Top 100 Games (of all time) 2023 Edition – 40 through 31
We’re well into the list at this point with my Top 100 Games (of all time) 2023 Edition. Which games make it into the 40 through 31 range? There are two new games to this section, maybe three, and a couple of games that have had some drops. Which ones are on the move? And which ones would you want to play? Join me on Malts and Meeples as I go through 40 through 31.
Catch up on my Top 100 Games (of all Time) 2023 Edition:
Top 100 Games (of all time) 2023 Edition – 40 through 31
40. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
As I always say, I’m not the biggest fan of social deduction games, in fact, there is only one that I like and that’s Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. And a lot of that is because it’s not just a social deduction game, there is more going on. And you always have something to base your conversation off of. A lot of time, in social deduction games, it’s more just taking a stab in the dark as you talk hoping someone will slip up. It’s not until later rounds where it is meaningful.
So, what makes Deception: Murder in Hong Kong different? I think it’s the role of the Forensic Scientist. They send up reports from their basement lab, basically they’re the person who runs the game, and from that lab they give you clues. The murder took place in a “school” the victim was “athletic” things like that.
Everyone else is trying to piece together those reports to figure out who the murderer is. Because it’s someone in the group. And because it’s someone in the group, they are trying to put suspicion on everyone else. But how to the reports help, you might ask? They help because everyone has a set of clues and murder weapons in front of them. So it helps narrow down what it can be. The detectives on the good side need to figure out which combo of clue and murder weapon are the cause. And of course the murder and their accomplice are trying to throw everyone off the sent.
Next up is one of the new games on the list. But I should say, it’s new to me. It’s certainly now a new game. In fact, it’s the oldest game on my list. Crokinole is a game of flicking a disc trying to land it in the center of the board. There is a groove there that you can land it into. But if you don’t do that, it’s about trying to get points and keeping your opponents pieces off the board as much as possible.
I like this one as a simple flicking game. You flick with very little thought for objectives beyond get it in to the middle. And while I love the getting up and moving around in PitchCar, Crokinole is fast to get to the table and much simpler in what you are doing. In fact, you can only shoot from a small quarter of the big board. And you can’t get up from your seat. The just simplicity of that system makes it a great game to sit, play, and chat while you’re playing it.
Kohaku is the first of two tile laying games in a row here. And I really like Kohaku for how pretty it is, and also the simplicity of game play. You take two tiles on your turn, one scoring and one fish, that are adjacent to each other on the middle board. Then you place them anywhere into a tableau of your koi pond. There’s only two rules while placing, it needs to connect, no starting a new pond. And it needs to not have fish next to fish or scoring next to scoring. Whomever has the most points wins.
But it’s also very pretty, like I said. The newest versions are cheaper and just have cardboard tiles in them. Those are still pretty. The more expensive version, which was the first one they put out, has acrylic tiles to it. And why that works so well is that they can put water on the bottom and then have the fish, dragonflies, lily pads or ripples in the water on the top. So it gives them this depth that looks like looking into very clear water.
37. World Wonders
World Wonders is the other tile laying game, and one of the new games on the list. It again falls into that category of a pretty simple game in what you are doing on your turn. You are paying for a tile to place on your board. Their are restrictions, mainly that it needs to be next to a road or another tile where you can place them. And that’s about it, minus the wonders. The tiles push you up on some tracks, which you want to keep balanced, but it’s mainly about the wonders.
The wonders are all great wooden pieces that are screen printed to all look like different wonders. It’s really cool that way. And the wonders are the most likely way that you’ll get points. As you play out tiles you’ll fulfill requirements to be able to place a wonder. But you can’t just get the wonder. You need to spend the rest of your money to get it. So if you get it early, you might spend more money first before you snag that wonder. But you also don’t want to miss out on a wonder, because again it’s how you get points. It’s a very good system or push and pull that way.
36. Via Magica
Next up is Via Magica, one that I learned about from the Dice Tower group. Though it’s not a favorite of all of them, I really enjoy this gamer’s bingo type of game. Someone is drawing chips from a bag that are all different types of animus that you all use to open gates. So one is drawn out and you can fill in one on one of your three games that matches the type. That’s simple.
It adds a bit to the game when you consider which gates to take. Some of them might make a resource wild for you, so you get more flexibility when opening gates. Or it might let you transfer some animus to a specific color on other cards giving you a head start. Plus they give you points, and you make decisions based on trying to get the most done, but also groups of colors. Because there are bonus points for the first person to get various color groups completed.
