My Top 10 Solo Board Games of All Time

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Editors note: Contest is now closed.  The lucky winner is Glenn D!

Hi Folks!  Dang, making a top 10 solo board games list isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  I had to scan my collection thoroughly and browse BGG a bit to make sure I didn’t leave out any studs or obvious contenders.  My top 10 has some classics, some shoe-ins, and some surprises.

To celebrate my top 10 I am giving away a free game!  Post a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a brand new copy of one of the games on the list(your choice).

Tell me about a game that isn’t here but should be.  Tell me about a game on my list you hate.  The contest ends in two weeks on June 22nd.  The winner will be contacted via email.  Tell your friends!

On to the list.

10. Space Hulk Death Angel

Space Hulk Death Angel: The Card Game

What is it?  A small box card game where the player takes a team of space marines through the creepy halls of a spaceship(Space Hulk).  The space marines are attempting to complete their objective before being eaten alive by the swarming alien like genestealers.

Why do I love it? The hallmark of all Space Hulk games is that they capture the asymmetry and tension that is felt between the space marine player and the genestealer player.  The space marine player is powerful but fragile and has to move cautiously because he doesn’t know exactly where the genestealers are but he still has pressure to complete his mission in a certain amount of time.

This game automates the genestealer side with a simple and effective card activation mechanism.  You never know quite where, how, or if the genestealers are going to move.  The position, facing, and team composition of your space marines is important in all the Space Hulk games and that is reflected here as well.

The best part about this game is the cards the player uses.  You cannot play the same card twice in a row but you always feel like you need to use every card on every round–but you can’t!  Deciding which cards to use, taking the risk of only using 1 or 0 combat cards this round, and spreading out your limited resources to account for the random genestealer movement or protecting your most important marine are some of the tough choices the game presents to the player.

Blast some aliens with your own copy of SH:DA.

9. Conquest of the Planet Earth

cop 1

What is it? Conquest of the Planet Earth is one of the dumbest, most random,  arbitrary, and fiddly games the human species has ever devised.  But what can I say, it is pure unadulterated fun.  You play as aliens trying to vanquish humanity.  There is a cooperative and competitive mode.  I have only every played the cooperative game.

Why do I love it? Sure, my 3 headed aliens riding on mechanical spiders didn’t blow up the poor seaside town, blast a superhero out of the sky, and sink a aircraft carrier by mind controlling the crew because of my SKILL or how WELL I played; but who cares, that is friggin’ awesome.  One could compare this to games like Agents of Smersh or The Hunters and you would be close minus a heaping dose of ridiculously bad sci fi movie knock off action.

This is a great game to play when you are tired after a long day or work or after you have had a couple beers and don’t want to manage your resources efficiently in a tight euro style game.  Beer and pretzels style game?–no, beer and laser beams.

Start conquering the humans before they escape!

8. Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom

Sentinel Tactics: Flame of Freedom box cover

 

What is it? A one vs many game where 2-4 players play as superheroes from the Sentinels universe and face off against a super-villain like Baron Blade or Omnitron(a scary robot with lasers, think Ultron).  Not normally soloable, but I have found no trouble playing 2 heroes and a villain at the same time.

Why do I love it? Takes what Sentinels of the Multiverse (see #2 below) does well, removes some bookkeeping(but not all!) and adds cool miniatures and a board.

The best thing tactics has going for it is the scenario books are real life comic books and the missions are interspersed in the story.  Instead of watching and reading about the fights in the panels, the players interrupt the story to battle it out themselves–an amazing idea.

Check out my review for information or buy the game.

7. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

pathfinder cover 1

What is it?  A cooperative deck building game set in a generic fantasy universe.  Your hero slowly acquires new skills, equipment, and spells the more you play.

Why do I love it?  Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game is not a brilliant design.

It is not clever.

It is not innovative.

I hate to say it, but its true.

Why is is so popular then?  And why is it my #7?

PACG is just what the doctor ordered sometimes.  It is a fast playing, easy(almost too easy), cooperative game with some RPG elements.  It doesn’t make me want to jump on twitter and exclaim to the heavens how amazing it is, but time and time again I am drawn back in to play a few missions, see what new equipment or spells I get, and buy the new packs.

This fits into category of mindless fun along with Conquest of the Planet Earth.  The decisions are barely there and rarely matter, but the tiny amount of story and fun comes through regardless.

I skipped Skulls and Shackles but am considering getting the new base set.  My main fear is that they are afraid to add anything that shakes up the formula too much.  I am not convinced a d20 will be that different, but we will see.

Start your card game adventure today.

6. Hoplite: Warfare in the Greco-Persian Age

Hoplite review by GMT Games

What is it? A tactical ancient warfare game that depicts some of the famous battles of this era.  Marathon, Plataea, Mycale, Mantinea, and more!  Part of the Great Battles of History series of games.

Why do I love it? Perfect introduction into a relatively complex but deeply rewarding system.  Allows you to relive some of histories greatest moments.

Check out my review for more of my thoughts or grab your copy before they are out of print.

 

5. Glass Road

top 10 solo board games

What is it? A resource management, engine building game focused around glass and brick making in the Bavarian Forest.

Why do I love it?

  • Unlimited re playability.  The building draw gives the game unlimited re-playability and new strategies to explore every time but it can also make comparing scores between games meaningless.
  • The card mechanism.  One of the two main selling points is the way cards are played in Glass Road.  Each player selects 5 cards from 15 and everyone plays 1 card face down per turn.  If you play a card that no one else did, you get to two things.  If you have a card in hand and someone else plays the same thing, then you get to do 1 thing from that card.  Since there are only 3 turns not every card will get played unless you have some overlap with your opponents.  The solitaire game preserves this in a decent way.  While the mechanism is changed slightly, the FEELING you get knowing you won’t get to play all your cards and hoping the ones you REALLY need get played is preserved.
  • The glorious production wheel.  If Glass Road would have been published 5 years earlier it would have had 100 different pieces and charts and tables and spaces to handle how raw materials are turned into bricks and glass.  Instead, couple pieces of cardboard, a simple board, and a few discs per player.

Managing, fighting with, and manipulating this wheel is a major part of the game.  A beautifully complex idea executed with minimal components–now that is board game design.

Start building your glass blowing empire today and help support the blog.

4. Friday

top 10 solo board games

What is it?  A small box deck-building game.  You play as Friday trying to help Robinson Crusoe learn to survive on the island and eventually fight pirates to escape.

Why do I love it?  Friday is the flagship solo game for our little subsection of the hobby.  Portable, affordable, deep yet easy to learn, there is a lot to love with Friday.  The crux is you need to get better cards to survive but the more cards you spend the more negative cards enter your deck(then you have to cull those later as well!).  The balance of culling cards, earning new ones, and taking the risk to draw more is highly addicting.

The theme is barely there but that is OK.  Friday takes 15-30 minutes to play and has 4 difficulty levels although the first one is hard enough for most people.  This is the game that makes me believe that solo board games are viable, marketable, and a growing undercurrent in our hobby.

I wish I had statistics about how many games sold less copies than Friday and ask the publisher, do you wish you made a solitaire game?  While that doesn’t mean they would have done any better with a solitaire game, it would still be interesting to gauge their respect and appreciation for solitaire games.  I know Van Ryder Games is on the solo bandwagon, but I wonder how many other publishers are?

P.S. Fantasy Flight please release another solo/co-op LCG thanks!

Buy Friday for only $13.98 and support Cardboard Crusader.

3. Flash Point: Fire Rescue

top 10 solo board games

What is it? A cooperative game about rescuing people, dogs, ferrets, and other household pets from a burning building(or plane, submarine, or garage if you have the expansions).

Why do I love it? I feel like a firefighter when playing.  Simple.  Or when playing solo, I suppose I feel like a team of firefighters.  I have heard criticism that the game is too random but I think that randomness is actually the game’s biggest strength.  I understand that a fire burning will operate in some predictable ways because of science but there is also the unknown.  The wind could shift, a gas can could explode in the garage enraging the blaze or the building next door could catch on fire.  These are all incredibly thematic moments that are captured well using a dice roll or two.  Some games are guilty of using randomness solely for re-playability or because they couldn’t think of anything better.  Flashpoint is not one of those.

Also, the dog is the best special character in any cooperative game ever.  It is so fun to run around jumping in and out of walls dodging smoke and fire.  His powers and limitations make so much sense.  The dog can’t open doors, for example, but he can squeeze through partially broken walls that firefighters can’t fit through.

Finally get your kids to play games with you by grabbing this gem off Amazon.

2. Sentinels of the Multiverse

top 10 solo board games

What is it? A cooperative super hero card game set in an original comic book style universe.  3-5 super heroes fight a super villain(or sometimes a team of super villains).

