MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 40 THROUGH 31
Getting close to the end, the top 100 are all games that I really do love and would want to play basically whenever someone asks but as we get higher in the list, and I think about and write up about these games, I always want to play them again immediately, if I could, which generally, for some odd reason, I can’t play them immediately.
Plus a few notes on how I’ve put together the list:
- These are my favorite, you want what people consider best, see the Board Game Geek Top 100
- If a game you love isn’t on the list, it might be be coming, I might not have played it, and if I have, it’s 101
- If a game looks cool, I have links to buy it from CoolStuffInc or Amazon, or you can grab most at your FLGS
- There are a few games, Destiny 2 Player versus regular Destiny where if they are basically the same thing, I only do one of them
40. Second Chance
Dropping a ways on the list, I still really like Second Chance, and it’s such a peaceful game to play and easy game to teach that I’ve played it quite a lot. And that’s probably the reason for it dropping, just wanting a bit more variety in what I’m doing. In Second Chance you are using Tetris like shape, polyomino shapes, to fill in a grid. Every turn you have two different ones you can choose from and you goal is just to fill in as much as you can. if there are ever shapes flipped that you can’t put on your board, because the shapes are just wrong for you, you then get a second chance. That is a single card flipped, just for you, to keep you in the game. The game is very simple, very fast to play, but is a very calming game to play as well. It’s also fun to doodle in the shapes so that you end up with a unique looking board.
Last Year: 15
I can’t really say why this one has dropped so much, I’ve even played it a number of times recently. I still really enjoy the game, I think that this is one that actually works pretty well over Zoom, especially if both players have the game. The best way to describe this game is that you are trying to beat the puzzle that is a Dresden Files book. You are trying to solve more cases than you have bad guys left standing at the end. That means you might need to beat down a lot of villains or you might need to focus on cases, plus there are obstacles to overcome and advantages to grab. The game is a lot of fun if you know the series well, and I think with the exception of the last two books, the last one which just came out, I’ve read all of them at least twice. The story is really interesting and really good, and this game doesn’t have a ton of theme, but if you know the books, you give it theme as you play through the books with the characters.
Last Year: 14
Another roll and write on the list, and one that I just recently talked about because there is a standalone expansion for it on Kickstarter. This game is all, as the name suggests, about making maps. You are score points depending different scoring cards, two for each season. You are filling in polyomino shapes again, and trying to get those to match up with the scoring. There are four different land types, villages, forest, fields, or water and they will all score in a different way, depending on what the scoring is. Plus, there are monster cards, and this is something unique for a flip and write or roll and write, where you pass your sheet to the player to the left or right and let them fill in the monster on the worst spot possible. The game has a lot of interesting elements to it with the monsters and with the scoring of the seasons, so A and B scoring cards in spring, but then it comes back around to A again in Winter, so you score it at the start and end. Not complex, but a few interesting things to keep track of and a theme that works well.
Last Year: 39
Dropping down the list is Star Wars: Rebellion, and that’s mainly because I haven’t gotten to play it in a long time. This is a great game and a big game. It’s “Star Wars in a box” as Sam Healy used to say on The Dice Tower. In this game one team is the empire trying to track down and hidden rebel base, all the while, the rebels are trying to cause unrest and complete missions in the Imperial systems. It’s an interesting game of cat and mouse between the two and makes a really fun time. This is a big game, and it take a long time to play, probably 3 hours, but it is very immersive and time flies by. For some people there’ll be a negative of dice combat, but there’s an expansion that helps with the randomness of that, and I don’t mind it at all, personally. Really good game, and if you are a Star Wars fan and a gamer, you’ll probably like this game.
Last Year: 11
36. Roll Player
Second Roll Player game on this chunk of the list, technically. The other being Cartographers. Roll Player is interesting because I’ve enjoyed the game every time I play it and the dice drafting aspect is a lot of fun. With that said, I always want a little bit more from the game. I know that I’m going to be getting that with Roll Player Adventures when that comes out, so I’m excited for that, and there are expansions that add more to Roll Player itself that I need to try. But in this game you are drafting dice and using them to create a D&D/RPG character. You have your stats, you are getting them from when you have place three dice, so it’s really D&D like. And for me, making characters is a lot of fun, you gear them up nicely and then you score points off of skills you have, where your stats are at, and where certain dice are placed for your background. It’s not a complex game and a fun way to do drafting.
