We often think of board games as a way to spend time with friends and family while having some tabletop fun. But finding time to rally a group of adults with conflicting schedules can be tough. Luckily, more and more board games are being designed with solo play in mind. From cooperative board games that scale down well to one player to board games designed exclusively to be played solo, it's official: it's no longer weird to play a board game by yourself. So grab your favorite drink, turn on a podcast or playlist, and crack open one of these great single-player games.
TL;DR: The Best Solo Board Games
- Dune: Imperium
- Gloomhaven | Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
- Mage Knight
- Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
- Under Falling Skies
- Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
- Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'n Write
- Arkham Horror: The Card Game
- Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
- Terraforming Mars
- Spirit Island
Despite it being one of the best strategy games of recent years, you might be surprised to find Dune: Imperium on this list since really it needs three or four players to shine. However, the need to also cater for two-player board games led the designer to include an automated opponent, House Hagal. Despite this being a fairly interactive game, House Hagal is simple to administer yet still manages to block out board space, steal resources and send in troops to contest territory, just like a real player. Solitaire you face two of them, with varying difficulty levels, which feels a lot more satisfying than just playing for a high score, as well as letting you experience this excellent game without roping in your friends. Read our Dune: Imperium review for more info.
Perhaps the largest and most involved game on this list, Gloomhaven is ideal for those pining for a grand fantasy adventure on the tabletop. In this legacy-style undertaking, you’ll guide an adventurer across a sprawling fantasy world teeming with dungeons and monsters. Card-driven tactical combat is at the heart of Gloomhaven, and each turn you’ll have to carefully consider what to play from your hand. The fact that you can lose cards permanently gives each decision significant weight, and the persistent world makes your experience vastly different from others’. Gloomhaven is a vast yet personal game that is just begging to be explored over several sessions. If the scale and price are too much for you to play alone, consider the cut-down but still excellent prequel Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. You can check out our Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion review for details on that standalone game
Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
In the years since its 2011 release, Mage Knight has become synonymous with solo gaming. A sprawling fantasy epic from famed designer Vlaada Chvátil, Mage Knight was designed for 1-4 players, but it shines particularly well as a solitary experience. It’s a great choice when you’re in the mood for fighting monsters, upgrading your character, and exploring a fantasy setting. Make sure to set aside a large chunk of time, though, because games can last upwards of three hours, and each turn presents you with a puzzle-like series of actions that require a great deal of optimization.
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
Step into the shoes of literature’s greatest detective in this board game equivalent of a mystery novel. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective includes a number of scenarios and fun props that really sell the experience. There’s a map of London, an address directory and a newspaper, each offering clues to hunt down and suspects to interview. Be warned, however, that this game does not hold your hand; each adventure presents a small amount of setup and exposition, and then sends you out into the city without much direction, leaving you to decide what locations to visit and who to accuse. This game gives you the chance to live up to Holmes’ reputation, which is a tall order given how though the mysteries can be.
Under Falling Skies
While solo options are fairly standard on most games nowadays, they can’t quite match those rare titles that venture to be solo only, such as Under Falling Skies. It’s a riff on Space Invaders as alien ships descent ever closer to the base you’re trying to protect. Under the pressure of their advance, you’ll have to balance a limited pool of dice between shooting them down, building your base and researching a final end to the alien menace. But there’s a beautiful catch: the higher the dice you use, the better the effect and the faster the alien above descends. With a variety of scenarios that can be recombined into a campaign, this is a simple concept that will keep you gaming for a very long time.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island casts players as shipwreck survivors on an island that is actively trying to kill them. There are several different characters to play as, each with various strengths and weaknesses. You will find yourself scavenging for food, building and upgrading shelters, and exploring perilous locations on the island. The game includes rules for a solo variant, but the general consensus is that it’s easier for a single player to simply take on the role of more than one character. There is a lot going on in Robinson Crusoe and the ample iconography can be a bit overwhelming, but those that stick it out will find a rewarding adventure that begs for return trips.
Dinosaur Island: Rawr N’ Write
Roll and write games, like co-op games, often make very good solo fare because even multiplayer you’re all competing to make the best use of the same set of dice. Most, however, are too fast and simple for a compelling solitaire experience. Dinosaur Island: Rawr N’ Write is longer and more complex than its peers, but it pays off in a deeper, more satisfying game. Your dice rolls generate a wide variety of resources that you’ll need to balance carefully to build and run your Jurassic World style theme park. You even draw out the buildings on a grid and run tours through it but beware: if your security isn’t up to scratch, you may end up with fewer tourists than you started with. For more info, check out our Dinosaur Island: Rawr 'n Write review.