Why do I love it? Most games that have special abilities or different races/characters give you a cool special thing, maybe a better navy, or 3 actions instead of two.  Not here.  In SOTM, your hero has an entire deck of cool cards that give you more powers, let you draw cards, help your teammates, mess with the villain, interact with the environment, etc.  Every hero is unique and can adjust their play-style a bit to the situation.

For example bunker can go all out with weapons and turret mode to be an damage dealing machine or use some defensive equipment and card draw powers to get a huge hand.  The naturalist has 3 different forms which give him more utility, more damage, or defensive abilities based on what the situation calls for.

I have played over 100 games of Sentinels and only played each villain 2-3 times.  While the game does have some notorious downsides such as having a ton of modifiers active and being swingy in difficulty, their is no other game like it and I as well as many other players can overlook those flaws for the pure fun present in this box.

Join the fight against evil.

1. Mage Knight: The Board Game

mage knight box cover 1

What is it?  A Fantasy exploration game.  You play the role of Mage Knight who is a powerful sorcerer-warrior-general type dude or dudette who is trying to capture some cities or defeat an evil bad guy.

Why do I love it? I did a more detailed post about the 5 reasons Mage Knight is a masterpiece, but to put it succinctly, it is the total package.  The creme de la creme.

Endless re-playability, a billion and a half tough decisions to be made, beat your high score or a win or lose type game(with the Lost Legion expansion), awesome theme, brilliant mechanics, and fan support(new scenarios, ~10,000 rules questions answered so far on the forums).  It is the ultimate solitaire game in existence and if you are reading this and don’t own it, stop everything you are doing and add it to your collection.

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My Top 10 Solo Board Games – Conclusion

There you have it, my top 10 solo board games of all time.  What do you think?

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259 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Greg! Great list but I think you are missing some amazing games like Infection and Dawn of the Zeds.

    Have you not played either or did they just miss your top 10?

    • Funny you should say that I have a Coolstuff order with Lewis and Clark, Tiger Leader, and Hostage Negotiator ready and rearing to go…just waiting on HN to be released! 😀

      Does Lewis and Clark ever get to the point where you can’t be more efficient or race any faster after a few plays?

      Thanks for reading Julius.

  2. Love SotM as a solo game, a lot of strategy and surprises in every game. Gears of War is a great solo game as well. Kind of similar to Death Angel but has a solo game where you only play as one COG. Pandemic is pretty good as is Star Realms, Star Realms will kick your butt solo though ha ha. Great list though!

    • Thanks Royce! I play star realms alot on the Ipad and have thought about printing out the solo scenarios just haven’t got around to it. I see GOW show up so much on the SGOYT and I actually played one of the video games back in the day but haven’t played the last 7 or so haha.

      I sold pandemic awhile back because I liked flash point but have pandemic: the cure which is fun that might be my #11 or #12.

  3. Not a bad list at all and in glad Sentinels was high. Not tried Lord of the Rings LCG then as that’s a brilliant solo game.

    I would disagree with Glass Road and Mage Knight though. MK bored me and took forever the first time I played it with 3 players and the card mechanic is actually what puts me off Glass Road. I don’t like how you can get hosed so easily with little control with that duplicate card mechanic. Might be better in solo I don’t know.

    • Hey Luke,

      I have never played Glass Road with more than 2 but I can totally see that happening. With 3 or 4 it is super likely that somebody has all of your cards and that could get annoying.

      I figured LOTR LCG would be a common beef. I have it, have played it but I just can’t get into it as much as some other games. I recognize it is insanely popular and I should probably have every expansion for it. Maybe my brain is wired wrong or something :D. Thanks for your comment and good luck!

    • LOL! Be gone Mage Knight hater! If you send me a copy of GOW I might consider it for the big leagues haha.

      Thanks for reading Kevin.

  4. Great list! But why not a little wargame flavor? Perhaps some D-Day at Omaha Beach? Or The Hunters? Can’t beat that historical narrative when solo gaming.

    • Hey Chance!

      You are right wargames are awesome! Some of my other favorites are Glorys End/Where Eagles Fight, Saints in Armor, and Great Battles of Alexander. I haven’t played most of those in a few months so they are just not on the brain I guess. Maybe they will move up next year. Long live wargames!

  5. I must say I own about 10 solo games, PACG being one of them, and I would never put it on my list. If it was quick and simple, fine, but it’s looooooooong and simple. I played a five-hero game (because playing one hero was not nearly enough for me), and the shuffling nearly killed my characters. 10-15 minutes for a 45 minute game is not nearly worth it for me, especially when I have to do it…what…36 times?

    • Hey Henry,

      Some great points you make. I struggled with it too but the amount of times I have played it I couldn’t ignore it. I enjoy it for some reason or another. Have you ever convinced yourself what the theme is behind your deck acting as your hit points? I get a cat ally so I have one more hp how? Haha never could justify that stretch.

      • Yes I did try, and somewhat succeeded…somewhat…

        I admit I played the game all the way through, but once I finished I knew that I wanted to trade it away immediately and that I would never buy further renditions unless they were dramatically altered. While it may be the game I spent the most time playing (aside from MK), finishing the game gave me the feeling of having just finally rid myself of a heroin habit. I looked back on my life and thought, hm, heroin sure felt fun when I was shooting up, but how come it has left me, after all these years, with a feeling of dissatisfaction and regret?

  6. Hey Greg, nice to see a great mix of games on your list. I would recommend, if you haven’t already, checking out the Oniverse games. I just got a copy of the newly release Sylvion, which is a card-based tower defense game in which you try to save a forest from a fire, which has been a pretty sweet solo experience, and plays coop to boot. I would recommend checking it out! Have yet to win, though!

    • Hey Denis,

      Slybion sounds awesome. I have watched Zee’s review of Onirim but it looked kinda boring and I have lots of small solo games already. How does Slybion compare to Tiny Epic Defenders if you have played that? I didn’t enjoy TED at all but I will put Slybion on my short list.

      Thanks for reading.

  7. My Top Ten?
    10 Ghost Stories–Awesomely difficult game…but I learned how to beat it…so, I don’t know how I feel.
    9 Legendary Marvel Deck Builder–I hate the setup, but I love the game.
    8 Conquest of Planet Earth–Flying Frogs Best! Funny and fun to play.
    7 D&D: Legend of Drizzt–Fun dungeon crawler. Nice pieces.
    6 Sentinels of the Multiverse–Awesome theme, challenging gameplay.
    5 Eldritch Horror–streamlined Arkham Horror, less luck rolling than Elder Sign. A perfect medium.
    4 Tales of Arabian Nights–I love watching the story unfold.
    3 51st State–I recently found the official solo rules on BGG. Got a winning score on the first try!
    2 Pathfinder Adventure Card Game–I love the level up system.
    1 Onirim–This is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. It is mesmerizing to look at!

    • Hey Thom,

      Good list you got there! We cross over on a few.

      Ghost Stories was one of the first games I ever got any you can imagine what happen. THAT RULEBOOK. URGHHHH. I probably should give it another try now that I can tackle pretty much any rulebook but I am a little jaded I will be honest.

      Onirim is good looking I agree but is it fun to play? How is the replayability compared to say Friday?

      Thanks for the comment.

  8. I am surprised you don’t have D-Day Dice or Incredible Expeditions on there. Both of those are incredible solo games. I’ve played both repeatedly, so they have good replay value. Both are nice because decisions matter.

    D-Day Dice is a lot like Yahtzee in some ways. The maps are challenging, and there are all kinds of ways to influence the dice to reduce randomness.

    Incredible Expeditions is a fun exploration game. It has deck-builder elements, resource management elements, decisions to be made, great artwork, and more.

    • Hey Vincent!

      I used to have D-Day dice, beat all the maps and sold it. I think I sold it because none of the expansions added to the solo game just added an opponent to make it competitive which was not interesting to me, not sure if there are more expansions now. Had my fun with that one while it lasted. How many plays have you got out of it?

      Incredible Expeditions huh? Never heard of it. I think I know what the cover looks like but don’t know anything about the game. *Goes to BGG to research*

      Thanks for the comment and good luck.

  9. There is not nearly enough Robinson Crusoe on your list!

    I appreciate the entries. I should probably give Sentinels another look.

    • Hey Wayne!

      You definetly should give Sentinels another try its amazing! Or if you don’t like all the damage tracking and effects and +1 cold damage to organic matter only stuff you can try Sentinel Tactics. I did a review about how I enjoy it playing both sides http://cardboardcrusader.com/sentinel-tactics-review.

      I have Robinson Crusoe but have only played it once so far. I am confident it will turn out to be the best thing since jelly but gotta get it back to the table! Thanks for the comment

  10. I only have 2 of these on my top 10 solo list(Glass Road and Friday), but I do have 3 of these on my want to play list(Sentinels, Flash Point, and Hoplite).
    Glad I found your blog.

