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Best of the Best (2020 Edition)

This week, the 1 Player Guild Gaming Awards for 2020 were announced. As were the Golden Geek Awards on Board Game Geek. Wingspan won in only one category. I think the votes were rigged. I demand a recount.

Best Game

Under Falling Skies was chosen Best Solo Game in this year's BGG Golden Geek Awards. It was also awarded Best Solitaire Game of 2020 by the 1 Player Guild. We wrote about this game when it was still a Print and Play: Unidentified Flying Mother***. I liked it a lot, and it was certainly in my personal top-3 games of 2020.

Runners up were Altar Quest (1PG), Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (both 1PG and BGG) and Lost Ruins of Arnak (BGG).

Best Expansion

The 1PG picked Spirit Island: Jagged Earth as best expansion, not surprisingly as Spirit Island is the guild's all-time favourite game. The broader audience of Board Game Geek chose Wingspan: Oceania. Again, no surprise here as Wingspan has been the most played game by BGG-members for two years now, and was chosen "best in everything and the kitchen sink" in 2019.

Runners up were these same two winners, in the other award ceremony, plus Obsession: Upstairs, Downstairs (1PG) and some Root expansions (both 1PG and BGG).

Hall of Fame (1 Player Guild)

Furthermore, some very special achievements. This year Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Island) got a well-deserved place in the Game Designers Hall of Fame. And Onirim was added to the Hall of Fame for Games.

You can expect session reports on some of the winners later this Summer.


Solitaire Times 2020 Awards

All very interesting 🥱, but of course what you are really waiting for, are this website's yearly awards.

🥁 🥁 🥁

Solitaire Times 2020 Best Game Award

The winner is... Hallertau! You may think, duh, that JW is a Uwe-fanboy if there ever was one. And you wouldn't be wrong. But this one was actually nominated by Athena. It's that good. Or she hasn't played too many 2020 games.

You can read her initial thoughts here: Growing on me.

Honourable mentions go to Altar Quest and Under Falling Skies.

Solitaire Times 2020 Best Print and Play Award

The winner is... Bomber Boys. I submitted it for the 1 Player Guild awards, and it managed to win there as well. Here's Athena's report, back from when it didn't even have a BGG-page yet. The current version has cool new artwork.

An honourable mention goes to The Brambles: A Solo Card Game. Our report: A deck of curiosities.

Solitaire Times 2020 Best Kickstarted Game Award

The winner is... Astroforce: The Dice Game. It could have been Freedom Five: A Sentinel Comics Board Game, but it felt weird to nominate a game that isn't released yet. The KS campaign was good fun though. Let's see where it ends up in 2021.

Athena would like to add that she received beautiful tiles for Terraforming Mars, and fantastic playmats for Apex Theropod. Unfortunately the dinosaur game itself is still stuck somewhere on its way to Greece.

Solitaire Times 2020 Best Game We Didn't Play Award

Athena's top number one, without competition, is Spirit Island: Jagged Earth. It gets our award this year.

My picks - and official Solitaire Times runner ups - are In Magnificent Style and Lost Ruins of Arnak.

Solitaire Times 2020 Snob Award - "It's Popular So It Must Suck"

We wouldn't touch this with a leaping pole. Wearing gloves. In a hazmat suit. Because, you know, we are so above it. This year's winner is... Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. Congratulations, Isaac Childres. Well done.


Your favourite game of 2020

If you add a comment to this post with your favourite games of 2020, I will include them as bona fide suggestions for future generations of gamers.

And here they are in alphabetical order:

🌟 Dune Imperium (Gloomknight)

🌟 ECK (Cadet Stimpy)

🌟 Ruins: Death Binder (Cadet Stimpy)

🌟 Tasty Humans (Zerbique)

🌟 Ukyo (Zerbique)

🌟 Warp's Edge (Cadet Stimpy)

Also recommended:


Proving Grounds (French edition)

X-ODUS (unplayed favourite)

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Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy

Yeah, Hank, where are some more opportunities to be a lone hero? I like Proving Grounds and Warp's Edge, so I'm hopeful the '3rd installment' in the Solo Hero Series, if any, will be worthy. I suppose it's all about the money - "Did this Solo Hero Series make us any significant profit?", asks the Renegade corporate puke, in a high-level, executive meeting. 😐

According to this, I should be getting my 'replacement tokens' for Warp's Edge this month.

The Hank
The Hank

I got mine a couple of weeks ago and they look indeed much better than the orignal ones....time to bring the game back on the table I guess...

Could very well be that the solo series didn't provide Renegade with sufficient profits so far. The number of backers on Warp's Edge was quite low due to the high shipping costs and a lot of people were complaining on this. And if Renegade would have increased their quality control a bit then it could have saved them some serious money I guess. It's unbelievable to me that they missed the misprinting of mostly all cards in Proving Grounds, making the game extremely harder to win...on the other hand we do have…


The Hank
The Hank

Just browsing this site and noticed your remark on Proving Grounds. I like it too and the use of real time is quite typical for Klenko games. He uses it in quite a similar way in Flatline and Fuse. Fuse is quite a hilarical and wild game, trying cooperatively to abondon a bomb by rolling, exchanging and matching dice when at the same time a dramatic counter app counts down, really increasing the feel and tension of the game. Always big fun and quite popular with the kids. A kind of next level Pit, which is very hilarious and wild too, but competitive and actually seems to be a game from 1903(!) (I only noticed this when creating the link,…

Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy

Didn't know Pit? I played it back in the 70's. A lot of shouting, but it was a fun 'party-type game', back then, anyway. I still have a copy.

Yeah, Proving Grounds is a good game. It's in my 'Solo Rotation'.


Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy

"Snob Award" 😄

I'm lamely incapable of picking a favorite of anything, but I thought (in no particular order) these omissions were pretty good 2020 Solo games I played.

Warp's Edge

Ruins: Death Binder


Dungeon Flee




I haven't played that much games from 2020, and most of them were very light (note that this sentence is true no matter which year you put after 'from').

The list includes:

- Animal Kingdoms (meh)

- Uwe's Fairy Trails (enjoyable but too stressful)

- Spire's End (gorgeous and thematic, but bland gameplay-wise)

- The Ming Voyages (you know how it turned out)

- Tasty Humans (haven't played it enough but I strongly believe in its potential)

- Knock Knock Dungeon (ugly and idiotic)

- Ukiyo (fun puzzle, maybe a bit too random for a puzzle)

- Division: Throne Room (I played it wrong, but I don't care; I don't like chess, I don't like games that rely on chess…



Dune Imperium came late in the year as it was supposed to coincide with the release of the new film (which was delayed). It’s my favorite solo game of 2020. I just couldn’t stop playing it for months. I love the artwork, the theme (especially for any dune fan), the variety of choices, deck building mechanic... not to mention worker placement... and combat too! The combat was surprisingly well implemented and fun. I feel like the AI is easy to manage and can kick some serious butt! Highly recommended! They also won the Golden Geek Award for best card game.

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