It’s a great simple game. The artwork is cute, and it’s one that would work well with most groups of people. Is it the most challenging game, certainly not, but Sometimes I want an easy and fun game to play, and Via Magica is very good for that.
35. Sushi Go Party!
And now another bigger group game. I like Sushi Go Party a lot for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, I like drafting games and how they tend to be games with little to no downtime in them. The most downtime that Sushi Go Party has is when calculating the scores at the end of the round. Otherwise you’re drafting cards all at the same time.
The other thing that I really like about Sushi Go Party is the variability. There are a ton of cards that you can get for the game and that come in the main box, so you can mix it up how it works each time. And it allows you to customize it to who you’re playing with as well. I might want to play a really cut throat version some time, or maybe a more peaceful and zen version another time. With more cards, it can really be set-up for your game group.
Now a game that looks peaceful, but it isn’t fully. Meadow has amazing artwork and it’s all about building out a tableau in front of you of nature. But the game is a very tight and thinky game with a core mechanism that really challenges you to think through as you play.
There’s a grid of creatures, terrains, and scenery in the middle of the table. And you have four tokens (five in a two player game) that you use to determine which card you get. But the token as a number one it, one through four, and that determines the distances from the spot you put the token and that is the card you get. So there is great strategy for when you grab something, even if you might need it later. Because it might be getting hard to be able to take.
This is one where I know even I take a bit on my turns. There is a lot to think about and that’s part of what is great about the game. It’s a real puzzle that is hidden in a box with very pretty artwork.
And speaking of games with pretty artwork we have Flamecraft. Flamecraft is a resource gathering and contract fulfillment game. All of it with adorable artwork from Sandara Tang. But there is more to this game than just the pretty artwork and the fun artisan dragon theme.
In Flamecraft, you are collecting resources and fulfilling contracts. But the game does a lot of other fun things. Mainly as you gather resources you’re adding dragons to shops. So they become more powerful and can help you gather more resources faster. I think that’s an interesting challenge and twist of the game as you build up those shops.
32. Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
Now a game that has fallen a ways, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. This one is mainly down here in the 30’s because I’ve played other games that I love, so a few games have moved down. But also because I haven’t played it recently, so it’ll go up if I get it played again before the next time I do my Top 100 Games.
But this is a Lovecraftian themed game in the Fantasy Flight Arkham Files line. This one has a bit more of a localized feel as you play through it. And the app helps with the game allowing it to add in interactive puzzles and change up the map each time you play so scenarios, while the story might not change, feel different.
And the game just does a lot in it. I mentioned the puzzles, but the stories are good. And because of the variety of tiles and monsters in the game, you can really get a wide variety of stories. Often times they take place in houses, but I’ve explored other areas, such as city streets and the shops on there. And it is a longer game, but because it’s cooperative and you all have that one goal, it works well. The immersion into the story and into the game certainly helps as well.
31. Super Fantasy Brawl
Finally, rounding out this section, we have Super Fantasy Brawl. Super Fantasy Brawl is an arena battling board game where you are trying to knock out your opponents characters for points, and complete objectives, for points. And it’s up to five points, so it’s a fast game. And I think it balances everything in the game really well.
I like the action selection system a lot. There are three action chips, each of a different color. You pick one card from each color to active on a turn. So you might be activating the same character multiple times, or it might get split up between characters. But you can also use them for defense. It just refreshes at the end of your turn, so that means that you’ll be missing an action on the offensive.
And I like how knocking someone out just means that they can come back in with a card play the next round. So I can’t knock out all your characters and just win that way. But you also can’t figure knocking characters out, because you need to do that to break up them getting a goal. A check for a goal is at the start of your turn, so your opponent always has a chance to stop it, which is a really good system.
Let’s run through the stream structure like I normally do. You might already know the schedule but in case you don’t. Wednesday at 8 PM Central I stream either a campaign game, or with this time of year it’s my Top 100 Games (of all time) 2023 Edition. And join me next Wednesday for games 30 through 21, so hitting the half way point. It goes so fast, and now I have so many games that I want to play.
Then on Monday I stream at 9 PM Central time. It’s generally a solo game. Though I’ll also do pack openings for things But normally it’s a solo game and a one off for the game like a roll and write, or sometimes a game like Under Falling Skies or For Northwood, which was on the list today.
But the best way, if you want to know when I go live or a new video goes up (it’s basically always live), please consider subscribing. You can do that here. And click that notification bell on the channel and you’ll always know when I go live.