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Subject: solo game for a 16 year old rss

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jonathan schleyer
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Looking for recos for a solo game for a teen who usually loves computer games but would love to get him off electronics...
 
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Andy D
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Tricky - you might be better off trying to encourage him with a boardgame with other people first; otherwise , what's the draw to bring him to the table rather than staying on his screen?
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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What are they interested in thematically? Do they even like boardgames?

Boardgames, particularly solo ones, do not hold up well against computer games for most teens in terms of interest level. If this is a gift, you'd probably be better off getting them something they actually want or a gift card / cash.
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jonathan schleyer
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All good points of views and recos.... This is a gift. He is not very social.

In terms of themes, he likes survival, zombies, shooter kind of games.

He's not really into board games but will play and enjoy it if I bring a board game over.

I was doing some digging in the last few minutes and thinking something like The Lost Expedition perhaps?
 
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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I'm not sure if it's in budget, but maybe This War of Mine: The Board Game.

It's survival themed, based off the video-game of the same name, can be played solo or co-op, and tells a pretty damn good story. It's heavy (for a non-gamer though the book walks you through each turn), and long, and the subject matter is weighty, but it's also very compelling - much like the original. And if you start playing it together, there's nothing stopping him from continuing on his own or other people joining in later on.

What kinds of games have you played together already?
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Andy D
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provence wrote:
All good points of views and recos.... This is a gift. He is not very social.

In terms of themes, he likes survival, zombies, shooter kind of games.

He's not really into board games but will play and enjoy it if I bring a board game over.

I was doing some digging in the last few minutes and thinking something like The Lost Expedition perhaps?


Zombicide can play 1-6 and is zombies and survival
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Aaron Clark
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I would consider Mecs vs. Minions. It is actually done by Riot Games which is a video game company. Although it is a bit more expensive than some other options it is actually comparable to a lot of new video games.

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Sam R
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This’ll be a long one sorry.

I don’t know if you’ll be able to get him into solo board gaming... At least not at first

Let me explain why:
The beauty of video games is that when you’re playing solo, the computer does all the work for you. Also even though there are randomness factors to video games in enemy stats and so on there is an balance within the game to make it so it holds your hand thruout. For example an rpg video game will hold your hand as you level up by giving you enemies around your same level and maybe 1 or 2 higher level just to give a challenge but if you die in these video games the “punishment” is usually very minor (all of this holds true for almost all games except dark souls)

A multiplayer video game can essentially be played solo, because most of these games don’t encourage co op play even though you may be in a “team with another player. Also, since there is not a physical presence to the others you are playing with it doesn’t feel like “real” interaction. I mean I can just mute you or not talk at all as I play and ignore anything you’re doing and just my own thing as we play.

For board games these two things are not true

A video game teaches you little by little thru tutorials and reminder boxes that come up as you play. A board game doesn’t l, you read the rule book and go at it. If you missed a rule... oh well. Read the rules again. Lots of trial and error. Videogames don’t have that so much.

Solo board gaming (in my opinion more so than regular board gaming) requires a lot of commitment and love for the hobby. I mean sitting there and having to check for all the stats or event and physically moving and shifting chits and shuffling cards and so on is a bit of work (fun to a person that loves board games but work to others) the computer does everything for you in a video game in a board you have to do everything. Also difficulty is very different in a board game. Though board games are very balanced nowa days there is still a randomness factor, a bad shuffle, a missed rule anything like that can cause the game to be incredibly unforgiving. A video game doesn’t have this problem, you can’t misplay a rule in a Video game and the video games is designed to hold your hand according to your skill level. A board game is all about thinking a trying and retrying strategies. Most solo video games are made to take away the thinking and strategy part and just focus on the exciting parts. A board game builds up it “climbs” into its climax. Video games are all about the excitement right away. Mind you there might be some video games that break this norm (games like dark souls and so on) but overall it’s true for most video games.

And multiplayer in a board game forces interaction. I can’t mute you you because you’re physically there. There’s eye contact, there’s an environment that is forced to happen because of the board game in front of us.

