Time for another edition of Games I Haven’t Played, and this time I’ll be taking a look at games that I haven’t played that are for exactly one player. Most solo games I’ve played are either designed for one or more players, or just have a solo variant attached to them. So there’s not a whole lot of one player only games I have played, and not a lot of overlap with this list. Let’s get to it.
Under Falling Skies (Tomáš Uhlíř, 2020, #777) is the most recent addition to this list. It started life as a print-and-play, winning a PNP contest on BGG before Czech Games Edition picked it up. Basically, it’s a dice game where you’re trying to allocate them out in such a way to defeat hordes of incoming spaceships. It’s a pretty game and seems like a lot of fun. Of course, CGE are among my favorite publishers, so I’m almost always willing to check out something they do, even if it’s not by Vlaada Chvátil.
Ambush! (John H. Butterfield/Eric Lee Smith, 1983, #901) is a classic solitaire wargame set in World War II France. It was one of (if not the) first solitaire wargames – conventional wisdom to that point said you always needed someone to control the opposing player. Ambush! used scenarios, charts, tables, and paragraphs to control the opposing side. The player is trying to complete a mission, sending a squad out and checking events. I’m not a wargamer at all, so I’ve never thought about this one. It’s out of print, but I’d be willing to check it out.
Deep Space D-6 (Tony Go, 2015, #909) is a space game. The idea is that you were on a routine patrol, received a distress call, went to check it out, and it was a trap. Now you have to survive until the rescue fleet arrives. It’s a dice game where you’re trying to deal with internal and external threats. This is not a game I had heard of before, but it’s obviously pretty well liked. It may be one I need to check out sometime – seems like a nice quick and portable game I could pull out whenever.
Coffee Roaster (Saashi, 2015, #955) was originally published in Japan before Stronghold picked it up and released an English version in 2019. It’s a game about roasting coffee beans, making coffee, and trying to make the perfect cup. The game is a pool builder where you’re pulling beans from a bag to advance their roast level. I’m not a coffee drinker, so the theme does not appeal to me. But I have been interested in this one for a while because I’ve heard so many good things about it.
Thunderbolt Apache Leader (Dan Verssen, 2012, #980) is another solitaire wargame. This one is about providing air support. You’re flying through canyons, avoiding being shot out of the sky, and trying to complete eight different campaigns. It’s a reprint of a GMT game from 1991, which I also haven’t played. I don’t know, seems interesting. Again, I’m not a wargamer, so I don’t really know much about the genre, nor does it necessarily appeal to me.
Hostage Negotiator (AJ Porfirio, 2015, #1040) is a game where you are trying to negotiate the release of hostages. Cards and die rolls are used to represent the conversation between you and the hostage taker, and you’re trying to decrease the threat level as well as get those hostages freed. You don’t want too many to get executed, which should go without saying. I’ve been interested in this one, just haven’t ever pulled the trigger (so to speak) to get it.
Black Sonata (John Kean, 2017, #1151) is another one that started life as a PNP that won a BGG contest before getting published. This is a solo deduction game where you’re chasing the Dark Lady across London in the Shakespearean era, trying to solve one of the greatest mysteries in literature. Another one I’ve been interested in, but haven’t gotten to play. That should be rectified sometime in the near future.
Fields of Fire (Ben Hull, 2008, #1291) is another wargame, this one set between World War II and the present day. You’re commanding a rifle company through a number of missions. The game has no dice – it’s completely card based. There’s a terrain deck used for building the maps, and an action deck that determines what you can do. It’s another one I haven’t been interested in before, but I would play if given a chance.
Orchard (Mark Tuck, 2018, #1322) is a 9-card game that, like Under Falling Skies, won the 9-Card contest at BGG. In addition to cards, it uses 15 dice. The goal is to place cards and try to harvest fruits. There’s not really a reason I haven’t played this – I printed it out during the 9-card contest, just never actually played it. Maybe I should.
Maquis (Jake Staines, 2013, #1396) is another former PNP, and one that just recently Kickstarted a second edition. It’s a worker placement game set during the Nazi occupation of France. You’re placing resistance agents around to thwart the plans of your enemies. This is another that I’ve been interested in, but never actually went out and got.
Field Commander: Napoleon (Dan Verssen, 2011, #1526) is the third in the Field Commander series of solo games (following FC: Alexander and FC: Rommel, and preceding FC: Nimitz). The games are intended to make the careers of these military leaders more accessible. You lead your forces, charts and dice determine what your enemies do. I’ve heard good things about this, but again, wargame. Still, as with all of these, I’d play.
The only game that I skipped on the BGG list that I’ve played before is Friday (#415). After that, you have to go all the way down to #2376 (Finished) to find the next one I’ve played. Clearly, I have more work to do for my solo gaming.
That’s it for today. Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading!