We’ve made it through another list this year. No spoilers as to what’s to come, what might have moved up, what might just be a new game on the list, so let’s get into this. 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 71 70 …
Tag: Board Game Top 100
We’re getting down to it, getting close to the Top 10 games, only a few more of these lists. It’s been a blast as always putting these out and I’m glad that people are enjoying them. I’d be very curious to know what your top …
We’re onto the top half of my Top 100 games. We’ve seen a number of games drop out of the top 50 so far, that means we’re either going to have new games or games that have rise, you’ll have to find out. You can find links to the previous parts below:
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
I think this is the purely solo game on the list and it’s dropped a little bit, but I’m still enjoying it a lot. The app is great for playing this game, but I do like the physical one as well. In this game you are trapped in a nightmare and trying to escape, to do this you are trying to find eight doors. This is done by playing down cards in a row where you are trying to get three cards of the same color in a row, when you do you find a door. But there are nightmares in the deck that are trying to stop you, you have a few different ways you can deal with them. I think that’s where the game really is interesting, because there are powerful key cards that can just get a door in without any hassle, but they are also be used to deal with a nightmare. Or you could discard cards off the top of the deck, but that might get rid of a key. Or you can discard your hand or put a door back into a deck. There’s a good amount of strategy in what seems like a small and random card game.
Last Year: 36
One of my top party games, this is one that I’m glad I backed on Kickstarter, but glad that I didn’t back the “adult” version of it. In this game a person picks from four different categories, you might have a superpower, an occupation, lifetime supply of something, or a fulfilled dream, but then, everyone writes a stipulation for it, and you pick your favorite. This game works really well because you can tailor it for your group. If it’s a bunch of college friends drinking, you can make it as adult or dirty as you want, if it’s Christmas with your great aunt and 10 year old cousin, you can make it clean. And it can just get silly, like most party games and eventually people end up writing down weird stuff or reoccurring jokes. It’s really the same concept as a Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples, but it’s much more replayable because you aren’t using cards to answer/fulfill the prompt, which means you can change up your answer for a stipulation for the superpower of flight from “But only when you fart” to “But never more than 6 inches off the ground.” and the prompt will feel different when you play.
Last Year: 42
This one wasn’t ranked last year because I hadn’t played it much, it was just one time at GenCon where I kind of got the rules. But I’ve played it a lot since, I’ve probably played the physical game 10-15 times this year, and Silver Bullet expansion 3 times, and the app who knows how many times, but a lot. I am really enjoying this game now and the standalone expansion(s) – I have two, but only played one. In this game you are trying to get your village of 5 cards down to the fewest points possible. The trick is your cards are face down and you only know at the start of a round what two of them are. Cards have values from 0 to 12 and each card has a special power. You can use them for a power, or you can swap out cards with what you’ve drawn or is on top of the deck. If you have two of the same number you can trade in those two for one card, which allows you to get down in cards and lower the number of points you can possibly have. There’s some luck with the game for sure, but overall it’s a very fast and fun game that is a bit mean with a bunch of take that cards, especially in the Silver Bullet expansion, but still a lot of fun.
Last Year: Not Ranked
47. Wits & Wagers
Another party game on the list, this time it’s Wits & Wagers which is a classic party game at this point. In Wits and Wagers you are putting down a best guess or a random number, so some trivia question, it might be something like “How many goals did Pele have in his professional career?” Everyone writes down a number, you sort the numbers and then you bet on who you think was the closest without going over. If you’re right you get more chips to bet or to save because however much money you have at the end is your score. This game works well because you don’t need to know anything about soccer. I know a fair amount, so if you’re playing with me and know that, you can bet on my guess even if you guessed either 10 or 10 million for your number. So you get to play the people and think about who might know an answer, or at least have a better clue than you. The answer, by the way, is over 1,000 for goals by Pele, just in case you get that question sometime.