Arkham Horror: the Card Game
Though the prospect of facing down an eldritch horror on your own may sound daunting, Arkham Horror: The Card Game a tense and brilliant solo experience. The base game comes with a small handful of scenarios that send you directly into the jaws of cosmic mystery. You can use the suggested starter decks, or build a custom one centered around your chosen investigator’s special abilities. Gameplay sees you hopping from location to location to search for clues in order to advance the story while attempting to impede the deadly Mythos deck. Your investigator will inevitably take damage and acquire weaknesses over time that can affect future games in the campaign, making Arkham Horror: The Card Game one of the most thematic games on this list.
While Cascadia is one of the very best family board games, at first glance it doesn’t seem to offer much to a lone player. Sure the wildlife theme is appealing. And the simple yet addictive gameplay, where you choose pairs of random terrain tiles and animal tokens to add to your nature reserve to satisfy a range of scoring patterns, is fun enough. But what elevates it as a solitaire game is the list of achievements in the back of the rulebook. These task you to approach the game with different setups and rule tweaks, trying to reach particular score thresholds. Easy at first, the difficulty soon ramps up, giving you lots of varied challenges that are supremely satisfying to tick off, one by one.
Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
A roll-and-write where the dice are replaced by cards, Cartographers casts you as a royal surveyor seeking to map unexplored land in the name of your queen. Each turn, you’ll flip over a card that depicts both a terrain type and a Tetris-esque shape. You have to draw that shape and its terrain onto your grid map in a way that meets the random scoring conditions. The 16 possible goals include building a large contiguous village, completely filling out rows and columns of your grid, and drawing forest spaces on the edge of the map. Beware, though, because you may get ambushed by monsters at any time, and be forced to draw an inconvenient shape onto the map, forcing you to improvise in the future.
- Also at Target
In this heavy Euro-style game, you’ll help make the Martian surface hospitable to human life by increasing the oxygen levels in the atmosphere, raising the temperature from below freezing, and by building man-made oceans to sustain life. This is done through a combination of resource management and tableau building. You’ll take on the role of a mega corporation looking to profit off of humanity’s foray onto the red planet. add In the solo game, you’ll race against the clock to maximize each of the three end game parameters. Every turn, you play new cards from your hand, meaning your list of available actions will grow until you’ve assembled a sprawling tableau of action cards that can combo off of each other. It’s a very crunchy game experience, which is perfect for those who appreciate a good optimization puzzle. There are also a number of expansion scenarios available, making Terraforming Mars one of the best solo experiences available.
By their nature, cooperative games make for great solo experiences. Because of the players-versus-the-board structure, co-ops easily allow one person to control two or more players. One of the best co-op games in recent years is Spirit Island, a game about protecting your land from waves of vicious colonizers. You control island spirits, each with their own deck of power cards that help destroy settlements and repair land that’s been ravaged by agriculture. The strong theme and combo-heavy card play combine into one of the most robust cooperative experiences we’ve played. It just so happens to make an ideal solo game as well.
This novel puzzle game has a seemingly impossible premise of recreating the high-stress environment of a bullet hell shooter on the tabletop with the aid of a timer to add pressure. You draw bullets at random from a bag onto an ever-filling grid, trying to manipulate placement rules and your character’s special abilities to match pattern cards in your hand. You can then remove those bullets and hand them to the player next to you to escalate the tension. You might imagine that the solo game would feel weak without that, but a clever rules tweak keeps piling the pressure on as the timer ticks down, leaving you to build bigger and bigger combos as you try to keep up. You can play for a high score or try to defeat a variety of nasty bosses, just like an actual video game.
The 7th Continent: Adventure across a mysterious land to cure your curse. Mage Knight: Crunchy combat in a fantasy epic that's best enjoyed solo. Terraforming Mars: Turn the Red Planet into a vibrant civilisation.Is there a solo board game? ›
These are the best single player board games and card games:
The 7th Continent. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. Spirit Island. Mage Knight.
Family Board Games
- Uno. All you need to play this fun family game is the Uno card deck. ...
- Cranium. ...
- Dominoes. ...
- Chutes and Ladders. ...
- Carcassonne. ...
