Review – Warp’s Edge

FTL meets Edge of Tomorrow

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Designer Scott Almes

Artist Tyler Johnson

Publisher Renegade Game Studios

Category Sci-fi, Bag Builder

Length 15-45 minutes

Release Date 2020

Player Count 1

Warp’s Edge is a solitaire bag-building game that pits the player against an entire armada of enemy ships, with nothing but their wits and their ship’s ability to warp back time a limited number of times to help aid their success. Only by defeating enemies and adding more tokens to your literal bag of tricks will you have any hope of defeating the various threats in the game.

Content Guide

In “Singularity,” a short, choose-your-own-adventure story that helps first time players pick their starting ships, skills, and enemies, the main character Taylor Minde will suffer the ill effects of warping back in time (loses a tooth), and it’s explained that after just a few warps more the ship will implode. Depending on choices made in the story, your pilot might remember events including clubbing, grabbing a drink with your officer, and briefly dying. 

Full setup for a new game.

Review

I don’t usually go in for solo games, but Warp’s Edge intrigued me. I like rogue-like games and movies with a Groundhog’s Day type hook, and the combination works well here. The player will quickly realize they have little to no hope of defeating all their enemies on their first warp; there just aren’t enough tokens in the bag. You’ll get 2, maybe 3 turns in if you’re lucky and then you won’t have enough tokens to draw in the last step of the turn, so you’ll have to warp back.

Doing so puts all of your tokens back in the bag and refreshes all defeated enemies to the top of the draw pile. During initial setup the enemies are arranged from easiest to hardest, but after 1 run and shuffling the discard pile on top, you might have medium or tough enemies outside of the mothership on the top of the enemy draw pile. I love this change, and how it makes subsequent runs harder and more random; it’s as if the game is rising up to meet your improved skills and tokens. 

Let me explain a basic round: First, Enemy Arrivals, in which you put four enemy cards out. Then, Pilot Actions, during which you assign your 5 tokens (plus any in your hold if you want to and can). Third is Enemy Attacks, and fourth is Pilot Plans where you draw 5 new tokens if you can. If you don’t have 5 tokens left in the bag you have to warp back to the beginning and reset everything. When assigning tokens, you can use laser tokens to attack, evade tokens to outrun, and energy tokens to buy new tokens or recharge shields. Your skill cards will also cost 1 of these 3 tokens, and cards can be used once per warp. The lowest difficulty mothership, The Dread, cannot attack or be attacked until all the enemies from the deck have been eliminated; the other 4 motherships must also be contended alongside the smaller enemies. If a token is assigned to an enemy ship, that ship is stunned unless its text says otherwise; if the total laser or evade tokens is equal to the amount on the card, you’ve successfully destroyed or outran it and get the rewards listed below. Sometimes the reward is a new skill card or drawing 3 tokens immediately, but most often it is gaining new tokens from the supply. 

I love how varied each game of Warp’s Edge can feel, and with a full deck of skill cards, four player ships and five motherships (one with two forms!), there’s a lot of game here. Plus it all comes quite cleanly packaged in a setup that makes putting it away and getting it back out a breeze. If I had 1 complaint it would be that the symbology for each ship’s special POWER tokens aren’t easy to know just by looking, but thankfully the game designers put all of them on the back of the rulebook for quick reference. 

Overall, I’m extremely happy with Warp’s Edge, and plan on playing it for years to come. Between the choose-your-own-adventure novella, high replay value, and combination of strategy and bag-building, there’s a lot of bang for your buck in a solitaire package. Warp’s Edge is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a solo sci-fi game that will keep you coming back for more. 

The Bottom Line

If you like solo, sci-fi, or bag-building games at all you should give Warp's Edge a try.

 

9.5

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Author: Andrew Borck

Christian/Husband/Dad/Gamer/Writer/Master Builder. Jesus saves and Han shot first.