I really hope that nobody reading this is isolating completely alone. If you are, I hope that you’ve got a good online support network and are seeing and interacting with people regularly in chat and video call form. For those of you isolating in two’s or even larger groups, the people you are isolating with may eventually start to grate a little. Or maybe they just don’t want to play a game at the same time that you do. Or maybe you’ve murdered them already for leaving empty tea cups on the coffee table. Every. Single. Night.
Whatever your situation, sometimes it is nice to settle into a game solo. Since we’ve had Thom, both Emer and I have to really work to find time to play games (current circumstances excluded obviously!), but there have been occasions when I’ve found myself home alone after the small man’s bed time and I’ve fancied a game. Deep Space D6 was a favourite in its print and play incarnation- I am still hoping to someday pick up an official copy. Scythe is another I’ve played solo a couple of times. Stonemaire Games, who make Scythe, have an excellent Automa system included in most if not all of their releases; this generally includes a separate rule book and a deck of cards which you play against in the game, although for Scythe at least there is also a virtual Automa which the company provide a link to. Although I’ve yet to try it, I have heard that Wingspan, also from Stonemaire, is great as a single player endeavour, another for me to try as the lock-in drags on.
Today Emer and I played, and really enjoyed, Tiny Towns. It is 1 to 6 players, and it is the first time I have played a game and thought afterwards, I would really like to try this solo.
In Tiny Towns players take turns naming a resource, and then all players take a cube of that type and place it into their 4×4 town. The solo mechanic replaces other players with a deck of cards which limits the resource choice on each turn. In order to build structures within your town grid, you have to place the coloured resource cubes in different patterns, as demonstrated on the face up structure cards. Your final score can be compared against a list, giving you a skill level from Aspiring Architect to Master Architect. Emer and I drew today on a mid level score of Carpenter.
The Exit games from Kosmos games are basically escape rooms in a box. The player, or players, must solve a series of puzzles and riddles to progress and eventually escape. There is no difference in playing this series solo or with a team, although it can be nice to know that you worked it all out on your own!
Ghost Stories is an example of a cooperative game which can be played solo. Although not all co-op games will list as a single player option, most can be made to work for just one; although it may be cumbersome to take on multiple roles within the game. In Ghost Stories, players must cooperate to protect the village from incarnations of the lord of hell – Wu-Feng – and his legions of ghosts before they haunt a town and recover Wu-Feng’s ashes to reanimate him. Each player represents a Taoist monk working together with the others to fight off waves of ghosts.
I’ve only played this game once, and it was HARD. From what I have read, the solo play is no less unforgiving.
Along with the three titles listed above, all of which we have some limited stock of, I’d also highly recommend the Choose Your Own Adventure series (remember those books!), or Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, for solo play. Both of these titles we hope to have back in stock soon!
Thanks again for reading,
Keep that mind active!