I always have something on the calendar. So, when someone cancels one of those plans, I offer the obligatory, “Oh, that’s too bad. We’ll have to reschedule really soon.”
Then immediately let out a WOOOOT and jump into my jammie britches, because hallelujah, I suddenly have myself an evening where I don’t have to go out and make conversation.
With that in mind, here are 7 board games for you to play when it’s just you in for the evening in your jammie britches.
7 Great Board Games to Play Solo
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
I’m not as big of a cheater as Abram is with these lists, but straight out of the gate, I’ve cheated. I’ve never played Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition! Its inclusion on this list is solely due to the recommendation of others, who swear by it for solo play.
A Fantasy Flight product, Mansions of Madness 2E is an app-assisted horror game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The game takes player(s) on a harrowing adventure through the dark and desolate Arkham.
I’m not even a big Cthulhu guy, but folks have raved so much about the game that I’ve considered buying it myself. If you are looking for some creepy solo play, then you can get Mansions of Madness 2E here.
Scythe is from Stonemaier Games, a company that typically offers a strong solo play through the use of the Automa system. Considered one of the absolute best board games of all time, Scythe is set in an alternate-history 1920s Europa, where the ashes from the first great war still darken the snow.
In Scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to lead their faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs. Yup, mechs.
Scythe is well supported with multiple expansions, so I’d encourage you to consider the base game and try it with a little solo play. I’m confident you’ll love it and will want to add more and more.
Get the core Scythe here or, better yet, look for it at your Friendly Local Game Shop (FLGS).
Marvel Legendary is a card game set in the Marvel Universe. Legendary plays great as a solo game, as the player starts with a deck of cards, then slowly adds more and more superheroes to their deck. I bet you’ve already guessed that the deck of heroes is used to thwart the villains, which are conveniently also included in the Legendary base set of 560 cards.
It’s good fun. My full review is here but if you are already sold, you can purchase Marvel Legendary here.
Zombicide: Black Plague
Zombicide: Black Plague is big, dumb fun in a box. The core Zombicide game is consistently the top seller through any Amazon affiliate links we have on Nerds on Earth, so the game remains popular.
Zombicide: Black Plague takes that original idea and re-skins it to be set in a medieval era with Necromancers. A solo player simply sets up a scenario that instructs them to lay out a few tiles to represent a playing area. Using cards, zombies are spawned and the player simply tries to escape with their life.
Again, it’s nothing more than big, dumb fun. And isn’t that what you are looking for when you have that rare quiet envying at home? You can get Zombicide: Black Plague here.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Star Wars: Imperial Assault is fairly similar to Zombicide in that scenarios dictate which cardboard tiles are set out to simulate a variable playing board. Except instead of surviving zombies, a player is simulating missions between the Rebels and the Empire.
Imperial Assault has a fantastic app that creates the wonderful opportunity for solo play. And just like many off the other games on this list, it’s a game that is packed with incredible miniatures. Part of the solo experience in buying the game is also through the experience of painting the minis.
Here are some thoughts on painting the minis. Here is where you can buy the core game.
Gloomhaven is considered by many to be the greatest board game of all time. It’s certainly one of the largest physically. And it’s certainly an experience. The incredible amount of thematic content that is included in the box is a wonder to behold.
It’s also great for solo play, although the set up and tear down is immense. So, it’s best you have have a large garage table where you can leave it set up.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
I just reviewed the 2nd Edition of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, so I’ll send you there for the details.
In short, it’s an excellent solo board game, perhaps the very best. It’s thematic and fun. Better, the card-based game play makes it quick to set up and the leveling system allows a solo player to string together a thematic story-based adventure.
You can get the Pathfinder ACG here.
There you have it: 7 great board games that are excellent for solo play. Note: I intentionally skipped some other board games that are known for their single-player friendliness like 7th Continent or Too Many Bones, both of which are known as Kickstarter exclusives.
I wanted to make sure that the games I shared would be easy to get your hands on. So, no excuses! All 7 games shared are highly thematic and I picked a variety of genres. All you need to do is pick one that looks interesting to you and click the link above. You’ll be playing in no time.