A good single player board game?
December 23, 2008 3:16 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good single player board game?

I'm looking for personal recommendations for single player board games intended as a gift for a girl in her early twenties. Rush Hour immediately sprang to mind, but I would love to hear your suggestions.

What I'm not looking for: electronic games, suggestions for games with a deck of cards, sudoku's or crossword puzzles.
Online ordering is not an option, as I'll need it tonight. Luckily, we have some well stocked gamestores here.
posted by lioness to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There is a list of Single Player Board Games over at BoardGameGeek, but I do not know what would appeal to your recipient and likely be available. BGG might be a better place to ask?
posted by fings at 5:33 AM on December 23, 2008

Of the games on that BGG list, Agricola and Pandemic are the most likely to be easily available at the moment. I haven't played Agricola yet, but Pandemic is great and I see absolutely no reason why it wouldn't be fun single-player (though I don't have time to play it now to see, unfortunately). It's a co-operative game, where all the players are on the same side against the burgeoning epidemics; one of its few flaws is that if you're playing multiplayer and have one bossy player, they apparently tend to take everyone else's turn for them and play it single-player anyway. It does say "2-4" players on the box, though, don't know if that's going to be a problem - if not I would suggest this.

Failing that, Ricochet Robots is fun, if a bit less likely to be in shops. There are robots which move around an environment following certain rules, and you have to figure out how to get them to their end point in as few moves as possible (without forgetting how you did it). The process of reaching one target sets up the game board for the next target, which... etc. In the multiplayer game you're racing against other players to find a short path. There's not (at least in my copy) explicit single-player rules, but I used to play on my own when I felt like that particular sort of brain exercise, trying to beat my previous times to find ten different targets - and boardgamegeek has it "recommended" for 1 player, so I can't be the only one! Like Pandemic, however, it's a multiplayer game that you can play single player if you want to, rather than a game that's specifically designed to be single-player, so no good if you want something that's explicitly solitaire.
posted by severalbees at 6:14 AM on December 23, 2008

I will second Pandemic. I've played it alone as a dry run before a board gaming night, and it works almost as well as multiplayer. Almost simply due to the fact that hey, more people more fun. But mechanically the game is great for single-player.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:31 AM on December 23, 2008

PGG is a good place to start - but if your well-stocked gamestores are anything like the one I used to have (*sniff* I miss you, Phantom of the Attic!) the staff is probably a great resource for recommendations, especially if you're working on a tight deadline.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:34 AM on December 23, 2008

Banangrams is fun and can be played solitaire. It's basically scrabble without a board. It's really quite fun.
posted by nomad73 at 11:36 AM on December 23, 2008

Sorry - that would be Bananagrams.
posted by nomad73 at 11:37 AM on December 23, 2008

Oddly enough, I've always enjoyed Backgammon as a solitaire game, but that's just me
posted by Redhush at 2:53 PM on December 23, 2008

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