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Best Single Player Board Games to Keep You Entertained

Social distancing and isolation are dragging on. While we know it’s all for the best, many of us our bored of daily Netflix binges, our Zoom happy hours never seem to last long enough and we’re sick of staring at our phones. If you’re looking for a way to get off your computer and have an adventure from your kitchen table, then these single player board games are for you.  

Board games are one of my favourite forms of entertainment, but I’ve always assumed that you had to play with others. Boy was I wrong. Whether you’re looking to build a new world, investigate a mystery, explore the Amazon or solve puzzles, we’ve got the best board games for one person for you!

Traditional Best Solo Board Games

Scythe Board Game

Are you a time-travelling adventurer? Probably not since time travel doesn’t currently exist. But if that sounds like it’s up your alley, then Scythe might just be the board game for you. This engine-building game is set in the 1920s Europa.

This is one of those games of one player that sees its players “conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures and activate monstrous mechs” according to Board Game Geek. Your goal is to claim your stake and build your fortune!

Exit the Game

If horror is more your genre, then Exit: The Catacombs of Horror is the game for you. This escape-room style game can be played with one to four players. It’s one of those great games for single players and sees you solving riddles and rescuing your friend.

If you’re itching to unplug and solve a puzzle, it’s a great two-part board game solo adventure that will take you on a wild ride. There are a few other Exit game adventures, including The Sunken Treasure, The Haunted Roller Coaster and The Sinister Mansion. Get your thinking caps on!

Maracaibo Board Game

Pirates, argh! If seafaring ventures are your forte then Maracaibo might be the top pick for best board games for 1 player for you! Sail under the flag of a European nation, reap the benefits and win the game!

Set in the 17th Century Caribbean, you sail around and complete challenges and quests. Visit cities, deliver supplies, chasse pirates and win the game. Play alone or bring a friend, you’re bound to have an exciting adventure.

Sherlock Holmes: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures

If you’re looking to step into a world where you’re a real detective, perhaps a famous one like Sherlock Holmes? Then look no further than Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures where you step back into the times of Jack the Ripper as Sherlock Holmes and try to solve the infamous murders. 

This game is a stand-alone expansion to Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. If you’re looking for another case or two to solve, this game series has a few other versions including Carlton House & Queen’s Park and Baker Street Irregulars. Get your detective cap on!   

World Building Must Have Solo Board Games 

Suburbia Collector’s Edition

Looking for an unplugged version of SimCity? Then look no further than one of the best 1 player board games, a revamped version of the classic board game Suburbia. Players use hex-shaped pieces to create their own city, adding commercial, residential and industrial sections with the goal of building a thriving city. 

This collector’s edition features a number of expansion packs, including one created specifically for it, Nightlife. You can play alone or you can compete with your city-building roomies and see who can build the better one. This is one of those games that you’ll never have to play the same game twice.

Viticulture

While you can’t get on a plane and head to Tuscany today, you can venture to a pre-modern version of it in Stonemaier Games’ Viticulture. Your goal is to build your dream vineyard from the ground up and complete the task to make that happen.

This is one of the best one player board games for lovers of wine and adventure. Expand, grow and build a vineyard by yourself or with friends. Hopefully, you’ll be one of the lucky ones who builds the greatest vineyards Tusskany has ever seen!

Fallout

For those that are fans of games like Risk and post-apocalyptic style games, Fallout is one of the best single player board games for you. In this post-nuclear world, you explore the unexplored, fight enemies, build survival skills and complete quests.  

This board game is based on the video game by Bethesda Softworks of the same name. It can be played solo or with up to three friends. This is an exciting world-building game for those that love to build and explore—and those that are fans of the board game but want to unplug.

Terraforming Mars Board Game

A few of these games have players travel back in time, but in Terraforming Mars you are thrust forward into 2400 when society begins to colonize Mars. Your goal is to establish a Mars colony, build cities, protect citizens and create a thriving society on the Red Planet.

This is one of the best board games for one player if you’re interested in sci-fi and space expansion. If you have two hours to spare and want to spend it lost in another world (no phone needed!) then this might be the best solo game for you!

Best App-Driven Single Player Board Games

Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness is a cooperative board game that can be played alone or with friends. For fans of horror and mystery, this game takes place in the same universe as Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign (both ALSO single-player games) and sees players investigate mysteries, solve complex puzzles and fight the insanity.

If you’re looking for an afternoon in a mystery and investigation, this hair-raising adventure combines modern technology with a phone app and classic board-style card game. This is the ideal game for those looking for an afternoon distraction.

Chronicles of Crime

Are you ready to solve a mystery? Chronicles of Crime is a game of investigation “mixing VR experience and board gaming.” This is one of the top solo board games for those itching for a thrill. You play an investigator, interviewing suspects and witnesses and searching for clues.

The downside to this game is that you can’t unplug because you need the companion app to assist. But the scan and play technology add different scenarios and opportunities. You can play alone or with others, and it lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Card-Driven Solo Player Board Games

The Lost Expedition

While we can’t travel right now, you can get lost in the rainforest with The Lost Expedition: A Game of Survival in the Amazon. You can explore the Amazon solo or cooperate with a team. Just be ready for any challenges!

This is one of the best solitaire board games for those that love a good afternoon of dino chases, battling poisonous animals and paddling across the river. Get ready to go deep into the Amazon with The Lost Expedition. 

Tiny Epic Quest Fantasy Board Game

In the realm of fantasy, we have Tiny Epic Quest, a classic fantasy game that captures your imagination but lasts under an hour. A game with elves, goblins and a made-up world, it will take you on a wild ride.

You control a band of elf heroes on a quest to save the world, travelling far and wide and facing challenging quests. If you’re itching to be dropped into medieval-like times, then this might be the best solo board game for you.

Tiny Epic Galaxies

Calling all sci-fi fans! If you’re looking for a board games solo style, Tiny Epic Galaxies is a fun little strategy game where you can control a galactic empire and aim to grow to other planets. 

You can play this award-winning game by yourself or with friends. Colonize planets, expand your influence and build an intergalactic empire. The only limit is you (well, that and the game rules).

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