All by myself

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

Board games for one

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator


So, how did your Valentine’s Day go? Oh? Really? That bad, eh? Well, don’t worry, the Chairman of the Board has you covered, you poor, lonely sot. Here are some great games to play by yourself.

For those of you who like a little adventure, you can pick up a game based on one of the loneliest men in the world. Robinson Crusoe (2012) is a game where you have to survive on a deserted isle by collecting resources and crafting civilization with your own two hands. And if the colonialism of Jacobian-era Britain has you down you can always play Friday (2011), where you play Robinson Crusoe’s native friend trying to make sure this stupid white man doesn’t die from exposure on his first night.

If you’re looking for something a little more, well, legendary, you can try Legendary (2012) or Legendary Encounters (2014) depending on whether you’re in the mood for Marvel superheroes or sci-fi monsters. Though the games can be played with multiple people, they are still challenging with just one.

When I’m lonely, I like to think of the cold void of space and my favourite cancelled shows. Firefly (2013) has several missions designed for solo players to take on by themselves as they fly into the black.

I know you don’t want to feel like a loser, but what if you are losing to unimaginable horrors? Arkham Horror (2005) and any of the Call of Cthulu Lovecraftian horror games allow you to play all by yourself. Great if you have several hours to kill due to the loneliness driving you mad.

Maybe helping others will help pass the time? Even though they are generally considered cooperative games, Pandemic (2008) and Flash Point (2011) can offer the same sort of harrowing adventure for one as they can for larger groups.