Over the past few months, I’ve really started discovering solo board gaming.
The group I play games with usually meets once a week on Saturdays. Though I’d love to be there every week, the reality is I sometimes have other plans. That means it could be a few weeks before I get to sit down and play a few games with others.
I enjoy the hobby of board games, so sometimes I just want to play a game or two and there might not always be people around to do so.
That has led me to look more into solo gaming, so I can get my fix at different points when I’d like to play a few games. I have some multi-player games (such as Nations and Le Havre) that have solo variants. I’ve only tried the Nations one once (it’s solid), but I’m not always in the mood to set up a game like that.
I own Friday, which is a high-rated solo game, but it consistently whips me.
So I needed to look around a bit more. In fact, it’s become something that I look at when buying games – is there a solo variant and does it interest me?
Solo gaming is a definitely not for everybody. There are some games I don’t think I’d enjoy with the solo variant. Some don’t have a “winner” per say, rather you are looking to achieve a certain level etc.
I have several games I need to learn the solo variants, though, such as Imperial Settlers. I haven’t played that game since last year’s ConnCon, and this might be a way to get it to the table, if even my own.
It’s a good way to get a gaming fix.
There’s something about the bigger games that scares me off, though. I’m not too sure what it is, but part of it is definitely the setup and cleanup. I’m hoping to eventually have a bit more time for gaming in the next few months, so maybe it needs to be a more proactive approach, such as setting up a game the night before, then having it available when I come home from work.
Until then, I’ve picked up a few card-based games that are fun in the solo world. I picked up all three games in the “Oniverse,” and so far I like what I’ve seen. I’m trying to tackle them one at a time so I can truly understand them and I’ve only brought one to the table so far – Onirim.
I’ve had the chance to play that one four times (and beaten it just once), but it’s challenging and fun. The idea is to get the keys to unlock the eight doors. It’s not easy to do so, but it’s doable. There are also seven expansions with the game and I need to start figuring them out, though I’m having fun with the base game.
The other two in the Oniverse – Sylvion and Castellion – both look amazing. The artwork in all three games is really awesome. I’ve yet to tackle either of those games yet, but I’m looking things over and plan on playing them soon. Sylvion looks really interesting and I like that Castellion is a solo tile-laying game.
I’ve also played a few multi-player games that have been decent solo, specifically Flip City and Dice City, with the latter being pretty cool and one that took long enough that it felt like a pretty cool gaming experience.
Recently, I also added Hostage Negotiator to my collection. A strictly solo game, the game has you as a negotiator and working to free hostages. I haven’t played it yet as I’m still going through the rules, but I’m excited to get going with it. There are expansions, too, so if I really enjoy the game I plan on ordering those.
But the one game that I’ve really enjoyed lately was Shephy. It’s a small and fun card game where you are trying to put a big enough herd of sheep together before the bad sheep get too big of a herd. It’s challenging (I haven’t won yet), and it’s made as a solo game. I had seen photos of the game on Instagram and then went searching for it.
Turns out it’s not the easiest of games to find.
After searching the Board Game Geek forums, I found somebody who had been selling some and had them. I ordered one and had it a week or two later (came from Europe) and I was off and running with it. It’s a fun little game, easy to travel with and doesn’t take too long. At some point, hopefully I’ll even beat the game!
Solo gaming has been a lot of fun. Would I rather play in a group and such? Sure. But it’s also nice to know there are great solo games out there for those who want that aspect of playing board games.
How about you? Do you solo game? If so, what are some of your go-to picks?
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