Last Year: 68
This one has dropped a bit for me as you can see. I do really enjoy this game a lot, and I would gladly play it, the only reason I don’t play it more is because it’s a bit of a longer game. This is a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse, for a scenario, with everyone having their own goals, and potentially having a traitor in your midst. This is one of those semi-cooperative games where it tries to make everyone look guilty to help hide the traitor. That is one slightly issue that I have with the game, if you beat the scenario, and a lot of them are hard just purely cooperative, you still don’t win unless you get your secret objective. But the rest of the game works really well, and I consider it a half win if you beat the the scenario. This game also has a thing called Crossroads cards, which is why it has crossroads in the name. These cards offer you tough choices that you’ll have to make during the game and are one of the highlights of the game. We have a house rule for them where instead of drawing one and seeing if it happens on someone’s turn, you draw two and if one of them happens, you do the crossroads event. It just highlights that fun part of the game more. Overall, a really enjoyable game that is just tricky to get to the table all the time because of it’s length.
Last Year: 18
For a lot of people Dominion is their gateway or introduction to deckbuilding, but I don’t like Dominion, so for me, Ascension is the one that I’d use. This is a pure deck building game where you are getting cards and adding them to your deck to buy more cards and fight monsters. Why I like this one so much better than Dominion is that Dominion has a fixed Market, so if someone can spot the ideal combo before the game starts, they’ve probably already won. Whereas Ascension has an ever changing market. Whenever a card is bought or a monster is killed in the market row, a new card is flipped out, and it might be the perfect card for you, or it might be another monster, or who knows what. So you have to be able to adjust a bit more on the fly and you can pick some really good strategies and just stick with them, but depending on how the cards come out, you might have to still adjust even if you have you ideal strategy started. For me, that’s what I like in a game and why I am less of a Euro gamer and more of a Amerithrash gamer, which Ascension feels like compared to Dominion.
Last Year: 46
44. Cry Havoc
Cry Havoc is an asymmetrical game where the players have different ways of building up their point totals. And it’s also a unique game with a bit of deck building and some really interesting combat. I like this game as it has some area control, some diceless combat, and really different strategies for the different factions. In this game you’re trying to control crystals which will give you points at the end of a round, to do that you need to take over areas, battling for the crystals there. The combat is diceless as I said, but it has an interesting flow to it, first the attacker will place their troops on the area majority, kill, or capture spots. Then the defender will, and it basically goes along the lines of, check majority, check kills, check captures, and if you kill someone who would capture one of your pieces that won’t happen. But you have cards in your hand that you use both to do actions, but that can influence combat as well. So maybe it’s a close fight and we’re tied for majority in area control, I could play a card to move someone up there if I’m the attacker so I can take the area, but maybe my opponent will do something to change that. The combat is different but really enjoyable.
Last Year: 52
This, for me, is a Splendor killer, though, I still have both in my collection. Century: Golem Edition, is a fun hand building game where you are trying to create an engine of cards that is going to get your gems, and trade gems in such a way that you can score golem cards. The first person to five golems triggers end game. But where the game works, besides the amazing components and artwork, is the card play. You can build up a combo that might start by giving you three yellows, which you can turn into two greens, which maybe you can turn into a pink, which can be turned into a blue and two greens, and you can really find interesting ways to manipulate the gems that you have. The game plays extremely fast with either playing a card and doing it’s action, getting a golem, or picking back up your hand of cards being all that you do on a turn. It really does have a good amount of strategy to it, but it’s still easy to teach and to score so it might be just slightly too much for a complete game novice, but someone who has something like Ticket to Ride or Catan under their belt will be able to learn it.
Last Year: 33
42. Not Alone
There have been a number of party games on the list thus far, and while Not Alone isn’t a party game, it is one that can play a larger player count. This is a one versus all game where the all are playing crew of a spaceship who have crashed onto a planet and are waiting rescue. However, the planet and the monster on the planet are not happy that they are there. So the planet is trying to take everyone out before the rescue ship can get there. It’s an interesting game of cat and mouse, because the crew can strategize amongst themselves as much as they want, but they have to do it so that the monster can listen. So do they try and send him down a false path, or can they split things up in such a way to be able to do most of what they want. This is another hand management style game for the crew as they have various locations that they can go to, but they discard it to their own, visible, discard pile and the monster has powers that it can use throughout the game. The game has basically always been close when we play it, and it’s a pretty easy game to play, but one that has a nice tension. Probably, actually, a pretty good Halloween game as it has some horror elements to it.
