Traditionally, board games are designed for multiple players. However, there will be times that playing with your family and friends is not an option. The good news is that you can find numerous board games that will allow you to play them alone.
One of the most important factors you need to consider when buying a board game is its theme. You should opt for products that interest and excite you. Aside from that, you also need to consider the amount of time you’re going to spend playing the game, along with its replay value. Some games may last for half an hour while others can last for more than two hours. Some games give you the same scenario so that you can practice your skills while others offer a lot of variety to give you something different every time you play.
Of course, you should also opt for a game that can provide the best gaming experience; so, the design and difficulty level of the game should also be factors to consider so that you can challenge yourself without getting frustrated. With that, here is the list of the best solo board games based on the aforementioned factors.
Designed by Vlaada Chvátil, Mage Knight has gained a reputation as one of the best solo board games since its release in 2011. This is not surprising because this epic fantasy game delivers a daring and intense gaming experience.
The Mage Knight is designed for one to five players with ages 13 years old and above. It is an excellent option when you’re looking for a game that involves upgrading your character, fighting monsters, and exploring the fantasy realm. So, it is perfect for those who like adventure-themed games. The best part is that this board game has high-quality parts, so you are guaranteed years of fun and entertaining play time.
Overall, you’ll certainly have lots of fun playing the Mage Knight. However, this board game is complex, and it requires you to play it for about three or more hours. Nonetheless, if you have the time or can leave the game set up, you’ll definitely have an immersive gaming experience with this one.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is based on the adventure tale written by Daniel Defoe. In this game, you are stranded on an island, and your main goal is to fight for survival. So, you need to protect yourself from various weather conditions, build a house, fight animals, and find food. Keep in mind that this game is not just about luck. Every choice you make has long-term consequences; so, you also have to play this game strategically.
With an average playtime of about one to two hours, you’ll definitely have lots of fun trying to survive in this game. You can also play with your friends because this game is designed for one to four players. However, this product has one drawback. The rulebook is complex and poorly structured. Nonetheless, you can get accustomed to the basics of this game by playing the introductory scenario.
Gloomhaven is an adventure game that is suitable for one to four players, ages 12 years old and above. This board game will take you to a medieval town named Gloomhaven. There, you will take on the role of a mercenary with a special set of skills. You will also take quests and side quests that will help you advance through the game.
This board game is like a sandbox video game wherein you can choose what to do after each quest. The option you choose will decide how the story progresses. So, this is a persistent game designed to be played for a lot of game sessions. With this type of gameplay, it is not surprising that this game is one of the best solo board games you can purchase.
Onirim is a unique, abstract game that delivers a healthy dose of tension. The main goal of this game is to escape a mysterious labyrinth. You can achieve this by playing cards with matching colors and symbols. This may seem easy, but you need some luck and deduction skills to open all the doors.
Onirim is suitable for one to two players, aged 14 years old and above. This board game also has a playing time of about 15 minutes. An added bonus is that the new version features seven mini-expansions, so you’ll definitely have lots of fun playing this game.
Overall, Onirim is an entertaining and fast-paced game that has high replay value even for experienced players. However, one downside for this board game is that you need to look up the special abilities in the rulebook.
Based on the sci-fi Mars trilogy, Terraforming Mars is an action game that takes place in the 2,400s when mankind starts to terraform the planet Mars.
In this game, you represent one of the corporations that will bid for projects to transform the Red Plant into a habitable place. So, this board game is best for those who are fascinated with harvesting resources, establishing infrastructures, and building cities. The best part is that there are over 200 projects that you need to complete, so you’ll have lots of fun obtaining Victory Points in different ways.
Overall, Terraforming Mars is designed for one to five players of ages 12 years old and above. The only downside for this product is the long play time, which could last for about two to three hours. If you’re playing solo, though, just leave it set up and continue the game when you can.
Based on the classic fantasy novels written by J. R. R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a scenario-based adventure game where you get to fight monsters and solve quests. In this game, you’ll lead a group of characters or heroes with different abilities to complete missions and finish scenarios. Plus, you need to make tough calls to accomplish your tasks. So, this board game is best for those who enjoy strategic thinking and challenges. The best part is that you can buy expansions to make your game even more enjoyable with different characters and adventures.
With average gameplay of 30 to 90 minutes, this board game can provide you with the best gaming experience, especially if you like LOTR and fantasy-themed games.
Scythe is an area control game that is set in an alternate history in the 1920s. This board game is designed for one to five players. But, it has a feature where you can play it solo, which is called “Automa.”
When playing with other players, the main objective of this game is to earn victory points. When you’re playing solo, on the other hand, your main goal is to acquire land and influence while the game will try to stop you from achieving your goal. Nonetheless, you can achieve your goal by collecting resources, conquering new territories, building things, and recruiting militia. The maximum playing time of this board game is 115 minutes. You are also allowed to choose the difficulty of the game based on the type of challenge you want.
Unlike most board games on this list that are designed for one or more players, Friday is a deck-building game specifically made to be played by a single player.
In this game, you will take the role of Friday, the right-hand man of Robinson Crusoe. From there, you will help him survive on the island and beat the pirates. While this game involves some luck, you also need to play strategically to improve your character’s skills and achieve your main goal: to survive and beat the pirates.
Friday has simple rules, which you can learn quickly. It also has a short game time (30 minutes). Moreover, it has high replay value. It’s rather addictive, so you’ll want to keep replaying the game to beat your previous score.
