BackBurnerGames

Favorite non-solo game to play solo?

Game Design

I've got a pretty respectable collection, but I don't get to play as often as I'd like with other people, so I play solo games a lot. However, many of the games in my collection weren't designed for solo play, and I've either created solo variants or played with user-generated solo variants I've found on BGG.

Do you have a favorite non-solo game that you like to play as a solo variant?

The ones that stick out to me are:
Dragon Brew (although there is now an automa available)
Power Grid
Scoville
Above and Below
Azul
Dead of Winter (TONS of solo variants and scenarios available for this)
Kodama

What are some of your favorites to explore?

3 points by BackBurnerGames - updated 3 days ago | 32 comments | report | subscribe

HellsKitch 6 days ago | 2 points[-]

I'm enjoying PARKS, Horrified, Little Circuses, Terror Below, Ex Libris, The Networks all during shelter-in-place when I can't get my husband to play :)

nealkfrank 3 days ago | 1 point[-]

I have Parks but have never played it solo, has it been a fairly intuitive process?

HellsKitch 3 days ago | 1 point[-]

Yes, the PARKS solo is fairly intuitive. It's a very different game than multiplayer, but just as good. I recommend highly. 

nealkfrank 3 days ago | 1 point[-]

How is it different? I know there is a ranger or something that goes around, but what makes it very different?

HellsKitch 3 days ago | 1 point[-]

It's less of a competition for spaces (which happens in a multiplayer game) and just different strategizing. Just try it for yourself. The rules are clear in the rulebook. I think you'll like it.

nealkfrank 3 days ago | 1 point[-]

Gooooot it. Sounds more like a maximization game then. I will have to give it a go soon. 

WadeB1977 3 months ago | 2 points[-]

I feel your pain brother!  

since many games i buy have a solo design mode this is tough, but PARKS, Heaven & Ale, and Magic the Gathering are the first that come to mind.

BackBurnerGames 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

I've only played Heaven & Ale once, but I really enjoyed it, like, a ton. Would love to check out a solo version of this one.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter3 months ago | 2 points[-]

I want you to review the solo power grid variant. I love the game, but never played it solo. 

BackBurnerGames 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

I've tried the variant I used only once, and it was fun, challenging. I was behind the entire game, the pulled ahead of the AI on the last turn to eek out a win (not a full review, but one will be forthcoming).

Marshwiggle92 Supporter3 months ago | 1 point[-]

Great. I look forward to it. 

sdirrane Supporter3 months ago | 2 points[-]

Star Wars Imperial Assault

While Viticulture does have an official Solo Variant and Campaign I found a more thematic Campaign to play on BGG that I enjoy

Skurvy5 Supporter5 days ago | 1 point[-]

Imperial Assault definitely. I’m playing an awesome campaign right now with the RAIV variant!

sdirrane Supporter4 days ago | 1 point[-]

Awesome, is the Campaign a variant as well or is it one of the base campaigns?

Skurvy5 Supporter4 days ago | 1 point[-]

I’m doing Jabba’s Realm right now 

sdirrane Supporter4 days ago | 1 point[-]

Nice, I'd like to try that one out.  I love the idea of an "Outer Rim" Scum driven campaign.  I really want to play as Vinto Hreeda sometime.

Skurvy5 Supporter4 days ago | 1 point[-]

Funny you should say that!


sdirrane Supporter3 days ago | 1 point[-]

Haha nice!  Is he fun to play with?  I love the look of his abilities.

Also, what's it like to play with a character that doesn't roll defense dice?

Skurvy5 Supporter3 days ago | 1 point[-]

I love Vinto. His ability to move around and sprinkle unmitigated damage is awesome. His offhand blaster is pretty cute and can be really useful for picking off stormtroopers or mission tokens.

I don’t like Onar much at all. Thematically he makes sense but he doesn’t really fit my gameplay style. Although the ability to take a damage to add an extra damage is pretty awesome. If I am reading it right I can use it as many times per attack as necessary? 

theDL 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

Viticulture has an official campaign? Didn't know that!

philryuh Supporter3 months ago | 2 points[-]

It's an unofficial one that Scott shared with me before: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2066176/custom-solo-campaign-progressively-more-difficult. I love the amount of time put into these sorts of projects haha

sdirrane Supporter3 months ago | 2 points[-]

Thanks for sharing the link.

sdirrane Supporter3 months ago | 1 point[-]

Yeah, the one that is part of the game isn't really so much of a "campaign" as a bunch of games with different goals or rules.  But the official one seems largely arbitrary, where the fan made one is more thematic.

Skurvy5 Supporter5 days ago | 1 point[-]

Tough question because many of the games I acquire I specifically check to make sure that they have official solo modes. I commented below that Imperial Assault is the one game that I am using an unofficial variant to play a campaign. It’s awesome. 

I also am enjoying the #Trajan unofficial solo variant. 

wieczorek 5 days ago | 1 point[-]

I really enjoy #Brass: Birmingham with the fan made Mautoma (which can even be played with a web-app version). It's very simple to manage once you get the grasp of it and the automa actually simulates a human opponent well. If only I could shorten the setup considerably...

holmezzz 36 days ago | 1 point[-]

I love to play #Mottainai with a solo variant I found years ago on bgg. it's so streamlined, I've played it like 80 times! 

... and the game is too obtuse to get any of my family members interested in playing multiplayer.  But it's like solitaire for me, and it even works with the #Mottainai: Wutai Mountain expansion.

Runners up: #Res Arcana, #Oh My Goods!

tallon.simmons 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

#Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 has a solo expansion, but I don’t have it. 

Playing both sides myself is still amazing though. Every game ends up creating an awesome narrative. 

BackBurnerGames 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

I sometimes do that, using one strategy as Player A and a different strategy as Player B. Scorpius Freighter is one that I've really enjoyed playing that way.

BenjaminK 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

I don't think I've ever tried an unofficial solo variant. What's the solo like for Above and Below?

BackBurnerGames 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

One of the solo variants I found is located here:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1760814/simple-challenging-solo-ai-also-uploaded-files-sec

I've only played the solo variant once, and I lost pretty handily, but I enjoyed it. There are other variants available, but I've not tried them yet. Anything that helps emulate the feel of playing against an actual 2nd player is good with me, but the die rolls on the above variant might make it feel too random for some.

BenjaminK 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

Random is fine sometimes, so I'll definitely check this out. Thanks for the link!

BackBurnerGames 3 months ago | 1 point[-]

My pleasure!

Linked Games

Power Grid
Above and Below
Scoville
Kodama: The Tree Spirits
Dragon Brew
Azul
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
Linked Topic