I Love This Solitaire Game!
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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Some Geeks say solitaire games aren't worth playing. ("If you have to play by yourself, why bother?") But I've found quite a lot of gaming enjoyment when just sitting alone with a good board game in front of me.

How 'bout you? Here's a chance to share some love for games that too often get shunned or neglected.

Add your favorites and share your positive experiences (or any other comments you feel a need to express). It's OK to list or comment on any game you've enjoyed playing by yourself--whether it's specifically designed for solitaire or not.


There are some discussion questions in the Comments section, for anyone interested.

Be sure to see this GeekList of SoloPlay variants.


Games I'm surprised NOT to see on this list so far:
Space Alert
No Retreat!: The Russian Front 1941-1944
Luftschiff
Zulus on the Ramparts!: The Battle of Rorke's Drift – Second Edition
Blokus
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1. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:28]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Thomas
United States
Michigan
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"Music That Glows In The Dark"
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:34]
Board Game: Agricola
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
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This is pretty fun and solid solitaire, but doesn't get much solitaire love at my house, because if I have the solitaire time to set something long up, the opportunity usually goes to Roads & Boats, and if it's a shorter window, At the Gates of Loyang.
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3. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:48]
Board Game: Power Grid
Rick Scholes
United States
Peacham
Vermont
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The rules posted by Games for One create a wonderful game play experience. In my view, every bit as good as a closely fought multi-player game of Power Grid.

Playing solo means I have the time to analyze and plan several moves in advance, for me at least an enjoyable experience. With more players I can be accused of AP, until they see it works and do it themselves, which delays the game more than I want, so one is my preferred number of players.

Rick
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4. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:54]
Board Game: Le Havre
Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I've only played this (so far) on the Java application and I LOVE playing this solo. With the computer handling all the tokens and cards it plays really fast.
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5. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:84]
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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It's hard to imagine this one as solitaire, but you can read the rules here.

It is not NEARLY as good, but there is a small bit of tension about if/when your CPU partner is going to screw you and reveal, but you are managing resources and crises. I think it's a bit too easy unless you know each resource down by 2 at the start. The game takes about 2 hrs to play.

The reason I like it is because when you learn how to manage the resources better and you learn the skill cards, it makes you a better Colonial player, and since Cylons seem to win more often than not, this should make the games better overall.
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6. Board Game: Eldritch Horror [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:88]
Board Game: Eldritch Horror
Kelly N.
United States
Richmond
Texas
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A new classic!
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7. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:106] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Jeromie Rand
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
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In some ways, this title resembles a novel more closely than a game. But it's the rich stories and lack of fiddly bits that make this work so well as a solo endeavor. The presentation is highly atmospheric, too, with a map of London, an address book, and a collection of "newspaper clippings" to search for clues. Sitting alone and poring over the details of the case feels just like something Holmes would do.
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8. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:105]
Board Game: Pandemic
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Probably one of the board games that I enjoy playing solo the most. It scales well and is completely winnable with only one player. I like that it is a co-op game that also can be enjoyed solo.

I like to play this solo when I home alone sick.
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9. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Stone Age
Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
United States
San Diego
California
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There are a couple of solo variants I've seen, but this one is really great:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/316063/solitaire-rules-first...

It keeps the same mechanics of the game with rolling for resources and placement of meeples, but it adds a count-down element so you're playing against the board, trying to get the highest score. It really helped me learn to play the game better and become familiar with the cards. You can still try different strategies and try for a high score. If you like Stone Age, you should DEFINITELY try this variant.

Side note: For the additional rules, I'd recommend ignoring the rules about discarding resources, b/c it's way too much work for the minimal impact it has on the game. Also, losing a meeple if you roll all 1s I would usually ignore if had 2 meeples and happened to roll snake eyes. However, I like the rule in terms of not wanting to place only 1 meeple in a spot, since that impacts your strategy significantly.
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10. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Just waiting for it. I've read the rules a bit and seen the tutorial videos... We'll see this 18th April
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11. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Board Game: Magic: The Gathering
frumpish
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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This is the game I have spent the most time playing solo of any games. Trying to find the right number of lands, the balance of creatures to spells, seeing how fast the deck goldfishes.

I can't imagine going into a game of Magic without at least a few hours spent solo with it.
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12. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:295]
Board Game: Ghost Stories
A.J. Sansom
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
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This game has been my ultimate solitaire/solo turn-to game. With the different difficulty levels, the different village set ups, the different powers for the taoists, and the different incarnations of Wu Feng, this game is very replayable! Pretty much exciting from start to end, I find myself engaged the entire time playing this game.
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13. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:295]
Board Game: Ghost Stories
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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Ghost Stories is a great solitaire game. The tactical puzzles that each turn presents are varied and engaging. I've played this game solitaire a dozen times, and it does not get old. This one is up there with Pandemic as one of my favorites to play when I have no one else to play with.