    • Hey Drew glad you found the blog!

      I would try Sentinels first out of those 3 it is pretty spectacular especially if you like Comic books or the Avengers movie or anything like that. Just don’t buy the Vengeance expansion, at least not first. I would go with the base then the Rook City double expansion thing they have now. There is also a useful damage tracking app out there.

      And don’t forget to subscribe and you can get everything I post in your email and Gmail will filter it to the social tab so you never see it lol!

      • Thank you for the info on Sentinels. Big comic book fan, so this could easily become a top 10 game for me.
        Already subscribed.

  11. Don’t worry about liking PACG…..it has been one of my favorites since it first came out. Being a brain burner isn’t the only way for a game to be a lot of fun!

    • True that David! I mean solitaire(the card game thing) or patience or whatever it is called is one of the world’s most popular games. And minesweeper!

      Different games for different occasions and levels of sleepiness is one of the ways we can justify to our SO that it is necessary to have 500 games lol.

      Thanks for the comment.

  12. You should try Wipers Salient. It’s a solitaire deckbuilding game covering the 1st World War using actual drawings of Veterans of the war. The best part is that it’s only $16 and can be played on a plane.

    • That sounds amazing!! Did that just come out? I have never heard of that in my life…

      Looks like its a Gamecrafter game? Well that explains it. I am skeptical of Gamecrafter games as I imagine many geeks are. Any reviews out there of it?

      You might win the non-existent prize for most interesting suggestion, thanks Eric.

  13. Mage Knight is a supremely amazing game. I get surprised sometimes by how much I continue to enjoy it after multiple dozens of plays.

    • Amen to that Joshua! It is a dream of mine to get an interview with Vlaada on the blog and ask him if he realizes 80% of Mage Knight players are solo(made that statistic up). I am just curious if he tried to or just accidentally invented the best solitaire game ever…

  14. I Would disagree for FRIDAY… Yes its a cheap game. Yes it’s addictive as you can’t sop playing till you get to win at least once. But as soon as I won a game, it was totally over for me… I think it is more as a waste of my time then a great game.

    As for Flash Point, good enough. In a top ten? why not, it is the kind of game you want to play and replay a few times. Even more with all the expansions.

    All other games on your list I haven’t tried them, so its hard to comment. But somehow, along the road, i’ll try them in a near (or not so near) future!

    • Hey Wolftruck!

      The different difficulty levels in Friday didn’t give it any re-playability for you?

      Flashpoint does have a lot of expansions, maybe getting towards the “too many” territory at this point. I think I have two boxes of it jam packed and on extra map sitting out on top of those boxes haha.

  15. Nice list overall. Friday is my top solo game having played it over 100 times. My two fave solo Euros are Snowdonia and At the Gates of Loyang – I haven’t tried Glass Road yet. And yes, you should look into Gears of War – awesome solo experience!

    • Hey Mo!

      I hear ya on Gears of War I should probably grab that before it is a $200 grail game. Snowdonia looks awesome and I think my Fiance would actually like Gates of Loyang as she is into Glass Road and Garden Dice and stuff like that.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck.

  16. On 9 Jun 2015, at 11:13 am, Shaun Austin wrote:
    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: “Shaun Austin”
    Date: 09/06/2015 11:07 am
    Subject: Comments
    To: “Shaun Austin”
    Cc:

    I can’t believe you missed Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game.
    You obviously like Sentinels, so can understand you not wanting another superhero game like Legendary but the “Alien” version is a fantastic solo experience when done right. Although the rulebook is a bit vague on how to solo the game effectively, there are more than enough internet resources that can give you detailed guidelines.
    The struggle and suspense during a session is fantastic! A well executed game that you should really try.

    Gears of War has a lot of nuances that aren’t evident in casual play. I really dislike the theme but the gameplay more than makes up for it.

    Your other selections are great and worthy games, although I would have put Sentinels Tactics and Conquest of Planet Earth outside the top 10. 🙂

    • Hey Shaun,

      Believe it or not I have not seen any of the Aliens movies and don’t really want to. Am I a heretic? Should I stay up all night watching them because they are that good or will I still enjoy the game without that background? I have legendary and its pretty good.

      I think Sentinel Tactics is severly underrated and I am not sure why to be honest. Joel Eddy loves the game but it is not getting much buzz. Maybe that is typically of Kickstarter’s these days?

      Thanks for the comment and good luck

      • Although people may disagree with me, I don’t believe you need to watch the Alien movies (Although the game did encourage me to re-watch them all recently) 🙂 There definitely are some dated sections that let you know these films are “old”!
        However, the game stands on its own merits.
        I have played it with teenagers who didn’t have the faintest clue about the Alien franchise let alone the movie plots and they enjoyed it immensely.
        There is an intensity that develops as the game progresses. Sometimes you don’t even realize the tension building until it is relieved by the game ending.
        A really good blend of mechanics and theme.

        I will have to revisit Sentinels Tactics, as every other game on your list is a favorite of mine. Thank you for bringing it back to my attention.

        • I agree, there is no need to watch the Aliens franchise to enjoy this gem. I hadn’t watched Alien or Aliens in 20 years and had absolutely zero interest in watching 3/4. After playing Legendary Encounters I was just drawn to watch them. The game is that good.

          • Some high praise, thanks for the thoughts. I think my Fiance has seen some of them back in the day and likes them so maybe she would be into that as well.

  17. Gregg,

    I think you missed Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island and Ambush! or maybe you just have them.

    Ambush was and still is an excellent introductory (solitaire) wargame, although hard to find sometimes and a bit pricy. Robinson Crusoe is an excellent strategy/puzzle game that can be very hard to win, especially the first few games when learning, but has plenty of replayability.

    • Hey Richard,

      See above for Robinson. I have it and have played it once but need to get it back to the table to unlock the mystery everyone is raving about. I can probably rope my Fiance in on that one too as she was obsessed with LOST for a few seasons till it became absurd.

      Ambush was published before I was born so I kinda missed that boat and like you said, a tad expensive. I am surprised though no one has done a story based wargame like that since though, maybe that is a hole in the market someone can fill?

      Thanks for the comment and good luck!

  18. Great list…looking forward to play Mage Knight, I finally acquired one; another couple of games that I like from the list are flaspoint and hoplite…but very hard to get them. still in the chase….

    • Hey Mike,

      Good luck on learning Mage Knight. I would recommend to read the walk-through book then play through it once or even twice with a different hero. Then read through the main rulebook and give a solo conquest a shot. It is one those games that you can’t worry about messing up rules in; it will happen in your first 10 or 20 games such just forge ahead and have fun!

      Thanks for the comment and good luck!

  19. Great list! As a solitare player, I enjoy some of these games as well. Some I have, but quite a few were new to me. Thanks for pointing me to some new possibilities. As mentioned by someone else, I also enjoy Robinson Crusoe as a solo game. I’ve also found Hoplomachus to be a quick and fun solo experience.
    I’m looking forward to looking into the items on your list I’ve not tried yet. I’m also keeping my eye on Cards of Cthulhu and Legendary Encounters an Alien Dexk building game.
    Thanks again for a great list!

    • Thanks for reading sean. As I mentioned above, Robinson should make it next year, only played it once. Need to fix that immediately! Can you call my boss and tell her I need the next week off :D.

  20. I’m really enjoying Lord of the Rings LCG, and just picked up Sylvion. But the game I’m most looking forward to is Enemy Action: Ardennes from Compass Games and John Butterfield. I have been watching it for a couple years, and I am ready to give it a shot.

    • Hey Mike great suggestions.

      Does Enemy Action: Ardennes use a similar system to D-day at Omaha beach or is it something brand new? The d-day games are supposed to be awesome once you learn the rules.

      Good luck and thanks for visiting.

  21. I still need to try Glass Road and Friday. One of my favorite solo games is a free print and play game called Supermarche. At the Gates of Loyang is another favorite and I am gonna try CO2.

    • Hey Benjamin thanks for the comment! I have seen Supermarche on the SGOYT list a few times and it looks neat. If only I didn’t have the worst printer in the world. She struggles enough printing in color I don’t want to burn the house down trying to print a game. Note to self: dont buy the cheap closeout printer in the aisle at Best Buy.

      Maybe this Christmas we will upgrade.

      Thanks and good luck.

  22. Thumbs up for Friday and Mage Knight. Definitely missing from the list are the Oniverse trilogy. Just bought Sylvion this weekend.and my early impressions are that it’s the deepest of the pack yet. Great blog Greg!

    • Thanks for the compliment Juan! How did you get that weird pixelated icon? You just had to ruin the funny triangle men thing we had going on didn’t you. I agree, Friday and Mage Knight are the two of the rocks of our sub-hobby, should be in most gamers collections.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck in the contest.