Last Year: 57
Now, I don’t like social deduction games for the most part. The Grimm Masquerade is a combination of social deduction and deduction that I like quite well. In this game you are all going to a fancy masquerade ball and you are Grimm fairy tale characters in disguise. You are trying to figure out who everyone else is. You are doing this by trying to either bust a player by giving them a card that they don’t want, or through process of elimination guess who someone is. All the time you are trying to collect the gift that you want. They make this work in an interesting way because on your turn, you can do a special action if you want or have the cards to do one, but mainly you are drawing a card and giving it away or keeping it and then doing the other thing with the other card. So you might accidentally bust yourself if you aren’t careful, or you might pass something away that you wanted because you have to, but can you keep a poker face while doing that? It’s a clever little game and the special powers that you can play with make the game feel different each time you play it.
Last Year: Not Ranked
34. Village Attacks
A GenCon play for me last year, this one has maintained a pretty high spot on my list while I wait for my copy to come from their most recent Kickstarter. In this game instead of playing the villagers or “heroes” standing up against the monsters, you are playing the monsters as the villagers ruin their peaceful evening in their lair by kicking down the door and trying to kill you, kill your lair, or complete some other objective. This is a cooperative game of tower defense where you are killing villagers, leveling up, killing more, and hoping you can survive the onslaught. Overall, it’s a dark game, look wise, and the monsters are monstrous, but it feels and plays pretty light. The theme somehow feels more goofy than it does dark, and it really just works well. The dice use for determining actions works well so that you can’t plan everything, and the leveling up is fun to do in game. I like also that it is scenario based, but not campaign based so you can pick it up and play easily.
Last Year: 29
33. Sushi Go Party!
This is one of my favorite big group filler style games. This is a card drafting set collection game where everyone is going at the same time, picking a card from their hand, building up their collection, passing their cards, and then once all the cards have been drafted scoring them and doing it all over again. The concept of the game is simple, but it works well because how the sets score are different and because you can mix in a variety of special ability cards that can change up how you draft cards or help you complete sets. There is a basic version of this game with out the variability of being able to switch up your cards, but Sushi Go Party! is really cheap so I recommend it instead. I think that variability is what keeps it so high on my list because it is a filler game, but for something that plays a large number of people, it is better than a lot of filler or group style games.
Last Year: 31
Another filler game, but this one with a lower player count. But that works because it is another fun drafting game, three on this section of the top 10. In Draftosaurus you are building you best dino park, you do that by drafting dino meeples and placing them into your park. However, there is a die rolled each turn and that determines where you have to place the dino, unless you were the one to roll the die in which case you can put it anywhere. You have a number of different pens and each scores differently. One will give you more points for each different type of dino you have in the pen, others will score you points for pairs of dinos. The game is super fast and super cute because of the dinosaur meeples, and while you are drafting from a hidden hand, the game is so fast that it really doesn’t matter if others see what dinos you have. This is one that when people see the box or see it on the table, even if they aren’t gamers, they’ll want to try it.
Last Year: Not Ranked
31. Tokyo Highway
Another one that I got at GenCon but didn’t get it to the table until after I ranked for last years list. This game is an amazingly beautiful production, and the same company that is doing Crash Octopus which I did a Back or Brick on. In this game you are building out the Tokyo Highways system. Roads going every which way, and you are stacking and balancing them. This isn’t that precarious, but when you cross over or under another road you can balance a car on your section of road, because the goal is to get your cars out as fast as possible, but you don’t want to knock over the other roads because that can cost you your pylons which you use to get your road over or under the other ones. I think that really makes this game more than just your normal simple dexterity game is the beauty of it. This looks so amazing on the table, it really is an art piece almost when you are done. And the rules and concept are simple so it’s not a convoluted game, but there’s enough going on that it’s not just a stacking game like Jenga. Overall a lovely game.
Last Year: Not Ranked
So there were a number of games in this section that I hadn’t played last year when I did my list, which is kind of fun to see all the new and fun games that are coming out. It’s interesting to see what games have moved up and down even for myself and I plan on seeing which ones have fallen off when I do a retrospective on my list at the end of this. As always, I do want to ask, what one sounds the most interesting or is your favorite in this 10?
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