I am honestly shocked that I have played 142 new to me games in 2022. That is nearly the equivalent of three new games every week! With so many to choose from, thinking of my Top 10 is really vexing. One thing seems to be apparent, 2022 seems to be my year for tile-laying games! So, in no particular order, here are my top10 new-to-me board games of 2022…
It seems bonkers that my first play of Cascadia was in January 2022. It was my game of the month that very same month and has continued to hit the table regularly. It feels like a board game that has been with me forever as it already feels like an old friend. This is another fantastic tile laying puzzle and one which I have been excited to introduce people to. Although a completely different puzzle to others on the list, there are comparisons that can be made with Akropolis.
7 Wonders Architects
7 Wonders Architects is another contender for my favourite game of the year. It’s really easy to teach to those new to the hobby and the quality in production made my jaw drop. This is a game the kids can play, yet there is enough to think about for older players at the table. For me, there is just enough randomness to keep it competitive for all. It really is a corker as you will find out if you read my review!
When Planet Unknown hit the table in August it was love at first play. It was simple and strategic, it had tile laying and progress tracks and little space rovers and a lazy SUSAN and I was gutted it was so hard to find. I tracked down a copy and have enjoyed playing it ever since. Planet Unknown really is that good!
I have been a Reiner Knizia fanboy for some time and I always keep an eye on the doctor’s games. When I looked into Witchstone, a Knizia point salad board game, I was intrigued. I must confess the lurid pink cauldrons had put me off. However, a few Instagrammers whose tastes generally align with mine kept reporting good things, and so it made it onto my Birthday list. I have not been disappointed. I particularly enjoy the cascading bonuses and how you build your actions throughout the game in your cauldron. Feels a little like a roll and write without the pen and pencil! Anyway, Witchstone is a fantastic offering from Knizia and I thoroughly recommend trying it if you get the chance.
Next Station London
I have explored many roll or flip and writes this year, but my absolute favourite and my most played game of the year was Next Station London. This is a flip and write that offers increasingly limited choices, but with a predictability that allows for some strategic planning. It’s portable nature also makes this a winner. No wonder it was entered into the Hall of Fame when I reviewed it.
Ecosystem is a small unassuming card drafting game for two to six players. It has a lovely puzzle feel about it, as you build an ecosystem tableau in front of you. The artwork is beautiful as is the entire gaming experience when playing this family friendly game. If you haven’t read my review be sure to check it out. I’ve also been enjoying the new Coral Reef edition which adds some different scoring objectives which are welcome.
Who knew building a dwarven army could be so fun. Nidavellir boasts simple set collection with a fun auction mechanic that works just as well at two as it does at five. The simplicity of play does not reflect the strategy involved in building the best army, as all sorts of factors needed to be considered when making the draft. This is another game I reviewed, so you can find out more if you want!
Tenpenny Parks seems to be flying under the radar of many board gamers and I cannot for the life of me understand why. This is a really clever tile placement game with loads to think about and an absolute beauty on the table top. Everyone I introduced this one to agreed it is really good and absolute eye candy.
Great Western Trail
Great Western Trail is a game that wouldn’t be new to many people, but it was new to me! Due to its popularity, I never doubted that I would love it, but with refreshed artwork satisfying the box art tart in me I could finally allow it into the house! I am glad I did, because I can finally see why this cattle herding board game is deemed such a classic. It’s a deliciously thinky board game which I hope continues to hit the table in 2023 often.
This is a delicious list of board games and makes me want to play them all again right now! Perhaps this is my 10 x 10 challenge for 2023, but I will share that list with you soon, as well as give you an update with how I got on with last year’s challenge!