My Top 10 Board Games

I love hobby board games. I think they help connect people in a world where it is hard to unplug. They create unique immersive experiences for me and the loved ones in my life and so I want to spread the good word. I try not to advocate buying things but to me board games have improved my life and adds another element to my friendships. All of the pictures come from the boardgamegeek links which you should explore if the game looks fun.

Here are my top 10 board games:

1. Root

Root is my favorite game because of the perfect balance between the artwork and gameplay. Everyone is trying to get to the same amount of victory points first but how you get there is completely different. To explain, I will describe two of the four players. The Eyrie (brids) rise to power and and then their bubble pops into turmoil in a cyclical fashion. The Vagabond goes on side quests and aids certain players but may betray at any time.

box cover

2. Viticulture

Have you always wanted to run a winery but you only have $50 and you don’t want the pressure of having real humans depend on your business acumen? In Viticulture you take your little wooden people and put them on spaces (worker placement) to plant and harvest grapes, make and sell wine, and greet visitors into your winery.

3. Terraforming Mars

In Terraforming Mars you become an Elon Musk type and do exactly what the title says. You score points by playing cards and building up your company while adding biodiversity and cities to the planet Mars. Scientifically sound concepts and extremely thematic.

4. Asante

You own a market stall and you want to outdo your competition in this two player card-driven game. Great theme, simple card play. Maybe our most played game.

5. Caverna

In Caverna you are raising a dwarven family, growing crops, and expanding your home which is also a mine. You do this by placing room and farm tiles (tile placement) and putting workers on different spaces (worker placement).

6. Sagrada

I like rolling dice. I like colors and pretty things. Sagrada combines these with a puzzle that you can optimize to get the most points. Insanely beautiful game that will make you enjoy staring at your board with a furrowed brow.

Sagrada - Box Cover

7. Ticket to Ride

Classic intro hobby board game. You place trains in lines on a board by collecting the right cards. Great starting point if rules are scary but still fun if you like heavy games.

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8. Downforce

Cars go fast. If you don’t overspend or over-bet on a car and you go faster you win. Always a great time with the family and perfect for people who do not want a lot of rules but want a challenge. Not usually into the racing theme but this one gets me.

Box Top

9. Dice Masters

Part magic the gathering; part rolling dice. I much prefer this to magic because you get to choose your hand (bag). I love The Dungeons and Dragons sets but they also have Marvel, DC, Super Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more (all compatible). I do not get to play this one as often as I like but it is a totally underrated game which anyone who likes magic should give a chance.

Box front

10. Zendo

This is an inductive reasoning game where one person knows the rule and everyone else tries to guess it. The one person (teacher) gives examples (with blocks of various shapes) of what breaks the rule and what follows it while the others take turns creating structures that help cancel out options. Super thinky and a crowd pleaser.

Zendo, Looney Labs, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)

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