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Top 5 games to play solo

If your year has been anything like mine, you’ve watched everything there is on Netflix, you’ve picked up some strange hobby that a 2019 version of yourself would never consider, you’re getting more than a little stir crazy and could use something to keep yourself occupied at 3am cause you can’t sleep.

Now is the time… to start playing board games solo! You’re in luck cause I’ve got you covered with today’s list!


Marvel Champions: The Card Game [Fantasy Flight] – A co-operative card game with a Marvel superhero theme. Choose your favorite comic book character and shuffle up their deck of cards to battle against a variety of villains each with their own unique challenges. Normally each player takes control of only one hero which you can still do solo but I recommend playing with two once you’re comfortable with the rules so you can see the interesting ways they team up together. There’s a whole bunch of expansions for this which add more heroes or villains including a Red Skull related one which just came out and introduces a campaign mode of strung together games.

NMBR9 [Z-Man] – 3D Tetris! This tile-stacking game takes roughly 2 minutes to learn and plays quickly. Deal out cards one at a time which determine what tiles are placed, try to stack the tiles as high as you can and get a new high score (breaking 100 points isn’t easy but feels great when you do). NMBR9 is fantastic as something to give yourself a break between monotonous tasks and get your brain working again.


Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective [Asmodee] – Have you been claiming all your life that you’re some know it all that could solve the crime even faster than the legendary Sherlock Holmes? Well now’s your chance to prove it! Follow the leads, find the clues and solve the crime in this sleuthing game. It is REALLY REALLY hard to stop yourself from cheating, especially solo when there isn’t anyone else around to chastise you for doing so.
Bonus Points: Consulting Detective also works wonderfully over zoom with distant friends. So long as one player has the booklets to read out loud everyone else can take notes and work together.

Spirit Island [Greater Than Games] – This game has been described as “Catan in reverse,” which is pretty spot on. You are a spirit repelling the imperialist settlers from taking over your serene island. I played for the first time solo just the other night and it has a lot going on. This is probably the most complex game on the list rules wise but once you get going you find a comfortable rhythm pretty quickly. I can’t wait to try playing as some of the other spirits!

Terraforming Mars [Stronghold] – Humanity has made it to Mars it is still a long way from being habitable. Time to get to work and get the planet up to modern day living standards with amenities like: water, heat and even… oxygen! Terraforming has gained a ton of traction since its release a couple years ago. It has some really deep strategy and a bit of a narrative feel of how the planet came to be; did you plummet ice rocks from space or did you build a giant algae farm? Playing it solo you try to race against yourself to get the planet ready within a set number of generations. The one drawback of solo play is that you won’t have anyone to joke about the goofy stock photography they use on the cards.

Honorable Mention: Sagrada [Floodgate] – This one is a real brain-bender solo. The dice drafting mechanic is replaced with a very challenging puzzle of arranging your dice to maximize your points and break the victory threshold. A number of regulars had been coming into the cafe on their lunch breaks to try and beat this one and I can only recall one person beating it. Unfortunately it had to be an honorable mention because it isn’t colorblind friendly at all.


Mon, Wed, Thurs: 2pm – 11pm

Fri: 2p-12a

Sat: 11a-12a

Sun: 11a-11p