Free things we've printed and/or played (or Lockdown Light Relief)

There’s a lot of buzz swirling around two words at the moment: print n play (okay, that’s three words) and solo.

Never one to shy away from what’s popular, I’ve started trying a few of these that I hadn’t before, and I thought I’d collate my thoughts on each game here.

I’d welcome other reviews too, nothing overboard, but just let the collective know what you thought.


  • The game must be free and / or print and play.
  • The game must be solo / solitaire.

That’s it really. Something that came screaming out of your ageing dot matrix, or something with a deck of cards or some dice - the kind of things we’re likely to have lying around.


Card Capture -
I was recommended this game by a kind soul in Discord.

A standard deck of playing cards (+ jokers)

What is it?:
It’s a deckbuilder basically. Enemy cards join the tableau and move from left to right. If your hand has cards of the same suit that total the same or higher than a card on the table, you can capture and add to your discard pile.

If you have a card you don’t want and the rightmost card on the tableau isn’t a JQKA, you can let the game ‘capture’ a card from your hand to take that rightmost card and take them both out of play. This is how you whittle your deck down to good cards.

If the rightmost card is going to capture a card and is a JQKA, you lose. If a picture card ends up in the capture pile (so you can’t discard one that way either), it’s game over.

As a last resort you can throw two cards from your hand into the capture pile and put a picture card to the bottom of the enemy draw deck.

And that’s it.

It’s really clever, it gets really tense at the end of the game as all those picture cards you banished to the bottom of the deck re-appear, and it plays at a fast pace.

I’ve played two, won one, lost one. It’s really good, even if it wasn’t Strange Times I’d still play this, and probably will. It’s my new favourite solitaire.


Temple Antics - Temple Antics | Board Game | BoardGameGeek
2nd place in the 2019 BGG Solitaire PNP Competition

A printer and a sheet of A4 (letter I guess for our American cousins)
A pen / pencil
5 or 6 dice

What is it?
It’s a fast, light, roll and write. You crashland on an island, but spot a plane, and a way off the island. Your objective is to survive the day, recover the idol in the temple, and escape.

To play you roll two dice and choose one to give you your next tile (you draw walls on the map), and the other die describes your encounter (find things, get attacked by wildlife, maybe rest at a campfire). Sometimes you’ll draw (literally!) dead-ends and have to either retrace your steps, wasting daylight in the process, or break down a wall, which without a pickaxe costs you four health.

Items and Health are represented with dice, and their value tells you how many uses you have left of each, or how close to death you are.

As I posted in Discord, it’s a really light game, my young son was able to understand and help me make decisions, but the artwork is really nice, moving the dice around is fun, and I can see that with some unlucky rolls you’d have to make some tough decisions. I think the next time I play I might lower the 18 turn limit.

For the price of printing a page (there’s a low-ink version available), it’s a nice, light, fun way to kill half an hour. Here’s my storming victory (albeit turning back at one dead end and smashing my way through a wall, Hulk-style). I live to treasure hunt another day.

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I’ve spoken before about Black Sonata. I enjoyed doing the print portion (I like to be crafty some times); it is quite a bit of work though - it took me about 2 weeks working on it an hour or two each night.

And then I really enjoyed playing it. A hidden movement, deduction, solo game? Sounds great!

And then I made myself some handy-dandy laminated note-taking aids and I broke the game. I think the expansion modules will unbreak it, but I haven’t had a chance to try out any of the modules yet.

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All this PnP is making me looking into ordering poker cards, chips and dice online… Damn you, forums, damn you…

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My friend got us each a copy of Bargain Basement Bathysphere professionally printed (since neither of us own printers). It was such a nice surprise to receive in the post today, I got a little emotional :laughing:


I asked permission of BGG user @evandeel to post this here. I first saw it posted by @EllaLovesBoardGames
Online Board Games PDF
Prices may be in Australian denominations. Shrimp? Foster’s can deposits?


Just tried Card Capture and it’s really fun, but difficult! Going to have another go now…

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30 Rails

A printer and a sheet of A4
Two dice of different colours
A pen or pencil

What is it?
It’s a quick and easy roll and write with what I suspect is quite a bit of depth.

An initial set of dice rolls populates the 6x6 grid map with some mountains and a mine. You choose where the stations sit on each side of the maps. Then for the next 30 turns you roll the dice.

One of the dice tells you which row or column (your choice) you’re going to draw some track in, the other tells you which piece or tile you’re going to draw.

At the end of the game there’s a scoring chart for connecting stations, passing through a chosen bonus square, and whichever stations connect to the mine.

At first it seemed really light, but as the game goes on you really start agonising over your choices. Do I use one of my two overrides? Which connection is more valuable?

It’s essentially a tile laying game but with a completely random setup. I really, really like it, and it’s going to be my go-to ten minute filler, I’ve already printed out another five sheets. I’m also going to spend a lot more time drawing my maps and raiding my son’s colouring pens :slight_smile:

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