The Top Ten Solitaire Boardgames of All Time

Solid suggestions. Welcome to Qt3!

@uidurimaron, the article you’re replying to includes Spirit Island! It was my #6 pick!

Man, it’s been forever since I’ve Spirit Islanded, but I nevertheless bought a whole mess of new content when the last expansion came out. Nature Incarnate. I have yet to touch it! I know the digital version of Spirit Island has been getting updated with Branch and Claw content, which I believe it didn’t used to have. So, yes, great time to be a Spirit Island fan. @uidurimaron, have you tried any of the Nature Incarnate stuff? If so, any thoughts?

As for Friday, classic recommendation, but it always struck me as brutally difficult and lacking much variety. Do you know Peer Sylvester’s The Lost Expeditions? It’s another solitaire game played with a single deck of cards, similar survival-in-the-jungle theme, pretty baldly mathy. But I find that one more forgiving, and I prefer the larger cards and Tin-Tin style artwork.

EDIT: Corrected game name. Thanks, @Fardaza!

Yeah, they started with the base game, rolled out Branch and Claw, did the first two of the four promotional spirits, and most recently added the huge Jagged Earth expansion. I don’t know when to expect the two promo spirits from the Jagged Earth crowdfunding or Nature Incarnate but it seems plausible that they could actually catch up to the physical boardgame at this rate. For one thing, they’ve had an awful time fulfilling Nature Incarnate in Europe, so they are unlikely to start funding the Dahan-centric expansion the designer keeps talking about doing until that’s thoroughly resolved.

If that’s what’s next. He has been talking about that thing since before Nature Incarnate was even teased. But Nature Incarnate is pretty cool. Lots of interesting new spirits and the ones that have a physical presence (the incarnate part) lend a whole different spin to things. I particularly liked playing the one that’s basically a walking mountain, who can absolutely wreck invaders where it is incarnated, but doesn’t have much range at all and is quite slow.

Ah, I didn’t realize any of that! Thanks for the update. As I said, it’s been years since I’ve touched Spirit Island, and I’ve only thought about when I figured I’d buy the Nature Incarnate expansion just because I might as well be a Spirit Island completionist after all these years. When it arrived and I started punching and sorting it, I realized I had no idea what it was even adding!

I wonder why they had distribution issues in Europe? Seems like a successful enough series they’d know how to get copies out by now. I mean, wasn’t Horizons one of those lucrative Target deals for filthy casuals? : )

I was never very clear on the exact details as a non-European backer. I think they did fulfillment themselves for the first time or something? Anyway, they apparently didn’t understand something fairly basic about VAT type taxes and hadn’t handled that correctly or budgeted correctly or something with the upshot being I have had my copy of Nature Incarnate for probably at least a year and people I have heard from in Europe were finally starting to get copies like… this month or last month? Understandably not very happy about it, too.

Nature Incarnate is pretty easy to play! As I recall, most of the new rules are clear on the Spirit boards. There’s a bunch of stuff in the rulebook which I read through and got confused by, but then started playing and it was all easy. The new spirits are pretty cool! Though I don’t think they’re quite as fantastic as Jagged Earth. Spirit Island really came alive in that expansion for me.

Speaking of excellent spirits, I’m sure I’ve said it before here, but the “beginner” version Horizons of Spirit Island has excellent spirits, some of my favorite released so far. They’re much simpler, but still quite thinky, really powerful, and satisfying. They’re especially great for playing 2 spirits solo. You can rock a Nature Incarnate completely overwhelming confusing spirit + a Horizons spirit who’s only job is to do 20 damage a turn.

I also found Friday to be too difficult. It’s been sitting on my shelf for about 5 months since I last tried it.

I had to Google it, but The Lost Expedition looks very similar. You say it’s actually winnable occasionally?

That’s the one! The Lost Expedition! Osprey even released a pretty nifty expansion. There’s also a reskinned Judge Dredd version that looks godawful. And, yes, unlike Friday, I feel Lost Expedition is actually winnable. It’s certainly a lot less like getting punched in the nuts by the same five-minute puzzle over and over and over again. : )

Here’s the base game:

Here’s the expansion:

Just to temper Spirit Island Digital fans note that Jagged Earth is:

  • good news: 20% off for now (currently $19.99 and will be $24.99 later)
  • bad news: “rolling out in phases” so it is not yet complete (for some I think this would rhyme with “early access” and hence the discount). In some sense it’s not as big a deal since it’s a boardgame and the released content isn’t beta, so it’s more like we’re getting the expansion in smaller slices but I like to make sure nobody is unpleasantly surprised! I bought since all of Handelabra’s stuff is excellent but Spirit Island in general is brain burny and probably actually scares me a little - will definitely play, but when I’m in the mood/my body and mind are ready.

Also, they have confirmed that will be doing Sentinels of the Multiverse Definitive edition eventually, so I can start collecting all of that again!

I’m pretty sure the full Gloomhaven digital game on Steam does have the full campaign.

It does now. When he/she wrote that in October of 2020 it didn’t. :)

Omg lol, I totally didn’t notice the date. :)