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Subject: How important is a "solo play" mode to you? (poll) rss

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aeegik norstvv
Belgium
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Consider a regular non-cooperative multiplayer game. A game that is meant to be played with multiple people.

Does the inclusion of a single player mode offer additional value to you?

Some examples of games with solo modes made by the designer. Rules are included in the box: Agricola, Caverna, Scythe, ...

Some examples of popular fan made solo modes. You can download them at BGG. Imperial Assault, Through The Ages, ...

Poll
1. Do you play single player modes of games?
Yes, I exclusively or almost exclusively play solo.
Yes, I often play solo.
Yes, I sometimes play solo.
No, but I've tried it sometimes.
No, but I'm willing to try if the game is right.
No, I can't imagine myself playing solo.
2. Does the inclusion of a single player mode affects you buying a game?
Yes, a solo mode is necessary. I don't buy game that I can't play solo.
Yes, the chance of me buying a game is greater if I can play it by myself.
No, it won't affect my decision to (not) buy it, but it is nice.
No, it won't affect my decision, since I don't care about soloing.
3. Do you think solo play modes are on the rise (yes) or the decline (no)? Do more board games have a single player mode now, compared to - let's say - five years ago?
Yes, it's a trend and I expect solo modes will be common in the future.
Yes, slightly more games have it now, but I don't think there's a trend.
It's the same. There's no rise/decline in the amount of solo modes.
No, there have been a bit less solo modes during the last few years.
No, solo modes are dying out.
      570 answers
Poll created by Geert Vinaskov


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Alexandre P.
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Answered.
For the 3rd question, I have assumed you include fan-made solo modes.
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Ron
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A year ago, I never thought I'd ever play solo. But I found out I actually enjoy it quite a bit when no one else has time or wants to game
So yes, a solo mode makes it more likely that I'll buy a game.

As for the last question: I haven't been into gaming for that long. But from what I've seen and read, to me, it seems like solo modes are on the rise. I think they've been there for quite a while in more 'hardcore' types of games, but to me it appears that they're becoming more mainstream.
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Claudio Coppini
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I got into boardgaming in January this year, a few months later I discover solo boardgaming and now that's how I play board games most of the time.

I'm really glad more and more games come with official solo rules, but I'm also grateful to all the people that make unofficial variants for so many games.

For me boardgaming is not at all only about social interaction, even if I enjoy that side too with some games I play. I love solo because I can play at my pace, and also because it lets me keep playing games I like that otherwise I wouldn't get to play that much if I can't manage to get people to play with.

Now my policy is to buy only games that come with official solo rules.
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Peter Karis
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I tried a solo game once with Runebound, and it was so incredibly boring that I can't see myself doing that stuff ever again. For me the whole point of a board game is to play together with other people - if I want to be alone I can just as well play a video game or watch telly. Or do something useful like exercise etc.
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Ron
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MacKaris wrote:
I tried a solo game once with Runebound, and it was so incredibly boring that I can't see myself doing that stuff ever again. For me the whole point of a board game is to play together with other people - if I want to be alone I can just as well play a video game or watch telly. Or do something useful like exercise etc.

That's exactly what I thought, too. But like I said in my previous post, in my case I ended up liking it. I work in front of a screen, so I'm hardly ever in the mood for video games when I'm home. I like sitting at the table, solving the puzzle that a game is presenting to me. I haven't tried any Ameritrash solo yet, though. I wonder if I would find the narrative in them interesting enough to enjoy them on my own

Note: Definitely not saying you're wrong or anything. Just sharing my experiences.
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Claudio Coppini
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Well I guess it depends on your tastes. I myself love eurogames and multiplayer solitaire, so really in the end playing solo doesn't change the experience that much (well, less downtime!) as long as the variant is good.

As Ron said, most solo games give you a puzzle to solve, strategies to optimize, which translates into fun and brain excercise, which is way more than I get from video games. I used to be a hardcore videogamer, but now really after an 8 hours long boring day at the office in front of a computer, when I get home I totally prefer to play a board game solo than staring at yet another screen.
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I suppose you could reverse the question and ask "What is the downside to having a solo variant to a game?", I can't think of any instance where it hurts a game in fact it opens up some games to a new audience. A lot of people won't touch some games because of complexity, game length , theme etc but if you like it and can play solo there is no need to find that other person that likes the same game.
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Steve B
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Not important at all. I play board games with somebody else. For solo play I play my Commodore 64 or my Xbox. After all day at work I do not want to have to set up a board game and stare at cardboard. It is more fun to get a quick solo game on the XBox going.
 
