Five board games you can play by yourself!

Five board games to play when no else wants to.

Getting a group together to play board games is not only a hassle, it can be downright impossible -- and oftentimes discouraging. So for us lone gamers, here are a few top-notch board games we can play when our friends ditch us for a LAN party.

5. Arkham Horror

For any fan of H.P. Lovecraft, this game will scratch that itch for Cthulhu awesomeness.

The game is set in Arkham City during the 1930's, where gates are opening to other realms, unleashing madness and chaos upon the world. And now it's up to a randomly-selected team of heroes to go up against a randomly-selected Great Old One for some random ass dice roll fun.

Dice rolls are the core of the game -- and most times you'll be losing, which is what you should expect from any Lovecraft game. Arkham Horror tells great stories, and does so in both amazing and painful ways -- mostly painful, because the game is hard. It's complicated and convoluted and crazy, and that's what makes it such a fun and memorable game.

In play time it easily clock in at 2-3 hours for the average loner. It's sister game, Eldritch Horror is another good pick, but Arkham has the stronger theme of the two, and it really pulls you into the dark streets of its city.

4. Ghost Stories

Complicated yet sleek, Ghost Stories is probably one of the best solo games you will find.

Playing as a group of Taoist monks, you will attempt to exorcise Ghosts that are trying to destroy the village -- and stop the incarnation of Wu-Feng from destroying the world. There is a lot to learn in the game, from QI points to Tao tokens to Ying Yang tokens to ghost abilities to Taoist abilities...and the list just drones on. But once you get all this down, it really flows quickly and can clock in at about and hour -- even less for a solo game.

Hands down, the artwork is some of the most energetic, flowing, and vibrant you will find in a board game, and is honestly worth a buy solely for that. But beyond that, Ghost Stories is tactical and challenging, and with a theme to die for.

3. Mage Knight

Dive into the world of magic, exploration, and a shit ton of rules to remember. Mage Knight has all this in spades, and is a fun ride to boot. Taking place in the world of Mage Knight, this game has some fun exploration elements mixed with strategy drafting and battles. It has one heckuva learning curve, but if you're going to be playing alone, why not make the most of it?

The game has you build your strength with leveling and card-drafting, which can make it a lengthy game on a good day. The exploration phase in the game has you diving head long into dungeons running over fields, taking over territory and fighting for every piece you claim. It's a slow burn which forces you to think, and think damned hard.

But for anyone looking for a complicated fantasy theme, Mage Knight is probably the game for you.

2. Onirim

This game is short, fast, and the theme is unique -- almost beautiful in nature. Onirim captures the essence of dreams in cards. You are trying escape a dream realm while searching for keys and doors.

Essentially a match three game, Onirim has you combining cards to create said doors -- and then using keys to open them. But beware, the Nightmares are everywhere in the game, and they won't make life easy for you.

Onirim is small, quick and easy to learn -- and to play. Game-time is no more than 15 minutes at the most. It's something to do while waiting, or just to have some fun, and it really is a lot of fun.

1. Kingdom Death: Monster

And the mother of all solo games -- Kingdom Death: Monster is probably the biggest, heaviest and most awesome game on this list.

A story-driven game based on Kingdom Death, the game offers choices, RPG elements, characters, leveling up and epic gear -- it's the D&D game for people with no D&D.

Essentially this is three games in one: hunting, fighting and building. Each 'phase' has different rules and gameplay, so every campaign you attempt will work out a lot differently. You can craft gear, create villages and duel epic monsters all through one game. And like D&D, the campaign is ongoing.

The monster miniatures are beyond epic, and the board is dark, gritty -- though maybe a little dull -- and fits into the theme well. With eight full monsters to battle -- each with unique cards and abilities -- and more expansions already underway, Kindgom Death: Monster is the best game for any solo player to own.

At least next time you're ditched for a girl, movie, or outing, you'll have a few games to pick from that will let you have a blast all by your lonesome.

Which loner games do you guys recommend that weren't on the list? If you're more of an eSports person, you can also check out our top eSports games for single players



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Published Jun. 9th 2020

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