My Favourite Solo Board Games

The best of the best

Terraforming Mars – On initial play I wasn’t the greatest of fans of this one, despite it sitting in the Top 5 of BGG. Then I didn’t play it for a long time, before coming back to it solo, and what a decision that was! The game is so easy to set up for solo play and you are playing within 5 minutes of deciding. You can play this as fast or slow as you want, there are no AI turns, so it can be frenetic and fast paced or you can take your time working out the very best strategies for the cards that you deal. I’ve racked up around a dozen games of Terraforming Mars solo vanilla, and look forward to adding in some of the expansions to see how they impact game play.

architects of the west kingdom

Architects of the West Kingdom – This pips out Raiders of the North Sea solo for me, as the game has the solo mode baked in, rather than a later addition. Much like Terraforming Mars, Architects is super quick to set up and get going, not too much fiddling around at all. Play is pretty chilled out and rewards repeat plays for building strategy and with 2 AIs to play against there is plenty of replayability in the core box (an expansion has been announced).

Robinson Crusoe board game review

Robinson Crusoe – This one is absolutely brutal and I love it. In around 10 plays I have only managed to register 1 win, but that doesn’t stop me from going back for more. I love this one because as soon as you think that you are on track to meet your goal at the right time, you realise that you have forgotten to feed yourself, or fortify your camp from attacks.

Spirit Island – In terms of solo board games, Spirit Island is one of the big daddies, that could potentially de-throne Mage Knight one day. Spirit Island has been building its reputation as a very solid solo game over the past few years and it seems that there is nothing stopping it. More expansions releasing soon will definitely solidify it even further as a game with long term appeal. Spirit Island is a deep and brain burning game, so make sure you are prepared!

Special Mention

Eldritch Horror/Arkham Horror: LCG – This is a funny one, as they are games that I desperately want to like, but just can’t bring myself to. Both of the games are absolutely dripping with Eldritch theme, but the mechanic of action selection just seems too…mechanical. I find myself just making the moves that I need to, doing the AI moves and then the next turn commences. The action selection just seems to pull me totally out of the theme altogether. However, I am willing to give these games a pass due to their them and also due to the amount of expansions that I haven’t played yet. These are definitely games that keep drawing me back, so hopefully soon they will grab me.

On the review list

In terms of solo board games, I try to keep to games that have a solo variant in the box, rather than fan made variants, so I am yet to try the solo for games like Great Western Trail. Although they are definitely on the list, there are more solo games that I look forward to playing and reviewing in the near future:

  • Friday – this has been touted as one of the great small/quick solo experiences, so getting it to the table is a priority;
  • Any Uwe Rosenburg – I have yet to play A Feast for Odin solo, however love the idea of it, as well as trying out games like Agricola and Nusfjord;
  • Dungeon Crawlers – I have mostly stuck to Euro games as my solos, but look forward to some Imperial Assault or Gloomhaven as a solo experience.

What are your thoughts on this list? What are some of your favourite solo games?

Cameron B Author

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