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Ron
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Jorath wrote:
I suppose you could reverse the question and ask "What is the downside to having a solo variant to a game?", I can't think of any instance where it hurts a game in fact it opens up some games to a new audience. A lot of people won't touch some games because of complexity, game length , theme etc but if you like it and can play solo there is no need to find that other person that likes the same game.

It takes effort to create a good solo variant. I've played some games with erm... Less-than-stellar solo variants. And these would've been better off without one, I think. Star Patrol: Carrier Commander comes to mind. I think it's similar to any player number on a game. Battlestar Galactica doesn't play two, and it's quite obvious why. Maybe a two-player (fully co-op?) variant could have been put into the game, but FFG chose not to.
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Solo modes are highly important for me right now. I reached a point where I had no one to game with and I had no solo-supported games. So I found myself getting frustrated because I had a whole bunch of great games and no way to play them. It felt like it was a giant waste of $$ and I was losing my gaming enthusiasm. Then I started researching games that are great for solo and eventually found a few that I enjoyed playing by myself.

I still really like the social aspect of boardgames and I prefer to play them that way if possible. But it gives me piece of mind to know that if I cannot find some people to game with, I have some games that I can enjoy on my own too.
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Jim Parkin
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So long as Uwe Rosenberg designs games, I will enjoy solitaire play.
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Iain
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Wormaap wrote:
Jorath wrote:
I suppose you could reverse the question and ask "What is the downside to having a solo variant to a game?", I can't think of any instance where it hurts a game in fact it opens up some games to a new audience. A lot of people won't touch some games because of complexity, game length , theme etc but if you like it and can play solo there is no need to find that other person that likes the same game.

It takes effort to create a good solo variant. I've played some games with erm... Less-than-stellar solo variants. And these would've been better off without one, I think. Star Patrol: Carrier Commander comes to mind. I think it's similar to any player number on a game. Battlestar Galactica doesn't play two, and it's quite obvious why. Maybe a two-player (fully co-op?) variant could have been put into the game, but FFG chose not to.


My thoughts exactly Ron.

Solo play is definitely becoming more popular so there will be (and i'm hearing there already appears to be) a trend towards adding 1 player to the box and sticking in a poorly thought out solo mode to sell more copies.

This is nothing new though, there are numerous examples of games with 2-5 player on the box, but which are widely regarded as only good at 3-5 players (but it sells more games!).

For reference I answered that I play almost always solo, and a game having solo rules is mostly a requirement. I do have time for non-solo 'light' games though, both games my wife my enjoy and party/fillers I can play with other family members
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K S
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For me, gaming is primarily a social activity. However, I am the primary purchaser, teacher and rulesmaster for my gaming groups, so I value solo mode as a way to learn a new game before teaching other players (I recently did this with Zombicide to good success).

I didn't think I would ever play a solo game other than for learning, but the other day I was in the mood to play and nobody else was, so I decided to play Pandemic: The Cure while listening to the presidential debate. To my surprise it was more satisfying than playing a video game would have been (at that moment, at least) and it was definitely more fun than anything happening during the debate. However, even though I ended up winning (not a common occurrence in that game for me yet), something was definitely missing in the victory. I don't expect to become a primarily solo boardgamer.
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Claudio Coppini
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wamsp wrote:
However, even though I ended up winning (not a common occurrence in that game for me yet), something was definitely missing in the victory.


That's the feeling I get too when playing co-op boardgames solo, as using more than one character just doesn't feel right in many ways.

I encourage everybody even slightly interested in solo boardgaming to try out some solo only games like Hostage Negotiator for example, where the game is specifically designed for solo play.
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John Prewitt
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When I got into the hobby I had no idea what a solo game was or how it was possible, but now I'd say 50% of my game playing is solo. It's very important to me.
 
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John Prewitt
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Drugo81 wrote:
wamsp wrote:
However, even though I ended up winning (not a common occurrence in that game for me yet), something was definitely missing in the victory.


That's the feeling I get too when playing co-op boardgames solo, as using more than one character just doesn't feel right in many ways.

