Mow Money is a game that doesn’t hit the table enough for me. Usually other games overpower it with their big boxes, fancy minis, or the theme of it. But recently I played it again and then I noticed it had some solo rules. Well it is time to get some solo plays under my belt!
Hit the jump to see how this solo variant cuts it…
For those unfamiliar with Mow Money, it is a blind bidding game (with bluffing) where you bid on which house’s lawn you are going to mow. But when you use the solo rules it turns into a different beast. Mainly there is no bluffing and it is pure randomness.
In the regular game, you have to buy bid cards and balance that with buying new machines & better bid cards. You still have to do that in this variation but your opponent doesn’t. This drastically changes the experience and I am not sure if it really works.
Not only does the opponent not have to pay for bid cards, they also automatically win lawns if you don’t bid on it. This forces you to try to bid on everything. When you bid on a lawn, they just flip the correct number of cards for their offering. It comes across as one of those games where if the deck isn’t perfectly stacked in your favor, there isn’t a chance for you to win. All the bid cards cost the same but if you are only getting high bids and they are only getting low, there is nothing you can do about it.
After about a round or two of loosing both lawns, there is no way to catch up or getting close. I played the solo variant twice in a row and I know I am not the best board gamer around but the scores were 16-47 and 29-39. It is not impossible to win but the point of board games is fun. If the game opponent is seemingly unfairly hard-to-beat because they follow some other type of rules, it doesn’t feel worthwhile to put a lot of time and effort into maybe beating them.
I do not recommend the solo variant of Mow Money.