For those of us who love a good TTRPG, one of the biggest challenges to a satisfying session is actually getting players to the table! Scheduling conflicts can turn an excellent party into a mess pretty quickly. Add in pandemic life and a lot of groups’ game sessions were cancelled completely. Many designers took to creating solo RPGs to fill the gaming void. Some of these games are simple and straight forward, while others are surprisingly complex!
Today we are taking a look at Bumbling, a game about bees, created by Yvris, and available at itch.io. As taken from the official PDF “You’re a newborn worker bee helping to fill their hive with honey. You’ll learn your hive’s secret dance language, explore the world, make animal friends, and harvest pollen for your queen. Great for solo journaling and doodling, this is a sweet, relaxing game to play on a rainy afternoon.”
To play this game, you will need something to write with, a single six sided die, lined paper, and the hex sheets that are provided in the download. Throughout your dice rolls you are learning the dance-language of the bees, and in doing so, seeking flowers on your map. It becomes quickly apparent that this solo game can be as detailed or as straightforward as you would like it to be. For example, my sketches were done pretty quickly in purple pen and without much depth to them, but if someone was looking for a long form relaxing afternoon, this could easily turn into a multicolored landscape for your bee to enjoy. I hope I get to see and compare other people’s hex sheets who have played to my own!
The journaling is another aspect that can be customized as much as the player would like. I kept just a small sheet of scrap paper where I wrote down some of my rolls, however, suggested in the PDF is using your encounters as storytelling prompts. This is a fantastic way to get the creative juices flowing for anyone experiencing writer’s block. If this is a concept you fall in love with it would be easy to keep notes in long form detail to look back on.
The game play aspect I most enjoyed was “finding friends.” Each location you go to has no friends, wild friends or tame friends. These encounters can be as simple as a dice roll or allow you to write a short story about your bee meeting a cow in a field or wildflowers or something similar. It’s a special touch to add some role play into a solo game.
Overall I think this game is well worth a purchase. It was time well spent to relax and enjoy yourself while thinking about the life of a honey bee!