The Best Board Games of the Year

The Best Board Games of the Year

#Board #Games #Year

I really wanted to make a top 10 board games of last year i tried i played 78 games to find some that i would recommend but most of them were just fine i can’t waste your time on fine i wish that didn’t damn it welcome to my top 10

Top 8 games of 2021. if you want to know why some of the big games of the year didn’t make my list i talk about them in my patreon newsletter for now let’s get to number eight seven wonders architects feels like it was designed to welcome people into

Board gaming it’s a dream to teach a breeze to set up and uh peach to play every turn you take a card either the one on your left the one on your right or the one in the middle that’s it that’s all the choice you get three things three

Isn’t this supposed to be a modern board game i get more options out of a baseball cap at least five and that’s off the top of my head and yet there are still tough decisions do you take the wood that builds the next stage of your wander that gets you points and rushes

The end of the game or do you take the science card that will make you more powerful like every time you take a wood now you get an extra turn that’s huge it’s like being in a tapas restaurant everything is good but it’s all about

When things come out it’s a fat lot of use than bringing the chorizo out at the end when i’ve forgotten and i ordered it and filled up on potatoes brothers isn’t it and just like a tapas meal you’re sharing these dishes with the people sitting next to you so if you don’t eat

That croquetta this turn your neighbor’s gonna take it the whole game you’ll be begging them not to take the cards you want and because everything is out in the open for everyone to watch it makes for a really social game much more than the original seven wonders or sushi go

And it’s quick even in a game with six players that’s the upside of having such a simple choice every little rule is adding to the experience like the middle deck that anyone can take from the cards are face down it’s the perfect mystery box you’ve got two options you can see

Bit boring but the mystery box could be anything and if you get the cat token you can look at the middle card that no one else can see it’s those little touches like your special ability they’re easy enough to teach but give the game just enough modern board game magic to tell newbies

Monopoly is dead now go buy a kalax if you think it sounds too basic trust your instincts this game isn’t for you i’m not sure it has the depth to stay in my collection long term but not every summer fling can be the one i’m having fun with it for now don’t tie

Me down baby i’m a free spirit you knew that from my eyebrow piercing cantaloupe is part escape room park comic book part choose your own adventure in truth it’s an analog version of a video game the classic point-and-click adventures like monkey island and it works so neatly each page

Of the book is a location to visit you collect item cards and use them to interact with things reading the right passage with this red thing that they gave to child spies in the 90s in fact it’s so simple and lo-fi that it feels like it’s from the 90s but don’t mistake

My joy for nostalgia i’m not nostalgic about the 90s how could you be it’s when all our parents got divorced and i’m not nostalgic for point-and-click adventure games i don’t even like them they’re so slow having to walk your character somewhere just to try out an item and

Find it doesn’t work is the second saddest thing to have happened to me in my childhood i like cantaloupe because it tells a story you play as the wise cracking hook i always wanted to run away with a melon but i just can’t elope a small time criminal who’s trying to

Break someone out of prison which you do in the most roundabout way possible you see hook is an idiot who approaches crime like a rube goldberg device so you’ll use the dental floss you find to do this and that gets you a pair of trousers which you combine with this

Other thing to get you something else and that’s the challenge to think like a two-bit criminal you’re not taken out of the world to do a logic puzzle like in every exit the game you have to think in the world and it’s a world with character every bit of text you read is

Written in hook’s voice do you have an appointment uh no but i do have a very disarming smile be warned some of you will find that very annoying and it will ruin the game for you but if you want an escape room game that’s devoid of character you’re in luck because that’s

Literally all of them cantaloupe is like the actual role of escape room games sure you can get board game reviews elsewhere but if you want jokes and silliness and a main character with greying hair there’s only one option until rado buys some wigs one of the most frustrating things about being a

Reviewer that champions niche games is that when you make videos about them no one watches them you won’t find out about hidden gems if you only click on games that you’ve already heard of so if you haven’t watched my cantaloupe review which is most of you click like to apologize then go and

Watch it after this video obviously in the beginning there was katan and it begat in its own likeness matchy corro and machikoro begat space base and space base begat my farm shop and now in the 26th year of our lord my farm shop begets bad company a dice game about

Running a gang of criminals like its ancestors you’re rolling dice every turn and getting stuff and here you get more control because you roll four dice and divide them into pairs to create two numbers those are the gang members you’ll activate your gang members give you symbols to complete heist cards or

They give you money which you spend to upgrade your gang adding a card on top extending their neck now you get all it symbols when it activates so you can create a giraffe that gives you so much when you roll a seven that you worry you’ve cheated it’s

Called happiness and you’re right to mistrust it this game is great at making you feel good even when you don’t roll what you want there’s something you can do you can pay money to re-roll the dice you can use a loot card to change the results even symbols you don’t need can

