When I went to ConnCon in March, I got involved with a few of the auctions. Because of the artwork and the fact that I got it (if I remember right) for $5 or less, I went for a game called Pick-A-Polar Bear.
Honestly, I got it because there was a solo variant. I figured if I could get a few plays out of it, it would be worth the investment.
The game is simple enough – you place a certain amount of cards face up, pick one as your starting card, and then see how many you can get through by taking a bear that has just one difference from the one before. A lot of the bears are similar, so you can go back and forth with the same differences, but eventually you have to break away from that.
You do need to think, though, as you have to think several moves ahead. If not, once you get there, you might realize you’ve boxed yourself into a corner. The object in the solo game is to play the three rounds and have as few cards remaining each round as possible.
The game plays pretty quickly, too. I played in less than 20 minutes, including setup. The cards are smaller and square, so it’s going to take a lot of shuffling to really mix them up. I’m not the greatest shuffler as it is, so it might take some time for these cards to split up well.
The card quality seems solid, though. It’s not a game I’ll be playing every night, either, so I’m sure things will last pretty well.
Overall, the game was fun. I liked the idea behind it and, as noted above, the artwork is nice. It’s definitely on the whimsical side. The game itself isn’t going to likely appease to hardcore Euro-style gamers. Though you need to think a little, it’s more of just kind of plotting moves, especially in the solo version. I haven’t played it multi-player (and, honestly, not sure if I will), so I can’t comment there. But for a one-person game, it’s not bad, especially if you can get it for cheap.
I also like that it’s small, which means if I am going away somewhere and know I might have some time where I want to kind of just play a quick game or two, I can throw it in my overnight bag and call it good. I have a few games like this, so it’s nice to know some of them are easy to bring with me.
Again, if you can find this on the cheap and you like simple game to play solo, this might be one for you. It’s fun for a game or two, put on the shelf and pull it back down a month or two later. It’s not a game, however, I’d be looking to play every night. I do think it’s a keeper for my solo playing, though, which is nice.