Last Year: 41
41. Cross Clues
This apparently was the party game section. Not ranked last year because it came out this year, Cross Clues is a fun and challenging party game where people are giving clues so that other players can determine the intersection point between two things. To put this better, you have a spread sheet that is 5 by 5, each row and column has a header of a word, so A might be stick and 1 might be wind. If I have the card that has A1 denoted on it, I have to give a clue that will get the other players to guess A1, maybe I go with something like Kite. But maybe C is tail, now kites have tails as well as sticks as structure on them, so which do I mean. So maybe that’s not the best clue, maybe for rustle, but maybe D is cattle, so wind and cattle might make sense for that. So you have to be clever with your clues, and you are trying to get as many done in five minutes as you can, or since we’ve played it across Zoom, just seeing how many out of the 25 on a 5 by 5 grid or 16 for a medium challenge, we can get and score that. It’s a clever game that works really well, and I’m not sure how many word cards there are, but depending on how they intersect the game has a ton of replayability. Definitely a party game that everyone should checkout, in my opinion, and probably one that’d be really popular now, if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
Last Year: Not Ranked
So what from this part of the list, the beginning of the Top 50, looks most interesting to you? Any you’d put higher in your own Top 100?
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We’re back for more of my Top 100 games, this is the fourth part of it, and second year that I’ve been doing a Top 100 list. You can find links to the previous parts below: 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 71 …
Normally, this would be another Halloween article, because I’ve been doing those every Wednesday, tomorrow, since it is actually Halloween will be my Halloween themed article. Instead, you are getting more of my top 100 board games, which will wrap up on Friday. ***Disclaimer***These rankings …
Starting the week off again with even more board games in my top 100 list. I only got to play one board game this weekend, my #96, Qwirkle. It was fun to play that game again. Definitely has some good things about it still and was a fun puzzle to figure out my best options with what I had available, but enough about that, onto the list.
These rankings are the opinion of yours truly, and if you don’t like them, that’s okay. We all have different tastes in games and that is great. There are some games that I’ve only played as a demo, and I felt like I got enough of a feel to put them on the list, thanks GenCon for all the demos. These are living rankings so next year I’m sure that things will change, so I’ll probably be doing another one next year. Thanks to Board Game Geek for letting me enter/rate my collection and games I’ve played. Thanks to Pub Meeple for creating a tool that pulls in those games that I’ve rated and creating a ranking tool. Again, the numbers and names will be linked to Cool Stuff Inc and Amazon if you’re interested in the games.
40 – Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
If you remember the silly choose your own adventures from the 90’s and earlier, that’s what this game is. You Read a bit of text, come to a decision point, and you hope to make the right decision so that you don’t die. But unlike the books, unless you kept your fingers stuck in spots to remember where you were, this is more forgiving and tells you where to go back to and try again. The game play for this is very simple, there are a few things besides making a decision that require a die roll, and if you do poorly, you can generally try to roll the die again, but it might be harder to get the roll you need. So, if you want something with decisions that really matter and are tough to make, House of Danger isn’t for you. If you want a silly fun time with your friends, House of Danger is a ton of fun with a completely absurd story. That’s what I was looking for, and I’m excited to play the second one sometime as it seems absurd as well. The simplicity of this game also makes it easier to play with non-gamers who might know the books, because this plays like the books.
39 – Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Is this connected to Roll Player which was down further on the list, technically yes. However, beyond the artwork that is similar, I don’t think there’s much of a connection, just the game developers wanting to keep their games in the same world. That said, Cartographers is a fun flip and write (roll and write) game where you are either placing one type of land in one of two shapes or one of two types of land in one shape. There are a lot of roll and write or flip and write games that have that put a shape on the board mechanic, but what makes Cartographers different? First, there are monsters, and when there are monsters, you pass your sheet to another player and they put the monster onto the sheet for you, and monsters can give you negative points if you aren’t careful. There’s some more player interaction in the game because of that. You also have interesting scoring which makes it feel different, instead of just scoring at the end of the game, you score 4 seasons, and instead of scoring everything in each season, you score two objectives (A & B) in spring, B & C in summer, C & D in fall and finally D & A in winter. So each objective gets scored twice, so you can’t just plan on one type of scoring, but if you want, you can lean into only a couple of them. Catographers while really being a little abstract game that doesn’t need to be a Roll Player Tale remains a lot of fun.
