For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, something must be pretty clear by now: I have way too many hobbies. As such I always have too little time on my hands, but I am also never having the problem of being bored. I used to be a very fanatic online gamer, but those days are pretty much behind me now. These days I am back into one of my older hobbies: playing solo boardgames. When I tell people that I play boardgames by myself, I usually get asked the questions: How does that work, and is that any fun? Let me start by answering the last question first. Yes it can be a lot of fun. It really isn’t all that different from playing a computergame on your own. These days, a lot more fantasy and scifi boardgames are coming out, that have solorules included. There are even games being released that have been designed for only a single player.
As for the first question, how does it work? Well, there really is not an easy answer to that question. With so many games on the market these days, every game works differently, though some have overlapping features. Starting below, I have made a personal top five (okay, six) of Boardgames that I really enjoy playing by myself. This list is by no means complete, and it just contains some of my favorite games, but there are a lot more games out there that I enjoy playing solo as well.
1. Legendary Encounters
There are currently three Legendary Encounters sets out, Aliens, Predator and Firefly. Being based on a few of my favorite franchises definitely is a plus for me. Basically what you do in these games is play through a movie (or in the case of Firefly an episode), where you try and complete a number of objectives. You start with a deck of weak cards, and as the game progresses you acquire more powerful ones. Hence the name deckbuilding game. With these cards you try to beat the enemies the game throws at you, as well as complete the missions. Being an enormous Predator and Alien fan, I absolutely love these games.
2. Fighting Fantasy gamebooks
Though technically I guess you could say it is not a boardgame, it is a game that uses dice. The best way to describe these books, is a novel in which you are the hero. Every gamebook contains a story that presents you with a choice you have to make at certain points. For example, will you head off in the dark tunnel to the right, or take a safer path through the forest? These books are a lot of fun, and if you love reading this is definitely something you might want to check out.
Xenoshyft is another deckbuilding game, but a really tough one. You take command of a group of heavily armed soldiers that are trying to protect a mining corporation from bloodthirsty aliens. The artwork in this game is absolutely spectacular, and it also presents a really tough challenge. You have to plan very carefully and protect your base at all cost. If you lose your base, you lose the game. With the aliens growing in power every round, the game also get’s more difficult by the minute. Even though I have lost a fair amount of games with this one, I still love playing it.
4. Star Trek Expeditions
One of my favorite franchises combined with a boardgame, nothing get’s better than that. In Star Trek Expeditions you take on the roles of Captain Kirk and his crew, as they try and overcome challenges on a planet that is considering to join the Federation. This game has all the things you expect to find in a Star Trek television episode: starship combat, political intrique, espionage and some very interesting missions. The only downside of this game is the lack of expansions, something that this game would definitely benefit from. Still, it is a lot of fun to play, and with some very cool miniatures included, this game looks the part as well.
5. Fortune and Glory
Having recently done a review on this game (you can find it here ), this game has turned into one of my alltime favorites. It comes as close to starring in your own Indiana Jones movie as you can get. You are an adventurer racing around the world to recover ancient artifacts. In your journey you will encounter a lot of things, from ancient temple traps, to vile people who are trying to stop at nothing to prevent you from reaching your goals. This game oozes atmosphere, and is a blast to play.
6. Elder Sign
The last game on my list, Elder Sign is a dice/cardgame based on the Ctulhu mythos. You take on the role of an explorer who has to prevent an ancient evil being from rising up, and plunging the world into darkness. Searching in a dusty and ancient museum, you try to find and locate Elder Signs, that will stop the Ancient One from rising. Along the way, evil creatures, traps and other horrors will try to prevent you from reaching your objective. And….you may not be able to hold on to your sanity, as the increasing horrors you witness, might take their toll on your mind. Great stuff, and another one of my alltime favorite games.
A boardgame will always be the most fun with more players. I definitely won’t deny that fact, as the fun of interacting with each other, can never be matched by a solo game. Having said that, I do think that solo boardgames have improved over the years. As such they are still a lot of fun to play, even if you are on your own, and especially with games driven by some kind of storyline, you feel a sense of satisfaction when you manage to beat the game. Luckily there are more games arriving every month (not that I did not have enough games yet already lol), but this does keep things interesting. If you have never played a sologame before, a few of the games in my list, might be worth checking out. Thank you for reading, and see you on the next post.