Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Solo boardames: What's hot....

As I spend lots of time playing boardgames lately, I decided to return to the blog with a series of posts about the boardgames that I play a lot, and these that just didn't click for me.

In this first post, I would like to mention some solo boardgames that I really play a lot recently, starting from the bottom and moving up.

No.7. Terraforming Mars
For some, it may come as surprise that this game is on the bottom of the list. 
The main reason this game is so low is the fact that I can not see it different than re-themed Imperial Settlers, and the settlers theme is much more appealing to me. Still it is a good game that I like to crack every once in a while. The game in my collection is a Polish edition.

No.6.  Field Commander Napoleon
Here is one really good game I am sorry I'm unable to play more.  It requires both strategy and tactics and puts itself somewhere between boardgame and wargame. The only problem with this game is that it lasts too long, and that it requires several days of real time gaming to finish a scenario. This is the game that asks to be left over night on the table, and with small kids in the house and limited space it is simply impossible. I will play this game a lot more when I get to retirement, in some 30 years...

No.5. Friday

Friday: A Solo Adventure is one of the most difficult solo games ever created. It is a deck builder that will never allow you to build a perfect hand of cards. The terrible, unforgiving game.... that can give its player a huge amount of fun. 

No.4. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Positioned between Chose your adventure gamebook and a boardgame, Sherlock Holmes offers a real challenge for wits and imagination of a player. The only negative side of this book is that once you solve all the cases, you can not play it again. So when you decide to buy this game, it is recommended to do it as a group purchase with several friends.

No.3. Uwe Rosenberg
It felt hard to select one of his games, so I went for the complete works of the author here, especially that each of his games use similar elements. Someone will like more Agricola, other Caverna, Feast for Odin or Loyang, but the truth is, they are all good and a pleasure to play. Euro games at its finest.

No.2. Imperial Settlers
Imperial Settlers is the only game from mentioned that I enjoy playing both solo and competitive. For solo play, it is good to download official campaign mode from publisher's page. Quick, challenging, exciting and cute engine builder.

No.1. Onirim
A game that consists of 4 types of cards and almost no theme whatsoever? This can not be good, right? Wroooong! If I need to get an adrenaline rush in 15 minutes I go for Onirim. It is the most exciting and atmospheric game I have ever played. I have the first German edition with 3 expansions, but the best games I had were played with only base game and Towers expansion. Onirim is difficult card game, unforgiving to mistakes. But if you do everything right, you will be involved into tense end game where every card can make a difference between victory and defeat. If I would need to take one game to desolate island with me, it would be Onirim.

In the next post: some solo games I had that I felt disappointed by.


  1. interesting list. I am sure you have mentioned Onirim before as a fantastic solo game. i have taken note of the top few to look at in a few years. I have some games already that i have that are good solo (Tiny Epic Galaxies and Dungeon Roll are the ones i have that immediately come to mind) but have not played enough to know if they last more than a few playing or not. I need to play them more before buying more games! I also have had Field Commander: Alexander unopened for several years that I hope to play this year.

    1. I have Tiny Epic Defenders that is cooperative game that can be played solo and is rather fun, but not top of my list. I start to feel less and less about rolling dice, so I sold my copy of Dungeon Roll. I am more into eurogames these days.

    2. I am not a big fan of eurogames - don't mind them but don't love them (which some exceptions). But my children are now 8 and 10 and enjoy board and card games so I can see a lot of eurogame-type games in my future, and With players on hand it does mean I am likely to be less keen on solo games.

    3. Stay tuned, as 2 blog posts after this I will drop a list of great things to play with kids :)

  2. Some games will have to step aside, since from this week Castles of Mad King Ludwig jumped into 4th place. I played this game for the first time two days ago, and I have to admit that it is very good.

  3. Less than a year from this post, I am surprised how things changed. First 3 games in my collection now are Spirit Island, CO2 and Baseball Highlights 2045, with Patchwork solo heading for close 4th place....

    1. You are officially a gamer butterfly! Still on my list of things to do isto investigate further some of the games on you list in the post.