Games are for kids, they say. But did you know that adults can benefit from playing games as much as kids do? Games can create a virtual world where your mind can escape, even if it’s just for a few minutes. They can help you relax, ward off anxiety, and enhance productivity. Perhaps that’s why many companies have created company game rooms where employees can be playful, socialize, and de-stress. But what about those of us that are single and working from home? Do you have to throw game nights to have some fun with your buddies? Not anymore! Playing games solo is far from new and offers a bundle of benefits. The best part? You can disconnect from reality and plunge into your parallel universe whenever you feel like it. Let’s take a look at some of the best games for solo play.
The Best Solo Game to Play
Do you like puzzle games? What about a puzzle with a twist? The Monkey Pod Games FlexiShapes Puzzle had us so hooked that we’ve crowned it as the best choice around. Constructed using 64 wooden cubes and a durable band, this is unlike any other puzzles you’ve seen. The FlexiShapes Puzzle opens up a world of endless possibilities: twist and turn the cubes as you wish to create abstract shapes, alien vehicles, and even wildlife. More than a toy, it’s a portable device that can help you fight anxiety and boost productivity.
The game comes with access to a dedicated website where you can watch step-by-step videos and tips to help you find additional challenges. The game is suitable for kids and adults alike. Complete with attractive packaging, this is an excellent gift for the puzzle enthusiasts in your life.
Innovative puzzle with countless solutions
Made up of 64 wooden cubes
Suitable for ages 6+
Access to online solutions
New challenges online
- BrandMonkey Pod Games
- Weight1.15 pounds
If you’ve long been looking for a solo game to play that can keep you away from your phone for good, then Onirim might be it. This exciting adult card game can be played by one or two participants, making it an excellent choice for solo gameplay. With a playtime of around 15 minutes, it’s undeniably one of your best bets if you’re looking for a quick reprieve. Although the format is similar to a board game, at its heart, Onirim is a puzzle.
A game of suspense, Onirim also delivers its fair share of excitement. With seven expansions and an appendix available, Onirim is a worthy investment that will keep you entertained time and again. And just like the FlexiShapes puzzle, it can be played by the whole family, ages ten and up.
Solo or cooperative card game
For up to 2 players
Suitable for ages 10 and up
- BrandZ-Man Games
- Weight7.5 ounces
Designed with the lone-wolf in mind, The Abandons Solitaire Card Game – Dungeon Maze is one of the most captivating games you can play on your own. Fun for both teens and adults, the game builds an alternate reality where you struggle to escape a dangerous maze. This solo board game is easy enough to learn and play but expect a challenge. Drawing a card may aid you in your escape, relegate you to the point of no return, or results in your untimely end. Between the choices made and cards drawn, this game offers countless combinations, making it one you can play again and again tirelessly.
Not only is Dungeon Maze notably fun and versatile, but it also boasts a retro aesthetic and is convenient portability. No doubt, an excellent investment at a price that won’t break the bank.
Fun solitaire labyrinth escape game
For solo players
Simple to learn and play
Endless game possibilities
- BrandPuzzling Pixel Games
- Weight3.2 ounces
A brilliant solo game to play at the office or home, The Genius Square 60000+ Solutions STEM Puzzle Game can keep you hooked for hours. It’s Tetris with a twist, in that each game comprises a series of immovable obstacles. Like Tetris, the object is to align shapes within a gridlike environment. Genius Square’s twist? You must shepherd the falling forms around seven blockers. Failure to correctly maneuver each shape may render the puzzle unsolvable.
Designed by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the game is ideal for one or two players of all ages.
For similar options that you can play with a friend, check out our selection of the best two-player board games.
Fun to play alone or with an opponent
Endless solution possibilities
Very easy to play
Ideal for training your brain
For players ages 6 and up
- Weight1 pounds
Combining elements of traditional board games, deck-building games, and RPGs, the Mage Knight is proof that board games can be enjoyable even when playing alone – although you can always ask a couple of buddies to join you. The purpose of the game is to build an invincible army that can help you defeat bands of enemies and conquer the various cities of this fantasy world. With 240 cards, 196 tokens, and 20 map titles, the possibilities are endless. Mana crystals are available to enhance your gameplay, and a variety of surprises will stump you along the way. Suitable for players aged 14 and up, the game includes two game mats and two rule books.
Before embarking on this adventure, be prepared to set aside two hours of playtime. And while it’s not the least expensive game on our list, we think that the quality craftsmanship, engaging storyline, and catching gameplay make the Mage Knight a worthwhile buy.
Engaging board game
For 1-4 players
2 game mats and rule books included
- ModelWZK 70495
- Weight3.8 pounds
Inspired by video games, the Rio Grande Games Friday is a fun solo adventure on a deserted island. Your purpose is to help the main character, Robinson, win the final battle against pirates. To accomplish this, Robinson must build skills and overcome various challenges. Multiple cards, 22 wooden life points, and three storage boards make up this thrilling adventure game, which requires around half an hour from start to finish.
Although the concept is simple, this solo game is ideal for strategy enthusiasts seeking a challenge. A randomized deck order, various in-game options, and four levels of difficulty combine to deliver an endlessly replayable game.
