It’s week two of my solo series and this time I am going to be pulling at your heartstrings!
Having pulled myself together and wiped my eyes, the game is a super fun set collecting, pattern matching, spatial puzzle with cute doggies. Solo works almost identical to MP mode too. Each turn I take 2 actions;
- pick a training card;
- pick a dog token and place it on my player board; and/or
- move an existing token on my board.
Completing a pattern on a training card with my dog tokens doesn't count as one of my actions. Once done, however, I can move one of the tokens used to form that pattern onto one of the 4 homes at the top of my player board – City, Countryside, Suburbs, and Foster Home. These are important as they enable me to gain VPs (reputation) from completing scoring objectives which are randomly selected at the beginning of the game. VPs also come from completed training cards and the Commendation Board
In solo I'm working against a simple but effective AI deck that removes one training card and one dog token from the draft each round to replicate another player's turn and limit my choices next round. In solo mode I can also choose whether to go 8/9/10 rounds rather than triggering end game a la multiplayer mode which is a straight race to complete 7 cards. This is neat as there’s a doggie dilemma to be had; go more rounds in the hope of completing more objectives and cards or bank what I’ve got and not pay any penalty points for pushing my luck.
It also means that I have the same decision to make as I would in multiplayer mode: go for easy but lower-scoring cards to move dogs to their forever homes faster or build up to chonkier goals. Unlike multiplayer mode where distribution is randomly assigned and open information from the get-go, the solo has an added crunchy munchy treat for me. At the end of each round, I have to place one wooden “woofle” token on a specific scoring bonus on the Commendation Board. My decision of breed and spot is based on which breed I think will best match my end goals, rather than competing for majorities or other criteria against other players. This extra decision is so simple but really levels up the solo mode for me because I must now predict and plan my bonus order rather than react to the woofles on that board! Brilliant!
Having played a few games using the base boards, I love the added trade-offs the advanced side gives me. Knowing I could swap tokens or training cards, as well as having extra movement opportunities, sounds like it is going to make things easier. But their presence impacts upon my strategy and can create some doggone dilemmas for sure!
Forever Home is fun and fast the solo gives me just enough synapse sizzle for when I want a light, gorgeous, puzzly game.