With the decade coming to a close, I wanted to look at my top games of the past ten years. As someone who got into the hobby in 2011, this seemed like a perfect reflection of not just the hobby, but of my decade of playing as well.
Without further ado, lets look at 2013.
My top five games are Concordia, Eldritch Horror, Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension, Terror in Meeple City (Rampage), and Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak.
Honorable mention include: Sushi Go! and Forbidden Desert.
Concordia is a game that many have talked up and would routinely find itself as the best game of the year on other lists but unfortunately, it did not resonate with me in the slightest. I found the gameplay formulaic and the color pallet did not do the game any favors (similar to The Castles of Burgundy) but the gameplay was not enough to overshadow the theme. That being said, it has spawned countless expansions and continues to be raved about years after its release. It has to be doing something right.
Eldritch Horror is an interesting case in the board gaming world as it took the basic premise of an existing game, Arkham Horror, and tailored it for the community. Easier to navigate rulebook, more streamlined gameplay, and strategic choices help differentiate the two as Arkham basically has players choosing to be a character and playing a D&D game without the DM whereas Eldritch has players worrying about how their actions will best get them to their goal.
Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension has been covered by yours truly before but it’s such a good racing game with an interesting concept of gravity and propulsion that we’ve never not had a good time playing it. The game scales great from two to four and never overstays its welcome.
I’m a big fan of dexterity games and Terror in Meeple City (originally known as Rampage) is one that took a game that was near and dear to me during my childhood and ported it into tabletop form. Not only did it make the transition, it’s a wonderfully thematic and silly game as players are forced to flick, blow, and drop their way across the city in front of them. If you’re into dexterity games, you’ll at the very least find yourself having a good time as you hurl buses around a metropolitan landscape and eat businessmen.
My personal game of 2013 is Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak. That may seem crazy but I’m taking more than just gameplay into consideration here. The original Zombicide was a bonafide hit and Season 2 was one of the first instances (that I can recall) that addressed, fixed, and built off of what the original game offered. There have been new editions of previous games (such as Twilight Imperium) but for a company to turn around an already decent game and make it better in such a short amount of time was a huge boon for the community. Season 2 was also a guiding force (in my opinion) in proving the validity of Kickstarter as a platform and (for better or for worse) instituting the true fear of missing out phenomenon. Besides those social aspects, the gameplay is solid and the components were of high quality. Zombicide Season 2 filled the Left 4 Dead void that was in my heart.
Regarding the honorable mentions, two games made the cut and honestly, they could both be part of the top five. Sushi Go! and Forbidden Desert are both brand name games that can be found at big box stores and have been integral about getting people interested in the hobby. The cute artwork of Sushi Go! and the ease of learning (but important decision making) of Forbidden Desert. Forbidden Desert followed the theme of 2013 as it re-implemented Forbidden Island and did so in a way that almost made Island obsolete.