If you’ve been dreaming of your own vineyard, then Viticulture is the game for you. In this worker placement game, your main task is to manage the winemaking process; so, some of your tasks will involve growing grapes and selling wines. In addition, you also get to give tours, build structures, and choose the type of grapes that you want to grow.
This board game is designed for one to six players, and it has an average playing time of 45 to 90 minutes. In solo mode, you get to compete with another worker in the form of a deck of cards known as an “automa.” To know what the other worker is doing, you need to draw one card at a time from this deck.
The Viticulture is definitely an excellent time management game. But, it’s not perfect. One downside for this product is that luck is a critical factor to win the game. Nonetheless, you’ll still have fun completing orders and trying to beat your competition.
Arkham Horror is an adventure-horror game. In this game, you’ll take the role of an investigator with specific strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the game, you’ll gather clues and solve mysteries to thwart the evil in Arkham. For every task you complete, you’ll gain experience points, which you can use to upgrade your deck. As your adventure progresses, you’ll find cultists, strange creatures, and haunted houses that will surely satisfy your itch for the strange.
As a cooperative game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game is designed for one to two players. It takes about 90 minutes to play this game. Aside from that, this is also a living card game; so, there will be a regular release of expansions to make the game more thrilling.
Almost everyone knows Sherlock Holmes and his excellent deductive skills. In this board game, you’ll experience the life of a being detective. However, keep in mind that this game will not be easy. It will test your ingenuity, attention to details, and sleuthing skills. The best part is that you’ll get to solve ten cases that will intrigue you for their originality. So, if you love solving puzzles, this game is definitely one of the best games for you.
In addition, this board game is designed for one to six players with a playing time of more than 90 minutes. So, if you’re bored playing the solo mode, you can invite your friends to play with you.
Hostage Negotiator is specifically designed for a single player. In this board game, you play the role of a law enforcement agent. Your main task is to negotiate the release of the hostages. To increase your chance of success, you need to roll the dice and use your cards. So, this is a game that combines luck and strategy.
The great thing about this board game is that all the abductors are different, and they require different negotiation approaches. It also has simple rules and takes only about 20 minutes of playing time.
With all its great features, it is not surprising that this board game won the 2015 Solitaire Game of the Year. However, its theme may not be for everyone.
Tiny Epic Galaxies is a space exploration game wherein your main tasks involve acquiring planets, managing resources, and increasing your influence. This game also revolves around a dice-rolling combo mechanic wherein the number of dice you can roll will depend on your galaxy’s strength. Aside from luck, you also need to combine different tactics to win this game.
The Tiny Epic Galaxies has high-quality components with beautiful graphic design. It also comes in a compact package, so you can bring it anywhere with ease. This board game is suitable for one to five players; so, you can invite your friends to play with you. Lastly, this game has a short playtime, which is about 20 minutes.
Inspired by the events of the Bosnian war, This War of Mine is a board game about survival in the midst of a war. In this game, you’re going to lead a group of people to safety. They also need to find food and build a shelter. There are lots of things you can do in this game. However, the game will continually force you to make tough decisions, which will only get more challenging as the game progresses.
Although this board game supports up to 6 players, playing it solo is the best way to get the greatest gaming experience. It also has a playing time of 45 to 120 minutes. This is enough time for you to fully experience the main theme of this game, which is surviving during wartime.
Imperial Settlers, as the name suggests, is an empire-building game. As such, your main goal is to grow your area to get more resources and increase your economy. You can achieve this by growing produce and discovering mines. You also need to train soldiers to protect your land. The best part is that you can choose the civilization you want – whether it’s Romans, Japanese, Egyptians, or Barbarians.
This board game is also designed for one to four players. So, you can invite your friends to play with you for a competitive game. If the base game becomes stale, you can also buy one of its expansions for added replay value. This board game has a playing time of about 45 to 90 minutes.
Burgle Bros. is a board game that lets you pull off an impossible heist. The main goal is to open three safes, which are located on different floors of a skyscraper. To achieve this, you need to assemble a crew and make an escape plan. From there, you’ll crawl to avoid alarms, guards, and laser traps. You also need to get through the vaults and fingerprint scanners to get to the roof and escape. This may seem impossible, but there are characters in the game with special abilities, like an acrobat or a hacker, that can help you achieve this.
Ideally, this game is for one to four players and can last for 45 to 90 mins. In solo mode, you get to play the role of more than one person. So, you’ll definitely have fun even if you’re playing alone.
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and the game Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror will take you to a unique and epic adventure. In this game, you are part of a team of heroes whose main goal is to stop the darkness. To achieve this, you need to travel to Other Worlds, solve mysteries, and defeat monsters.
With its unique theme, it is without a doubt that this horror-adventure game is one of the best solo board games for adults. But, if you’re a bit bored playing it alone, you can also invite your friends over because this game is designed for one to eight players and can last for two to four hours.
Shadowrun: Crossfire is a board game that lets its players experience a unique, dystopian world. In this deck-building game, you’ll play the role of a runner who takes tough jobs, like protecting a VIP, beating a dragon, or securing valuable information. Once you’ve completed these tasks, you’ll gain Karma, and you will be able to upgrade your characters.
Although this game is designed for multiple players, you can also play it solo. The great thing about solo mode is that you can play two or more runners, thanks to this game’s cooperative nature.