  23. Good list. I’ll have to check out Hoplite. Not a lot of overlap with my top 10. Just Mage Knight and Sentinels of the Multiverse. The notable games I’m surrpised didn’t make it are Lord Of the Rings: the Card game, Robinson Crusoe, Thunderbolt Apache Leader.

    • Thanks Kerskine! I am going to grab Tiger Leader sometime this month and that will be my entry into the famous Leader’s series. Looking forward to it. Good luck in the contest.

  24. Not sure if I own ten games yet! lol

    In no particular order:
    Pandemic
    Eldritich Horror
    Elder Signs
    Onirim
    LOTR LCG
    Waggle Dance
    Paperback

    That leaves just Fungi as a two player game
    and which is the odd mushroom out as the only one I can’t play solo

    Oh and am waiting for Viceroy to arrive which I backed on Kickstarter
    If you count the relatively small amount of MTG (which I have the solo packs for) that rounds out at an even ten games total!

    So I guess that would be my top 9 list then!

    Not sure what to invest in next. I have no Euro style games but quite liked the look of La Granga.

      • That Variant is on my list to play and report on for this blog. Stay tuned in the next couple weeks I should have that up.

      • Hey Juan, many thanks for the tip off. Very much appreciated
        Will check that out and give it a go today!

        It’s a nice game, looks great on the table and doesn’t take up mushroom.
        Get it mushroom…much roo..m! *groan* *hangs head in shame*

    • Also anxiously awaiting for La Granja! There’s a unofficial solo variant where you play against an AI opponent.

    • Hey Paul,

      Only 9 games haha you got a lot of catching up to do! Welcome to the abyss of solo gaming, may your wallet be ever empty.

      For a starter euro game I would take a look at glass road, caverna, agricola, maybe Splendor(there is a couple solitaire variants on BGG), At the Gates of Loyang, Snowdonia, etc. Lots of good choices out there.

      • Greg, I already have an empty wallet.
        That is why the collection is so small.

        I need to maximise my gaming bucks so I tend to be very careful about spending.
        Which is another way of saying I’m a tight fisted so-and-so! lol

        Otherwise I would have far more games than I could ever get around to playing like a real gamer does! 😛
        There are so many great games I would like and seeing your list and the other suggestions in the comments doesn’t help
        Get thee behind me Satan! lol

          • Not an option, Greg.
            Now Juan has told me about the Morels solo variant, ALL my games can be played solitaire mode!

            Good news is my birthday is next month, so funds will be made available. 😀

            However, am having a break from a game of LOTR LCG as it is not going well for our brave intrepid band of Dwarves
            I think the game hates me. One of the heroes died first round! *weeps bitter tears of grief*

            Am going to have strong words with the cardboard.
            Maybe if things don’t go better, LOTR LCG could end up on the market

            or in the recycle bin! lol

  25. Awesome list! I’ve added several new games to my amazon wishlist now, and I only own one (Sentinels). And now I’ll be reading the comments to add more! 😀

    • Tell your bank account I am sorry Charlie! Enjoy the games, the amount of solo games out there and variants created by this community is pretty incredible.

  26. Great list. Thinking of trying out Glass Road and The Hunters from GMT. I’m surprised Robinson Crusoe isn’t on there. It’s incredibly immersive once you get the mechanisms down. You might also try Smokejumpers.

    • Hey David,

      Smokejumpers eh? I think that is an older game yeah? I wonder if it is similar to Flashpoint at all. I would try the Hunters if you want a relaxing story telling experience and Glass Road if you want more strategy, planning, and resource management type game. Have fun and thanks for the comment!

  27. Thanks for promoting the solo gamer! No Lovecraftian love in the top 10 at all? I am hooked on Eldritch Horror right now and have replaced Space Hulk (or as I call it: demoralizing cardboard single dice evil!) with Elder Sign. Similar portability, only slightly larger box. I agree with Mage Knight as #1 as I have borrowed it and could play that for hours (especially with the lost legion expansion and everything it adds). Keep up the great work and thanks for the contest. Any of these games would be a great add to the collection (yes, I have NONE of them amazingly as I am primarily a solo gamer!!!)

    • Hey Brad!

      Time to place a giant Coolstuff order and get at least 5 of the games above. You can tell your SO I forced you to do it, I will take the blame :D.

      About that old Lovecraft fellow, I don’t know if it was when I was born, what books they made me read during school or what, but I never touched a single piece of his literature.

      I was a poet throughout high school and college and majored in English with a emphasis on creative writing and somehow still didn’t read any of it. I am a failure I know, but that is the reason for no Lovecraft games on the list. I can see Arkham over there on the shelf asking to be played :/.

      • I don’t think you HAVE to read the books to appreciate the games (quite verbose in my mind and hard to follow at times) but the theme is great! Sci Fi horror mashup. I do have a lot of your listed games on my wish list, I just have to wait for the proper holidays to engage my gift giving populous :-D. From what I understand, Arkham is just brutal as a soloist in girth and game play. Elder sign plays quick and low profile while Eldritch, while still large in footprint, has gained the reputation of the “cleaned up, streamlined, Arkham”.

        • Totally agree with that Brad.
          I would rather play Eldritch Horror than read Lovecraft tbh much to the horror of his aficionados lol

          For anyone who is interested in having a taster of the works, they are available here to sample:
          http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/index.html

          They are short stories and do not consume huge amounts of time to read.

          One day I may get hard copy but can’t say Lovecraft is top of my reading wish list

  28. Great List! Mage Knight was my number 1 for quite some time..but it only gets out a couple times a year so it has dropped down. Glad to see Conquest on there as well-it is such a hoot to play.

    • Hey Ian,

      Yeah Mage Knight is definitely not my most played game, but every time I break it out I am amazed and usually play it twice in a row. I am lucky to have dedicated game room in our 2 bedroom apartment so I can leave anything set up. No pets either to eat my games :D.

  29. Very nice list. I have a few of those games and you now have me looking closer at the ones I don’t have. If I was to recommend one that that is missing from your top 10 it would be Legendary Encounters. It takes the gameplay of Legendary Marvel series and dials it up to 11. It’s an absolute blast playing through each movie. It’s easy using the standard setup but the difficulty is easily adjustable to your flavoring. This game got me to watch Alien 3 which I had no interest in. I’m about to watch Alien 4 for the first time.

  30. I own 6 of the 10 games you listed here. I would recommend you consider Victory Point Games Darkest Night. It plays very well solo, is very challenging and if you add all the expansions you have 21 characters to choose from. (23 if you purchase the 2 promos from Board game Geek).

    Great list!

    -Phil

    • Hey Phil!

      I have heard of that one but the cover and board turned me off aesthetically(superficial much?) but I will give it another look.

      Thanks!

  31. Really great list – I found your blog via BGG. You’ve got a few on here I haven’t tried yet. As for SotM, I have it, but it’s never clicked for me. Since you seem to be open to war-games, I’d recommend Field Commander: Napoleon. I recently started playing and I really like it!!! – Al

    • Hi Al glad you found your way here!

      I played Field Commander: Alexander in the past but it felt very flat for me and it was quickly out the door. I am open to the other ones but hesitant. I think my next wargame purchase might be Tiger Leader as commanding a platoon or company of Tigers sounds badass to me.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck.

  32. I can’t believe you don’t have Ghost Stories on there! Yes, I know, the rule book – but there player aids etc to get around this. It really is a superb co-op/solitare game, fantastic tension, brilliant theming, looks great. I really like Mage Knight, but would tend to Ghost Stories as it is faster to setup and tear down.

    • Hey Paul thanks for the suggestion.

      I used to own it a few years ago, do you think my Fiance would notice that I re-bought a game I sold? Haha.

      Thanks and good luck.

  33. Well, I do not usually comment or enter contests but I really enjoyed your list and you have made me take a look at some GAMES I could easily have ignored…………Looks like I will be adding some more to my playtime collection…………………..

    M

  34. One of my current favorites is March of the Ants which plays well solo, cooperatively, and competitively. The art is beautiful and it’s refreshing theme. Viticulture is also a favorite due to the excellent solo rules. Mage Knight is great and I’m looking forward to the next expansion which promises a short scenario. Next on my list of games to play solo: Thunderstone Numenera and Nations. Next on my list of solo games to but: Onirim and Sylvion.

    • Always wanted to try Thunderstone and I have been eyeing March of the Ants ever since it came out. A pretty cool and unique theme for a game. Thanks for the suggestions Marc!

  35. Lots of good recommendations here, but I see none so far for Cruel Necessity, VPG’s most excellent English Civil War game using a more complex version of the “state of siege” engine. You can play it without the tactical battles, although I find myself enjoying them despite the extra time; it adds to the sense of story when one of your units manages to turn the tide of a given fight. Overall, the game is a fun, tense contest with lots of replayability.

