Oh hey, it’s Jack Harrison again, with a pretty, story-focused game. This one is called Bucket of Bolts (2021) and has a genuine sense of ennui about it (probably because it draws on Skeletons, Jason Morningstar’s game/musing on mortality).

Bucket of Bolts is an envelope. Inside is a single sheet of riso-printed paper that is folded up into a little booklet that contains the main rules. A series of cards by other writers contains add-on prompts, tables, character traits and such.

The game is a solo journaling game. Prompts lead you through the creation of the ship and its captain, the events of its career, modifications, triumphs, failures. A life, basically. Then the next captain and so on, until the ship, rusty and broken, winds up wherever spaceships go to die. I enjoy how the game gets you coming AND going: you get to not only be sad about the ultimate sorry fate of the ship at the end, but periodically throughout the game you get to be sad about the loss of the various captains as well.

I’m being flippant. Bucket of Bolts is a thoughtful little game that tackles topics of loss, nostalgia, purpose and a whole host of other things that will likely surprise players. And, off-setting the melancholy, drawing the ship and its modifications over time is an important (and delightful) play component.

Get it: https://mouseholepress.itch.io/bucket-of-bolts

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