I don’t think the best idea to get him off videogames is to get him a solo board game. Solo board games can be very complicated. EXTREmELY satisfying but to someone that can’t see the beauty in it it’ll just be boring. Also getting him a board game based on a video game may not be the best idea. For example “this war of mine” is a GREAT board game (dark for sure) but if I were to play that solo it’s because I love board games more than videogames. If I didn’t, why play the board game when I can play the video game and have it do most of work for me? Now this would be the mindset of a nonboard gamer. A boardgamer would say, “awesome! I get to actually handle chits and pieces, shuffle cards, I can even play it co op with my friends! I can use my imagination as we read the stories and make the choices and so on! Oh and look at these miniatures! So cool!”

I would recommend playing regular multiplayer board games with him. To get him started. Maybe a co op or if he likes competition then a competitive one. Maybe a 2 player game since he’s not too social. The beauty of a board game is that it doesn’t matter how old you are compared to me or where you’re from and with some board games even language doesn’t matter because there is no text to read we come together and play because we at least have one thing in common as we play, and that’s the game. We interact with each other because the game shows us how. We have a “conversation” thru the board game even if we’re not directly talking to each other.

Figure out what he likes. Fantasy? Science fiction? History? Etc... And go to the store with him and have him look at the games. See what games he picks up, what catches his interest. Maybe he’ll like a fame for ya minis or maybe he’ll like a game for its art, this will tell you he looks for, what looks good to him. And then work from there.

In my opinion board gaming is superior to video gaming. But it takes time to get into it.

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Greg Austin
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I might recommend Star Realms along with the Star Realms: Gambit Set. You can play some quick games with him to get him started, and the Gambit set has some solo challenges, as well as BGG-crafted solo challenges. I've gotten an unbelievable amount of mileage out of the game with students.
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Will Czerwinski
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I've been playing Race for the Galaxy recently using the KeldonAI as an opponent. Race is a good game that I've had for years but never played because I couldn't find a group willing to spend the time to learn it. The KeldonAI provides decent opponents, a good interface, and handles all the heavy lifting (scoring, keeping track of legal moves, tracking how your cards modify the rules, etc...). With the AI program you can learn the game quickly without worrying about the minutia.
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jonathan schleyer
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Thanks to all your great advice which gave me cold feet so I think I'll pass on the solo board game idea... I may be projecting my preferences on him...
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April W
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Don't know how often you're with this person, but why not buy a game the two of you can play together, but can also be played solo? Then, if he gets hooked he can play it solo, or he can just play when you (or some other willing party) can play with him.

I would suggest something based on a video game he enjoys- I think that, more than anything, is likely to draw a video gamer into the hobby. I know my teenage nephews tend to be drawn to a game if it features an IP they already enjoy. A Fallout game was recently released, which caught my husband's eye immediately because Fallout is one of his favorite video games (he is also a casual board gamer, but his true love is video games). Of course, that specific game is quite expensive (I think the cheapest price right now might be $60 at Gamestop).
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Andy D
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Good idea on IP. How about a dungeon crawler like Star Wars Imperial Assault or the new Doom game from last year?
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Mage Knight Board Game can be played solitaire or you may want to try Fleet Commander: Nimitz.
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Andres Montanes-Lleras
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My first children's fantasy novel EL DRAGÓN DE VAPOR (illustrations by Marcos Toledo Porras)
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As someone mentioned already, I think Zombicide and particularly Zombicide: Black Plague might be a great choice.

They are simple to play, the zombies AI is also easy to handle, and allow both solo and multiplayer.

The figures and components are also fantastic, which might attract someone who is not into boardgames already.
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Lazy Mountain

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Nemo's War (second edition) or Dawn of the Zeds (Third edition) seem like great choices. I think a solo board game is a fine idea, especially if you can set him up with a video resource or 2 to get over the hill of learning rules (seems like the biggest barrier coming from self explanatory video games.
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Eric Matthews
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I think getting a gift for anyone (but in particular a 16 year-old) that is intended to change their behavior for the better is unlikely to work. One thing that 16 year olds really really love is to be treated like an adult.

So I say get him something that he actually wants that isn't electronics related (even if its cash) and work the boardgame evangelism angle in some other way - like invite him to a game night.

If he isn't already interested or very into the specific theme of a solo game, he isn't even going to crack the rulebook.

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