New blog post about Wrath of the Lighthouse

You stare at your part of the table, scratch your head, scheme, analyze, think how to squeeze two more points out of this turn. You have absolutely no idea what Chris, Marc, or Julia are doing. There’s a thought in the back of your head that, eventually, you’ll have to peek at Marc’s cards and ruin his plans, but now you have no time to think about such things. Now you need to find a way to gain one more wood…

I mean, let’s be honest—many eurogames’ playthroughs look like this. We play almost solo, and the only interaction with other players is making fun of Marc, splitting the pizza bill, or discussing if Lewandowski should play with Świderski or Milik. Eurogames are inherently challenging and complicated, which makes the players barely able to focus on their own hand, not to mention keeping up with what other players are up to.

That’s why there’s been such an abundance of solo variants. Solo expansions. Solo games. That’s why we’re less and less surprised that some players prefer to sit at the board alone, move all the components alone, and scribble something on a piece of paper, while talking to themselves.

Not a day goes by without new photos of euro games enthusiasts playing solo modes of Ark Nova, Underwater Cities, or Bonfire. They move the resources around, tap the cards, duel with the game engine, trying to reach the highest score possible.

In a few days, we will see the first photos of people playing Wrath of the Lighthouse solo campaign, the newest expansion for Empires of the North. Designed by Joanna Kijanka, the campaign offers 12 playthroughs with different story progress options and challenging decisions. There are 15 unique Scenarios in the box. You will spend resources, discard workers, and read new paragraphs from the Scenario Book—all of that in the comfort of your room, with warm tea and good music. These will be wonderful evenings with your clan and its epic history.

Now a piece of advice from me. If your spouse suddenly appears with some stupid comment, if they smart off, laught at you, or say the classic “If I wanted to play solo, I’d rather play computer games,” be sure to give them a short and effective answer.

“Single-player PC gaming ended in ‘98. Starcraft, baby.”

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We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.