    • Hey Marc,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I know a lot of people praise the states of siege series I haven’t wander too deep into those waters yet but am looking to pick a couple up and try them out.

  36. Love Mage Knight when I’m in the mood for some brain burning! I love Sentinels too but I have to say the app has taken over my solo play. It’s just so much more streamlined, and it’s really well developed.

    I’m a big fan of Arkham Horror as a solo game (I play 3 or 4 investigators) although the buy-in at this point is kinda steep. Eldritch is good but it’s just not the same.

    An obscure one is Hero of Weehawken by Victory Point Games. A weird period of history and some neat gameplay where you try to figure out what Burr is up to and then get the charges to stick in court.

    Nice blog!

    • Hey Alex

      Thanks for the suggestions. Will have to look up that Hero of Weehawken game never heard of it. VPG has a pretty extensive catalog to say the least.

      Mage Knight is definitely a brain burner– I keep a bottle of Advil in the game box just in case :D:D

  37. I’ve been really enjoying playing Viticulture with the solo automa rules. Nice tight play with fun mechanics.

    There’s nothing on your list that I hate, since I’ve only played Friday and I’m still really enjoying that one. Though I really want to try Glass Road and Mage Knight now. thanks for the list and the contest!

    • Welcome Jon!

      I heard on the 1 player podcast that they made it easier to get Automata instead of having to buy the base game and expansion so that shot up my wishlist. Thanks for the thoughts and good luck!

  38. I guess I might be the only solo gamer not enthralled by Mage Knight. I found it too convoluted. Still, I definitely enjoyed your list. I agree about Glass Road and Flash Point. LotR LCG is my favorite solo experience, but its important to not limit solo play to only officially released solo formats. For example, there are countless solo variants on BGG. Some of my favorite are Trajan, Village, and City of Iron solo.

  39. Nice list. I really enjoy Mage Knight as well, but I would also include Onirim and Urbion in my top 10. I really enjoy both of them.

  40. Great list. I am a big fan of Mice and Mystics solo. I play with my children and really enjoy doing so, but when I play solo, I find another layer to the game. This may be true if I played with other adults, but alas I have yet to recruit willing participants, so solo it is. There is some depth to the character interaction that I think goes unnoticed at the beginning. That, and it’s a good story.

    • Hey Scott,

      Great suggestion there. My copy of Mice and Mystics is getting a bit dusty. I played through about 3/4 of the base games scenarios when it first came out and haven’t touched it since. Thanks for the reminder 😀

  41. Great list! Some of my favorites that aren’t on your list are shadows of Brimstone, apex (dinosaur deck building game), and assault on doomrock. Thanks for the contest

    • Hey Dave,

      Some new games you got there, I would be all over Shadows if it were a different theme, maybe a cowboys only theme without the Cthulu stuff sigh. I have looked at Apex a few times but never pulled the trigger and heard whispers about Doomrock when it was on Kickstarter but not much buzz since. Thanks for the suggestions.

  42. Great list & great website. Looking forward to following you in the future. The only great solo game missing from your list is Onirim 🙂 Thx for the contest!

    • Hi Brian glad you liked the site/list. I know, I know Onirim is top of my list to add to a order so many people suggesting that, it must be good. Thanks.

  43. Hey Greg,
    Awesome list. I’m relatively new to gaming so probably not the best person to say “what should be in your list”. The only game that I’d say to deserve at least an honourable mention should be the Lord of the rings LCG. It is one of the most challenging games I have experienced yet. I do agree with you in SOTM again it is challenging and just a hell of a lot of fun.

    P.s
    Your list may do severe damage to my wallet, I might just have to add another 1 or 2 to my wish list lol

  44. Greg,
    I see you quite enjoy Friday, so I cannot recommend you enough Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. It’s in my TOP 3 for sure.
    The game bursts with story and adventure. And playing it solo really gives the feeling you are all alone on some distant island. Every scenario feels different and offers various challenges.
    Great game!

    • Hi Aigars,

      I have it just have to get it played more! You aren’t actually alone though, you got Friday and the Dog to gather wood and kill bears and tigers for you haha. Thanks for the suggestion!

  45. I just received a copy about a great solo game called Space Infantry. Maybe it worth checking out for you too!
    Thanks for the great list!
    Cheers!

  46. Hey Greg, good Top 10 list! I’m looking forward to the next one, mostly to see if any of the games you acquire along the way would be worthy of bumping something off the list.

    • Hey Jason,

      I hope to do another one in 6 months to a year and I am sure 4-5 games will be different. Thanks for the comment and good luck.

  47. Hello Greg,

    Great list. For me, one great solo game is Gears of War. Lot of fun!

    Sentinels of the multiverse and friday are on my whislist 🙂

    Cheers.

  48. A cracking list with some well chosen comments. I’m intrigued by your inclusion of Sentinel Tactics I hadn’t even considered it for solo play.

    • Hi Craig,

      With the use of the word “cracking” you must be British or Canadian eh? It definitely is a weird one to include but I found it to work much the same as many wargames do while playing both sides. It has zero hidden information, relatively low amount of stuff to manage per character, and an awesome story comes out through the comic books and game-play. A ton of fun!

  49. I like those lists. Surprised about Glass road. Didn’t know it was suitable for solo play.
    Friday, D-Day dice and Infection are the games I like best at the moment.

    Flashpoint was already on my wishlist and Glass road is added to it.

    • Hey Peter thanks for stoppig by!

      Glass road is an awesome low pressure optimization and resource management game, it can be quite relaxing. I got to get Infection one of these days, maybe VPG will release a deluxe edition if they haven’t already.

      Thanks.

  50. Great list, and well written. I’m also a solo gamer, and most recently I’ve been blown away by Sylvion which is just superb, and really tense. Still, my top solo game of all time is the excellent Gears Of War. If you like Flash Point, you should also take a look at The Captain Is Dead.
    Happy gaming!

    • Slyvion is on the wishlist. Never heard of The Captain is Dead, will research it some more. Thanks for the suggestions Stevey be.

  51. I would suggest others if you haven’t played solo yet:

    – Robinson Crusoe (my favourite, I have a soft spot to worker placement)
    – Snowdonia
    – Infection Humanity’s Last Gasp
    – Peloponnes
    – Freedom the Underground Railroad
    – Imperial Settlers
    – Fields of Arle
    – Thunderbolt Apache Leader

    All great games. Thanks for the contest

    • Its a great intro to the GBOH system Dan, check it out. But don’t blame me if you end of having to track down the rest of the games in the series, a lot of which are OOP. Sorry 😀

  52. Great list! i don’t own any of the games you listed, but I enjoyed following your take on these games. Your top 4 are on my wish list.

  53. Interesting to see your choice of The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and Mage Knight on the list and I completely agree with your reasons. Pathfinder is almost a guilty pleasure but it is indeed enjoyable and Mage Knight is a brain bending conundrum of magnificent complexity.

    • Haha well put Brian. Pathfinder is like a Twinkie–I know it is horrible for you, not real food, but sometimes you just have to indulge!

  54. Space Hulk: Death Angel frustrates the hell out of me. Its that red dice. I swear it is weighted. For some reason though I keep coming back to this game though.
    I do not like Sentinels. Ever time I have played it, I just feel underwhelmed. I really want to like it.. I just .. can’t.
    The game that I most want to play on your list is MK. As a solo game I have heard only good things about it.
    Thanks for this list, it was pretty awesome.

    • Yeah it might be better if the die wasn’t red, it makes it look so evil when you roll a 1 haha. Too bad about Sentinels but no game can click with everyone, thanks for the comment Johnathan.

    • I feel the same about Sentinels. On top of being under-whelming, keeping track of the points in the game feels more like math class than fun. Sold my copy days after putting in the first few plays.

  55. Nice list. I really like Nations. Historic feel with lots of different cards so each game seems different. Space Hulk Death Angle is one that is on your list that I also really enjoy!

    • Cool Jim! Have you played Nations the Dice game? I was looking at that recently as a solo option to add to my collection :d

  56. I like the way you broke down the games to what it is and why you love it. Pretty good list. I was surprised by the inclusion of some games and not by others. Conquest of Planet Earth is one that surprised me. I might have to check it out.

    • Hey Austin,

      Thanks for the kind words. Just know that COPE is about the absurd narrative that develops as you roll and roll and roll and roll again. You might randomly get defeated by a scientist and a paratrooper even though you have a boat load of Aliens there, just kind of how the game works.

      Sometimes I house rule the action point roll slightly to be less swingy like if you roll a 1 or 2 three times in a row you can reroll or something like that. Fun when you get 6 action points, not so fun when you get 2.

  57. Great list! You have a few of my current solo favorites in there as well…Friday is always easy and quick to pull out, and Pathfinder card game provides me with real tension… I’m sometimes hesitant to pull it out again for fear my characters might die! 😀

    Some of your other items are definitely ones I’ve been curious about, thank you for writing about them all!