I encourage everybody even slightly interested in solo boardgaming to try out some solo only games like Hostage Negotiator for example, where the game is specifically designed for solo play.


Pulling off a victory in Mage Knight is ridiculously satisfying (for a solo gamer).
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Ryan Keane
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I play solo quite a bit, but I generally avoid solo-only games (which have been around for a long time, at least among wargames, and I don't see as increasing recently) while I get bored pretty quickly of most of the solo-variants (official or unofficial) for Euro games (which do appear to be increasing recently).

My preferred solo games are co-op where I control multiple players (a good amount of Flash Point Fire Rescue solo), wargames where I play both or all sides (a lot of M44 and some Britannia solo), and racing games where I simulate a series with teams (some Formula D and Leader 1 solo).
 
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Andrew Cargill
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I play exclusively solo so for me solo mode (or ability to solo) is mandatory, my collection is basically games I got just to play by myself with. Solo for me is a choice because it's how I enjoy the hobby, not really interested in doing it socially.

Obviously I miss out on playing some really awesome non-soloable games, but the upside is I can enjoy 100% of my collection anytime I want at any pace.
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Maya
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I've been playing almost exclusively solo for a few years now, and I think it's pretty hard to dispute that there is a significant rise in the number of solo-ready games out there. If you look at the Solitaire Games on your Table geeklist three years ago, we were pretty much all playing the same few games again and again. There were many co-op games that could be played solo with one player controlling a whole team of characters, but very few that were meant to be manageable and fun for one. Now there are new arrivals all the time.

There are still a lot of people who think solo gaming is just weird, but not nearly as many as there were just a few years ago. The 1-Player Guild has grown dramatically since I joined it, and SGOYT has become so large and busy you can barely keep up with the updates.

There are also many more fan-made solo variants for all kinds of games, such as AI systems for Star Wars Imperial Assault and X-Wing, and solo rules for Takenoko. I think this is a wonderful thing, as the designers can focus on simply making the best game they can for the format they intended to create and the creative fans on BGG can then work it into something fun for us solitary types. Sometimes the official solo rules are less than thrilling, but fan-made variants make them much more fun.
 
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Sky Zero
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Not important. Many of the solo modes tacked on are just that, "tacked on" to push sales. Very few actual 1 player designed games out there. Some of the best are actually co op.
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Greg Austin
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Kind of weird, but I do play a lot solo, but I have rarely played a solo mode on a regular game, so I didn't vote. I pull out games and set up three to five players and play everyone's side. I've been doing that since I was ten with Risk. I'm pretty sure I have a couple of games with a solo mode but I haven't touched those variants or modes.
 
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Reed Dawley
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I want to like solo games more than I like solo games. I was never a solitaire player, if I had free time I would read a book. Onirim is an exception for some reason I love that game solo. I will play a game solo to learn the rules to teach but I tend to find that it is missing a component that I love in games, intereaction. Space Hulk Death Angel, playing multiplayer changes little about gameplay but there is something to cheering for someone elses good roll or lamenting an epic death together that I miss when playing solo. Mostly I play solo when I have no other choice, I am jonesing for a game and no one is around to play(which happens a lot when you work third shift). Digital games with an AI are preferable to me in most cases.
 
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John Prewitt
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IMCarnochan wrote:
I want to like solo games more than I like solo games. I was never a solitaire player, if I had free time I would read a book. Onirim is an exception for some reason I love that game solo. I will play a game solo to learn the rules to teach but I tend to find that it is missing a component that I love in games, intereaction. Space Hulk Death Angel, playing multiplayer changes little about gameplay but there is something to cheering for someone elses good roll or lamenting an epic death together that I miss when playing solo. Mostly I play solo when I have no other choice, I am jonesing for a game and no one is around to play(which happens a lot when you work third shift). Digital games with an AI are preferable to me in most cases.


Depends what you play I think. Mage Knight is a fantastic solo experience, as the game's "better" without interaction.
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I was trying to decide between eldritch horror and robinson crusoe yesterday for solo play then I thought it would be great if I could persuade more people to play them. This lasted a few minutes and then I decided I preferred to play solo I didn't want to hand over control. This may go back to my video gaming because the Baldurs Gate series was my favourite and that involved controlling multiple characters. So for these two games at least I don't want anyone questioning my masterplan.
 
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