Be traded in for other stuff and all those options means you feel clever when you string something together it’s the satisfaction of knowing you built this house whereas in machicoro it feels like winning the lottery it’s still fun but you can’t be a smug about it i mean

You’ve watched grand design so you know what these people are like trying to find the best option means you’ll be transfixed at your player board which makes it even more of a solitary game than its brethren but there are some great reasons to care what the others

Are doing like if you steal the most of something you win a gold chain and put it on one of your gang members every time you activate them now you get a point which is massive now you know your golden child is special you give it all your attention

Like any good parent but be careful because the other players will be trying to steal your gold chain off you i really like bad company but i can’t decide if i’m going to keep it if you want the most simple one of these games go for matchy corrie 2. if you want the

Most strategic and complex that’s space base i really like the hidden depths of my farm shop the way you have to balance production and sales watch my review on that but there’s no clear winner if my farm shop is haagen-dazs then bad company is ben and jerry’s don’t make me

Choose i’m only human don escridge the designer of the resistance and avalon the two best hidden traitor games ever made came back this year to pull a michael phelps and break his own world record again with quest it streamlines the resistance by cutting out the voting phase which was

Always my least favorite part because it could drag out for ages now you have to work out if someone is lying from what they’re saying which is how i play these games anyway and everyone will be saying something because their only way to influence the game is to persuade the current leader

And now you have this magic token the leader gives it to someone on the mission and even if they’re a spy they have to play a success card but it isn’t foolproof because one role is immune to magic it’s caveats like that which creates so many permutations of who could be who

That the table is in constant discussion and that’s what i like about quest it feels just like the resistance with people declaring their innocence and accusing each other and never knowing who to trust but it gets to that point quicker and it’s taken bits i love from other great social deduction games like

The assassin in avalon the blind hunter can pull off a win if they identify the roles of two good players whereas the good players can win if they identify all the spies allah one night ultimate werewolf because of that you have to be very careful what you give away about

Yourself it’s like the first day of college just swap the word virgin for spy and in bigger games just like in secret hitler someone can find out someone else’s allegiance which i love because it always raises the volume at the table i don’t know if i like quest

More than these classics but i can say that i will be keeping it until the magical day comes when i trap nine friends in a room and force them to play them all so i can finally pick a favorite stella is a game in the dixit universe

Which is a thing that people think is acceptable to say now it’s inspired by dixit which is both the universe and a game in its own universe making some kind of dixit black hole above all dixit is a party game with a deck of surreal artwork cards it’s weird trippy imagery

I would say the artists are on mushrooms but could someone on drugs have knocked out this many expansions dixit is a classic and it has inspired all these other games five of which are from the same publisher as dixit that use the same style of artwork as dixit but are

Not in the dixit universe the universe isn’t universal no one said it was i got rid of dixit a few years ago i talked about it in another video in the actual old universe the core idea is genius but i never got the experience i was hoping

From it stella fixes all the problems i had rather than taking turns you’re all playing at the same time the game gives you a word vengeance and you all secretly select which cards you think can be linked to vengeance you can be as creative as you like then you will

Reveal one of your picks and if someone match with you you get points so it doesn’t matter how weird your reasoning was if at least one other person saw vengeance in the eyes of this adorable boy someone has wronged his teddy bear that much is obvious that’s the beauty

Of stella and dixit it connects you to the other people at the table for a moment you feel less alone because someone else sees this world nay this universe the same way you do is this fake is it the first page of your love story no your thoughts aligned with your uncle

Gary so you might want to get yourself checked for racism what stella has over dixie is more moments of drama like when you reveal how many cards you’ve picked you saw the word mother in nine of them and everyone else only picked three your therapist is getting overtime this week

You see if you outbid everyone else and don’t match them all you lose points for being overzealous then every time you reveal one of the cards you pick the silence as you wait for someone to react is agony if you pick one that no one

Else went for it hurts you are the only person alive to think in such a ridiculous way and not only do you receive no points but you could no longer score this round it’s brilliant from a game perspective on the other end of the spectrum is the awesome feeling

Of getting a super spark if you match with only one other person you get an extra point the game is encouraging you to try to find those special intimate connections to hit that wavelength that only you and uncle gary share it has the spirit of dixie in so many

Ways but it just comes together in a smoother way if you love the freedom of coming up with your own clue words then you should absolutely stick to dixit but if you were lukewarm on it too then stella might be the answer sobek two players is everything i want

From a two player game to play with my wife it’s short it’s simple and it’s directly competitive in this relationship we like there to be a clear loser in our case it’s the youtuber with the eyebrow piercing you’re in a market collecting sets of goods to sell each

Turn is simple you take a tile in line with where the ant pawn is pointing and the tar you take tells you where it should point next so i might want this one the most but is it worth it if it sets them up to take something even

Better i love that dilemma and it’s the heart of this game you need these tiles with scarab beetles on to score but remember how i said you can take any tile in that line well you can but every tile you skip over goes into your corruption pile

