Tonight on GeekNights, we consider single player tabletop games. Distinct from Solitaire and Simple Games or Solitaire Puzzles, expanding on our discussion of The Number of Players, we look at what it takes to have a regular old tabletop game for one. We cite Why No One Will Game With You in the course of this, but there are plenty of great single player experiences (so long as they are official rules and the game was designed with a solo mode in mind).
In the news, Blades in the Dark continues to be fantastic, Cult of the Lamb is moderately disappointing to Rym, Moonbreaker holds promise, the fake Amazon-buys-EA story was debunked before we even saw the bunk, and Disney is throwing the weight of its intellectual property around with a high-production TCG: Lorcana.
Things of the Day
Shut Up and Sit Down put out a bunch of videos and articles at the beginning of the pandemic about solo games. Solo designed experiences can be really interesting, but your right about they boil down to puzzle, optimize, or story.
This is a good place to start for unique solo games as a learning tool for design and some enjoyment.
I just remembered two that are on Itch.io
This stream plays the game and shows you how it works if you want to get an idea of what it entails.
Also if you look up Dice Friends they also cover the books Rym mentioned on the podcast for the single player RPG experience.
Only finally getting around to listening to this, one small correction on the Agricola solo play, you’re supposed to play the game over 7 rounds, and there’s a min score to hit in every round, which gets higher as the rounds go on. Between each round you get to save some of the random cards you got from the previous rounds.
I honestly love Uwe’s solo play rules for his games.