Updated: Feb 22
We in the TTRPG community have a tendency to raise money for various organizations and causes though the sale of our products when we can. The Solo But Not Alone 2 bundle is no exception.
NOTE: Before I discuss the bundle any further, I do want to point out that my game The Land and The People is a part of this bundle. However, I do not personally profit in any way from it being a part of this game bundle.
What is Solo But Not Alone 2?
The Solo But Not Alone 2 was organized by Cat McDonald of Peach Garden Games, who I have talked about a number of times on this blog. It is the second annual version of their sale, which has in it whole plethora of solo or solo-compatible TTRPGs and world-building tools. We is raising money for Jasper's Game Day, an "organization dedicated to suicide prevention and letting people know 'You Are Not A Critical Failure'!"
What is in the Bundle?
Since there are an overwhelming number of games (101!), I felt like I should discuss a number of the games available.
The first one is one I actually made a Youtube video about a little while ago, Schisms and Sacrilege by Michael Elliott. In this world-building game, you are creating the history and beliefs of a religion that exists in your world. It does this through journaling in a series of four sections or "chapters." For more details, please check out the video!
The second game I will talk about today is Live. Love. Die. Remember. In this solo-optional game by Reizor, the players are mechas involved in a war. You have come to be emotionally attached to your pilot.
Much of the game is based on straight storytelling (or journaling if going solo), examining scenes from the past between yourself and your pilot and why you have become attracted to them. For example, one of your scenes might be discussing that petty thing the two of you always bickered over, that time when you managed to save some civilians, or the first time you met your pilot's family. These come from a list of prompts that you chose from rather than involving dice.
Once you have built up this relationship between your mecha character and the NPC pilot through these flashback scenes, you come to the ultimate decision. Do you sacrifice yourself or you and the pilot for the sake of peace or do you pass up on the chance of peace to survive with your love in the face of further war?
Personally I found this game to be emotionally engaging. While the title is Live. Love. Die. Remember, I don't feel like you need to limit yourself to romantic styles of love (eros to use the Greek term), as there is certainly room for platonic or familial attachment between your mechs and pilot and still fufill the original vision of the game's creator.
Another amazing & emotional game in this bundle is Cezar Capacle's Adrift. In this solo game largely inspired by media like the movie Gravity, you are a survivor of a destroyed space station due to the chance of being on a spacewalk at the time of its sudden destruction.
Your end has been sealed as you are cast alone in orbit hundreds of kilometers above your planet. What is in question is how you meet your end; what you do or think about before you succumb to a lack of oxygen. This is done through dice to select prompts organized into categories that contribute to your levels of Hope & Fear.
Personally, I found this game to be heart-wrenching. Because of the way the dice & prompt system works, the game normally has a natural progression where the character's thoughts and actions become less and less hopeful as the game progresses. Because you are limited to a max of 10 rounds of action, it is likely one of the shorter games in the bundle if you play it all the way through in one go. Because of this combination of strong emotional punch and length, it is likely a good place to start so long as you are okay with the idea that your character's ultimate demise is already decided.
I will stop there for now, but more is coming soon! You did not really think I was going to take a list of 101 games and then only talk about 3 of them, did you?
The Solo But Not Alone 2 Bundle is available on itch.io at https://itch.io/b/1227/solo-but-not-alone-2 and will be active until around early March. It is only $10, but you can certainly give more if you wish. Again, all money earned by the bundle will be going directly to Jasper's Game Day to fund their suicide prevention programs.