If you’re looking for a perfect game for the entire family, check out our selection of the best family board games.
1 player game
Excellent replay value
- BrandRio Grande Games
- ModelRGG 457
- Weight10.1 ounces
Whether you’re social distancing or an introvert at heart, this Sherlock Holmes murder mystery will delight and enthrall. The Thames Murders & Other Cases takes the famous sleuth’s penchant for solving crime and puts the detective work into your hands. What makes this game stand out is the unique structure that will keep you engaged until the mystery is solved.
The box includes ten unique and mysterious cases. Each mystery comes with a casebook, newspaper articles, and map of London with which to navigate the city. Luck has nothing to do with it; to solve the crime, you must deduce the facts using the clues provided. Playing this multifaceted and challenging game will develop your strategic skills, improve your focus, and enhance your decision-making.
The Thames Murders & Other Cases is an excellent choice for solo or group play, and the various levels of difficulty make it perfect for newbies and seasoned players alike.
Be sure to also check out our guide to the best trivia games for more fun options at your game nights.
10 mystery games in 11
Ideal for teens and adults
Excellent replay value
Can be played alone or with friends
Improves your decision-making and focus
- Brand Fantasy Flight Games
- Weight4 pounds
Unbroken: a Solo Game of Survival and Revenge is an operative card game designed with adult players in mind. It transports you into a dark reality, where you’ll fight dark forces and use your cards to survive various challenges. Sponsored on Kickstarter, Unbroken has enjoyed widespread acclaim. The crisp and fun play means you can enjoy this game without sacrificing your time.
Do keep in mind that shipping and delivery for Unbroken may be slower than some of its competitors, but we’d argue that this high-quality game is worth the wait.
For the fans of chess, we’ve prepared our selection of the best chess sets.
Operative card game
Cards can be packed in a smaller box and are portable
Ideal for home or office
For players 12 years and up
- BrandGolden Bell Studios
- Weight1.81 pounds
The Simon Micro Series Game is a genuinely engaging, fast-paced game to play during your lunch break or in between chores. While simple in concept, this longstanding staple has been shown to increase fine-motor skills, coordination, and concentration. And upgrade to the original, Simon Micro includes even more challenges and levels to keep players of all ages engaged. Receive a point for every correctly met command, which includes bopping, twisting, and pulling the device in sequence. Sequences increase in complexity as you progress. For fun with friends, place Simon in Pass It mode and pass it between players. You may also like some of the best poker sets from our list, so check them out.
Single or 2-player mode
Suitable for players 8 years and up
Demo batteries included
Ideal office game
- BrandHasbro Gaming
- Weight0.32 ounces
Solo Games To Play Buying Guide
Features to Look for in Solo Games
Playing a solo game may sound a little silly, but with so many to choose from, that feeling couldn't be more wrong. We all need some alone time now and then, so why not unwind with something that's both engaging and entertaining? If you're a newcomer to solo gaming, knowing where to start can be daunting. To make things easier, here are a few things to check out before buying.
Engagement – The most important thing to look for in a solo game - or in any game - is the level of engagement it has to offer. There is nothing worse than a dull game. To choose an engaging one, first assess which types of games you like. If you prefer plot-based board games, solving a puzzle isn't likely to be your first choice.
Once you've established the type of game that suits you, look into reviews by other players. Try to get a feel of the game before ordering it, to prevent disappointment.
Replay value – Some games have a single solution, and once you discover it, you might lose interest in the game. Others allow you to make decisions and find various solutions to get to the end. These games have high replay value since you'll be able to play them over and over again without getting bored.
Whether you need a good replay value is up to you. If you're more of a puzzle person, for instance, buying a new puzzle each time you've completed an image won't bother you too much.
However, if you like board games, then investing in a game that offers you slightly different gameplay each time you put it on the table might benefit you more.
Solo game type – We already mentioned that there are various types of solo games, and styles extend beyond that of board games and puzzles. Card games are a great option, and publishers have catered generously to the solo player. Tetris-style games can also be engaging, and time-sensitive games like Simon can add a little excitement to the experience.
While most games are engaging in some way, not all may appeal to you. If you haven't played solo games much, maybe you aren't sure which types are up your alley. We recommend that you sample as many kinds as you can until you find what suits you best. From there, you have a plethora from which to choose no matter the style.
Size – Maybe surface space and storability are relevant factors for you. You may not have room for a closet full of games, or maybe you want to sneak in a game at work? Fortunately, there are quite a few compact games available to meet your spatial needs.
Portability – Solo games are fun to play at home or the office, but they can also be particularly handy when you're on a business trip or when camping alone. If you plan to take the game with you on your adventure, consider its portability.
Some deck-building games, for instance, may come with too many pieces and components. The small pieces are usually easy to lose.
On the other hand, unified devices like puzzle cubes, fidget spinners, and even the popular Simon Game won't shed any pieces. Again, assess your needs and choose a game that suits your needs while keeping you entertained.
Consider these factors, weigh your options, and the rest is all fun and games.