your main “Robinson deck” of fighting/ability cards, a stack of hazard cards & a pile of ageing cards. The premise is simple, each turn draw two hazard cards, pick one to fight, then draw a number of fight cards and see if you can overcome the hazard – if you do, it’s added to your deck (and becomes a fight/ability card – rather than a hazard, as these cards can be flipped and read both ways, neato!). If you can’t defeat it, you can pay life to draw extra cards to help you fight the hazard, or give up and pay a life penalty. Now here’s the clever part – if you do that and pay the life, you can destroy a number of your cards. Why would you want to do that? well most of your starting cards are rubbish (with a fight value of 0 or -1) and the ageing cards can be even worse, with various nasty side effects. How do these ageing cards come into play? Well when you cycle through your deck, you draw an ageing card & shuffle into your deck. Cycling through the hazard deck means you up the “threat level” one step; from green, to yellow, then red – then the final battle against 2 pirate cards
The deck thinning mechanic is the real strategy here, taking the risk early on of losing life to a hazard to remove dross from your deck is at the heart of winning. At first it feels sort of wrong, and you’ll burn through a good chunk of your 20 life points quite quickly. Soon however things start to turn in your favour, and with a bit of luck later in the game you’ll be swatting aside cannibals with ease. It’s a simple risk-reward concept, yet works very well. The other aspect I liked is the way you can choose the order you activate any effects on cards, this leads to a sort of combo-ing aspect where you try to maximise the effectiveness of your draw.
A couple of very minor gripes – later in the game, especially when fighting the pirates, you will draw a lot of cards, and it can be tricky to keep track of which card abilities have been used. And I’m not a fan of the art work, it’s a bit too basic for my tastes
I’d very much recommend the game as good time filler, it can be played in about 25 minutes so it’s perfect to fit in around other games, or to pass time on a rainy day. The game’s scoring system and 4 difficulty levels encourages repeat plays, in order to beat your score, or attempt a win at a higher level.
And look I managed the whole review without mentioning that infernal harpy, Rebecca Black, once. Oh bollocks…