The one thing that keeps this from coming out more is the extensive set-up that it requires. The game is beautiful, complex, and full of bits. But all of that beauty requires a lot of time setting up. With the White Moon expansion, there are even more bits. Sometimes, I can play [and lose] the game in the same time it takes to set up. Grrrr....

But despite this criticism, I cannot recommmend this game highly enough in solitaire mode. With 4 taoists, you have to coordinate the actions of your ghost hunters carefully. It is very easy to mess up. Play in hardcore mode with no take-backs, and tell me how often you win! The included solo variant, whereupon you play with 1 taoist, is interesting as well because you have to manage new resources with the ability tokens, and there are new challenges to be had. It's nice to have two different flavors of games to play when I am in the mood for a solitaire challenge.

GS is highly recommend for solitaire play!
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14. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:311]
Board Game: For Sale
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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I made a solitaire variant for this game while I was living in Africa. It was quite enjoyable and able to be tailored to whatever difficulty you want. I think its great for a light, 10 minute solitaire game.

For $olitaire
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15. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:316]
Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang
Jordan Stewart
Canada
Grand Bay-Westfield
NB
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Currently my favorite game to play solitaire.
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16. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:356] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Mice and Mystics
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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I just get it today! This is a co-op game for 1 to 4 players. My first quick reading at the rules suggests this is a simple but good game.

I'll try Mice and Mystics this weekend with my wife if we've some free time. After a couple of games we'll see...

Cheers.
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17. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:360] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
♫ Eric Herman ♫
United States
West Richland
Washington
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When I have the time and the space, there simply is nothing better.

Mostly I've played AH solo using a Vassal module, which solves the space issue and makes it so that you can save games and play them in episodes over several days, solving the time issue.



Quote:
Games I'm surprised NOT to see on this list so far:
Arkham Horror
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18. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:416]
Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
Orange Dragon
United States
New York
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Two player game with Built-in solo variant
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19. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:429]
Board Game: Friday
J Y
United States
Peoria
Arizona
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A fairly new solo deck builder from Friedemann Friese, apparently to be released at Essen in 2013.

The files are available to print and play. It's 6 color pages to print and 4 pages of rules.

The game is a gem. Very straight forward mechanisms, a fast play make it a nice solo experience. There aren't always a ton of choices as to what you're going to do, but it is still a rewarding and fun game.
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20. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:448]
Board Game: Roads & Boats
Ben .
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Surrey
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You could probably categorise this one as a true "puzzle" when played solo, as it has those rare (for a solo-able game) characteristics of being perfect information and zero luck.

Yet it is such a complicated "puzzle", that you are unlikely to achieve a "perfect" score in all but the simplest scenarios. Even the basic scenarios are still being analysed for improved play, many, many years later!

Add to this modular board for infinite playability, this really is my ideal solitaire experience.
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21. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:457]
Board Game: Ingenious
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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"‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, but I'm gonna give this game some love anyway.

I snagged a slightly damaged copy on eBay for only three bucks, and so far I've played it maybe four or five times--sometimes according to the published solitaire rules, other times playing solo just to get a feel for what it's like with two or more players.

I have mixed feelings about it; the jury's still out, I guess. But I do like the fact that at last I have a simple, straightforward board game that I can enjoy solo. It's a nice change of pace from solitaire--nice to play a board game instead of a card game sometimes. And the chance factor makes Ingenious much more enjoyable for me than the likes of pegboard solitaire, which is really just a puzzle.
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22. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:521] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Board Game: Zombicide
Chih Hung Chen
Taiwan
Jhudong
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Hi, I'm Spooky. I'm a Solitaire Gamer!!
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Microbadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: I track all my games playedMicrobadge: Rules Addict - I read rules before I go to bedMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game Alone
It's also a good solitaire game. More and more zombies make every game play tense.
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23. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:518]
Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Microbadge: Born in 1978Microbadge: My wife buys me board games!Microbadge: Guinness drinkerMicrobadge: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle fanMicrobadge: Game Explainer
Just got this game and we played our first game: my girlfriend and me. A great experience shooting and going back and forth to survive.

The rules say you can play 1 player and another way is take two characters yourself. Still I don't tryed it, but it seems playable.
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24. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:581]
Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Thomas
United States
Michigan
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"Music That Glows In The Dark"
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Microbadge: I like learning games more than winning them!Microbadge: TraderMicrobadge: Type O Negative fanMicrobadge: Owner of Too Many Unplayed GamesMicrobadge: 2-player Games fan
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25. Board Game: Up Front [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:620]
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Another multi player designed war game that I play solo. Great game.
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