I personally love getting together with people and playing board/card games. Whether it is diehard gamers who want to break out deep strategy games or just friends drinking and enjoying a party game.
All that said, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to sit at the table in your pajamas and play a game. Or, if you’re like me, you have work and a family that sometimes prevents group gaming. But that is where solo board and card games come into play!
This list is a mixture of games that I have personally played and that have been positively reviewed by others. I hope you find something to add to your collection!
Onirim can be played solitaire or with a second player. Either way you must navigate a labyrinth inside your mind in order to escape your dreams; or are they nightmares?
I wanted to list this one first because it often gets very positive reviews and is one of the more common answers to the question what is the best solo card game?.
One of our reviewers, though, had a less than positive opinion of the game. That is not to say you would not enjoy–just as so many others have–but also strongly consider some of the other games on this list.
Friedman Friese’s well-received solo card game puts you in the role of Friday, a friend of Robinson Crusoe who now needs help to survive after landing on an island.
Both your abilities and the dangers you must overcome are each represented by a different deck. During the course of the game you are striving to craft an optimal deck capable of defeating the pirates at the end of the game. The game eventually becomes a balance of deciding which hazards to overcome and which to not; not doing so allows you to remove cards from your deck at the expense of life tokens.
Overall, Friday is well-executed and enjoyably thematic; moreover, it is challenging enough to keep many people enjoyed over multiple playthroughs.
Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
This is one of my favorite games to play solo, though as the name suggests, it is designed to be played with others. However, the single player variant is quite challenging–you will lose more than you win!–and keeps me rather entertained whether playing the physical version or through the app.
You assume the role of Harry Dresden, resident Chicago wizard, and two of his allies (if you’re playing the solo variant). In the base game you will have 5 player decks (Harry and four allies) and 5 book decks, which represent the scenario you must overcome. Additionally, there is a Side Jobs deck, which contains 30 cards; 12 of these cards can then be selected randomly to create a scenario.
Overall, the base game offers lots of opportunity for replayability and getting your butt kicked.
No, really! The game is difficult enough that many people recommend adding a card to each character’s hand when playing by the solo rules.
If you’re a fan of the Harry Dresden books, then you should pick this game up. And even if you are not, I think it’s still quite an enjoyable solitaire game; albeit one that you may end up losing more than you win.
Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Revolt
You are a medieval artisan in the Middle Ages (not be confused with being a middle-aged artisan, which you may be as well) who must leverage her/his production pipeline in order to maximize profits. As a hand management game, you are constantly looking for ways to leverage your cards in order to produce victory points.
The expansion expands the original game; most importantly for this list is that the expansion adds a single player variant to the already popular game.
7th Continent was listed as one of the best games of 2017 earlier this year on this site. And I am not one to disagree with that assessment.
7th Continent is reminiscent of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books that were popular in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. You choose whether to play solo or include up to 3 other friends on the quest to rid yourself of a deadly curse.
Unlike all other games on this list, 7th Continent has the potential to last hundreds of hours, requiring multiple game sessions. Luckily, the game offers a convenient way for resuming games that doesn’t require leaving everything in place (cue memories of Risk or Monopoly boards being overturned).
Pick up your copy from Kickstarter.
Imagine you are a brilliant scientist working with team of other brilliant scientists trying to discover transdimensional travel. And then imagine that you succeed–Yes!–and then realize you are allowing monsters to enter your world.
Multiversum focuses on your new mission: stop the monsters and close the portals that are allowing them to enter.
To achieve your objective you must use your cards to perform a variety of actions: do research, move between modules, and prepare the tools needed to close the portals.
If you want a solo variant review, I suggest you check out BoardGameGeek user neotrunks002’s review.
Flip City is a micro-deckbuilding strategy game where you build cities using cards you draw from your deck.
Get it? Cards off the top (Flip) allows you build cities (City).
One common complaint is that the game can become repetitive after a few playthroughs. While this may be true, the relative low cost of the game–typically under $15–overcomes this potential concern for me. Each game usually lasts 30-60 minutes, so that’s plenty of light-hearted enjoyment for a small financial investment. And, it’s a fun game that can be easily taught to new game players.
And unlike some games where the solo variant feels added on as an afterthought, Flip City pulls through with a quality solitaire puzzle-like approach that will satisfy most players.
In Lost Expedition you lead a rescue mission to find Percy Fawcett, a famous explorer who went missing while looking for El Dorado. You’ll encounter poisonous frogs, natives, and leeches, rapids, swamps, and more.
The game is not entirely a puzzle; that is, there is still quite a bit of luck involved. Two of the biggest draws of the game are the artwork and easy-to-learn gameplay. As a solitaire game, though, it ultimately loses it appeal after several plays. That said, you can expand it’s utility by also trying the cooperative and competitive variants.
Want a more visual description of the game? Then check out Dice Tower’s review from last year:
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Sentinels of the Multiverse places you in a world filled with super heroes, robots, and many other futuristic and fantastic elements.
Like Dresden Files Sentinels of the Multiverse is designed to be a multiplayer game, but it functions just as well as a single player game. Whereas Dresden Files includes a single player variant, playing Sentinels solo requires you to just play each deck as though there were multiple people playing.
The game consists of character decks–each controlled by a different person unless playing solitaire–, an enemy deck, and an environment deck. All of the decks are unique and the combination selected for a game will greatly impact the likelihood of winning. The more you play, the more you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of each character/enemy deck, which will help you understand which combinations can lead to domination, close calls, or futility.
I wholeheartedly enjoy playing Sentinels with friends, but there is also something to be said for being fully in control of the situation and planning out each game like a puzzle. In this sense, playing with friends just adds extra layers of randomness to the puzzle.
I suggest just getting the base game, which includes enough character decks, enemy decks, and environment decks to provide tons of replayability. And then if you enjoy it as much as I do, you will want to start buying expansions.