12 Best Solo Board Games for Single Players

Zack Downes
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This article will help you find the best solo board games for those long winter nights where you are all by yourself with no family or friends to do things with.

Build yourself a fire, get a glass of wine and cuddle up on the couch.

Of course the best solo board games are the ones that are fun, but have engaging game play that doesn’t have you stretching your brain too hard.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of playing brain-burner games all alone. I’d rather play games that make me laugh out loud and enjoy my time!

Whatever mood you’re in, we’ve got some of the cleverest, funniest, most entertaining games that will keep you entertained, and I’m sure you’ll find one or two that you’ve never even heard of before.

Our selection of the best solo board games of 2017 includes some of the most fun games that you can play alone.

NameCategoryProduct
Palm Island DeluxeBest OverallPalm Island Deluxe
Rio Grande Games FridayBudget PickRio Grande Games Friday
Nemo's War 2nd EditionUpgrade PickNemo's War 2nd Edition

1. Palm Island Deluxe

Our rating: 9 / 10

Palm Island Deluxe

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If you’re looking for a single person board game, then look no further than this beautiful board game from Queen Games. If you aren’t familiar with them, Queen Games creates some of the best solo board games for any number of players.

Palm Island is a game in which each player is a hobo who wants to escape the titular island. You’ll start out with a few matchsticks and a few coins, and you’ll be trying to build up your resources as quickly as you can.

2. Onirim

Our rating: 9 / 10

Onirim

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Onirium is a solo or cooperative game that is based on the theme of dreams. This makes sense, given the fact that Onirium was designed by a member of the acclaimed “Crazy Team”, known for their innovative card designs.

You aim in the game is to take the role of a Dreamwalker, a character who has the ability to enter and change other dreams (a bit like Till Lindemann in the movie “Nightwatch”!). During play, you will move through dreams in order to try and collect 8 keys. These keys will allow you to then enter the Temple.

However, the path to the keys is not an easy one, as you will have to overcome the Nightmares on your way. Many of the Nightmares in the game can be overcome simply by discarding a card, You will also have to overcome Dreamers. These cannot be overcome by discarding cards, but they can be defeated by using more creative methods.

3. After The Virus Strategy Board Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

After The Virus Strategy Board Game

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Pros:

  • Good strategy for recruiting
  • Challenges timing skills
  • Leverage the timer to your advantage
  • Immersive storyline
  • Your strategy is what matters
  • One of the best solo board games
  • Works with humans or artificial intelligence
  • Detailed alert system for easy comprehension

Cons:

  • Weak AI
  • There is no one else to blame

After the Virus is an immersive experience that will take you on a journey to fight a deadly virus. After the Virus is a solo board game that consists of managing someone or something else and the management part is only handled by yourself. The game has around 400 cards and 80 tokens. This game is an orbital strategy with a timer, a deck-building card game with resource management and a balanced economic mechanic.

In this single player board game, you will be putting your mind to work. It requires a lot of strategy skills and timing. The graphics are a bit simple and you will play for hours on end without any boredom as the game packs a lot in.

4. Arkham Horror

Our rating: 8 / 10

Arkham Horror

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Arkham Horror is a card game that can be played by as many as one to eight players. It is a semi-cooperative game, which means that your ultimate goal is to stop the game from ending. This is done by either stopping the Ancient One from manifesting or by defeating it in combat.

The aim is to collaborate with other players against the Ancient One. As you progress through the game, the Ancient One will try to take over the world while you are trying to defeat it. However, any player who loses sanity is beaten and all the players must continue to fight, lest the world be plunged into chaos and destruction.

This game contains 280 interlocking cards, including 10 gate cards and 11 investigator cards. It also has more than 90 tokens, about a dozen markers, four dice, a turn order and rule sheet.

5. Rio Grande Games Friday

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rio Grande Games Friday

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Pros:

  • Easy to play
  • Quick gameplay
  • Chance to collect points
  • Things change with each game

Cons:

  • Not a strategy-based game
  • Stray from the path unless there are much more players
  • Not a long game

Friday is a card game designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Rio Grande Games. It was first published in 2010, but a second edition was published in 2016. Friday is a light card game of set collection designed to be played by two or more players in about a half hour.

In order to play the game, you’ll need to know how to play a number of different games. Each card in the proper shows the scene of a different game. The object of the game is to collect piles of points.

