My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 80 through 71
We’re back with the next ten, a bullet point of what I said in the first part (which you can find 100 through 91). If you aren’t caught up, you can find yesterdays 90 through 81 to see as well. But we’re back for the next 10 games.
- 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
This game has the honor of being the first game that I backed on Kickstarter. When I backed it, I did so without really having the gaming collection that I have no or the experience gaming, I just thought that the game looked fun, and, well, I was right. This game is pretty simple, you move around aliens to get them off the planet, but there is some challenge, because you need the right stuff to get them off the planet, and you need the moon to be in the right phase to get them off the planet at certain locations. So while the game is simple and very cute, there is some strategy, there is some timing, because if you don’t have enough resources placed at the right time for the launch, you might have to wait for the moon to travel around again. The game looks great on the table, and while it’s not one that I pull out and play a ton, it is a fun one to play.
Last Year: Not Ranked
Now, you will not see Codenames on the list, I’ve come around on it a little bit, but I don’t enjoy Codenames that much. Linking the words can be done, but there are some issues with it, people need to know all the words and all the possible meanings/slang for the words to really make it work. With Codenames: Pictures, there are just a whole lot more interesting ways to connect the pictures. It makes the game faster, a bit easier, but also has more memorable moments and memorable clues where you can get a lot of answers. Codenames: Pictures just has more of the party feel to the game for the weight that it’s at and I like it for that.
Last Year: 75
I’m a big fan of cooperative games, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is a fun pirate themed one where you are going onto a cursed and burning pirate ship to try and grab all the treasure and leave before the ship burns and you get cut off from either the treasure or your escape. The game can get to you in a lot of ways with the fire, the guardians, the skeletal crew and just a nice challenging feel that has a bit more going on than base Pandemic, so is a bit less of a gateway game. But if you have someone in your life who likes games and pirates, and is even just familiar with modern gaming, this is a really enjoyable game. Not one of the cooperative games that gets played most often, but one I like quite well.
Last Year: 81
77. King of Tokyo
When we talk about gateway games, King of Tokyo has to be one of them that comes up. It uses a Yahtzee style dice rolling in a fun way as you all take on the roll of monsters who are battling it out over Tokyo. The game plays fast and you can either win by knocking out all the other monsters (the most fun way), or by getting points (also fun, but less punching). You can improve what you do by getting power and buying cards. And you can go into Tokyo where you can punch everyone, but the issue is everyone can then punch you. The game is fast, it’s pretty silly, and while there is player elimination, that rarely happens and then the game continues for a long time. Overall, just a fun gateway game that works best at the higher player counts.
Last Year: 37
76. Sword & Sorcery
I promise you this isn’t the only dungeon crawler on the list. It’s the first just because compared to some of the others on the list, the story isn’t as interesting. But there are some parts of the game that I really like. I like the leveling up mechanic and I like that you have two sides to each character. It makes the game feel like I could play it again with the same characters and it would play differently. And this is a true Amerithrash game where you have a big handful of dice for an attack or defense and you better roll well or you might be in trouble. And while the game has a massive rulebook and a few trickier rule things, like who a boss monster might target and how that changes, the game is actually pretty easy, you just move, explore, and fight basically, and fighting is done with the dice. I wish the story felt like it had more choices to it, but that’s about my only knock on it.
Last Year: 25
A very different type of game than most on my list, this is a push your luck bluffing game. Each player has a hand full of cards, a bunch of roses and a skull. Players take turns putting down a card in their own stack, face down, until someone bids on how many cards they can flip over without hitting a skull. The trick to it is that you have to flip over all of your own cards first. So if you’ve placed your skull in your stack, can you bid, just to push someone else’s bid higher so that they’ll hit yours and bust, or will you bust yourself because you’ll be stuck flipping over your own skull. There’s some interesting strategy in how you play and how you bid, but really it’s about reading the other players at the table to figure out what they’ve done.
Last Year: 99
74. Risk Legacy
First Legacy game on the list and just first overall legacy game in the hobby. While this game doesn’t have the story that the more modern ones do or try to have, the game play is still a lot of fun. It’s risk, but there’s more, you aren’t just fighting over the world, you’re fighting over bases and you’re trying to complete missions and if you can pull them off, you get victory points and the first person to hit the victory point threshold wins. Plus, all of the factions are different. And you get to decide how they are different as you add stickers to them, so you can make them better at attacking or better at defending, or maybe you get more troops to start. There’s all sorts of different strategies that you can take, but it still feels like classic Risk for the most part, it just goes much faster. Overall a fun time especially if you like Risk but can’t play it too often because it lasts too long.
Last Year: 79
Back to back legacy games, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a bit further down on my list than Pandemic Legacy Season 1. I think that it tries to do a lot of new and different things, and while I think it does most of them well, it bogs down a little bit with all the new things you need to learn. That said, for being quite different than Season 1 and base Pandemic in what you’re trying to do, the mechanics seem really familiar and can get going on the base game quickly, there’s just a twist on to everything. So if you haven’t just gone from one type of Pandemic to the other, you’ll probably be able to pick up on those changes quickly. The story is very interesting, and there is a lot of legacy content in the game.
Last Year: 84
I like all of the Betrayal games, this one is just a bit further down on the list, because while I like the D&D theme to the game, it just doesn’t seem as epic and as good a thematic fit as horror does. This one does have some cool features though, class powers are awesome. I like that about 1/5 of the scenarios have no betrayer, there is just some monster or something that you have to do as a group, that makes it easier to keep track off since some of the haunts (betrayals) can be a bit tricky to understand and if you’re the betrayer you don’t have anyone to ask. They also fix an issue that can arise in the regular game where the haunt happens too fast. It’s still swingy and tricky to understand all the haunts, but I like it a lot and I like the silly random moments that you can have in the game, and the great rolls or the horrible rolls you can have.
Last Year: 35
By far the biggest game on the list, and actually a game that I have sold most of what I have for it, because I don’t have a consistent group to play with for the past few years. But I still really like the game. I especially like playing EDH (Commander). I never got into the competitive magic scene, but for more casual play and people not busting the bank buying stuff, I think it’s a lot of fun. I really can get into the deck building because you can come up with all sorts of odd and interesting combos and for me coming up with something odd and seeing if it can work is a blast. I like to try strange strategies and see if they’ll work or build a whole deck off of the concept of flipping and coin and see what happens with that and how well that’ll work. A few years ago this would have been higher, it’s just not one that I’m sure I’ll get to play that often anymore.
Last Year: 60
A whole lot of moving and shaking on my list. I think some of that is because, or the ones that are dropping, I like another game that does something similar that much better so it takes a bit of a hit. At least that is what I’m guessing. Still, I was a bit surprised to see a few of the games having dropped as far as they did from the 20’s and 30’s. Still really enjoy those games, just might not be the ones I pull off the shelf to scratch that game playing itch.
What is your favorite from this part of the list?
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