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Subject: Solo Game Suggestions? [Criteria Included] rss

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Brett Emil
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
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Hi all, I have small kids and often no one to play board games with. So, I'm looking at getting a few solo games and could use your suggestions. I already own One Deck Dungeon and I've liked that so far.

Criteria

Time - I'm looking for games that are 90 minutes or less including setup / teardown. That's about how much time I have at night to play. I can't leave games on the table for the next day.

Win Condition - I don't like games where winning is just scoring a number of points. "If you score __ points, you win," that type of solo win condition isn't interesting to me. You'll notice the games below have other types of win conditions.

Here are the games on my Want list:
Thunderbolt Apache Leader
Nemo's War
Pandemic: The Cure
One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows
Aeon's End
Legendary: Marvel
Lagendary: Alien
Spirit Island
Robinson Crusoe
Too Many Bones
Friday
Deep Space D-6

Questions

Do these games fit my criteria?

What other games would you recommend?

Thanks!
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Comboteur "Crazed 'Beastface' Survivor" Fou
France
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Nemo's War won't make it. Too long, and it's points.

Get Aeon's End, no questions asked.
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Kevin Shaud
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Aeon's End, Pandemic: The Cure, and Spirit Island are all a good fit. If you like a war theme, Pavlov's House is a good one.
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Jason Brown
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Crofton
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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is my favorite of those on your list. It will push your 90-minute requirement, especially the first couple of plays when you’re referring back to rules for clarification.
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Mr Gaki
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is my favorite of those on your list. It will push your 90-minute requirement, especially the first couple of plays when you’re referring back to rules for clarification.
I agree
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Andy Phillips
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Thunderbolt Apache Leader is campaign based. You will definitely be able to fly a mission or 2 in 90mins, but not a full campaign. While possible, saving a campaign part-way through is a bit of a pain - much better if you can leave it set-up.
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Kevin Shaud
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AndyP123 wrote:
Thunderbolt Apache Leader is campaign based. You will definitely be able to fly a mission or 2 in 90mins, but not a full campaign. While possible, saving a campaign part-way through is a bit of a pain - much better if you can leave it set-up.

Agreed. It's pretty much the same story for any of the the Leader games.
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Zach Nuss
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San Pedro
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I have 3 kids 4 and under, so I’m in the same boat. My solo game rotation for games played under 90 mins including setup and teardown:

- Aeons End
- Legendary Marvel
- Explorers of the North Sea (best your own score though)
- Raiders of the North Sea (need to purchase solo variant separately)
- Architects of the West Kingdom
- Spirit Island (playing one Spirit)
- Terraforming Mars
- Scythe (this is close to the 90 mins with setup and teardown though)
- Wingspan

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Marco Teti
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gaki wrote:
MAJBrown22 wrote:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is my favorite of those on your list. It will push your 90-minute requirement, especially the first couple of plays when you’re referring back to rules for clarification.
I agree

same with spirit island.

From the games you mentioned, Aeons end for sure.

Raiders of the North seas with the solo AI deck. It plays pretty good. May want to invest in the expansions too. makes the game much better.
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Brett Emil
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is my favorite of those on your list. It will push your 90-minute requirement, especially the first couple of plays when you’re referring back to rules for clarification.

Thanks! Yes, I understand that the first couple plays may be longer and that's okay. Just regular playtime can't be over 90. I hear great things about Mage Knight, but just won't have the time to play it.
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Brett Emil
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Nussknackerz wrote:
I have 3 kids 4 and under, so I’m in the same boat.

Yes, exactly! My wife would be happy to play, but she's caring for the kids late at night and I can fit a game in before bed.
 
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Andrea F.
Italy
Roma
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Of this list, if you already enjoy the art/theme/mechanics it's safer to keep it in the same game family whenever unmet relatives exist. Hence, for you, sister expansion One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows at first, and then, maybe, keep an eye on the upcoming KS for uncle One Deck Galaxy for next year's gaming family gathering.

For your consideration, I strongly recommend Maquis over Friday, as the very quick multi-play game in 90min (4-5), suggest Tiny Epic Zombies as a quick one (2-3), and propose Escape from 100 Million B.C. as the 90min single play game: it's thematic dice-chucking fun, meaty but not brain-burning as many in your list... after all, it's almost sleepy time! snore



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Chad Brosius
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Deep Space D-6 is a fun little dice chucker that takes less than 90 mins to play (thinking 15-20 mins). If you're familiar w/ the computer game FTL (Faster Than Light), it has that kind of feel to it (move your ship thru space fighting off enemies here and there until the final 'boss' fight at the end). Simply rolling/assigning dice to different stations on the ship to perform actions.

Comes w/ different ships that have different styles (1 ship more attack focused, 1 is more defensive focused, 1 is a jack of all trades style, and 1 is unique to its own) so a good amt of replay ability.
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Greg Mahler
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I have 3 kiddoes under 4 as well and my wife does not like to play; so i'm all solo except for My first Castle Panic, How Tall am I, Spot It, Eye Found It, and all sorts of those game that the kids love to play.

On your list, Too Many Bones will probably push the limits of the 90 minute mark, although it is a good, highly random game.

