We had an incredible discussion on Boardgamehour regarding solo games, and many people wanted suggestions on solo playable games. Here’s a list I’ve compiled with the help Jacob Coon of games we both own that have solo play.
I have three categories: “Solo Only or Co-Op Games with Official Solo Options“, “Official Solo Variants of Competitive Games“, and “Games You Can Play Solo (Unofficial Variants)”. The list is long, so keep that in mind as you scroll down. Feel free to add any solo games you own to the list via the comments!
Solo Only or Co-op games with Official Solo Options
- Friday: A Solo Adventure – Shipwrecked! Friday must escape off the island by defeating the pirates. Solo only deck builder where you must survive hazards and attacks from pirates to win.
- Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp – Save humanity from a deadly virus in this solo only set collection game. One must collect the right proteins in order to contain the virus in a lab setting.
- Space Hulk: Death Angel – Set in the Space Marine Warhammer universe, players control heroes which must fight against aliens to survive. Cooperative card game where the die rolls can be very unforgiving.
- Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon – Cooperative Dungeon crawler set in the D&D universe. Be a cleric, rogue, warrior, mage, or paladin that fight monsters and complete objectives with a modular board and miniatures.
- Tiny Epic Defenders – Defend the Capital City from monsters and epic foes! Choose heroes and use their powers in order to move around the regions and defeat enemies before Capital City gets overrun.
- Samurai Spirit – Take on the persona of the Seven Samurais and save the village! Draw bandit cards and decide whether to fight, defend the village, or pass them on to another samurai.
- Lord of the Ring LCG – Cooperative deck builder set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Fight trolls, travel to locations, and complete scenarios in order to win the game!
- Space Alert – Real time mission orientated science fiction game set in space. Ten minute timer + soundtrack give a very tense game of launching missiles, fighting intruders, and coordinating turns that don’t conflict.
- Onirim – Solo only or cooperative card game in which one must collect eight door cards before the deck runs out! Beware of the nightmare cards, which have brutal effects!
- Hostage Negotiator – Solo only dice game where you must press your luck in negotiating the release of hostages. Too many bad rolls or card draws will cut your negotiations short!
Jacob Coon’s Games
- Darkest Night – Control 4 characters in defense of their homeland against the evil forces of the Necromancer. Using the characters skills you select actions to gain relics that will help you defeat the Necromancer.
- Airborne Commander – Set during D-day, you are in charge of an airborne unit that has been scattered throughout. Using troops that are available to you, you find more troops and fight against the enemy at the same time.
- Legendary: Marvel Deck Building – Control Marvel superheroes in their fight against the evil mastermind. Each game you build a deck of cards from four different heroes while fighting against the mastermind and his henchman.
- The Game – A Spiel des Jahres nominee, the Game forces you to play two cards every turn into one of four piles. Two piles are increasing and the other two are decreasing in numbers so playing as many cards as possible before you have no valid moves provides some tricky moments.
Official Solo Variants of Multiplayer Competitive Games
- Harbour – Worker placement where players take turns placing their worker on buildings, gaining effects and resources. Solo play is against an AI that has predetermined choices depending on the building.
- Star Realms (Need Gambit Set Expansion for solo play) – Sci-Fi deck builder where you try to take out the other opponent. Solo play is against an AI that does tough damage or effects based on what goes out in trade row.
- Flip City – Microdeckbuilder about building up a city and winning by playing enough points or cards in one turn. Solo option is about getting to victory without running out of time (supply deck goes empty).
- Dungeon Roll – Dungeon dice delve where players choose a hero to help them fight monsters and dragons. Solo play is about getting points and beating your own score.
- Suburbia – Tile placement game about building up a suburb and getting good reputation and income for population (points). Solo play has two options: Lone Architect and Dale the Bot.
- Imperial Settlers – Card game where players build up their empires and fight their neighbors. Solo play is against a virtual player with ways to attack your empire. Try to get the most points.
- Lewis and Clark – Based on the Lewis and Clark expedition, players race to get to the Pacific by using cards and actions. Solo play is against a virtual player who moves every turn without penalty.
- Viva Java: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game – Dice game based on Viva Java: The Dice Game where players try to make the best coffee blends. Solo play is against one of two AI players.
- Caverna – Worker placement in which players are building up their caves, feeding their families, and farming crops. Solo play is a variant in which the player tries to get the most points from previous games.
Jacob Coon’s Games
- Legacy: The Testament of Duke DeCrecy – Instead of building a family tree as in the multi-player game, now you are trying to research your family tree to prove you are the heir to millions. Managing your limited actions your must make sure the right people are found in your family in order to gain the support and reputation that you need.
- Nations: The Dice Game – Build a civilization in less than 30 minutes while rolling a bunch of custom dice. Each turn you select an action to bring more into your civilzation and make it prosper, but the AI ( a simple die roll), limits what is available, so choose wisely.
- Neuroshima Hex 3.0 – Neuroshima Hex imitates a battle in a future dystopian setting. The game comes with 50 puzzles to help you learn the game, but also provides a nice solo option.
- Träxx – Draw a card, connect your line to the matching colors (as many as you choose) and you have Träxx. While simple in execution this game really has you weighing your options as you can’t back track, but every empty space is negative points.
- Snowdonia – If you are looking for a meatier game with a great solo option, than Snowdonia may be the game you are looking for. This worker placement game plays very similar in solo and multi-player games having the players build train tracks through the Snowdonia mountains and with plenty of expansions you have a lot of variability.
- Skyline – Using a Yahtzee-type mechanism you roll dice to create buildings of three different sizes. You can play it to get the highest score or attempt to recreate different cities provided by the rules.
- Card City – The first in a trilogy by Alban Viard, this small card game puts you in the role of city planner. Each turn is very simply executed, but the tough choices make this quick game a surprising favorite of mine.
Games You Can Play Solo (Unofficial Variants)
- Sentinels of the Multiverse – Cooperative superhero themed card game in which players fight against villains and try to survive tough environments. Solo play can be done by controlling 3 or more heroes yourself.
- Pandemic: The Cure – Cooperative dice game based on Pandemic where you are trying to fight a virus that’s spreading across the world. Solo play can be done by controlling one character for a more challenging game or controlling 2 or more characters for easier play.
- Pandemic – Cooperative card game in which you must save the world from a deadly virus. For solo play, you can control one character for challenging play.
- Forbidden Island – Cooperative tile grid game where players are trying to find the four sacred treasure before the island sinks. Solo play can be done by simulating a 2 or more player game.
- Forbidden Desert – Successor to Forbidden Island, Desert gives more challenging play by having shifting tiles. Players must find the pieces of their airship before the desert gets buried in a sand storm. Solo play can be done by simulating a 2 or more player game.
- Timeline – Competitive card game in which players place events in a the correct Timeline (dates are on back of card, hidden until a player picks a spot and reveals it). Solo play can be done by placing three cards face up to form a timeline, then getting 3 chances to get their card placements correct. If make 3 mistakes, then you lose.
Jacob Coon’s Games
- Flashpoint: Fire Rescue – Instead of fighting diseases around the world like in Pandemic, Flashpoint: Fire Rescue puts you in charge of a firehouse where you can play from 1-4 characters to help put out the fire and save victims. Flashpoint: Fire Rescue is very similar to Pandemic in many ways, but it’s theme ends up being a little more friendly to some.