- Traffic Jam. ...
- Trouble. ...
- Ticket to Ride.
Top 10 Best Offline Android Games – Updated October 2022.
|Game||Download Cost||In-app cost (per item)|
|I Love Hue Too||Free||$4.99|
|The Way Home||Free||$6.99|
|TAP! DIG! MY MUSEUM!||Free||$0.99 – $11.99|
- Action/Shooter: Into the Dead 2. PikPokGames. ...
- Runner: Alto's Odyssey. Alto's Adventure. ...
- Chess: Really Bad Chess. Noodlecake. ...
- Puzzle: Mazes & More. ...
- Platform: Once Upon a Tower. ...
- Arcade: Jungle Marble Blast. ...
- Brainy: Quizoid. ...
- Action: Tank Hero: Laser Wars.
Yes, tennis and badminton can be games for kids to play alone! They can volley tennis balls off a wall, bounce them on the ground with the racket, or bounce balls and birdies up from a racquet held horizontally.
Solitaire. Solitaire is the most obvious one-player game, but it is still a really good one for kids to learn. Once they know how to play, all it takes is a deck of cards.What is the longest board game in the world? ›
- 6/14 Twilight Imperium – 8 Hours.
- 5/14 Europe Engulfed: WW2 European Theatre Block Game – 12 Hours.
- 4/14 Pandemic Legacy - 12-24 Hours.
- 3/14 Gloomhaven - 90 Hours.
- 2/14 World In Flames - 100 Hours.
- 1/14 The Campaign For North Africa – 1500 Hours.
- 10/10 Kerplunk.
- 9/10 Geistes Blitz.
- 8/10 One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
- 7/10 Chess.
- 6/10 Life On The Farm.
- 5/10 Nyctophobia.
- 4/10 Throw Throw Burrito.
- 3/10 Shadows In The Forest.
Yes Gloomhaven, is fun solo. You take control of 2 characters yourself and can play as you would with 2 people. Sometimes when you can't get a group together playing solo can be just as fun.What is the number one best selling board game? ›
- Chess. First, let's start with the number one selling board game of all time, Chess. ...
- Checkers. Next, on our list of the most top-selling board games is checkers. ...
- Backgammon. ...
- Monopoly. ...
- Scrabble. ...
- Clue. ...
- Trivial Pursuit. ...
Making Monopoly: A History of the Origins of America's Favorite Board Game — Google Arts & Culture.What is the hardest board game in the world? ›
One of the most famously difficult games in the world to master is chess. There's much debate about how old chess is and where it came from, but one thing's for sure: The objective is to checkmate the opposition king, while keeping your own monarch safe.Which is the best individual game? ›
- God of War. ...
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla. ...
- Super Mario Odyssey. ...
- Elden Ring. ...
- Red Dead Redemption 2. ...
- Horizon Forbidden West. (Image credit: Sony) ...
- The Last Of Us 2. (Image credit: Sony) ...
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)
- Bloons TD 6.
- Crossy Road.
- Dead Cells.
- Traffic Rider.
- Nobleman: 1896.
- Dead Rain 2: Tree Virus.
- World of Steel: Tank Force.
- Blazing Sniper - Offline Shooting Game.
- PUBG. There is a huge fan following of PUBG in the world. ...
- Minecraft. ...
- Apex Legends. ...
- Fortnite. ...
- Call of Duty Mobile. ...
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. ...
- League of Legends (LOL)
The second most popular game in the world, Catan, is a game you can't just play once.What are some fun games without Internet? ›
- Super Cat Tales 2. Playscore – 8.58. ...
- The Walking Dead: Season one. Playscore – 8.59. ...
- Smash Hit. Playscore –8.60 (100M downloads) ...
- Burrito Bison: launcha libre. Playscore – 8.60 (10M+ downloads) ...
- Alto's Odyssey. ...
- Time surfer (1M+ downloads) ...
- Tape Titans 2. ...
- Blades of Brim.
- Trial Xtreme 4 (Free, In-app products)
- Hill Climb Racing (Free, In-app products)
- Traffic Rider (Free, In-app Products)
- CSR Racing 2 (Free, In-app Products)
- Asphalt Nitro (Free, In-app Products)
- Asphalt 8 (Free, In-app Products)
- Alto's Odyssey.
- Noblemen: 1896.
