The Fastest Playing Solo Pirate Themed Lightweight Card Game in History

A game for people who want to have fun, but need the game to end before their burrito is finished in the microwave.

Scuttle, when played multiplayer, is a delightful truffle of a game. It is — no joke — the fastest card game I’ve ever played. No game has taken longer than five turns yet, and those five turns have never lasted more than two or three minutes. Total! This could be a filler for your fillers.

For a comprehensive and beautifully written review of the game, I encourage you to read Lee’s, over here. This article will go over the solo game only.

To my delight, as I read over the very brief rules, I found that there were solo rules with a built-in AI player baked in from the beginning. The setup is simple: find the Robot Pirate (clever!) in the deck, and set it up across from you. You play as Davy Jones, gifted with the ability to discard a card to destroy an opponent’s card, and then draw a card at the end of your turn. The first player to 21 doubloons (victory points) wins.

The game plays a lot like Star Realms solo: the AI is working off of a display of cards in the center, working methodically (and effectively) to get to the victory condition while equally effectively hampering your efforts to do the same.

It’s simple: the rightmost card gets played for its ability, and a blind draw off the top of the draw pile is taken by the Robot Pirate as a treasure. This serves to hurt you and help the Robot every turn, and makes the Robot a formidable opponent.

For instance:

A handful of hubris.

This is the game state at open — I need to get to 21 doubloons to win. I feel confident, as I’m holding 21 points in my hand right now. However, 6 turns later:

Pride goeth before this.

This is the ending game state. Barely three minutes have elapsed, I didn’t have a single doubloon on the table, and the Robot Pirate had (handily) won.

Will this be the next Mage Knight, the perpetual winner of the People’s Choice for Best Solo Game of All Time? Probably not, but I had a lot of fun playing it, and it literally takes 1000th of the time that Mage Knight does to play. Setup is faster as well.

It’s so fast and easy to play, I can see myself pulling it out a lot when I need something to play. It’s lightning fast, silly fun, and, like cotton candy, a sweet light treat. I recommend picking it up to play multiplayer with kids, and then you’ll have it as a solo filler between heavier gaming sessions.