Ayumi Hakase
United States
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Hello,

I’m back into gaming after a four year college hiatus. What would be some good choices for fantasy themed games and science fiction themed cooperative play games for two players that will scale down well for solo play? Novel and cinema themes would work well. Quality design and art is important, but don't want to spend my whole life on an eternal Quest for the Infininte Expansion Pack Hoard.

I’m looking for fun and quirky but challenging themes and gameplay with replay value, and really enjoy Monty Python Fluxx. The previews for Mice and Mystics really caught my eye.

Thx,

Ayumi
 
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
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Vanished Planet is worth a look. It's a 1-6p co-op that I have played 30 times now, and still rate a 9. It's also my wife's favorite game. The plot is great, and some of the games have felt epic. It gets mixed reviews, partly because it is a bit fiddly (with the cards). It can also be swingy, but if you like Fluxx that shouldn't be a problem. You can play solo with a single race, or you can control multiple races.

There are lots of other co-ops that can be played solo. However, quite a few of them will require you to play multiple pawns/sides, which I generally don't like. I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions, but in case you just want to browse: PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games.
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Big Lebowski
Germany
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Unspecified
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yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
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I have fun organizing myself under time pressure at Space Alert
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Ayumi Hakase
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Thanks so much for recommending VP and for the terrific coop games list. The premise and look of the game is really attractive, and playing Fluxx so much, I can deal with fiddly and swingy.

Tnanks for taking the time to reply!
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Ayumi Hakase
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Team survival. This is cool. Reminds me of a problem solving team exercise we did back in elementary school.

Thanks for taking the time to recommend it!
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Michele Esmanech
Italy
Milano
Milano
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Dystopian:the manhunt: a worker placement game of investigation, murder and mystery, set in the futuristic megapolis of DYSTOPIA
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Shadow Agent is the boardgame version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell that plays solo, but has 2-4 player official variants.

Plus it's free to print and play... Try it out!
 
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Ayumi Hakase
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Thanks so much. This game is well designed, and free. Wow!

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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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There is a solo variant posted by the designer for Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League.

Race for the Galaxy with Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm allows for solo play.

While the theme isn't exactly what you're looking for (I think) you might want to check out Red November.
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Ayumi Hakase
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Kevin,
Thank you so much for both recommendations. Red November sounds absolutely delightful.

I think you've helped me to find the perfect game! Search over!

Thx!
Ayumi
 
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Mitch Willis
United States
Kathleen
Georgia
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Defenders of the Realm
Mage Knight Board Game (can be played solo as well as competitive or coop)
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (there are expansions but you can pick & choose)
Rune Age (has a coop scenario and a solo scenario)
Return of the Heroes (it's OOP so it may be hard to come by)
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
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You're most welcome!

I love Red November as a solo game. I've only played the 1st edition. I'm sure the 2nd edition is better in many ways.

Good luck!
 
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Ayumi Hakase
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I've ordered the 2nd edition. And a copy of Perry Rhodan, a bargain on Amazon.

Thanks so much for the recommendations!

Ayumi
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Ayumi Hakase
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These all look terrific. An embarassment of riches.

Really good games go OOP so quickly. I'm debating between Mage Knight and Defenders of the Realm. I would like to try the Lord of the Rings game, but have seen friends spend so much money on cards, I think I'll stick to the board games.

All the best,
Ayumi
 
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Ayumi Hakase
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Mitch,
Thanks for the recommendations. I decided to buy Mage Knight for its depth, multiple mechanisms, and solo play option.

 
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Julian Jimenez
United States
Antioch
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Please let us know how mage nights plays solo. I've been interested in it but it seems like it involves a long play time and lots of table space. Plus the price tag is pretty hefty. The only game I've ever spent more than $50 (except for my complete edition of The original GW Dungeonquest with heroes + catacombs)on was gears of war and that one turned out to be a good buy, but I rarely like to go over $50 for a game. MK seems to go for about $80 around my neck of the woods.
 
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Marcus Kielly
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Bristol
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Mage Knight plays well solo. I've also managed to get a full 3 player mission out on a games night (7pm - 10:30pm) which is no mean feat. It's a big event - more of a weekender than a quick fix

Thing with Mage Knight is that it takes several plays (6 so far) to become fluent in it's system. The system is interesting, although arguably over complicated - in that some aspects of it seem superfluous and don't necessarily add too much to the mix. Having said that, it's that same breadth in scope that makes the game more rewarding as it opens up more and more to you over successive plays. It's basically attempting to fit D&D into a boardgame, and by and large it succeeds.

I personally really enjoy playing it solo, especially with a bit of decent theme music and a couple of choice beers - it's very absorbing.
 
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Doc Hogan
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Ayumi_Hakase wrote:
I'm debating between Mage Knight and Defenders of the Realm.


Both of these games are AWESOME, but they definitely scratch different itches. I'd personally recommend getting both...I enjoy MK solo more than DotR solo (but still do love DotR solo); DotR tends to be easier to get others to play, due to a much easier learning curve and a lot less AP (analysis paralysis).

My favorite solo games in my collection (all SFF themed):
Mage Knight Board Game
Defenders of the Realm
Return of the Heroes
Arkham Horror

These games are *always* sitting right next to the table, ready to play Along with a copy of Magic Realm(*) that I'm still scared of

(*) Magic Realm may very well be the greatest solo or multiplayer fantasy adventure game ever, as is often claimed. Someday I may figure it out
 
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tom brown
United Kingdom
Stanley
Co. Durham
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I think space hulk death angel plays well solo. Im not a solo gamer at all and when testing this game for rules I actually played out a full (if short lived) game rather than my usual 1 or 2 turns. multiplayer co-op is even more interesting as you want to keep your marines alive to stay in the game but you need other players marines alive to have a chance of getting out of their alive
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