38 – Ticket to Ride
A classic game, Ticket to Ride as well as Catan are the two games that I would say got me into modern gaming. In Ticket to Ride you are trying to build routes between specific locations that you have on route cards. To do that, you need to take specific colored train cards to complete sections, get points, and get points for completing the routes. Ticket to Ride is a pretty simple game, but it’s a fun one as you try and figure out ways to get all your routes to stick together so you can get the bonus for a longest collection of trains in a row. This is very much a gateway game that a lot of people have seen, even if they haven’t played it. And the rules are simple, but there is a bit of strategy to it, to determine what routes you keep, to try and figure out where other people are going so that you know if you have to get ahead of them so that you can complete a route as efficiently as possible. This isn’t a big and thinky game, but it works really well at what it’s supposed to be, that game that almost anyone can sit down and play.
37 – King of Tokyo
Another gateway game, I’d say, is King of Tokyo. This game is all about giant, generic, monsters fighting in Tokyo and punching each other, who will be the last monster standing. Now, there is another way to win, by getting points, but most of the games of King of Tokyo that I’ve played, it’s been the last monster standing who won. The game is pretty simple as you are rolling dice Yahtzee style, so re-roll up to three times, to get things like fists for punching, energy to buy cards that give you a special power or points, hearts to heal, or just generic numbers that can maybe get you points. The trick of the game is that when you are in Tokyo, you can punch all the rest of the monsters around Tokyo with a single fist, but you can’t heal, so you have to decide how long you’ll stay in Tokyo, because you do get points for being there as well. The game is simple, it’s fast, and there is plenty of variety in the power cards that you can buy. All the monsters in the base game are generic monsters that a number of them are clearly riffing off of some other monsters like King Kong or Godzilla, but they didn’t get the rights to them. I wish each monster had their own powers, out of the box, but it is an expansion you can buy, if you have the 2nd edition of the base game, which I don’t. This really is one of those games, though, because of the simplicity that most people will enjoy, and because it’s rolling dice, it’s going to feel familiar, even though there’s more going on than a lot of old dice games.
36 – Onirim
This is the only purely solo game on my list, but one that I really enjoying playing with the cards and playing on the app. I think I like the physical copy more, just because I like to have the cards in my hand. But with digital one is nice since you shuffle cards a lot in the game. In the game, which is very abstract, you are in a dream world looking for doors to escape and trying to avoid nightmares. In reality, you are playing down groups of three cards, one at a time, in order to play doors, or getting them into play other ways and then discarding cards when nightmares come up, or spending keys that make it easier to put doors into play, but can also cancel a nightmare. If you get all the doors in play before the deck runs out, you escape the dream, if you don’t, you lose the game. I think I win just over 50% of the time. You can see a playthrough of this game on the Malts and Meeples YouTube channel. What I like about this game is that it is simple and fast, and you don’t need a ton of room to play it. I’ve been able to play the game while watching TV shows that I don’t need to fully pay attention to, because while there is a lot of good depth to the game, the decisions end up being somewhat clear, except when the nightmares come up, so you can play it fast with only paying some attention. If you are looking for a solo game to try, I’d highly recommend Onirim.
35 – Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
The other Betrayal game that I’ve played will be much higher on the list. But Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is a ton of fun as well and I like the Dungeons and Dragons setting. In it, you are a group of adventurers who are back in town and just going around, finding things in the town, however, there are horrible things lurking in the town waiting for one of you to betray your friends. To do this, you are finding omens, and if a roll happens where you don’t get a high enough result, the haunt happens. In the haunt, the betrayer has a secret objective and the rest of the players have their objective, and they know generally what the other persons is, so they are trying to stop them and complete their own objective. Or sometimes, it might be something like a dragon attack so everyone works together, which is fun as well. Then, whatever side gets their objective done wins. The game really plays in two different parts, and I think it works well. I like playing as a character with a unique power, and while the theme doesn’t quite fit the mechanics like the other Betrayal game, this one is still a lot of fun to play, and feels like they’ve improved some of the balancing of the game that the other Betrayal had. If you think Betrayal sounds interesting but don’t like horror, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate does a good job with it’s fantasy Dungeons and Dragons theme.