The player with the least corruption at the end of the game will get bonus points that’s the game sitting there like someone selling your grail game on ebay saying how much are you willing to pay for this this game knows how to create drama for example there’s no hand

Limit in the game but if someone gets described character they can force their opponent to discard down to six tiles all of them going into their corruption pile so you live in fear of it happening to you that’s what i love about sobek it perfectly judges the balance of strategy

Versus luck i love that you can play out moves in your head like an abstract but there’s enough surprises to keep the game light and exciting it’s like planning a kid’s birthday party you can buy a bucket but you can’t prevent the vomit another great decision is when to

Sell your goods you’ll often find yourself in a position where taking a tile will let your opponent get the one you need so instead you choose to take a sick day and sell this turn instead now the tables have turned and they will have to take that tile setting you up

Sobek two players is the best two player game i’ve played since watergate it packs so much fun and thinkiness into such a small box there’s this thing we do as gamers we all do it we say oh you’ve never played the crypto it’s amazing it’s like code names it’s like sherlock holmes

Consulting detective but with an app it’s like calico with wild animals and it’s not just with games oh you’ve never had musa it’s amazing it’s like lasagna but it’s got aubergine instead of pasta i do it all the time i did it as recently as two minutes ago but it can

Be unhelpful and reductive the talk around cascadia was that it’s very similar to other puzzly thailand games most notably calico and they’re not wrong but they’re missing the point yes on paper cascadia is also a layered dish it also has mince meat and tomatoes and bechamel sauce but they taste completely

Different cascadia is a game of possibility you’re free to expand in any direction you never feel pinned down by it when one plan isn’t working you can just start another one whereas calico is the opposite it’s tight and restrictive once you commit to a strategy there’s no

Going back and if you put a tile in the wrong place it torments you for the rest of the game i got a comment the other day on my cascadia review that said so it’s just calico but with more animals than cats no it isn’t a week before i

Got one saying that i’ve decided cascadia is pretty much the same as wingspan no it isn’t would you dismiss the song africa by toto just because it has the same chord progression as you’re beautiful by james blunt i dismissed cascadia at first because of the comparisons to calico and sure as

Kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti i was wrong pointing out similarities to other games is an okay starting point but its differences are what you should focus on if you want to hear what makes it special go and watch my full review of it it’s a great video it’s like no pun

Included review if you’ve skipped straight to see what my number one game is you’ve fallen into a trap all these games are good you are no more likely to enjoy this game than the number three or number eight because my favorite is just that it’s my

Favorite if i was a teenage girl and i suspect in my next lifetime i will be my favorite member of one direction wouldn’t be the prettiest one or the best singer it would be the one i feel most connected to for some silly teenage girl reason that only makes sense to me

The point is board game reviewers are teenage girls and not just because they get jealous of each other they think with their heart i know this because i’ve fallen into the same trap this year i purposely sought out the number one games of reviewers i trust and i didn’t

Like them whereas their other picks the ones with less personality and emotion attached to them were solid some are even on this list the point is conveniently you need to watch the whole video my favorite game of 2021 is the half-brother of my favorite game of 2018

Detective a modern crime board game and just like a half brother you can see the resemblance but the new kids got better jeans coming in from dad’s new wife that makes him just that bit better than you in every way ah the 90s vienna connection is a narrative driven game set in europe

Where you play as cia agents tracking spy activity during the cold war i loved detective because it is the most immersive crime solving game i’ve played you get so lost in the evidence that you feel like a detective vienna connection doubles down on that by giving you a

Literal folder of a hundred case files for you to pour over with newspapers and phone transcripts and interrogation reports it’s so much paper that you could use it to cover up a body i won’t spoil the game by telling you whether you have to do that or not it’s exactly

What i want from this type of game spreading it out across the table with all players involved and it means it doesn’t rely on its website as much as detective which makes sense for the 1970s the way it unravels the story keeps you hooked just like detective there’s small bits of information in

Everything you read the game doesn’t actually tell you the story you tell it to each other when you’re coming up with theories and piecing together the scraps and because there’s so much going on we’d have a discussion after every new lead because it made us rethink everything it reminds me the joy of

Watching the first seasons of lost and spending more time coming up with theories about it than actually watching it and it keeps the brilliant usp of detective the real world research the story is hung on historical events and it has you googling names and places on your phone learning about real history

That brings context to the case it feels silly but it makes it feel important it’s like watching the cup final with an england shirt on vienna connection is my number one game because it was the best experience i had playing a game from last year because i love

These types of games and this is one of the best any other three hour game would have a thick rulebook and loads of admin but there’s none of that you spend all that time getting lost in the case and i love it those are my top eight games of 2021

If you’d like to buy any of them there are links in the description below and if you want to find out why some other games from last year didn’t make my list become a patron of the channel and find out in my patreon newsletter i’m john perkis thanks for watching

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