Hello fellow Board Gamers! I’m back! With the pandemic and work-life changes, my blogging routine definitely went through a rough spell. The flip-side/good-news is that I’ve found myself with more time to play games through a variety of methods. I have also been consuming TONS of board game-related content…mainly through YouTube.
In fact, a recent video by The Brothers Murph, inspired me to dust off this blog site and get back to Top 10’ing.
The focus of this list (and several upcoming lists) will be looking at the 10 century levels of the BGG top 1000 games. For each grouping of 100 games — starting with 901 through 100 — I will be presenting ten games –> five of which are my favorites of games I’ve played in this ranking range; the other five will be the games I’d most like to play.
I’m looking forward to this journey and hope you have some fun along with me. So, let’s get started:
Top 5 Games I’ve Played from BGG’s 901-1,000
From this list of 100 games, I have played 11 thus far and here are the top 5:
5 – Fairy Tale
Published in 2004 and designed by Satoshi Nakamura; #920 on BGG
Surprisingly the theme and artwork of this set collection, card drafting game do not draw me in, but I really enjoy the set possibilities in this game and tense drafting decisions that occur — the inner-battle to draft for yourself or defensively draft to keep a card out of your opponent’s tableau is great.
4 – Kingsburg (Second Edition)
Published in 2017 and designed by Andrea Chairvesio and Luca Iennaco; #968 on BGG
Kingsburg is essentially a dice worker placement game with the added twist of deciding whether to utilize more workers (at lower die values) or combine your dice for a single, stronger worker. And once you commit to a route, you are left hoping that your opponents won’t swoop in and block your intentions.
There’s also a cool “tech tree” of powers that each player will unlock throughout the game and I personally prefer to look at the upcoming threat, every round, to know exactly how much defense I will need. I would like to get this one to the table again.
3 – Cat Lady
Published in 2017 and designed by Josh Wood; #981 on BGG
This is such a simple, but super fun card game. I’m not a cat person, but I enjoy the artwork that Josh Wood brought to the table on this one. Cards are in a 3×3 grid and on your turn you will pick one column or row. You want to collect cats to score points, but you also need the right food to feed them (activate for points). You can also do some cat toy set collection as well. Light mechanisms, but such fun when groans and fist-pumps of delight occur depending on the grid that is set before you on your turn.
2 – Tang Garden
Published in 2020 and designed by Francesco Testini and Pierluca Zizzi; #980 on BGG
Tang Garden is a beautiful and wonderfully-produced tile-laying and set collection game. Every turn, players make one of two decisions. Lay a tile in the garden following placement rules (to score coins or progress bumps on your garden chart) or go to the decorations deck to add a tree, bridge, pavilion, flower, fish, or bird to the garden’s landscape. Each item has its own set collection scoring. The game would be fun to play and visually beautiful even if the game was just that…but there is the added twist of needing to invite visitors to the garden. At any point in time, one visitor can give you an active bonus — properly utilizing that bonus could make the difference at end-game scoring. Players also need to plan for how to please their guests once they physically enter the garden based on their viewing delights. In a game that finds players often scoring 50-70 points (slightly lower at 4 players), visitors will bring in 8-12+ points on average and successfully inviting more than your opponents could make the difference in the end. I haven’t opened my expansion content yet — looking forward to exploring this title more in the future.
1 – Call to Adventure
Published in 2019 and designed by Johnny O’Neal and Christopher O’Neal; #915 on BGG
My oldest son and I love finding time to play Call to Adventure. From a complexity standpoint, it is on the simple side (2.03/5.00 on BGG), but we find the gameplay enjoyable…calculating the odds that our runes will give us success…maybe risking some “darkness” to our storyline to make sure the results please us. After we are done, the true joy of Call to Adventure (at least for my son and me) is in the story-telling. During the game, you will start with 3 cards and add up to 9 more during play. We each take a few minutes to tell the tale of our character –> in my most recent game, the detailed story of a Merchant, forced to abandon his love to return to his hometown and defend his city. He failed and the cost was high. Using his technical knowledge, fueled by a lust for revenge, he defeated the villain…but lost much of himself in the process. He was found by fairy folk who ultimately pointed him to a magical and immortal destiny.
We love telling these stories and honestly, we both work hard to build our story as we play the game. We both want to win, but the integrity of the story we are trying to build is generally more important than the final score. I’ve had one opportunity to play with the Name of the Wind expansion content, but have yet to open my newly-received Stormlight Archives material. I can’t wait to look through the wonderful artwork inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s great series.
Next, I will look at the top 5 games I would like to play from the 901 to 1,000 list. Since I have only played 11 games from this list of 100…I have obviously NOT played 89 of them. Of that group, there were 11 that quickly piqued my interest…but alas, only a quintet made the cut:
5 – Hostage Negotiator
Published in 2015 and designed by A.J. Porfirio; #972 on BGG
As I’ve found myself playing more solo games (haven’t we all!), the theme of this Van Ryder Games title seems exciting and I would love to see how the “unique hand-building” plays out.
4 – Merlin
Published in 2017 and designed by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck; #960 on BGG
I am a fan of the Stefan Feld games that I have been able to play thus far and I find that I tend to like games with a variety of scoring options. The circular track of knight movement looks interesting as well…plus, I tend to enjoy the medieval theme in games.
3 – The Prodigals Club
Published in 2015 and designed by Vladimir Suchy; #943 on BGG
As a kid, I recall watching Brewster’s Millions with Richard Pryor and John Candy. The idea of someone having to figure out how to quickly spend millions of dollars (and yet receive no personal benefit) was such a neat concept. Thus, the theme behind The Prodigals Club – destroy your own social standing – (while less altruistic) sounds like it could make for a fun take on worker placement.
2 – Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
The Egyptian theme is cool and the three-dimensional components look like a fun setup on the table. I am also intrigued by the “river” of cards in this game, in which some are face-up and some face-down.
There is a new deluxe edition that is coming in 2020, so I would probably hunt it down should I manage to get this one played.
1 – Hardback
Published in 2018 and designed by Jeff Beck and Tim Fowers; #902 on BGG
I like word games that are cleverly-implemented (i.e. Spell Smashers) and I tend to enjoy deck-building games as well. Thus, Hardback automatically hits my Need-to-Play-Radar. I have also heard it is a little ‘meatier’ than Paperback, which adds a few more Radar points as well.
Will I get any of these 5 games played? Will my personal top 5 stay in the 900’s…rise in the ranks…or slowly descend? Hopefully I can revisit this list in the future to see what has happened with these titles.
Have you played any of the games in this top 10? If so, what is your favorite? Please share in the comments or join in the conversation over at Twitter.