6. Shefi

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shefi

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7. Hostage Negotiator: N/A

Our rating: 7 / 10

Hostage Negotiator: N/A

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Pros:

  • Has a solo mode
  • Unique story and gameplay
  • Not your typical hidden movement game
  • Very challenging and fun to play

Cons:

  • The number of roles makes this game more difficult
  • The game length is a little short

If you are a single person who likes board games and want to play a game that will make you use all of your skills and knowledge, then Hostage Negotiator is a game that you may want to look into.

The goal of the game is to be the first player to be the Hostage Negotiator. To do so you’ll need to traverse the nuclear facility trying to stop the hostage taker from destroying the world.

The next thing that you’ll want to do is to make sure that the hostages are safe. You’re not alone in this game though; there are players who are also trying to be the first to be the Hostage Negotiator. You’ll have to use your skill, knowledge, and intuition to make it as the first player to enter the room and interact with the bomb. You’ll be successful if you can do this just before the hostage taker detonates the bomb.

8. Nemo's War 2nd Edition

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nemo's War 2nd Edition

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Battle for the Abyss

This Second Edition of Nemo's War is an excellent game to play on your own. We would also not hesitate to play this game to any other number of players. The game is a struggle to gain the most Victory Points by the end of the game.

The game is played in rounds. For each round, you have actions. The action board can allow you to move your ships, engage the enemy, repair and resupply your ships.

9. Side Room Games Maquis Board Game

Our rating: 6 / 10

Side Room Games Maquis Board Game

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The basic premise of the game is that your character has been sent to infiltrate a secret Maquis (French Resistance) organization. Your goal is to eliminate all of the Maquis spies in the town (everyone else in the game.) You have to identify people's roles through questioning, by testing the strength of their guns, or by performing more drastic actions like searching their rooms or blackmailing them. When someone is killed, the rest of the players vote on who did it.

10. Coffee Roaster

Our rating: 6 / 10

Coffee Roaster

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A lot of board games just don’t work well when you only have one player. They drag on, they lack challenge, they’re just not fun. But Coffee Roaster has that great mix of accessibility and deep strategy that’s perfect for when you’re hanging out on a Friday night.

Coffee Roaster is so quick and easy to learn, that your first game will probably tell you more about the game than the rules will. It’s a simple game that has all the depth of a full-sized strategy game.

The mechanics are pretty simple. Each player has a little cart that holds their beans. You’re trying to have your cart fill up with the most beans, with the first player to 10 points being the winner. Each turn, you can either draw coffee or brew coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What board games can you play by yourself?

The most well-known and popular are chess, checkers, Scrabble, and Chinese checkers. But there are other games, depending on your preferences. Here are 12 different games you can enjoy playing by yourself.

Is nemesis good solo?

How about multiplayer?

Nemesis is a very good solo game. I enjoy it, and there's a great metagame that happens with the nemesis system. It's a lot of fun.

Multiplayer can be too easy or too hard depending on the person learning it…

Can you play tabletop simulator by yourself?

Many people got into tabletop simulator for the single player components. One of the appealing aspects of this program is that you can have an entire game to yourself. If you are by yourself or just a lone enthusiast, the following games are the best for you.

For the team sports lovers, board game programs exist for you as well. If you want to play something like basketball, football, or baseball, you can play it on a PC. However, these games won’t play out the way you expect. You will be the entire team as well as the manager. You will have to make all of the decisions. If you want to do that though you might as well play Madden or FIFA. So, if you are a sports only person, these other games might be for you.

Can you play Arkham Horror alone?

Yes. But similar to games like Twilight Imperium or Mansions of Madness, some situations will leave you as the only investigator combating an Ancient One, potentially dying a horrible and lonely death. In case of defeat you’ll to have to reshuffle your investigator and do it all alone again.

Conclusion

Playing solo games is a great way to rest your mind from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. Playing a game of solitaire on your iPad over lunch will give you a mental break that leaves you feeling rejuvenated. The best part is that there are many board solo games available in app stores.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Palm Island DeluxeBest OverallPalm Island Deluxe
Rio Grande Games FridayBudget PickRio Grande Games Friday
Nemo's War 2nd EditionUpgrade PickNemo's War 2nd Edition