The Best Minimal-Interaction Games
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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I keep reading complaints about games where there's minimal player interaction, where each player basically just does his own thing. But on the whole, I think I prefer such games. To my mind, the players are never part of the game; they're outside the game, playing it. My attention is usually on what I'm trying to build or destroy or accomplish on the game board (or with my cards or whatever). Often I only think about who's winning when it comes time to tally up the score, pat somebody on the back, and start a new game.

In wargames, I get so involved with the re-creation of battle going on down there on the board that I can be oblivious to the presence of other players (if there are any--and sometimes there aren't, because I'm just playing solo).

Anytime someone starts talking about the psychological aspects of game strategy (e.g., "reading" other players, the "screwage factor," or the chess "swindle"), it sounds completely alien to me. I don't play the other players; I play the game. And to me, the game and the players are always completely separate.

But that's just me. Anyhow, this list is for games of low player interaction. Games that feel a bit like double solitaire maybe. Games where each player can pretty much just do his own thing, only occasionally running into a demand for interaction (e.g., conflict or active cooperation) with other players.

Feel free to add games to the list. But try to keep it positive. I'm looking for the best games of this variety--games you'd recommend to someone who's into this kind of gaming. Games that are good even though they're low on interaction (or maybe because of it, depending on your point of view).
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1. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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Here's a fine, highly rated game that sometimes gets (IMO) a bum rap for being "just double solitaire." Well, this kind of "double solitaire" is great for my wife and me, and I've heard it works well for other couples too. The absence of direct conflict is a big plus. My only complaint is the scoring (it's a fine system, but it's a pain in the neck for me to do).
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2. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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A brand-new game for me. I've played it only once, and that was a solitaire game, just to get a feel for how it works. But I've read plenty of comments in BGG about this game being "multiplayer solitaire." And yet it's a highly rated game. So, even though I haven't tested it thoroughly myself, I'm pretty sure it belongs on this list.
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
p55carroll
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This may stir up some debate. I'm tentatively putting this game on the list based on comments I've read--but I've never seen or played the game myself. Others seem to agree that it's a very low-conflict game, and I'm guessing that means there's not much interaction in general. What do you think?
 
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4. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:691]
Christian Rankin
United States
Frazier Park
CA
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I think this is a good example of a minimal interaction among plays game. Your character basically does its own thing to aquire better weapons and friendlies. You can fight the other players but that usally does not happen.
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5. Board Game: Starship Catan [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:810]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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This is definitely my favorite minimally interactive game. Quite underrated in m opinion
 
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6. Board Game: Take it Easy! [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1381]
Robert Rossney
United States
San Francisco
California [CA]
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This game has, in fact, no interaction, other than the fact that you're trying to outscore your opponents. Not coincidentally, as many people can play this at once as you have sets for. It's pretty fun, too.
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7. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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I rate this game a 10, and yet it's really mostly about doing your own thing. There is an auction at the beginning of each round, so you need to either plan to have extra money available for the things you want, or ready to go with 'plan B' if someone else wins what you were going after.

But the crux of the game is in the planning.
 
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8. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:951]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Empire Builder has even less interaction than my other entry. The only time you interact is if you're trying to build into a city that has already maximized its connections, and even then it's just a small fee to use another player's track.

I enjoy this quite a bit solo as well.
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9. Board Game: Masons [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1463]
Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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if your primary objective is "Games that feel like double solitaire," then this will fail since everyone must pay attention to all changes on the board.

I think it shines, however, where "The absence of direct conflict is a big plus." There is almost no way to undermine a competitor since no one owns anything on the board.

Review: Stimulation without Confrontation.



 
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10. Board Game: Ubongo [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:826]
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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Here's a game with virtually no intereaction. Do your own puzzle as quickly as possible. Then take your gems.

If you are paying attention and really lucky, you might choose to grab gems in a row someone else might also want to grab gems, but you're far better off doing your own thing.
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11. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:5291]
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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ZERO intereaction whatsoever. Like Yahtzee. Roll your dice, mark your score, pass the dice. If you had extra dice, you could play this one simultaneously. Which is pretty much the only way I'd want to play it. Otherwise, who wants to sit around and watch other people roll dice?

I've recommended to use this game to fill the downtime of OTHER zero interaction games.
 
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12. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:571] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Martin B
Canada
Richmond Hill
Ontario
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This game is a puzzle. Whoever comes up with the best solution first wins. A great game.
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13. Board Game: Euronimoes [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Daniel Ajoy
Ecuador
Quito
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The only interaction is that there is a market for pieces. But otherwise you try to solve a puzzle.
 
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14. Board Game: 30 Rails [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3963]
Daniel Ajoy
Ecuador
Quito
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All players try to maximize their points based on shared dice throws.
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