Crossfox is a 26 page solo game with a great, creative, old-school-feeling layout that nevertheless doesn't skimp on good learning aids and charm.
You play as a fox in a typical wilderness. Your goal is not to amass treasure or kill monsters, but to play out the typical ecology of the animal.
This *is* a crunchy game, and you do have resources to track, such as stamina. You also have a hex map with randomized placements for things like food caches, predators, burrows, and mates.
The hex map populates as you explore it, meaning the initial generation isn't very cumbersome. You'll learn something new on basically every turn, and every hex comes with potential opportunities for storytelling and resource gathering.
The storytelling is a little loose outside of the random events you can encounter. There are rolls for weather and atmosphere, as well as for random events, but you're also instructed to sort of GM yourself, providing resource bonuses based on how you roleplay encounters.
The dice are also a bit detached from the resource system, and involve rolling d6s on oracle tables, where each outcome is weighted evenly. This is flavorful, but creates a lot of randomness and might not perfectly gel with the more mechanical stamina tracking and action economy.
That said, at its core, Crossfox is extremely fun. It has a sense of innate wonder and peril, and it generates fairly organic stories through play while at the same time providing a challenge in the form of stamina and health management.
Overall, I'd strongly recommend this to anyone who likes solo play, hexcrawls, or games about animals. It's a very well made book, and it provides a fun, replayable, all-ages game based around a simple and easy-to-engage-with subject.
-Page 7, Basic Hex Flow, "Once your in a hex" you're
-Page 14, Fighting A Wounded Animal, "but they can still injure you and does not follow" and this combat does not follow?
-Running vs Exploring. Exploring says "move to a hex." Is that an adjacent hex? Anywhere on the board? If it's the latter, running seems to just be a worse version of exploring, since it costs a ton of stamina.
-What happens if you would lose stamina when you have none?
-How do you determine your stats? Apart from your 3 Stamina and 3 Wounds, I was a bit lost. I couldn't find any info on what your attack, defense, and speed dice are. It might be helpful to have all of your stat info in one section.
-Can you spend Stamina to shift your result on the outcome tables? This feels like it would decrease the randomness a little and let players have more control over their gameplay.