Here are my recommendations for you:

-Bastion
-Renegade
-Tournament Fishing: The Deckbuilding Game
-Roll Player but with Roll Player: Monsters & Minions
-Sentinels of the Multiverse
-Heroes of Tenefyr
-Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
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Brett Emil
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ChadBrosius wrote:
Deep Space D-6

Yep! I have that on my list already, seems like a good fit.
 
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Arianne H
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+1 for Raiders of the North Sea with solo variant (check gameboardbliss store in Canada)

+1 for Aeon's End -- you can play two handed or one-handed

+1 for Deep Space D-6, but try to find the Endless Expansion as it adds great mechanics

+1 for Roll Player with Monsters and Minions. Even though I'm not into beat your own score either, I really enjoy the puzzly nature of this one, and when you add in the expansion you can make your win condition beating that monster. It was my surprise like of the year -- a gift from my wife that she thought I would like, and she was right!

Consider Hostage Negotiator

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Brett Emil
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Great suggestions. I'll add Hostage Negotiator. I looked at Roll Player, but moved away because it was "beat your own score" win condition. Thanks for the info on the expansion! Expensive purchase though.
 
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Rick Mann
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Some small-box, light, quick, relaxing games which I enjoy solo:


Assembly
Friday
Onirim
Set a Watch
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Erik Jordheim
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Pandemic: the Cure is a great game and defiantly fits your criteria and I think Spirit Island also makes the cut as a true solo (one spirit) game. Doing more than one spirit will make the game longer but, as you solo each spirit and gain experience, you may also find that you can play faster...

With little kids in the house you might also want to consider Forbidden Island. It meets your criteria, is fun solo and is a great entry point for kids into gaming if they all move like adventurers.

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Seung-Bin Bae
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As others mentioned, Aeon's End is a perfect fit.

Once being familiar with rules, Spirit Island would be possible especially with one spirit.

It is not impossible to finish Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island in 90 mins, but you will need to know the rules very well to achieve that. This is not an easy game to learn at first, so it will take some time.
 
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emilbrett wrote:
ChadBrosius wrote:
Deep Space D-6

Yep! I have that on my list already, seems like a good fit.

I'm selling my DSD6 + expansion if interested. I'm in WI so shipping shouldn't be awful. link
 
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John Albertson
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I suggest Architects of West Kingdom over Raiders. It's faster, has more variability, and it costs less.

Dice Settlers would fit based on some of the other games you listed. It has an excellent AI opponent and lets you chuck dice (with mitigation).
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Jakub K.
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As you already listed Pandemic: The Cure you might be also interested in Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. It's an interesting twist on Pandemic mechanism with minis instead of cubes and additional tiny bit of randomness in form of the sanity die. Not an annoying kind of randomness but rather thematic - as in playing safe or rather do something more rewarding but risk loosing your mind. When an investigator becomes insane it's not the end. Their special ability is altered (e.g. Driver can travel 2 locations instead of 1 but when insane he always moves 2).
The only downside for me is difficulty scaling. I don't feel much more tension on harder levels though it's still more difficult to win. Not like Forbidden Island, where you see from the start that the island is sinking faster.

I also find Viticulture Essential Edition quite fun to play. When not interrupted I can squeeze a play within an hour or so (including set up and tear down) and I am usually rather slow. It might not be exactly up your alley as you score points during the game. But it's not BYOS. You have 7 rounds to beat an automa. Automa only blocks some actions and has fixed score. What makes the solo mode interesting is the campaign - set of 8 challenges. Each time you lose to Automa you gain additional bonus token for that challenge - kind of handicap system. There's also harder mode where automa gains VPs each round and you loose if you ever get behind. And if you like the game, there are expansions (I didn't try any yet). It also looks fantastic.


Edit (as I can type fast but take too long to think about what I'm writing):
Vooshvazool wrote:
Pandemic: the Cure is a great game and defiantly fits your criteria and I think Spirit Island also makes the cut as a true solo (one spirit) game. Doing more than one spirit will make the game longer but, as you solo each spirit and gain experience, you may also find that you can play faster...

With little kids in the house you might also want to consider Forbidden Island. It meets your criteria, is fun solo and is a great entry point for kids into gaming if they all move like adventurers.

+1 on Pandemic: The Cure and Forbidden Island.
Kids love translucent dice and artifacts. They might get interested when they see you playing these and want to join you. Depending on age you could let them play or at least pretend and let them move the pieces.

Both games are rather on the light side without being too simplistic. Perfect for tired parents.

I only played Spirit Island once so far but it seems to require much more brain power than the former two.
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Marit Alanen
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Of the ones on your list and that others have recommended, I'll second Pandemic: The Cure, One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows, Friday, and Deep Space D-6 as meeting your criteria. I own them all and enjoy them (I love dice! Although Friday doesn't have dice), especially DSD6 -- as someone suggested adding in the Endless expansion provides more variety, plus there's a campaign in the files section called The Long Way Home, which gives even more variety to the game and might still qualify for your 90-minute limit (it's not a very long campaign).

I also love Too Make Bones, but I think you'd be hard pressed to finish in 90 minutes. Or at least I am, but then maybe I'm not that good at it.
 
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Trogdor The Burninator
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Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game also fits your criteria. A great game solo, and with others. Too graphically violent for small kids tho.
 
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