For anyone self-isolating here is a list of some of my favorite games to play solo, 2 player or with family. It is also applicable for holidays, long journeys or at Christmas (when you’re stuck with your family for 2 weeks anyway).
I don’t really play solo games but my husband does, and if I have to self-isolate in our spare room I might take them up!
Arkham Horror (or Arkham Horror: The card game) – With all the expansions this could not only take up your 2 weeks but probably 6 months. As with most Lovecraft games, you take the part of an investigator roaming the city, tooling up and fighting till the big old elder gribbly shows his evil face.
Mr Cabbagehead’s Garden – This has the added bonus of being a print and play so you don’t have to order anything to get it, also if you’re self-isolating you might enjoy the added element of a craft project. To play you lay beautiful cards into a grid to impress the Garden Committee and score points.
Shaddows Upon Lassadar – Another of Todd Sander’s beautiful print and plays. A fantasy quest game where you play a magician who must find the lost keys while learning new spells but be careful not to become corrupted.
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective (and expansions) – We really love Sherlock and took this on our honeymoon, so it could be in the two player or family sections. Players explore the board, visiting locations and looking up clues to answer a mystery, you then compare your score to that of the great detective’s.
Railroad Ink (or Welcome To) – Roll and writes (or flip and fill) are everywhere and have the benefit of a wide player count (Welcome To has 1-100). I happen to prefer Railroad Ink but any roll and write could fill in for this entry. In Railroad Ink you design the most efficient railroad and road network based on the options presented to you from the dice roll.
2 Player Games:
The majority of my gameplay is 2 player and these are some of my favorites.
Ravens of Thri Sahashri – Whenever someone asks about 2 player games this is what I always suggest. It’s a co-op card game based on limited communication, where one player has to try to help the other regain their lost memories through the drawing and sharing of cards.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defense Against the Dark Arts – I’m a massive Harry Potter fan so gain added enjoyment from this one. It’s a competitive deck builder where opponents try to curse, hex and generally zap each other to the end of the player board.
Pandemic – Possibly not a good one for the current climate, or oddly appropriate, take your choice. It’s a strategic co-op game based around attempting to contain and eradicate a pandemic… not prescient at all.
Forbidden Desert (or Sky or Island) – All of the “Forbidden” games are great and work in a similar way. Again, they’re co-op strategy games; Desert involves using your abilities to build a plane (with lovely pieces that click together) before the desert buries them. These are also fantastic family games which we have played while stuck inside on a rainy holiday in Cornwall.
Machi Koro – I really enjoy Machi Koro and we’re currently working our way through the Legacy version which is fantastic. It’s a dice roller with a light engine building element, where players roll dice and buy buildings to create a city.
We happen to not have anyone under the age of 25 in our family but these could be played with kids and are particularly enjoyed by my almost retired mum.
Ticket to Ride – A great family game which we enjoy so much that have most of the editions. There are some really good 2 player versions, London is a particular favorite (purple buses driving around London, yes please) so could be included in the 2-player section. It’s a competitive set collection game based around trying to complete route cards by collecting coloured cards and placing trains.
Happy Salmon – A light, loud part game which my sister loves. If you need to get up and burn of a bit of energy its great fun but there are quiet rules in case you don’t want to over-excite small children and a version for people with mobility issues. You have a deck of cards and have to complete actions with other players.
Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Another of my sister’s favs and surprisingly tense. It’s a co-op simultaneous dice roller with push your luck and exploration elements, where players explore a temple against a tension inducing sound track timer. You have to retrieve gems, reveal the exit then escape the temple before the time runs out.
Deep Sea Adventure – This is a great small box, push your luck, time filler game. Players roll dice to move down tiles and try to pick up treasure, but as soon as you pick some up your joint oxygen begins to decrease. Your aim is to return to the submarine laden with treasure while trying not to be drowned by your opponents.
Mysterium – A real family favorite and has been played maybe a little too much (we have the expansion to mitigate this and recently bought but haven’t tried Obscurio). One player is a ghost trying to communicate the information of their murder to a group of mediums. This is done through the silent ghost handing out wonderfully weird cards to indicate first the killer, then the location and finally the weapon. For a more sci-fi, Stranger Things version of this mechanic Greenville 1989 is brilliant.
So that’s my list, I didn’t realise just how many co-op games we play! What would be on your isolation list?