Hopefully These Can Help: Free Games During COVID 19

Hey Everyone,

I had pretty big plans for 2020 with Paper Dice Games. Given the current situation, I am no longer pursuing those plans. Looking at the countries that have been dealing with this virus for months, it looks like things are going to become very hectic, very soon. Paper Dice Games has always been a hobby of mine, and I am anticipating that soon, 100% of my time will be spent on the following:

  • Keeping my family and myself healthy
  • Helping those in my social circles and community, however I can
  • Staying employed

I have a few game design projects that I was anticipating working on and releasing this year. I no longer think that’s a possibility for 2020. They’re just sitting on my hard drive at home – so I wanted to get them where they can do some good.

These projects are unfinished, raw, and not fully playtested. But I think they’re fun. If they somehow brighten your day, or give you a bit of an escape, then they’ve done their job.

Feel free to download and enjoy at your leisure. Please do not reproduce any of the following games in any other way.

Dwarf Mine

It’s a working title.

On graph paper, you draw out your mine, adding rooms, hallways, and ladders. Based on the depth you dig, you can find greater riches – but with great risk, comes great reward. How long will your mine survive? Will you defeat the dragon?

Download Dwarf Mine Here.

6/17/2022 Update: You can find the full Dwarf Mine game here.

Star Solo

This has been a passion project of mine for like 6 years. It’s gone through 8 major iterations. This is the most recent, and best. It’s unfortunately very much a skeleton of the system I hope to build some day. It is also 100% inspired by the amazing (yet flawed, in my opinion) Star Smuggler.

You captain a ship, flying from starport to starport looking to land jobs, arbitrage cargo, and keep ahead of your debts.

Download Star Solo Here.


I designed a puzzle game that I think is kind of fun. Then I realized that designing puzzles is challenging. I’ve learned a lot about puzzles while designing different grids for GridHack – but I feel I have a lot of learning left to do.

You infiltrate a grid, expand your network, and capture the data before your network, or the grid, gets corrupted.

Download GridHack Here.

The Queen’s Magician

I love the idea of creating complex and thematic games with a simple deck of cards. This is my most complete design yet, though I haven’t worked on it in a while.

The Queen has sent word across the land – she is looking for a new magician. Complete the Queen’s Challenge, and you’ll find yourself a permanent position at her court!

Download Queen’s Magician Here.

Space Miner

This is a bit more involved for a print and play game – you have to print your own cards. I had several ideas on how to make it a bit more thematic, streamlined, and fun, but this is the state it’s in.

Scan. Fly. Mine. How many credits can you make in a week of space mining?

Download Space Miner Here.

Games I’ve Published are Now Free

Here are the other games I’ve designed. They’re free until we get through this thing.

Unicorn Party – An collaborative elementary math game.

First Role – A role playing system for first timers, with a few starter stories.

My itch.io Page – In case you want to see the other free stuff I have. Please don’t play Deduction Name Game, as it requires 7-17 people.

Until It’s Over

I am hoping this post is an overreaction. I’m hoping that the summer comes, and I realize I can spend significant time and energy on my hobbies again. But what’s going on around me tells me otherwise. If we’re in for tough times, I hope this can bring you happiness or make your day better in some way.

If you want to chat about anything, my twitter is here – though, no promises on response time.

With that, I’ll just ask everyone to stay safe, wash your hands, and try to be the best version of yourself when you wake up every day.

I’ll see you all when we get through this.

-James Hron

Paper Dice Games

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