It’s time to look beyond traditional board games, such as Monopoly, Battleship, and Risk, my friends! The new kids on the board game block are jazzier, more adventurous, and, generally, more exciting. You have time for only the best? No worries! Here are some of the new board games.
In Anachrony, scientists from the future tell you that a cataclysmic meteor is on a collision course with Earth. They tell you that you cannot stop the meteor, but you can save human civilization. How? By building a fortified society capable of withstanding Armageddon. You compete with up to three other players to build the best-fortified society. In the process, you have to use borrowed tools, mine rare minerals, and find genius minds to help you.
Anachrony is one of the best board games that belong to a category called “worker-placement.” In this type of game, players recruit minions and place them on a limited number of options. In this game, you can put them in exosuits and send them away on missions. Their missions may include finding water and minerals, researching new technologies, traveling through time, and building massive structures.
The area in which Anachrony truly shines is its time-traveling aspect. At the start of each round, each player can borrow one or two resources from his or her future self. This creates holes in the fabric of space-time. The players have to close the holes by developing time travel and sending the borrowed resources back to their past selves later in the game.
2. Dinosaur Island
Are you a fan of Jurassic Park? Then, you will love Dinosaur Island. As its name suggests, this exciting board game is basically Jurassic Park where you play the park’s creator. In this game, up to four players compete with each other to build the best dinosaur park. Taking turns, each player genetically re-engineers the dinosaurs – hiring specialists, building park enclosures and facilities, and mopping dinosaur blood.
The artwork is stunning, the components are sturdy, and the Mesozoic theme is simply mind-blowing. There are many different routes to build a winning park. But, what you will like best about this game is that no amount of security failures and dinosaur failures will scare away eager park attendees and investors.
Gloomhaven is a role-playing game filled with innumerable characters and a story that takes you to an endless fantasy netherworld. You can gauge its sheer immenseness by the fact that there are 150 hours of the game crammed into the 22-pound box. No wonder it was critically acclaimed as the best board game of 2017.
The game is reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons, but it is more combat-oriented. Players play the game with cards and one person is the overlord instead of a gamemaster. There are nearly a hundred scenarios that involve finding one’s way through a dungeon. Along the way, the player has to make the correct choices to advance the story and open up new locations. The players can modify the abilities of a character using new cards. Each character is unique and has an odd mix of abilities. They are different than the healer, ranger, and magic user characters you find in most games. Throughout the game, the player must retire characters periodically.
4. Rising Sun
Rising Sun is an exciting game of intrigue, war, and alliances set in Japan’s highly mythicized feudal past. Up to five players compete against each other for territories. At different times, the game reminds a person of Game of Thrones: The Board Game, Diplomacy, and Shogun. As you play, it takes you to a world where one must be daring, as well as cunning, to survive. There are three parts to the game. Each part begins with a tea ceremony and ends with a battle.
What you will love about Rising Sun is that it is extremely fluid. You can move your soldiers to any part of the board and your opponents can do the same. This means you can’t solely rely on your strategic position or physical strength. You have to make allies, betray friends, make deals with enemies, and, basically, do whatever it takes to win.
5. Secret Hitler
Secret Hitler is a party game like The Resistance or Mafia but with much more pronounced accusations of fascist behavior. At the beginning of the game, each of the five to 10 players receives a secret dossier. The dossier contains a character card and a party affiliation card. Most of the players are German liberals, but there are a few Nazis and one of them is Adolf Hitler. The liberals have no idea who the Nazis are. Only the Nazis know each other.
In each round, the players elect a president and chancellor, who secretly enact a government policy. The liberals enact liberal policies; the Nazis enact fascist policies. For the liberals to win, they must enact six liberal policies. For the Nazis to win, they must either elect Hitler as chancellor or enact five fascist policies. As the game progresses, the players find themselves resorting to lies and conspiracies and accusing each other of being Hitler.
6. Spirit Island
Spirit Island is the antithesis of the popular board game, The Settlers of Catan. In this game, the players do not aim to colonize a newfound island. Instead, they team up as the island’s guardian spirits to defend it from invaders. They must work together to drive back the invading settlers using strength, guile, and whatever there is at their disposal.
While being highly complex, the game is not excessively complicated. You will spend your time building influence, exploring new powers, and deciding which one to use against your enemies. Meanwhile, the settlers will come in endless hordes, giving you no time for respite. You have to fight as a team and use all your guile to stop the enemies. Spirit Island is one of the decade’s best games of cooperation.
7. Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition
Twilight Imperium continues to reign as the indisputable champion of the world of board games in its fourth edition. With a galaxy-wide war as its setting, it reminds one of Star Wars: Rebellion but with a heavy mix of Game of Thrones: The Board Game. When all six players sit down to play, the game can stretch to a minimum of eight hours. You will need a large space to play as its hundreds of components can easily spill out of your dining room table.
The fourth edition comes with many tiny changes. But, it’s the same game. As the game progresses, each player conquers planets, trades with each other, and discovers new technologies. They also get to cast their votes in the galactic senate to change the rules they dislike. Whether you are a Star Wars fan, you will simply love this game once you begin playing it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best new board games. There are many other games as good as, if not better than, these games. Other top board games you should check out include Sagrada, Quantum, Thunder Quest, 7th Continent, and Shards of Infinity. In addition, there is Gaia Project, Ethnos, Star Wars: Rebellion, Photosynthesis, Wasteland Express Delivery Service, and Sheriff of Nottingham. Rounding out the list are One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Daybreak, Scythe, Magic Maze, and Clans of Caledonia.
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