When people play tabletop games whether it is a board game or a card game, they think of it as a social activity to play with others. They play with a friend or children to bond with and to enjoy a good game. They hang out with friends just to play games and have some snacks. But there is a growing aspect of tabletop games, and that is playing a tabletop game by yourself.
Why play solo?
Playing solo is a great way to learn to play a game so you can teach your friends or family to play and look like a pro. Also it is just comforting to just play by yourself and learn some strategies.
Some people say that is weird to just play a game by yourself as if you are unable to interact with other human beings. That you live your life as some hermit talking to meeples as if they are alive and sentient. But how it is different playing a video game by yourself? Goodness, how much time I spent just playing a video game all by myself whether it is Resident Evil 4 or Baldur's Gate. No one think we are weirdos when we sit on front of the game console or computer playing for hours whiles cursing at preprogrammed sprites that just killed your character.
What games can you play solo?
Hero Realms with the The Ruin of Thandar expansion
I play a few games by myself. The Ruin of Thandar expansion lets you take the game Hero Realms to play like a campaign whether with friends (or enemies) or play by yourself. You fight different boss monsters and their minions. The boss has its own deck and when playing a card, it activates one of the boss's abilities to use against you. It requires the base game, Hero Realms and at least one of the character packs like Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Wizard or Thief that would be the character you play with their own abilities and you can pick up more powers or abilities when playing.
One Deck Dungeon
Another game that is great for solo play is One Deck Dungeon. It has a deck of cards and dice. It plays up to 4 people, but you can play the solo version where you use the solo version of the character cards which balances out your character to take on monsters or traps by yourself. You can gain levels, pick up more abilities and skills. You have many dungeons to choose to play in and you must complete3 floors until you meet the boss. The cards represent rooms and you flip a card to reveal a trap or encounter which you use your dice to defeat.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Another game is Tiny Epic Galaxies where instead of playing against other players, you can flip a player card over to reveal a Rogue Galaxy that has conditions that affect your play as you are competing with the Rogue Galaxy for 21 or victory points to end the game. There are many levels of Rogue Galaxies to play against so playing is fresh and a challenge as you get better at playing the game.
I also have a game called Terraforming Mars which can be played solo where you have 14 generations (or turns) to terraform Mars like increasing the planet's temperature and oxygen levels and adding water tiles and plant tiles as well as cities. The multiplayer version gives you 20 generations or turns so it is a shorter game playing solo, but you are not competing against anyone else.
There is also Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. These are made by the same company, Gamewright. The board is made up of different tiles so it is always different every time you play. In Forbidden Island, you race against time as the island is sinking and you have a few characters with different abilities to find the 4 elemental treasures and escaping off the island at the Fool'a landing tile. To play solo, it is best to play 2 characters at least even though this game wasn't meant for solo play. Same with Forbidden Desert, you are racing against time, but this time it is the scorching sun that will kills you and the tiles are covered in shifting sand. You have to locate parts of a flying machine to use to escape the desert.
So consider playing some games solo and you'll find it to be quite engaging as well as relaxing as you don't have to deal with the 3-D folk. Keep gaming.