Multi-player games with solo variants are a lot of fun. But they often can be anti-climactic for the ending.
Not so with Hostage Negotiator, a game specifically made for playing solo. The idea of the game is simple – you are a hostage negotiator, trying to get somebody to release hostages. There are three scenarios that you can use to start, but no game is ever the same with all the different aspects of the game.
I’ve had this game in my collection for a while as I have been tending to do a bit more solo gaming lately. With that in mind, I will usually only add to my collection if there’s a solo variant, but I really love games specifically for solo play.
For whatever reason, I took a while to play this one. I finally got around to setting it up, reading the rules, and watching a play-through video. At that point, I felt I was ready to go.
Things I have read about the game made it sound quite difficult. Early in the first game, I didn’t think I stood a chance. Surely the bad guy was going to wipe me out.
Still, I loved how the game unfolded. And I didn’t even utilize one thing I should have – turning in cards for conversation points, as I forgot all about it.
I really thought I was done for. I had some dice come back bad a few times in key spots and one of my terror cards added two more hostages. Not good. Still, I was enjoying the game and trying to figure when to and when not to use cards. I thought things out the best I could.
And as the game dwindled, I was done for. Alas, one of the terror cards I had drawn earlier was going to allow me to take any card I wanted. Knowing I needed to go for it, I grabbed the final card that would allow me to save four hostages and eliminate the abductor – if all went well.
Then I came to the ending. After the final turn, it was time to go all in or go home. I had built my hand for this final conversation, figuring it was going to be the time to do it. As I set things up, I had the two re-roll cards ready to use. I used the “You need to trust me card,” which would hopefully make it so a four would be a success. I got one hit on it, thus meaning only the roll would give me a chance to win with 4, 5, or 6. But I needed two hits.
On the first roll – one hit and one “4,” which gave me the improbable win! I had the two re-roll cards still left that I was ready to use, but I didn’t end up needed to play them!
Such a fun game. I am definitely looking forward to many more plays. I look forward to all the expansions to come from the Kickstarter campaign. Great fun for sure!
This game is a lot of fun. It plays pretty quick and there are some good decisions. There’s definitely the luck factor with dice rolls and such, but it’s all part of the game. I love that you either win or lose. It’s not beating your previous score — it’s you won or you lost. End of story.
The graphics are nice and the game play is pretty smooth. This is definitely a keeper for me.