That awkward gaming moment…

when you are playing a solo game and realize you have been playing it wrong the whole time and you question if you really earned your victory or not…

I’m just REALLY bad at reading and comprehending. I am a “learn by watching and doing” person which means my first play-through of a board game is usually a disaster if I have to teach myself since no “rules lawyers” are present to point out when I’ve skipped a step or misread a rule.

I revisited “Final Girl” last month during spooky season and had to relearn the basics since it had been almost a year since I had played it. It’s a solo game but very complex, with lots of cards and moving parts. You play as a Final Girl from a horror movie adjacent plot (in this came, Frightmare on Maple Lane) and you play cards, roll dice, and manage your time as you run around the map trying to save victims and survive attacks from the killer. The killer and victims are automated through a Terror Deck and Event cards. The killer has their own board that tracks their power and movement, based on how many victims they have cleared off the board.

And somehow, in my mind, I got the Finale and Dark Power cards confused so I’ve been making the game a LOT harder than I needed to (and it’s already a rough game!) but flipping over their most powerful, game changing card halfway through the game rather than near the end of it all. **facepalm**

As a side note, this expansion’s Boiler Room mechanic is a logic puzzle that also took me a few tries to wrap my head around. You have a small deck of 4 cards with 4 quadrants on each card. Dr. Fright is hiding on one of them and during his turn, you have to slide at least one card up, down, left, or right and hope he’s not hiding in one of the four spots. I’m not very good at smoothly sliding the cards. I wish there was some way other way of setting it up so I could carefully slide the cards and not accidentally glimpse things on other cards. Because if you do see that little glimpse of Dr. Fright, then you feel guilty next time you slide the cards because it’s like you cheated and peeked where he was.

BUT ANYWAY – even with these mishaps and missteps, I managed to defeat Dr. Fright! I’m counting it as a win, because even if I did accidentally see his gross face hiding in the boiler room a few times while sliding, I also flipped the finale card first instead of the Dark Power card, which means Sheila was asleep for almost the whole game and managed to survive without saving a single potential victim. Dr. Fright got a LOT of them – he was up to 3 damage and 3 movement by the end of the game.

I am considering picking up another set at PAX Unplugged next month. I’m hoping they have the “first” set, Horror at Happy Trails, which I think is the most basic rule set with no bonus mechanics? They had sold out at PAX last year and the person at the booth suggested ‘Frightmare’ so I went with that one. I’m kind of glad I didn’t back the Kickstarter reprint because as shiny as the playmat is, I don’t think I really need it? Better to just slowly collect them one by one…right?

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