Once upon a time before the Great Mobile Age, people pretty much relied upon physical objects to meet their gaming needs. With curious artifacts like pen, paper, dice, markers, spinners, tokens, and diagrams on a board, people would while away hours competing or cooperating on an abstract goal…
The fact is, board games never went away, and are experiencing a huge renaissance this century as the main social gathering venue. Playing with family, friends, coworkers, classmates, or cellmates, these are the board games that proved the pick of the crop last year.
Hail Hydra, Marvel Hero Board Game for Teens and Adults Aged 14 and up
Based on Marvel’s Ultimate universe, in this game players can take the roles of superheroes allied with SHIELD or, covertly, agents of the Hydra terrorist organization. It’s a battle to retrieve the Cosmic Cube from Red Skull and save New York, or score a victory for Hydra.
Stonemaier Games Scythe: The Rise of Fenris Game
The final installment in the Scythe trilogy series, players take sides in the aftermath of the Great War, vying for control of Europa. There are eight campaigns and eleven modules, ensuring replay value, and the modules can be tuned to player preferences.
Stronghold Games Noria Board Game
Set in the mythical world of Noria, this is a steampunk industry strategy game where players may build units, discover resources, bribe politicians, and explore the possibilities in this elaborate fantasy universe. The game uses an interesting mechanic, a wheel which must be built from different action disks to determine available outcomes.
Plan B Games Century Eastern Wonders
In this installment of the Century board game series, players compete for control of the global spice trade in a market simulation. Set in exotic Indonesia and including an element of war strategy, the game has many unique mechanics and customized options for replay.
Pandasaurus the Mind Card Game
This is an innovative competitive card game where players try to outguess their opponents strategy in playing tricks onto a discard pile. The rules are easy to learn and the game has many innovative quirks to add onto this simple, traditional framework. It’s a quick, casual game which is easy to underestimate until you’ve played it a few rounds.
Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War Cooperative Dice and Card Game Marvel Avengers Infinity War Movie
Thanos is at it again! Seeking to collect all six Infinity Stones, players have to compete against the rules of the game to thwart his plans. Players recruit familiar Marvel heroes from the Avengers universe to cooperate and apply their group strategy to win.
Plan B Games Azul Board Game Board Games
This is the abstract game that got a lot of hype last year. It’s an innovative, original game based on Moorish ceramic tiles. Players must draft tiles with the goal of assembling them on the board in a decorative manner. Points are scored by completing patterns or sets; random squandering of tiles deducts points.
Ravensburger The Castles of Burgundy: Strategy Dice Game
In this kingdom-building game, players compete for resource tiles to add to their own industrial ot on the board. There are multiple rounds where players seek to develop goals such as building settlements, trading, mining, and hosting travelers.
This game is similar to a cooperative role-playing quest in a Medieval-themed empire. Players get their own character, skills, and goal, and raid dungeons and ruins. It’s close to “Dungeons & Dragons light,” while bringing several new mechanics to the table.
Luxor Board Game
This is a game of archaeological exploration in the tombs of ancient Egypt, where players compete to navigate a legendary temple to unlock its mysteries, avoid its hazards, and raid its treasures. It’s like a board game where you get to see who’s the best Indiana Jones.
Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done
This Medieval-themed game pits players against each other as various factions of knights’ orders, as they maneuver the landscape, build castles, and go on crusades. Players must avoid attracting the attention of the king when they grab too much power, while steadily spreading their influence.
Plan B Games Heaven & Ale
In this unique European-themed game, players explore the tactical difficulties in being a monk in charge of a brewery, crafting beer. Planning ahead and using strategy while gathering resources and staying ahead of opponents is necessary to win.