My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare.

–from Sonnet 130, William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s sonnets 127-154 describe a love for a mysterious woman, named the Dark Lady by literary historians. These scholars have speculated about the identity of this woman for 400 years. In Black Sonata, available now on Kickstarter from Side Room Games, players are given the opportunity to explore this historical mystery themselves and seek out the true name of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady.

Black Sonata is a game of “solitaire hidden movement and deduction” for 1 player, aged 14+, and takes 30 minutes to play. The setting is London, England, during the time of William Shakespeare, where the solo player will be pursuing the shadowy Dark Lady across a map of the city. Her movements are controlled by a stealth deck, which is arranged during setup according to sequences that can yield 56 possible paths, providing plenty of variability and replayability. Using unique keyhole cards to investigate the locations you suspect she’s been to, you’ll begin to glimpse traits and characteristics that allow you to home in on the true identity of the Dark Lady.

The game has garnered high praise already, with a number of positive reviews linked on the Kickstarter page, and was even nominated for a 2017 Golden Geek Award in the Print & Play category. The campaign runs through July 1, 2018, and still has a number of stretch goals waiting to be unlocked.

It’s a great time to be a solo gamer! With the rise of solo modes supported in multiplayer games, and a proliferation of quality solo-only games, like Black Sonata, the options are extensive and exciting.

Random factoid: a handful of scholars don’t believe that Shakespeare actually wrote his works solo, but argue that he was part of a group of writers that collectively produced the oeuvre attributed to Shakespeare.

Steve Jackson Games has introduced the new game in the Munchkin universe, Munchkin Shakespeare, as a Kickstarter Campaign. Featuring the classic Munchkin humor (with a decidedly Shakespearian edge towards wordplay and puns) and art by John Kovalic, the new game contains 130 cards, and includes an option to buy an additional 30 card expansion. The Kickstarter Campaign  continues until March 10, 2017, and contains the expected gamut of stretch goals and add-ons.

Munchkin Shakespeare is expected to deliver in September 2017, and you can view the campaign here.


Asmodee released a news update, which includes several items of note:

  • Two games and one expansion were released:
    • Histrio, a game in which players tour the kingdom to recruit actors skilled in either comedies or tragedies, forming an acting troupe to hopefully please the King.
    • StoryLine: Fairy Tales, a storytelling game in which you and your friends submit and select cards in order to tell a fantastic tale.
    • Under The Mask, the third expansion to the wildly popular narrative adventure game, T.I.M.E. Stories.
  • Two new family games were announced:
    • Loony Questa wild and fast-paced game in which you briefly glance at a level of obstacles and traps and try to draw a safe voyage through them from memory.
    •  The Little Prince: Make Me A Planeta turn-based planet-building game, in which you collect items and characters from The Little Prince universe in order to construct the most balanced and beautiful planet.
  • Two new expansions were also announced:

For more information on these releases and upcoming titles, you can view the full news update here.