Loneliness is a simple top-down exploration game where the only available input is movement. Explore a flat landscape populated by other squares that engage in various social behaviors represented metaphorically through patterns of their own simple movement. Loneliness was originally released as a Flash game in 2010.How can I have fun alone? ›
- Learn a new skill. Learning something new might seem daunting at first, but you never know where it might lead. ...
- Clean the house. ...
- Head out for a long walk. ...
- Learn a new language. ...
- Create a bucket list. ...
- Meditate. ...
- Write a song. ...
- Visit a local museum.
1. A game played without connecting to the Internet.What is a single game? ›
A single-player video game is a video game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session.Why single-player games are better? ›
Because the games are designed to give you, the one and only player, the best experience. From the progression through the story, to your impact on the world, to the game play, everything is built around your experience. With a multi-player game, everything has to be balanced around everyone.What is the longest game to 100% complete? ›
- Baldur's Gate 2 Has An 88 Hour Average Completion Time. ...
- Final Fantasy 12 Averages 92.5 Hours To Complete. ...
- Completing Assassin's Creed Valhalla Takes Over 90 Hours. ...
- 96 Hours May Be Needed To Become Elden Lord In Elden Ring.
I read the longest monopoly game ever played was 1680 hours, 70 days. The longest monopoly game in a bathtub was 99 hours long.What is the creepiest board game? ›
- 8/10 Betrayal At House On The Hill.
- 7/10 One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
- 6/10 Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
- 5/10 13 Dead End Drive.
- 4/10 Fury Of Dracula.
- 3/10 The Bloody Inn.
- 2/10 Mansions Of Madness Second Edition.
- 1/10 Nyctophobia.
- 8/15 Terraria.
- 7/15 NBA 2K22.
- 6/15 Elite Dangerous.
- 5/15 No Man's Sky.
- 4/15 Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord.
- 3/15 Marvel's Avengers.
- 2/15 Old School RuneScape.
- 1/15 Stardew Valley.
The campaign book has 95 scenarios, but to finish the game, while playing a decent amount of side quests, most groups end up playing approximately 65 scenarios. This means that to finish a standard length campaign of Gloomhaven it will take, on average, between 113 hours and 184 hours.
There's definitely an i in Inox. A new downloadable expansion for Gloomhaven Digital will enable players to experience the game alone. Solo Scenarios – Mercenary Challenges is an upcoming piece of downloadable content for Gloomhaven Digital that will allow players to explore dungeons with a single character.Is Gloomhaven like D&D? ›
Gloomhaven is a tactical board game inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. In this sense, it is a lot like a streamlined and specialized Dungeons and Dragons. However, there isn't a DM, so the narrative is limited to choices of how to act when a given card is drawn.Which board game is the most popular? ›
Chess was first played around the sixth century A.D. and is to this day the top-selling board game of all time.What is the most downloaded game of 2022? ›
- Subway Surfers ~82 million downloads.
- Garena Free Fire ~75 million downloads.
- Stumble Guys ~46 million downloads.
- Bridge Race ~45 million downloads.
- Ludo King ~44 million downloads.
- Roblox ~41 million downloads.
- Tall Man Run ~39 million downloads.
- Race Master 3D ~37 million downloads.
The oldest game on the list – Monopoly (1935) – is also the best-selling board game of all time, with over 275 million units bought since its inception.What is the #1 game? ›
|4.||The Sims 4||Electronic Arts|
The second most popular game in the world, Catan, is a game you can't just play once.Which board game is hardest? ›
1. Go. Dating back to the Zhou dynasty, Go is an ancient two-player abstract strategy board game from China. When a game surpasses its 2,500th birthday – and was once considered an essential skill by Chinese scholars – you expect it to be challenging.What game is trending right now? ›
Minecraft. Fortnite. Grand Theft Auto V. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege.What's the most played game right now? ›
- Fall Guys.
- League of Legends.
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
- Lost Ark.
Within 24 hours of the launch of the game, Battlegrounds Mobile India has become the top-grossing game surpassing the Garena Free Fire. Currently, the game has more than 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store. However, there is no word on the launch of the game for iOS users.What is the biggest board game ever? ›
The Campaign for North Africa has been called the longest board game ever produced, with estimates that a full game would take 1,500 hours to complete.What is the #1 best selling game of all time? ›
1. Tetris – 520 million. Arguably the most timeless video game ever created, Tetris sits comfortably atop the list of all-time bestsellers with 520 million copies sold, according to The Tetris Company.