Printemplaying: Elevenses for One

Elevenses for One is a solo PnP game from designer David Harding. It’s a card game with 11 cards. 11 Cards! (And two timer cards.) The game is one of the entries for the 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest and this is how it works.

The goal of the game is to load your Tea Trolley with all the necessities required for morning tea before the clock strikes 11! Place the two timer cards on the table so only the number fifteen is showing. Take the number one card, the tea trolley, and place it in front of you. Then shuffle the other cards and place them face-up in a row on the table, this is called the Pantry. You can pick one card to go in front of the line, but then you immediately lose a minute. The cards are numbered one to eleven. Every card has a name, Fine China, Cakes, Sugar, and a special action, like flip the next card face-down, swap the positions of two face-up cards.

Look at the first face-up card, you work from left to right, and every time you have three options. One, score the card. If the card has the next number in ascending order as the card on top of the Tea Trolley, you may place it on top of it. You must then perform the action on the card and you lose one minute. Two, perform the action, turn the card face-down and then you lose a minute. Three, discard the card. The discard pile can only have three cards in it. No more face-up cards in the pantry? Shuffle all the Pantry cards, place them in a row and start over again, left to right.

When you place the number 11 card on the Tea Trolley before the timer reaches zero, you win Elevenses for One.

Well, this is a very small game. Although the game comes with thirteen cards, you only really play with ten. It’s only you and a couple of cards and it plays in five minutes. The art looks nice, he reuses the art from Elevenses, which is fine.

The decisions are not very difficult, easy even when you’ve played it a couple of times and you know the card abilities well. I feel that the game is lost or won in the first couple of turns. You set up the right sequence of cards or card actions and then the game almost plays itself.

Therefore, I do not think Elevenses for One is a game I will play over and over again for years, it just feels a little too repetitive after a while. It’s OK, it’s not really bad, not terribly engaging either…


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