The Lost Island of Arnak, this is the Czech Games Edition in full force. This is one of the best games that has ever left the Brno offices of the studio behind such stones as Through the Ages, Galaxy Trucker, Aliases, Alchemists and many others.
Arnak was published in 2020 and completely engulfed me, as you can read in my review. And not just me, because we also have Peter’s enthusiastic video review. Even then, the game managed to entice me to a potentially great future in one passage in the interpretation of the rules: “Do you want to try a solo campaign? Various unique scenarios. New goals and tasks. What happened to Professor Kutil’s lost expedition? ”
I really wanted to try the solo campaign, so I was a little disappointed by the call to “look at www.arnak.game! ”She led to the bare page, promising that something like this was still being worked on. And it worked out last year. Then I just waited for the singleplayer campaign to clear up and enjoyed it to the fullest during the Christmas holidays.
So we will certainly succeed with such a widget!
Perhaps you will forgive me for not describing the basic skeleton of the game here, as our two reviews have already taken care of that. You can’t play her solo campaign without a base anyway. It already contains the rules of a regular solo game, which works great, but only with the campaign will you blossom into all its beauty.
The campaign is available for free from official website studios Czech Games Edition and you can either print it or use the web application. And I recommend the latter to all ten of you. The application works absolutely great, it is clear, graphically nice and it can’t happen that you would accidentally reveal something by cutting out new components.
In addition, the application provides artificial intelligence for you, so you can safely leave a special package of tiles from the basic game designed for solo playing in a box. In short, it is more convenient in the app because the system prepares an imaginary player package for you according to the difficulty you choose. There are more than enough of them (ten!) And they cannot be changed during the campaign, so choose wisely.
The single-player campaign called The Search for Professor Kutil uses practically everything from the standard game, and all you need in addition are arbitrary chips to mark various effects. If, by any chance, you don’t have anything like that (any dice from any game in your collection will be used), the rules of the campaign will still offer you a way out in the form of your own unused components (multiplier tokens).
Chief, look, another novelty
But now for the campaign itself. I’m not going to walk around a hot mess: It’s just famous. What the individual scenarios do with the game itself is absolutely exciting. It never occurred to you that some interventions in the basic skeleton of the game are possible and you will realize how variable the Lost Island of Arnak is.
You can make dog pieces with it. The fact that the rules of the scenario tell you to exclude a specific card from the game is nothing compared to the fact that parts of the game board gradually disappear during the game, which is also logically based on what is happening in the story.
He tells about your efforts to find the title professor Kutil, while a competing expedition that wants to find him sooner is on your heels. Although the story itself is nothing revealing and clearly does not surprise, it beautifully completes the whole atmosphere and gives your actions meaning.
We did our job, but at what cost?
The nice thing is that points are not played. So, you will score each game for yourself and your virtual opponent, but purely for the purposes of the final score, which you can compare with friends.
What pulls you forward are more of a task. Each scenario has a goal that you must achieve before the fifth round, otherwise you have failed. And these goals force you to play Arnak in a specific way that you wouldn’t even consider in a normal multiplayer game.
Thanks to the fast-ticking five-lap timer, you are under constant pressure and do everything to fulfill your task. But you also have a few side tasks that are also very tempting. While the main task may be to climb a magnifying glass to the temple before your opponent does, the side tasks may entrust you with eliminating a number of guards or trying to clear your deck of fear cards. And putting it all together is a real challenge.
The side tasks are not just for your pleasure and challenge, but first of all determine how much you will improve in the next scenario. You transfer something from each game to the next, and the more side tasks you complete, the better the reward. And that really works as an attraction to meet these challenges.
We had a snack and we are still hungry
Overall, Arnak’s single player campaign is an excellent experience and a great example of the editability of otherwise hermetically sealed mechanisms in a refined game. You will get to the end of the campaign with one breath, also because it is unfortunately woefully short.
The CGE developers might object, because I believe there will be a lot of effort to come up with the scenarios and balance them, but they have done such a great job that it is simply a great pity that it will all end after only four sessions. Sure, you can put it on again and again on even more difficult difficulties, which is why they are here, but you won’t come across a completely new scenario.
I could imagine spending another ten games in solo with Arnak, and only then could I say to myself that I didn’t need it anymore. But as it is now, I’m completely hungry for another adventure and other great and surprising ideas that this free mini-campaign has brought. So, what about the next full and rightfully paid solo extension?
Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.
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