    • Your welcome Jeremy!

      I never let my Characters die in Pathfinder I just let them try again :D. Sure that is not what the rules say, but I don’t really want to start over with a new one. I might throw in a penalty like replacing one of their cool weapons with a basic one or something for dying but never perma-death.

      Thanks for the comment.

  58. Mage Knight is fantastic and it is currently my number 1. I’ve only ever tried two other – Sentinels of the Multiverse, which I didn’t care for and Pathfinder. I’m very interested in trying out Space Hulk and Glass Road.

  59. How in the world do you play Sentinel Tactics Solo? I love Sentinels (the card game), but I have not picked up Tactics precisely because I though it was not solo-able.

  60. We have similar tastes, your top 4 games will be probably in my top 5 but my top 1 is still Archipelago with the solo expansion

    • Interesting Juan. I have only seen that one pop up on SGOYT a few times, definitely a Dark Horse. Thanks for the comment 😀

  61. I’ve just started to try out solo board gaming, so this is a fantastic list of games to look at. I actually just traded for SH:DA-TCG and I’m hoping to give it a try tonight. 🙂

    The other solo game I’ve tried is Race for the Galaxy with The Gathering Storm. The robot player has kicked my butt both times so far.

    • Hey Adam,

      Hope you have fun with SHDATCG it is a tense and sometimes frustrating little game for sure. Be sure to let us know how it goes and if you have any rules questions.

  62. Thank you for your time in writing your thoughts; I have been introduced to many new games via such lists, and reading through your reasons is very helpful.

    Since you like Flashpoint, I would recommend checking out Police Precinct; the 2nd edition is being released any time now. Police Precinct has a similar feel in that players have different abilities, each round something new can happen to the board, and you have to contain something while trying to achieve something. There are a few mini-expansions which can raise the tension of the game.

    If you think you would enjoy a dogfighting game, I suggest Wings of Glory – not exactly a solo game, but there is a great set of solo rules and solo campaigns on the Aerodrome (http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/activity.php). The nice thing about this game is that you can scale the complexity level, and it is easy to teach so you can bring folks to the table with little to no investment on their part. We have had games with folks from 7 to 70 at the same table.

    • Hey Eric,

      I have been patiently waiting for the 2nd edition of Police Precinct now that you mention it. When is that coming out? Looking forward to busting some thugs on Tom Vasel St. haha.

      I used to own wings of glory but sold it when D&D Attack wing/X-wing/Armada invaded. I couldn’t repel firepower of that magnitude.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      • 2nd ed of PP should be very soon. I am not sure how much of the shipping issue on the west coast is an effect.

        GMT has many WWII solo games coming out soon, as can be seen on the company’s P500 page.

        • I thought the port issues were resolved awhile back but I suppose they have a big backlog of stuff to clear out huh?

  63. Great Games. I’ve played many, though not all of them. The game I like the most on your list is Friday. It’s just such a great, short, experience, over which time Robinson grows and evolves. There’s a great progression to the game. The game I like the least, as a solo experience, is Flashpoint. Perhaps if there was a campaign mode, I would feel differently, as it is a good game. However, every time I’ve played solo, it’s felt like the same experience, which surprised me.

    Happy gaming!

    • Hey CM Amidon,

      I see your point about the campaign mode in Flashpoint but I am not sure how it woul make thematic sense. How would your firefighters improve between each mission? Does that happen in real life? Would they get better trucks and equipment or more movement or?

      I think for a campaign to work the game would have to be zoomed out to where you are running a fire house and managing fires all over the city then you would be able to get more room, a new building, more firefighters, or better beef for the chili :D:D

  64. Great list. Some of my favourites are:

    Defenders of the realm
    Alien legendary
    Ghost stories
    Eldritch horror
    Dawn of the zeds

    • That’s what I am going for Mike, hoping everyone including myself discovers some great games to add to their wishlist. Thanks for stopping by.

  65. I have to say I love a lot of these games on your list, but how is there nothing Cthulhu? Eldritch Horror, Arkham Horror, Elder Sign? All of those games just are just dripping with immersive themes and are ripe with replay value.

  66. From the games you put high in your list, you might also want to try Assault On Doomrock. A rather heavy cooperative hilarious RPG with abstracted battlefield. Plan high on play time though if you ever get a copy!

    Josh

  67. Nice list! Definitely agree with Mage Knight, Think maybe I will set up a game right now in honor of it being your #1! Saw someone mentioned Assault on Doomrock, game looks awesome, I just participated in the Kickstarter for the 2nd edition and expansion, soooo now I have to wait til December to play 🙁

    • Good luck in your game of Mage Knight, Jared. Don’t get eaten by the rampaging draconum :D. Thanks for stopping by.

  68. Great list and explanations. I have never played a boardgame solo yet but have a few that are supposedly pretty good solo. The main reason I play boardgames is to spend time with family and friends so the idea of playing solo has never really interested me. It seems that you really enjoy this way of playing games and I just might have to check it out based on your article. Thanks

    • Hey Chris,

      While playing board games with family and friends is one of the most fun things in life, I and alot of others see value in playing games alone. Whether that is due to not having a group, a non gamer spouse, traveling a lot, or simply just enjoying it.

      I recommend starting with something small like Onirim, Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game, or Friday. You can also look on BGG in the variants section of your favorite game and chances are there will be a solitaire variant on their cooked up by a community member. Solitaire gaming lets you game more often, on your own schedule, and even when you family wants to watch survivor or something instead of game!

      Happy gaming and feel free to contact me using the link above if you need more advice or game recommendations.

  69. I own and enjoy a few of the games on your list (in particular I am a huge fan of Mage Knight and I enjoy Friday and Death Angel). I have played Glass Road with 4, but I don’t own it and haven’t played solo. Some of my favorites that you didn’t mention are Galaxy Defenders, Agricola, Mound Builders, Onirim, and Sylvion.

    • Ut oh, I totally forgot Galaxy Defenders, that maybe should have been on here hmm. I am looking forward to the new expansions for that, should raise it up a bunch in my book.

  70. Friday! Excellent and definitely the perfect snapshot of a wonderful niche within the niche of our hobby.

    I’ll chime in here to echo the glories of LOTR:TCG. You just can’t get more epic than solo-romping through Middle Earth. Some detest the LCG model, but I for one LOVE IT! I can play at my own pace through the various adventures and have an enormous supply of future scenarios waiting for me to explore. If Friday is on one end of the solo-gaming niche as an inexpensive, simple-yet-challenging game, LOTR:TCG is on the other end as a highly-collectible, rules-heavy monster – but one of my favorite monsters nonetheless.

    • Glad your enjoying it so much Cliff, I will have to dive back in and see if I can get addicted and buy all the packs 😀

  71. Great list! I’ve got and enjoy 6 of these (especially P:ACG, CoPE and SotM) but definitely need to try Sentinels Tactics and Mage Knight. I have been avoiding both of them due to the perceived scope and style.
    FlashPoint never clicked with me, not sure why (though I do have it), but I’m really enjoying Police Precinct 2E.
    Probably the only one not on this list that I get a lot of out solo is Defenders of the Realm.

    • Hey Tony,

      You should get Mage Knight asap. The walkthrough is excellent and it really isn’t as hard as people make it out to seem. You just have to accept the fact you will mess up the rules the first 5-10 plays so treat it like a RPG and don’t worry, just have fun and continue on.

  72. Greg, a few of these are new to me (Glass Road, Friday, and Conquest of the Planet Earth), so I look forward to following up on them. Thank you!

    Have you heard of (or looked into) Shadows of Malice? Came out in 2014 with an expansion due soon in 2015. A solo/co-op with older-style graphics but plays in a manner blending older/modern style. Hard to describe, but check it out (many videos on youtube as well).

    James

    • Hey James you’re welcome!

      I have watched a play-through for Shadows of Malice and it looks interesting game-play wise but kinda ugly. I will give it another look, thanks.

  73. I own Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and Sentinels of the Multiverse, but have not played them solo yet. The game Friday in the mail should be here in a week I have heard good things.

    Currently playing Israeli Independence and Zed Deck. Reading the rules for the Ottoman Sunset after I have mastered that I will start on the rules Dawn of the Zeds 2nd edition.

    • Hey Dino thanks for stopping by.

      There are a lot of VPG games I need to buy it sounds like, thanks for the suggestions :D.

  74. Thank you for posting this top ten list. I’m relatively new to solo board gaming myself. Since my gaming appetite seems to be much larger than my family’s I have had to look for alternative gaming opportunities, and this list fits the bill. Of the games on your list I’ve only played Flashpoint. I played it cooperatively at a game night. I enjoyed it. I think the cooperative games lend themselves to solo gaming real well because you just treat the characters as a team. I have also played Forbidden desert solo as was well and enjoyed it a great deal. Friday looks real interesting to me, might have to try it out.

