Finding an Unofficial Solo Variant for Yokohama Duel

May 22, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Become a successful merchant in a bustling city filled with businesses, districts, and choices with Yokohama Duel.

Time to explore something entirely unexpected with a game that isn’t even designed for solo! Many may recognize the original, yet Yokohama Duel is a fantastic 2-player experience. When I discovered an unofficial solo variant for it, I figured it was time to dig deeper into the strategies… If I could remember how I actually won years ago. Ha ha!

Game Overview

Game Name: Yokohama Duel
Publication Year:

Many (4 Credited)
Publishers: OKAZU Brand & Tasty Minstrel Games
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant

Gameplay is rather quick with just 4 rounds taking place around the city. Power cards determine the strength of an action, yet reaching the highest levels takes some practice. Building shops and trading posts help complete orders and even open up doors to discovering new technologies!

Beautiful Components and Neat Choices to Make in Yokohama Duel

First Play

May 19, 2024



Latest Play

May 30, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

40 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

26" x 24"


Low Score


A Very Neat Space

I was delighted to see how most of the components fit right on the board, which also managed to include a summary of most of the important information. Nice!

The solo mode consisted of a few pages of rules and a nice reminder of what the solo opponent would do next.

Learning how to play was a breeze with a very clear rulebook filled with large fonts and examples. I was ready to play in almost no time and appreciated that work a lot!

Yet I didn’t expect a simple game. With the rules out of the way, I could focus on figuring out how to win! Hopefully.

Keeping Nearly Everything on the Board for a Clean Play Space in Yokohama Duel

The Solo Challenge

Managing an area for the solo opponent, named Aka, didn’t require too much. Granted, I had additional rules to learn that weren’t as clear, but I was still excited.

The action preference sequence was logical and awesome. Each turn, there is a pretty good chance Aka will advance a single step, allowing a little bit of planning to take place.

I didn’t do much blocking, though, as I was still ironing out the wrinkles in my nonexistent strategy. Ha ha!

Suffice to say I was defeated by a huge margin a few times, and things were only slightly coming together. Back to it!

Discovering a Simple Sort of Way to Play Solo with Yokohama Duel

Sunlight and Victory

As much as I wanted to continue playing at the normal difficulty level, I should have known better… Easy is usually the place I always begin, and this was a challenge!

My plans were slowly coming together, though, and little by little, I found ways to move ahead of Aka.

Triumphantly, I calculated the scores during this very close match… Victory for me by just a 4-point difference!

I had some cooperation from the late day sun, which streams in during spring and summer for some fun board game photos. Such a great time figuring out how to win!

Getting Lucky with a Trick of the Light and a Narrow Victory in Yokohama Duel

Powering Up Slowly

Rounds are comprised of just 4 turns, excluding any bonus actions that typically pop up later. Power cards form the strength of an action, and these cards can be upgraded.

Yet it is a very slow sort of build, with the majority of the best turns happening in rounds 3 and 4. Very awesome!

I don’t feel like I’ve mastered gameplay at all, and Aka, this solo opponent, creates a very realistic challenge.

While playing, I discovered that we own the deluxe edition of Yokohama! So it becomes a question of when to try that one out, followed by a comparison. I’m excited!

The Fun of Upgrading Power Cards and Finding Ways to Maximize Spaces in Yokohama Duel

Getting Accustomed to Searching for Variants

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of unofficial solo variants and tried out many of them. Some work well, and others are more of an exercise in frustration. Yet each one has taught me valuable lessons about how to pick out the ones that have a good chance of aligning with what I’m looking for. Also, not every game will offer a fun solo experience!

When I found this file lurking on its own, I took a moment to download it just to assess it. The number of rules wasn’t particularly lengthy, and most was dedicated to describing the action spaces for Aka. Excellent! It didn’t feel like it changed the main rules that much, either, and I didn’t have to do anything to adjust how I played. Also excellent!

This is another element that I’m constantly learning more about. Much like I try to only purchase new games that I have a good chance of liking, I’m applying that idea to unofficial solo variants. Some don’t even need to get printed for me to know it’s not the sort of thing for me. That, in turn, means I rarely have to apologize for not liking a solo variant.

Yet to those who create these unofficial versions, even the ones I don’t like: Thank you! Some games are purely meant for multiplayer, but it’s nice to discover these somewhat hidden files that could lead to fun, satisfying solo plays.

Session Overview

Play Number: 1-4
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant
Play Details: Easy & Normal Difficulty Levels
Outcome: 54-76, 61-102, 77-90, 75-71 (1 Win & 3 Losses)

These were some very tricky plays, and although I had to drop down to the lowest difficulty level, my scores improved until I won! Selecting actions and the order to visit locations was really enjoyable, and play time flew by once I had the cadence of play going. This might not look like a solo game on the surface, yet this unofficial solo variant works really well… Aka is a very shrewd merchant!

Finding Neat Ways to Complete Orders and Use Technologies in Yokohama Duel


1 Play


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Gameplay is distilled down to playing power cards and choosing actions, which offer up a lot of strategic depth.
  • Almost everything is stored on the board so that the play area remains very compact and organized during play.
  • Finding technology card synergies is interesting and rather surprising, considering the deck is relatively small.
  • The rulebook is clear and straightforward with examples and simple language, making the learning process quick.
  • All of the art and graphic design has a distinct feel that ensures every element is easily distinguishable from afar.
  • Finding ways to add shops and trading houses is fun, particularly when they are later used for high-power actions.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • The play area can get a little cluttered, particularly with the deluxe resources that tend to hide the customs space.
  • Although winning is never guaranteed, there seems to be a general way to advance optimally that might feel static.
  • Everything moves smoothly, but it can sometimes take a moment to figure out which round it is without a tracker.
  • Some turns involve a lot of free actions, which can be a little tricky to remember with so much going on at once.

More Yokohama Duel

Explore related posts about Yokohama Duel!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 75% 75%

Goals and Milestones


Build every shop in at least 1 game.


Build every trading house in at least 1 game.


Win at least 1 game at the easy difficulty level.


Win at least 1 game at the normal difficulty level.

Continue the Conversation

What do you think of Yokohama Duel? Have you discovered any other unofficial solo variants for multiplayer games lately? I was very pleasantly surprised by how well this was implemented to make the game solo-friendly. Now I can say I’ve improved, and know a lot more about the intricacies of the game. So glad I brought this to my solo table!


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