Recommendations for the games to play solo or at the pub

So I got a request for a recommendation for a present for a fresh uni student who is an avid gamer himself but hasn‘t quite figured out if there are other gamers there as well (there surely are). The budget is 20€ and that is the real challenge here.

Priority is solo but I would also add pub games that „anyone can play“ would qualify as well. The game also needs to be available right now. The solos I came up with that are broadly in that range are Sprawlopolis, Rove and Under Falling Skies. Most other good solo-able games that have some staying power are in the 40+ € range.

Any ideas?

(If this was a birthday present I‘d just chip in. But my guess it is for Christmas and there are a bunch of other kids getting presents so that‘s a fixed thing)

Huh, solo pub games are tricky.
If he has more people, Skull is a great pub game.

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solo or pub :blush:
Mini Rogue is one that turned up.

Seems like a roll and write style of game might work here. Dice can be cleaned, and sheets can be laminated. Can usually be played solo. Ganz Schon Clever is around $20. Never played it myself, but have heard many good things.


I reckon you want something that you can play solo, but if someone shows interest other people can join you for a game.

6 nimmt
That’s Not a Hat
Skull King
Piraten Kapern is rubbish but fun
Can you get Push It?

All belting pub games.

Actually, I’d top up whatever you buy with a really cool deck of cards. Solitaire, Crib/ Haggis, 99, Spades, Egyptian Ratscrew. Sorted


Thinking of cleanable materials: Railroad Ink?


Great shout, dice always attract a crowd

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the family has all of the clever dicegames and they are not his thing or i would have recommended them.

Tinderblox and Kittin are great little dexterity games for killing some time in the pub.

The new mini version of Azul also seems perfectly suited for pub conditions, being covered in plastic, etc.

For solo: One Deck Dungeon is a more complex solo game that doesn’t cost the Earth or take up loads of space.

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“Then why was that not listed among our assets?” :stuck_out_tongue:

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Regicide, I guess?


Port Royal?
(if you get the expansion that includes solo, which I think now means getting the ‘big box’)

I enjoy it solo or with others.

In alphabetical order, the following are all games I’ve enjoyed playing solo which I’m guessing that you might be able to pick up for that budget (especially at present with sales happening).

As a “pub game”, although it’s only for two players, I’d consider Hive Pocket – very portable, and a safe option around food and drink. Martian Dice is even smaller and equally food/drink-proof and supports any number of players (within reason).


For non-solo, I’d add


Used to play a lot of Button Men in the pub.

I just went through my BGG collection to add a comment to every game which either had a solo mode as standard, or which seemed to have one in its Variants forum, and I’m fairly stunned by how many of the latter I found – there are 33 games in my collection which are apparently “solo-able” to some extent (ignoring two-handed play), which I wasn’t previously aware of.

No doubt some of those variants are not great (including some of the standard modes!), but still… it’s a lot more than I was expecting. I may have missed some – there are some games I didn’t even bother checking, but also some which I decided to check even though I was certain it was pointless, only to find that someone had indeed created a solo mode.


There are a lot of people out there who believe every game should have a solo mode. As such, there are a lot of people willing to develop one for games that don’t, so for the games I own, I don’t think there would be a number with solo variants that surprised me.


I know the 1PG has been split on this - some “it’s great, every game has a solo mode now” and others “yeah, but many of them are rubbish, clearly only put in to tick the kickstarter keyword”.


Sometimes playing Multi-handed is to be preferred over the solo-mode (I am looking at you, Oath–and probably Cuba Libre, just a glance at the non-player sheets had me recoil. I can’t get more than 1 hand of Pax Pamir into my brain so that’s a nogo for multi-handing but I hate Wakan.)


Seems to be generally true of Aeon’s End / Astro Knights too - you can play with just one player-entity but it’s more fun to do it with two. Sentinels needs 3-5 player-entities and you can allocate them among the players however you like.