Sunday, 3 June 2018


Last week I downloaded another print and play solo game - Desolate - but I only put it together in order to play it yesterday. It's a trickier one to assemble than Zombie In My Pocket because the backs of the cards are useful for identifying the decks, and double-sided cards are harder to do (or I find them so).

Anyway, in Desolate you are the pilot of a spaceship which has crashed on a small moon with an abandoned research station on it. You enter the research station looking for power cells with which to charge up the shuttle in which you can escape. You have limited oxygen, so are working against the clock. Oh, and the station is swarming with hostile alien life-forms. You're armed, but your ammo is limited. Good luck.

Exploring the station is done by turning over Exploration cards, which can either be an area of the station (like a storage area, sickbay and so on) or an alien attack. The areas allow you to pick up objects - medi-kits, more ammo, oxygen and (in the engineering section) the vital power cells you need to escape. You need five such cells. Each time you burn through the deck you expend oxygen, shuffle it, and continue exploring.

Conflict is quick and simple. Each alien attack has a strength which is determined partially from the card itself and partially from a randomly drawn Conflict card. These cards also dictate how much damage the alien attacks to to you, and each attack automatically hits you first; these aliens always get the drop on you. You decided how much ammo to expend, and roll 1D6 per unit expended. If your total beats that of the aliens, then you kill them, otherwise they take damage and you fight another round. If you defeat an alien then you get a reward in the form of extra ammo, oxygen or health.

The game runs very smoothly and is fairly entertaining. It's all about managing your limited resources, and risking whether to grab more of one resource hoping to replenish another in the next chamber. However either I'm playing it wrong, or it's not actually that difficult to beat. As in, I've played five games, and found the five power-cells in all of them. Yes, you get a 'score' based on how much health, ammo and oxygen you have left, but part of the fun with games like this is the fact that they are a challenge to beat. I haven't found it so yet. yes, in one game I ran out of ammo and had to beat an alien to death with my fists, nearly dying in the process, but I was one cell of winning at that stage, and found it in the next draw. It was close, but not too close.

I shall give it some more tries and see if I can spot where I'm going wrong or, I hope, lose a few games and be sure that my victories were a fluke.

The files for the print and play are HERE

Update: I played three more games. In the first I won it, but was on my last health point. I lost the other two - killed by aliens in the first and ran out of oxygen in the second ;)


  1. This is a great game. I can play it over my lunch break or when I have a few minutes to spare.

    I'm looking forward to the expansion.

    1. What's your win/lose ratio? I'm currently on about 60% win rate.

    2. I haven't really been keeping track, but I'd say that would be pretty close. I normally lose by running out of oxygen.

      You would think I would learn and grab the air tank instead of the ammo.

    3. My 'routine' for the game is to always pick up oxygen at the start of each new level from the second onwards. That is the absolute priority where possible.


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