Thematic Solitaires for the Spare Time Challenged

A blog about solitaire games and how to design them. I'm your host, Morten, co-designer of solo modes for games such as Scythe, Gaia Project and Viticulture.
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How common have solo playability become?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
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Microbadge: Fan of Stonemaier GamesMicrobadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Level 16 BGG posterMicrobadge: Automa Factory fan
Yesterday while I was super busy, I decided that the time was right to make searches in the BGG database and create a graph that had absolutely no relevance to what I should have been doing. Yes, I make good decisions like that.

The reason I started my detour was that I wanted to see how large a fraction of games published in 2018 were solo playable.

Once I had that number I did the same for every year from 2000 until today and the result is in the graph below.

I couldn’t be bothered to write a program to extract the data for me and I also couldn’t be bothered to count at the end of each search. So I simply used the search system on the BGG webpage and when the search for all games published so far in 2018 returned 29 pages (each full page has 100 games) I didn’t bother to count the number of games on the last page but just a assumed that there were 50 games there for at total of 2850 while the true number is somewhere in the range 2801-2900. For the searches that returned smaller numbers I got more precise.

Anyways, here’s the graph showing how large a fraction of games published each year are listed with a player count of 1+.

From gallery of mortenmdk


That’s a pretty darn impressive growth and it gets even more impressive, when we consider that the graph doesn’t include cooperative games that play well as solo games but don’t have “1” included in the player count given by the publisher (e.g. Pandemic).
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