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Board and card games for a bed bound person

If this topic has come up before, please point me to the link :wink:

I’m going to be bed bound for several weeks, and I’m looking for games to play. The only criterion is the game needs to fit on a hospital tray. Bonus points if I can play the game solo. Thanks.

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Looking through my soloable games, this is quite tricky - things like Firefly or Aeon’s End or Leaving Earth aren’t starters at all. Some that might work:

Burgle Bros - at least the two-floor game, three might be pushing it
Hostage Negotiation - solo-only
NMBR 9 - though solo is only beat-your-own-score
Railroad Ink - ditto
Star Realms (Frontiers is soloable from the box)

Off the top of my head, I think that Star Realms, particularly the standalone expansion Star Realms: Frontiers would be an option. There are 8 different “bosses” that you can play against, each with their own rules. They are tough, and I have found them to be fairly replayable and enjoyable playing solo. I also like some roll and writes to work on high scores like Welcome To and Railroad Ink. You can also play through Arkham Horror: The Card Game solo. Onirim is a solitary card game specifically.

Not solo, but still fitting on a hospital tray might be Jaipur, Sushi Go (or Sushi Go Party, Hive, Patchwork, and Onitama. Most of those are 2 player games that don’t take up much room. last, but not least, you could look at some of the Exit: The Game packs, or Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective cases to really stretch your brain.

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Onirim, Sylvion, etc.?

Phew, not a lot of space on those trays. But yeah, a few ideas.

The Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective cases would be a great start and can be single or multiplayer. Should keep you going for a while.
If that format works for you and you’re down for some (somewhat childish but still enjoyable) fantasy stuff, Legacy of Dragonholt may be good.

Those two are a little easier imo because you’re just holding up a book, maybe unfolding a map now and then, and writing a few things down here and there, but also admittedly I’m huge on story-focused games like that.

If you have a tablet I’d also recommend seeing what apps you can get for it. For family trips I load ours up with several games that could do a pass and play style, or single player against AI. I keep 7 Wonders, Tokaido, and Lords of Waterdeep on there, and of course there are lots of others. Granted, the digital experience can vary massively, and some are a major letdown, but those three are a good start. But because a tablet can be so portable, and because it can handle any card management or whatever for you, it makes it much easier to deal with especially if you’re stuck in a bed. And cheaper, if you’re loading up on a bunch at a time.

Oooh, Ticket to Ride is on sale for $2 on the Android store right now too. Tap tap getting that one.


The Pandemic app is pretty good too.

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One Deck Dungeon is great solo or as a 2-player co-op. Though grabbing a tray for rolling all the dice in might be an idea. I can just imagine them going everywhere :anguished:

Palm Island doesn’t even need the tray. All the cards stay in your hands the whole game.

Deep Space D-6, although a dice cup or a tower might help, I’m not so sure about rolling dice on a blanket.


Yep. Happened to pick this up yesterday and it’s a perfect fit, though a dice tray is definitely recommended.

[EDIT] We come back to questions of availability with this one probably though, unless the OP wants a little PnP experience.

Is it out of print? I found mine in store recently.

So did I, I just meant in terms of distribution. The game is from a tiny independent out of NY.

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Black Sonata

A Single Player Hidden Movement & Deduction game


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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. This is a nice forum.


We might want to grab the expansion while we still can.

@walexman I’m not sure if you can categorize these as “games,” they’re dex-based 3-d mazes, but I was hospitalized for a motorcycle injury for a while, and these things helped me get through it.

Look up “Perplexus,” I have a fair collection (not the giant one supported by gimbals, that would be awesome). You basically just manipulate a ball-bearing through complex 3d mazes.

I’d recommend the “Q-Bot” for a beginner, it’s a small cube, challenging but solvable with a few tries. Also, the maze is designed to like like a cute “Johnny 5” robot, which doesn’t hurt.

The larger ones are very challenging, globes about the size of somewhere between a huge grapefruit and a small basketball, and some of them let you (whoops, my bad, MAKE you) change the maze inside to solve them. (There are some smaller ones, the “Minis,” that are easy but fun, great for both kids and adults with dexterity issues, and BONUS they’re cheap! I like Cascading Cups)

They’d each fit on a tray or on your lap one at a time, and can easily be stowed since you don’t have to put anything away, they’re all self-contained.

If that sounds even slightly appealing, check them out and decide for yourself.

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They have a Death Star!


I really can’t believe I didn’t think of a Perplexus, what an awesome idea. Although I hope you have a private room, or you might drive your neighbour mad with the sound of the marble.

I might also suggest some puzzles. Hanayama puzzles are excellent, generally affordable (though they add up fast) and a lot of them will likely challenge you for hours. I also happen to be a big fan of twisty puzzles (“Rubik’s Cubes”). If you aren’t up to the challenge of hacking at the 3x3x3, there are great puzzles out there that don’t explicitly require working out algorithms to be enjoyed and solved. Specifically the Pyraminx and Skewb are great fun to crack. Lots of classics and variations on classics too like Fifteen, Setting Sun, tessellation puzzles, etc.

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I have the Death Star. It’s actually kind of love-hate for me, the textures on the outside globe makes it hard to see inside. But, some moving parts (including a magnet!) makes me happy I have it. It’s a very challenging maze.
(The electronic sound effects suck, I permanently turned them off).

Oh, heck, you are not kidding, that little steel marble rolling around drives ME nuts.
True, it’s not just annoying (which it totally is), it’s the sound of failure.

You make a great point with the puzzle-y brain-twisters idea, too.