A review copy of Finished! was provided by Stronghold Games. We would like to thank Stronghold Games for supporting our blog. All thoughts, comments, and pictures herein are our own.
We’ve all been there, late to work on a Monday morning, walking in to a pile of paper taller than we are waiting for us on our desk, throwing back caffinated beverages to make it to the end of the day. Sound like your 9 to 5? Friedemann Friese, in only the way that he can, has somehow turned this mundane tasking of getting your work done, into a quirky, fun, fast, solo game. Finished! published by Stronghold Games, is a strictly solo gaming experience in which you take on the role of a worker just trying to make it to the end of the day. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast! I did mention this was Friedemann Friese, right? Anyone remember Friday?
Finished is a small game, containing only 48 cards, but it plays out in a big landscape. The game requires memorization as well as hand management, as you try to organize your day. Let me tell you more. You start with a shuffled deck containing 47 of the 48 cards, card #48 will be the last card in the deck and will serve as an end of round marker. The deck will be cycled through several times as you try to sort the cards by the time stamp, starting with 00:01 all they way to 00:48. If you can accomplish this before you run out of coffee, you win. If you reach the 00:48 card and are out of coffee, you fall asleep at your desk, and game over.
Each card also contains helpful actions that you can take, sometimes costing Sweets, this games form of currency. Sweets are in short supply, so manage them carefully! Actions include drawing additional cards, moving cards into the past and the future, gaining more sweets, and exchanging cards.
Finished! starts off with 7 cups of coffee and 7 sweets in your stash. The coffee is a timer, allowing you 7 turns through the deck to organize the cards. The play area will contain three main spaces, the present (middle), or the work you are currently working on, the past (bottom), work you have completed, and the future (top), or work that you have pushed off for later. You will also have an area for the draw deck, and the finished pile.
To start your turn you draw three cards from the draw deck and place them face up in the present area. Immediately take any sweets as indicated by a card and add them to your stash. If one of the three cards drawn can continue your finished pile (is the next numeric card in the sequence) you must add it now, drawing a replacement. You may now choose to perform any actions allowed by the cads you drew, paying any sweets as needed. If you do not have the required sweet to pay for an action, you cannot perform it. After performing all the actions you may then sort the cards in the present area in any way you want, mostly numerically left to right. Once this step has been completed all the work in the present area is moved to the past area. Cards already in the past will move to the end of the line remaining in the same order in which they were originally placed. Remove any sweets on these cards and add them to the reserve stash, not your stash greedy!! If you move a block of 3 or more cards in sequential order you may draw a sweet from the reserve stash equal to the length of the sequence minus one. If there are more than three cards in the past the oldest cards are placed, one by one, at the bottom of the draw stack. Finally, the bottom row of future cards are now moved into the present. That work wasn’t going to be put off forever, you know! You are now ready to start a new turn by drawing three cards. When the 00:48 card is moved from the present to the past you must drink one of your cups of coffee, bringing the end of the work day inevitably closer!
Finished! is a fun, quick game that requires a lot of memorization. Trying to gather all of the cards in the right order, remembering where each card was and when, using sweets wisely, can be almost as stressful as a real day of work! Somehow it all comes together into a much more enjoyable experience than the real thing though. The cards are really nicely done, the illustrations showing the slow demise of your poor character. When placed in the correct order the pictures make a flip book, showing the effects of the day. I thought this was a great little touch, and something that really made me smile. Sometimes it’s the little things that have a great impact, on me at least. The sweets and coffee are represented with nice chunky wooden pieces. I love the art on the box, it depicts a computer screen with an old school smiley face, pre-emoticons. If you have ever played Friday, you know what to expect from Friedemann Friese. Finshed! is challenging, I played it more than a few times before I actually got all of my work done. I won’t even mention how much real work was postponed until my fictional work was completed! The more I played the game, the more intuitive it felt, my first few playthroughs I could not manage to remember the iconography on all of the cards, never mind where they all were in relation to what I was doing. After a few plays I got the hang of it, and didn’t fail quite as miserably. The game is really small, and I was able to play it almost anywhere. I love the idea that I can throw this in my bag and play it at lunch, you know when I am taking a break from my real job. Or something like that. All in all I like this game a lot, the replayability is great, and the game itself offers four different levels of difficulty. This is one game that I am definitely not “finished” with!
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