The next game in my 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest review series, I give you Frederick Fleet.
In Frederick Fleet, a game by Weston Stapleton, you are the lookout of the Titanic. Find a safe path past the iceberg and you win the game.
In this little Print and Play game you’ll have to print out a small game board, 16 tiles and 14 cards. On fourteen tiles you will find four of the eight possible symbols, like a squids, a compass or a wave. One separate tile depicts the iceberg and another one open water. On every card you’ll find two of the eight symbols.
You start the game with four columns with four face-down tiles. You know that one of the four tiles in the upper row is an iceberg and you start with one face-up tile in the bottom row, so all the symbols on that tile are known. Your goal is to find a safe path, two tiles wide, past the iceberg within sixteen time segments.
You are going to sail through the ocean by playing cards. At the start of the game you have four sets of three cards in every wind direction. You may choose the cards that go in every set. Every turn you have to play a card and then claim a tile.
If the card icons match the top two icons of the tile, you gain three actions points. If the card icons match any two icons on the tile, you get two AP. If one of the cards icons matches any icon on the tile, you gain one AP.
Then you place the card with the tile on the left side of the board. If both card icons match any icons on the previous tile, only one segment of time passes. If you match one icon, two segments pass. If there is no match at all, three segments of time passes.
After you have claimed a tile, you rotate the different sets of cards one positions clockwise.
Then, you may use your action points, you have gained by claiming tiles with certain cards, to flip over unexplored tiles. At the beginning of the game, the cards in the first row are one AP and the top row tiles cost three AP to flip. At the end, it’s the other way around. The open water tile is a tile you can immediately remove from the game if you flip it over.
You win the game if you have found a safe 2-tile wide path through the top row before sixteen segments of time have past.
You lose the game if you run out of AP and there are no face-up tiles left, or if you have not been able to create a safe path before sixteen segments of time have passed.
This is quite a nice game. The ideas simple. In addition to matching symbols to the tile you are claiming now, to gain action points, you have to match some symbols on the tile you’ve already claimed before, to lose as little time as possible.
You have to be a bit lucky of course. There are no clues where the iceberg is located, so at some point you have to take a gamble. However, this game does feel like it has the right combination of luck and strategic decisions.
In addition , the game looks very nice, although I would have chosen not to twist and turn the symbols on the tiles. You have to check if the tiles are right side up and now it’s confusing sometimes.
So, in conclusion, Frederick Fleet gives me a nice challenge and that is exactly what I want from a solo game.