Chairman of the Board: Stayin’ alive

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

‘Friday’ board game review

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator


Sometimes we all need a little help. If only we would listen to those who know better.

Friday (2011) is a deck building game for one player designed by Friedemann Friese and published by Rio Grande Games. In the game, you play the literary character Friday as you attempt to teach the inept Robinson Crusoe skills to help him survive his island adventure. You win the game if you can get Crusoe through three stages and defeat two pirate ships.

If you’re looking for a casual time waster like some form of advanced solitaire, this is not that game. There is a delicate balance that needs to be struck between winning to gain cards you want and losing to get rid of the cards that you don’t. Ironically, patience and common sense are the name of the game. You also need to pay attention to the end game goals and the pirates you will be facing, as they will affect your strategy throughout the game.

The game itself needs a little room to set up, as it has three draw piles and life points in addition to the play area. The rules can be a little hard to understand until you start playing, and you will need the instruction book nearby for the first game or two to understand how some of the card modifications work.

The game is fun, but far from easy. If you’re into a challenging deck building game like Dominion and don’t always have your friends around to play, Friday is a great challenge.