An Intro Into One-Off Games What, How and Why
by Serban, Quartermaster @ The Guild Hall
August 7 2020
One of the main reasons tabletop games are so loved is their replayability. You can play a hundred matches of Rising Sun without ever being in the same situation, and the same can be said for most other games. But not all games. Today, we’ll delve a little into one-off games, exploring what they are, why they are so amazing, and why you should play them despite any initial reservations.
What are one-off games?
One-off games are quite easy to define, actually. They are games that can only be played once, or a set number of times before being “completed”, as they provide no new experience and nothing more to explore after that. Some one-off games include mystery games, such as the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective series, where you try and resolve cases. Once you’ve solved them all, it would be useless to play again, as you’d know the solution from the start. Some other examples of one-off games are room-escape and legacy games.
For instance, legacy games take you through a prolonged story that goes on for generations, testing you with an evolving world influenced by your actions and choices. Once a certain point within that world is reached, the game is finished, and you can’t play anymore.
Why should I play one-off games?
We’ve had quite a few people who come into our store and ask us why they should buy a game that they will finish and never be able to play again. At first glance, such a game might not seem worth it, as you could be done with it in only a few nights of play.
Although that is true, there are a couple of things that make us encourage people to try out these types of games: the theme and the overall experience. These games ooze thematic juices, providing incredible stories that are unique and beautifully designed. A perfect example of this is the game T.I.M.E. Stories. The base game only provides one “adventure,” allowing for no more than a few hours of playtime. The story of said adventure is, however, unique and full of fun puzzles. There are also plenty of reasonably priced expansions that add more fun cases, with brand new mechanics and mysteries to solve. The amount of thematic attention in each story needs to be stated once again, as it is a significant selling point. Think of it like watching a good movie with friends: even though the next time you watch it, you’ll know the plot and what happens next, the experience of watching an excellent film and then discussing it with your friends is a fantastic experience in itself.
The same can be said for legacy games. These games provide a lot more content than one-off games, while also elaborating on a longer story with its sperate twists and turns. Games such as Betrayal Legacy provide a remarkable story with a fun game system. These games outdo everything else when it comes to theme and possible attachment. You’ll become invested in your characters and decisions, and every night of play will be linked to the previous one with an overarching plot.
Though it might seem too simple an explanation, we assure you that it is all you need to know. These games are plenty of fun, and they provide something extraordinary, akin to great story games such as The Last of Us or the latest God of War. If you’re looking for something to pull you into its world and not let you go, one-off and legacy games are the way to go. And more often than not, they’re also much cheaper than going to a movie with your friends. And potentially a lot more fun.
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