34 – Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl
This game isn’t even out yet, I think they were selling copies at Essen Spiel in Germany this past week, but I got to play a good demo of it at GenCon, and I feel in love with it immediately. The aesthetic is very fun with the fallout of Chernobyl having caused mutated monsters to show up, plus there might be magic now. In the game you are looking for artifacts that you can use to get into the main vault at Chernobyl and probably unleash a horrible monsters, but theoretically it’s some treasure worth having. The game is challenging as it’s competitive and you’re racing your other players, fighting these mutants and dealing with events in the world. But you are finding gear that’s still left around, and it can be what you needed to take care of a monster. This seemed like it would be a pretty long game, but the aesthetic is great and what you are doing seems challenging enough, plus, you have a countdown before the treasure is lost forever, so you can’t spend too much time. I’m really waiting for this game to be for sale in the US, because I want to get to play it more and fight more monsters in hopes of finding out the secrets. The characters felt cool and different, the monsters were different, and how you fought them was cool. Definitely a bigger game than some of the previous ones on the list.
33 – Century: Golem Edition
This is another very pretty game, while Zona was very monster filled and post apocalyptic, Century is very cute with some very pretty gems. In this game, you are buying cards for your hand in order to improve the gems that you have, so you can get the right collection of gems so you can power up various golems which give you points. This is very much an engine building game where you are looking to get the right cards so that you can turn gems into various types easily. This game plays fast because you are either paying for a golem, trading gems, or getting a card. But for being a fairly simple and fast game, you definitely have a good amount of decisions to make as to how you build up your engine. The draw for people who might not be gamers with this game, because I could see using this as a gateway game, is that the pieces are amazing. There are so many pretty gems, the golems look amazing, and there are metal coins that are fun to hold and mess with. There is another version of Century, Century Spice Road that came out first, but the Golem Edition definitely looks better and will have a broader appeal.
32 – The Lost Expedition
You are walking through the jungles of South America, and you are searching for the fabled lost city of Z, will you be able to find it before all of your guides die? That’s what this cooperative game asks of it’s players as you spend resources like bullets and food to navigate cards as well as the various skills in survival, tracking, and nature that your guides have. I’m really noticing that the game higher on the list all really have very nice aesthetics, as this game has great artwork that looks like Tintin by Herge comic art. But, beyond that, this game does a cool thing where it is cooperative, but players have a hand of cards which is for creating a path for the morning and evening walks, but you can’t tell people what is in your hand, so you have to decide what to play down yourself, and you lose a bit of the alpha gamer. Then, as a group, you go down the path you laid out for the day in hopes to get closer to the lost city of Z, while keeping your guides in good shape. The thing is, you never will, but that’s just part of the game, the question is, can you rush along fast enough but not do too dangerously. The game makes you make tough decisions on when to play certain cards and you hope that you get the good cards when you need them, because, not enough food, a guide loses a health, or no bullet, might be a worse option instead that you have to do on a card with a jaguar. I think I have over a 50% win total, but it’s generally close and a lot of fun as you’re worried about it.
31 – Sushi Go Party!
Final game in this section of my top 100. This game is another good looking game, though less on the table, and more with the cute artwork on the cards. A lot of people will prefer 7 Wonders as a card drafting game, but for me, Sushi Go Party! is the better of the two games because the artwork is cute anthropomorphized little Japanese foods like nigiri, sashimi, or pudding. In this game, you are trying to gets sets of different types of cards to get you more points. To do this, you are taking one card from your hand of cards and playing that, then you pass your cards either to the left or to the right and the take a card from the hand of cards that is passed to you. But you are looking at a lot of different things to determine how you want to get points. If you get nigiri they are guaranteed points, but they aren’t a ton of points, and sashimi can be ten points, but only if you have three of them. And tofu is worth five points if you have two of them, but if you get a third, they are worth zero points, because you don’t want to fill up on tofu. This game has variable different scoring, so you can play it over and over again with different scoring and what you’ll be drafting will change up. It’s also a game that is pretty easy to teach, even with having that out there, and the cute looks helps make it interesting to more people.
Alright, another ten done, we’re getting close to the end, if I’m right, we’ll finish on Friday, which will be exciting. I’m glad that I have a board game night coming up soon so that I can get some of these games to the table again.
What are some games that look like fun from this part of the list. This is definitely a section of my top 100 where the games are a lot lighter, but definitely a good time to play. Are there any that you love? Are there any that you want to play?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!