Best One Player Board Games

Ever wondered to yourself what a one-player board game would look like?

Well, we’re here to stifle your curiosity, as solo board game play is a thriving, robust industry! If you ever find yourself alone on a lazy afternoon while your friends are off doing important things, definitely give these one player board games a try.

Friday

best one player board gamesFancy role-playing as Robinson Crusoe stranded on an island?

Well you’re in luck, as Friday is a fantastic deck building board game featuring just that. You take on the role of Friday, Robinson’s klutzy friend who just happens to be stranded together with him. Unfortunately, Crusoe’s a bit of an airhead and needs assistance in such basic things as foraging for food, building an escape raft and avoiding wild animals.

This is where you come in.

Like most deck building games, Friday involves active resource management in the form of tokens, which you are rewarded with or penalized against depending on the flow of the game. The game is well-balanced and is easy to pick up, but also has a deep layer of strategy hiding beneath its bright and cartoony exterior.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable experience for anyone who likes solo play.

Mage Knight

best 1 player board gamesMage Knight can be best represented as Magic The Gathering: Simplified. While it’s not designed to be a single-player game, the deck can be modified to mimic one of the most engaging solo play board games you’ll ever find.

In Mage Knight, you’re a mage knight tasked by various magical councils to invade the continent of Atlantis using the monsters and spells at your disposal.

The ideal strategy changes depending on which route you take; for instance, you can walk the line of being a dictator or a pacifist. This will lead to consequences down the road, which enables or restricts your options depending on what you choose.

While we say it’s “simplified”, that’s only in comparison to Magic The Gathering. In its own right, Mage Knight actually has an abundance of depth, and is one of our most highly recommended solo play board games on this list.

Suburbia

best one player board gamesSuburbia is a little like a marriage between Simcity and Carcassonne.

In it, you’re a Mayor trying to build up your borough as efficiently as possible. Tiles are laid next to each other, giving you both income and reputation. Of course, each tile comes with a cost; expand too rapidly and you’ll find yourself with limited options when expenses hit.

At its heart, Suburbia is all about allocating resources.

It has a colorful, eye-catching theme, and constantly keeps you on your toes due to the resource mechanic. There are also a few surprises in store which change the tide of the game and adds to the excitement.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

best one player board gamesFlash Point: Fire Rescue is another multiplayer board game, but it boasts solitaire play rules right out of the box.

In this game, you take on the role of the unsung firefighter, rushing to save unfortunate future insurance claimants from their burning abodes.

You start out with a set amount of “energy points”. Each action you take, such as searching an area for victims and rescuing them, uses up a determinate amount of points.

However, that’s not all! The game throws curveballs at you mid-game by setting up larger fires and even explosions, which consume more points to navigate around.

It’s a nice little game that’s doesn’t exactly feature deck building, which makes it a slight departure from most solo player games you’ll come across. It’s not the game with the most replayability, but the concept is novel and light-hearted enough to fill a fun afternoon.

The Networks

best one player board gamesThe Networks puts you in the shoes of a cable television network manager. Your job is to decide which shows get to air on your network, while buying up new shows and keeping your repertoire fresh. Slowly, you amass for yourself prime-time television worthy content, and even get stars appearing on your shows while the advertisers line up!

While the game was designed for 1-5 players, the same formula works perfectly well when playing against yourself, as each “player” has their own interests to protect. There’s a little bit of a Games of Thrones element around here, with each network competing vigorously to vie for privileged time slots and get the best shows onto their network.

The Networks is a pretty unique take on the tabletop strategy game, and the setting is certainly charming enough. If there’s nothing on the telly worth watching, you can whip this deck out and decide what show goes on television instead!

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