    Do you know of any war games that work as solo play as well?

    • Hey Wendy,

      Welcome to the wonderful world of solo gaming! As far as war games go, it depends on your the conflicts/topics that you are interested in but my suggestions are:

      WW2: Combat Commander, Conflict of Heroes(with upcoming solo expansion that is about to be released), D-Day at Omaha Beach, Tiger Leader.

      Ancients: Anything from Great Battles of History…Hoplite is a great place to start. Check out my review //www.cardboardcrusader.com/hoplite-review

      Field Commander: Alexander

      WWI: Ottoman Sunset, Glorys End/Where Eagles Fight

      The suggested wisdom I see is to avoid card drive games like For the People when playing solitaire, but that opinion is not unanimous. I find success with some and not with others. My taste tends toward games where you play both sides rather then designed for solitaire, but there’s great ones of both types out there.

  75. Hi Greg,

    You should add Suburbia to your list of solo games. Either a physical copy, or the app 🙂

    Thanks for the contest.

    • Hi Dan,

      I really enjoy the app but I was thinking of this list as only cardboard games. I might do a top 5 or 10 ios games down the line. Thanks for the comment.

  76. I like the Friday and love Death Angel (especially because it is as easy to play cooperatively as it is to play solo, if you don’t have the expansions I recommend them!), and I can’t wait to buy a copy of Mage Knight and try it, but I have to agree with a few people on here.

    Onirim is amazing and I can’t wait to try the new oniverse game, Sylvion. I’ve got the second edition which comes with seven expansions, most of which you can mix and match, and I haven’t decided what combination of them I like best yet. I picked it up and haven’t been able to put it down, I’ll just start playing it whenever I sit down at a table.

    Zombie in my pocket wasn’t too bad either…

    • Hi Andrew
      So would you say the new edition of Onirim is worth getting?
      I have the 1st edition and thinking of “upgrading” as well as getting Sylvion

      • I love the new edition. Like I said above, the expansions add whole new levels to the game and its nice to have them included in the box. The box! I think its worth upgrading for presentation alone! Watch a YouTube video on the unboxing of it if you haven’t already. It seems like a lot of thought went into the box presentation which adds to the beauty of the whole game. And it comes with the little incubus. Definitely look up a video. I would link one but I’m currently on my phone.

  77. Death Angel and Mage Knight would be the crossover on our list. The rest of my list would be Forbidden Desert, Legendary Encounters, Imperial Settlers, Star Realms, At the Gates of Loyang, Flash Point, Lewis and Clark and the best: Robinson Crusoe!

    I have not played Glass Road but you should really try At the Gates of Loyang also by Rosenberg, it is excellent solo!
    Also, where is Robinson Crusoe?? That is definitely my number 1 solo game, or should I say GAMES, as all scenarios play so differently!
    Legendary Encounter is also an excellent solo, where even playing alone can give you the tension of watching an action thriller!
    Imperial Settlers and Lewis and Clark and very thinky and Star Realms has replaced Friday in my “gaming on the go” bag.

    Excellent list still! And if I NEED something from your list, it would definitely be Sentinels of the Multiverse!

    • Hey Wayne,

      Your list is pretty awesome, some games I have to get and some I have but need to play more. Robinson Crusoe might have to hit the table this weekend everyone is scolding me for not having it on the list at all!

  78. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for running such a great resource site for solo gamers. I am still somewhat new to solo gaming and found this to be full of great info!

    Mage Knight, Flash Point, Friday and Space Hulk Death Angel are all in my top 10 also. However, you definitely should consider Robinson Crusoe. Epic storytelling every game and infinite replayability!

    Thanks for running the contest!

    • Hi Brandon,

      Welcome to the wonderful and exciting world of solo gaming. I guarentee you will be impressed by our little sub community, all the cool monthly challenges, and the variants people make that let you play virtually any game by yourself.

      Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the top right and you will get an email whenever I post 😀

  79. I really liked your list and was pleased to see so many solo games on it — although my two favorite games – which happen to be the only two games I own – are Zombicide and Pandemic. Someday I would like to get Sentinals but that’s far down the line. The painting keeps me busy when I have any free time anyhow. 😀

    • Hey Michael,

      There is a lot of solo games on the list because that is all it is haha :D. How much Zombicide do you own? I wonder if everything released for that game is worth over a $1000 bucks. Crazy.

    • You have some of my favorites on here. But Have you tried Marvel Legendary? It’s my favorite solo game. Kind of like Friday on steroids. It’s a fairly standard deck builder with some fun thematic super hero twists.

      Thanks for the contest!

  80. Great list and I agree with most.

    About PACG: My group plays that quite regularly and we zipped through Rise of the Runelords and complained that it was too easy. Skull & Shackles changed that. We are having a great challenge with this one and have had some pretty epic wins. There are so many different ways you have to beat scenarios now. I do have Wrath of the Righteous but have not played it enough to really get a feel for it’s challenge. But I can say that Skull & Shackles is a lot of fun, plus… pirates!

    Thanks for the contest!

    • Hey Chris that is good to hear that they made it more diverse and harder. Hopefully that trend carries over into Wrath of the Righteous as that is the one I plan on picking up next.

  81. As someone who’s been steadily drawn into the board gaming hobby, yet can’t find a consistent group to play with, I’ve become very intrigued with solo gaming. Resources like this really help me get a foothold in this area of the hobby, so thanks for putting forth the effort to make this!

    • Hey Gainer,

      I am glad you found the list helpful that is the whole reason I started this blog to help people understanding how solo gaming is fun and worthwhile and help geeks discover new and awesome games. Be sure to subscribe in the top right and you will get an email whenever I post something new here.

      Thanks and good luck.

  82. Im in love with Mage Knight: The Board Game i also enjoy Friday, Dawn of the Zeds, D-Day Dice and so many other. I would love to try Glass Road and Sentinels someday. Thanks so much for the contest 🙂

  83. A couple favorites of mine that you missed:

    Race for the Galaxy with the Gathering Storm expansion. This expansion does a great job of taking a really interesting and fun game system and converting it to solo play. Lots of variety and a great challenge.

    Rallyman is a recent favorite of mine. It’s a very simple game system, but there is a lot of theme and some very tense choices to make.

    I love seeing Sentinels and Sentinel Tactics on here! Great games with lots of solo fun!

    • Hey Brock,

      How does it feel to be named after a famous Pokemon character? Lol. I see Rallyman challenges pop up a lot on the 1 player guild, got to track that down one of these days. Thanks for the suggestions.

  84. Nice list! I find myself playing Space Hulk: Death Angel quite often. Mage Knight is at the top of my list for games that I’d love to try. Other solo games not on this list that I play quite often are Elder Signs, Shadowrun: Crossfire. I like that you included some mindless games as I often feel a need for such games after a tough day at work. Another great example of one of those is Dungeon Roll. It is both fast and simple.

    • Hey Brett!

      I have been this |-| close to buying Shadowrun: Crossfire but went with Imperial Settlers instead. How is the replayability and do you think they will continue supporting it for a long time?

      Thanks for the comment.

  85. I recently picked up a copy of Field Commander: Rommel. It is more of a war game than the games on your top 10, but it is a great game. I’ve played it several times and find it to be a very challenging experience. I like find the choices between pushing my luck and playing conservatively very interesting.

    Thanks for sharing your choices and more importantly why they are your choices.

    Sean

    • Hey Sean,

      How does Rommel compare to Field Commander: Alexander? I have only played Alexander and really didn’t like it. Thanks for the comment

  86. Couple you missed…

    Pandemic
    Legacy: The Testament of Duke De Crecy (2 solo modes included…amazing game)
    Harbour (LOTS of replay value at a good price point)

    And most of all… not listing Robinson Crusoe is a travesty.

    • Hey Glenn!

      I have Legacy and have been enjoying it 2 with the Fiance a lot, I will have to give the solo mode a look one of these days. I am interested in Harbour as it seems to fit in with other small games like Friday and SHDA. Thanks for the suggestions.

  87. Love the list. Having played only 3 of these solo and agreeing with you wholeheartedly, I’m looking forward to your recommendations. Friday has been on my radar and I think you’ve pushed me to get it.

    Throwing my 2 cents in I really enjoy Zombicide. With simple rules, so many scenarios and so much flexibility to make it easier or harder it is a game I turn to often. I can also play it mindlessly by just recklessly mowing down enemies which sometimes leads to a quick death or I can be tactful and ensure my survival. Mostly I split the line and be reckless with a couple of survivors and then slow it down when they die and play cautious as my survivors dwindle

    • Hey Stu,

      Appreciate your thoughts. How do you feel about the rule everyone made a huge stink about– the one where you shoot your own people if they are in the same space as zombies or however it goes? Didn’t they fix or change that in later editions?

      I would definitely pull the trigger on Friday, it is a neat little game, great for travel and at 13 bucks or thereabouts you can’t beat it.

    • Sounds like fun Ken, I have the new pocket Ogre throwback edition and it is neat but limited on replay value I feel whereas Giant Ogre might have too much haha.

  88. Absolutely great list! I tend to lean towards solitaire war games, so my list includes Ambush, RAF, B-17 and all the DVG “Leader” games I can get my hands on. The “Leader” series delivers what I enjoy the most out of a solo play…tells a great story!

    • Thanks Miguel! Glad to hear you love the leader series so much. I think my first foray into that will be the newly released Tiger Leader. Ambush is becoming one of my grail games as well, maybe I will find it at Goodwill sometime haha :D.

  89. Good list. I haven’t even heard about some of these. In my opinion though, you are missing: Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp and then Hostage Negotiator (although I know it hasn’t been widely released yet). Both of those games are so good!

    • Really really looking for forward to Hostage Negotiator, still waiting for my KS copy. Another great KS solo game is Forge War.

    • Hey Jacob,

      I haven’t played Hostage Negotiator yet as I didn’t KS it and waiting for it to be released as you said. Thanks for the suggestions on Infenction, I will check it out.

  90. Handy list! I, too, was surprised that the LOTR LCG was missing. That alone makes your list unique…

    I think the Pathfinder card game is the next one I’ll have to check out!

    • Hey Ron,

      Good idea, Pathfinder is an excellent game. There are 3 sets out right now, the generic fantasy ones with goblins and ogres in Rise of the Runelords, the pirate one Skulls and Shackles, and the newest Wrath of the Righteous. Keep in mind the packs for the newest set will be released 1 a month over the next couple months.

      Thanks for reading!

  91. Thanks for the list; I’m going to keep this list noted. I liked the reasoning behind the decisions, gives great insight.

    I’d say that Rune Age is worth a shot as well. There is a way to play that deck builder solo and you alreadt have one FFG item listed.

    • Hey Lance,

      Haven’t heard much about Rune Age before, how do you modify it to make it solo. I am also hoping FFG releases a new version of Runebound this year at Gencon :D. Thanks for reading and glad the reasoning gave you some insight.

  92. Thanks for the list, Greg. I’ve never played any of Uwe’s games solo but if I was going to play one it would be Glass Road. I have to agree with some of the others though and say that PACG just didn’t do it for me. I’d rather play Space Hulk or Friday for a solo card game; much more bang for the amount of time.

    • Hey Rocco,

      yeah, I think the strengths of PACG is with the long term character building/deck building between adventures. The individual adventures can be swingy, too easy, and dull at times. Getting a sweet new axe though and carrying it around with you forever is still satisfying though as it always has been in games.

  93. Great list of games. I’ve played most, and the ones I haven’t I definitely want to! It hadn’t occurred to me to try Sentinel Tactics solo… so now that I’ve read about your experience it has me really wanting a copy. That said, I honestly have never quite gotten into Sentinels of the Multiverse solo. It’s just more than I want to keep track of I guess. And PACG is another that I ended up trading away. I get why people like it but I just never got into it. High on my list recently is Eldritch Horror, been loving that game. Also enjoying the solo variant of Forge War. Anyway, thanks for sharing your list and thanks for hosting a contest!

    • Your welcome Brad!

      The great thing about sentinel tactics is you can get started for around $30 without the miniatures and that gives you a whole lot of game. I have found it plays awesome solo.

      Sentinels the card game is definitely too much for some without the app, but maybe since I enjoy accounting in real life I don’t mind it so much. I also can shrug off forgetting about a tiny rule or card effect here and there whereas someone who is more of a perfectionist would HATE that.

  94. These all look good. I like Flashpoint quite a bit as it was a gateway for me to solo gaming. It doesn’t see much play these days, though: not since I graduated to things like Mage Knight and so forth.

    Which brings me to my bandwagon statement. Where is Robinson Crusoe? I am very disappoint. 🙁

    Although, I’m sure my sacrilege is no less severe, as I’ve never tried Friday (which I’m given to understand is a great solo game). I have been curious about Glass Road, but I backed away from Agricola, which felt non-soloey to me. So, I’ve been hesitant to purchase Glass Road to try it. Would you say the differences are significant enough to warrant a closer look?

    • Hey Ulfengaard,

      I would recommend checking Glass Road out even though you didn’t like Agricola. They are not really similar at all. Glass road, solo at least, is for about planning long and short term, resource management, and building an efficient engine. There is not worker placement at all.

      Have a look and hope it works out for you. Be sure to let me know what you think if you try it.

  95. Great list! Never heard about Conquest of planet earth but have to admit it sounds great. Though I really do not agree about pathfinder. You should check out Dawn of the zeds, Infection: humanitys last gasp (on iOs since yesterday) or for a trashy good time: Camp Grizzly 🙂 One of my favourites at the moment. If you like 80s style slasher/horror movies, the game is just pure awesome.
    Flash point is very great as a gateway game in my opinion and it might make my personal top 10 but it would be 10th or 9th probably. Still, can’t argue with Mage Knight and Friday 🙂

    • Hey Gentle,

      Thanks for the suggestions. I am in fact not a fan of 80s slasher/horror movies haha but each to his own. The other two Infection and dawn of zeds are on my radar though. I was thinking about waiting for new Dawn of Zeds 3rd edition that VPG is cooking up.

      Glad you enjoyed the list and be sure to subscribe you will get an email every time we post some new awesome stuff here :D.

  96. Super list. MK would be my number one too.

    Other stuff on my list would be: D-Day on Omaha Beach, Space Alert, Gears of War, and a COIN game or two.

    I’m intrigued to try Hoplite and Glass Road. Off to do some research…..

  97. I agree MK is at #1
    My #2 and #3 would goto arkham horror and d-day on omaha beach though
    Some may prefer eldrich horror but it doesn’t have any of the atmosphere and tenseness delivered by AH
    Also noteworthy is Navajo wars

    • Hey Karan,

      Thanks for the suggestions. I am exicted to try Navajo Wars and D-day at omaha beach once I get a chance to acquire them. Maybe a friendly Santa Grogs will get one for me this year.

  98. Thanks a bunch for your generosity and the contest! Here goes…:D

    Can’t really add much to you list; my solo gaming consists of multihanding Pandemic or Castle Panic…or worse playing competitive games against myself Rahdo style…:P

    • Hey TheOneEared,

      Thanks for stopping by. Nothing wrong with playing competitive games against yourself I do it all the time. I am not much interested in Castle Panic as it seems too light for me even with the expansion. I have tried Dead Panic and it was ok but there are probably better Co-ops out there.

  99. I will concur on Robinson Crusoe, I’ve recently started back up working my way through the missions. I potentially like it more solo than with others as no one has special abilities or personal/hidden goals. I’m also drafting up some rules to make it more friendly for kids (I’ve got a 4 & 2 yo that have played with me).
    There are additional missions on BoardGameGeek that may be of interest to you, there is at least one Lost mission.
    Happy Gaming!

  100. Nice list. I just bought Glass Road last week with the intent of trying the solo version for awhile before teaching my family. Sentinels, Friday, and Flash Point are also great. I can’t believe you don’t have Robinson Crusoe on there though, that’s a favorite of mine!

  101. One game that is solo only that I enjoy is Smoke Jumper. It is a micro style game. I like it for the theme of putting out wildfires since that is something I do in the summer, when I am not doing forestry work. I currently only have 3 games on your list, Mage Knight, Flash point and Pathfinder. I have only played Flash Point so far. I need to play the others. thanks for the contest.

  102. After seeing Friday, I was suprised Onirim didn’t make it in the list. Onirim scratches the same itch as Friday doe s for me but with added variants and options for play. Hope I made the deadline for the contest. ::

  103. Thanks for the list! I noticed Lord of the Rings (LCG) is a good one not on the list…I’d imagine it was in your top 20, then?

  104. Check out what’s happening near the end of 2017. TINY EPIC QUEST will come out from Gamelyn Games. Part of the Tiny Epic line, it promises to duplicate the experience of 8-bit adventure quests like Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. Currently a Kickstarter in process, it is billed as “a 45 min sandbox adventure for 1-4 players w/ limited action selection, grid movement, press-your-luck & Item-Holding Meeples!” Each player gets 3 Meeples to move around a kingdom map constructed of face-up cards, and there are little holes in the crooks of their elbows to stick in special weapons or magic-items. Looks very promising!

  105. I’ve been playing a lot of Hero Realms solo style lately. Also a recent KS game. Nothing too crazy, or difficult, for that matter, but fun nevertheless. The Campaign mode (soloable as well) is due out sometime in the near future.

    If you liked Star Realms at all, give this one a whirl. I like it even better 🙂

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