2017 was a huge year for board games with a plethora of great games released, although I’ve only managed to play a fraction of them! Magic Maze and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective were two of my favourites. 2018 looks like it will follow suit. Here’s my list of ten games (in no particular order) that I can’t wait to play! It includes 2017 releases I’m eager to catch up on and anticipated games of 2018.
1. Raid on Taihoku
As someone who enjoys Taiwanese culture and history, I was pleased to discover that a cooperative game dealing with the sombre subject of the WW2 bombing on Taihoku (modern day Taipei) has just been released. Basing a game around a lesser known part of WW2 history and telling the story from the viewpoint of a civilian Taiwanese family is definitely a pleasant surprise.
2. Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
I played Season 1 and loved it. I flew through the campaigns as I couldn’t control myself. From what I hear without spoiling myself too much, Season 2 is very different but just as good, if not better. I would have already purchased it but other games distracted me…
Pictures of this game have taken over my social media feeds and just looking at the colourful, shiny tiles I can see why. It’s so instagrammable. Azul is an abstract tile drafting/laying game about embellishing the walls of a Portuguese palace. Rather specific! Despite the obscure theme, it sounds very accessible as well as lovely to look at. I’m a big fan of games that appear simple but in fact have a lot of strategic depth, and reviews say that Azul is exactly this.
4. Dinosaur Island
I love the 90’s. Jurassic Park is my favourite film of all time. This is a board game about a dinosaur park with a neon 90’s design. No more needs to be said.
5. Spirit Island
I enjoy cooperative games with a complex and imaginative theme, such as Robinson Crusoe, and Spirit Island appears to fit the bill nicely. I like the idea that in this game you take on the role of the spirits rather than the humans, attempting to defend your island home from colonisers.
Possibly more of a toy than a game, I’m usually hesitant when it comes to gimmicky looking games because I wonder about their replayability. But DropMix looks like a lot of fun. I keep watching YouTube playthroughs of this music-mixing game and I feel jealous of the players every time.
7. Betrayal Legacy
I purchased Betrayal at House on the Hill a few years ago because the idea of exploring a haunted mansion with a secret traitor and unique story reveal sounded so fun, however the game play didn’t really match my expectations. It’s now being transformed into a legacy version. If it’s anything like Pandemic Legacy then I’m hoping this time around I’ll love both concept and execution.
8. Detective: City of Angels
It’s going to be a good year in board gaming for murder mystery fans, with three hyped detective games being released. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is a cooperative deduction game with an added digital element (app) that will allow you to access a crime database to conduct research. Chronicles of Crime will include a VR element in which rather than reading details of the crime you’ll be seeing them by using a pair of VR glasses with your mobile device. These two both sound like a good fit for me, but Detective: City of Angels is the one I’m most keen to play. It has a 1940’s LA Noire theme where one player will take on the role of the suspects being interviewed and can choose how much information they divulge, keeping the game fluid and allowing the detective to make choices based on whether they believe the suspects or not.
9. Stuffed Fables
The unique and unusual theme of stuffed toys attempting to save their child owner from the clutches of evil certainly captures my attention. The game will be driven by a storybook element, adding to the childlike theme. I really enjoy the idea of player choices being determined by a narrative – it’s one of the reasons Above and Below has become a favourite of mine recently.
10. Victorian Masterminds
Turning detective games on their head, Victorian Masterminds introduces an alternative universe where Sherlock Holmes is dead, allowing the villains of London to do as they please and amass power. It’s such an interesting idea and appears to have a steampunk design, an aesthetic that generally makes me pay attention.
What games are you looking forward to getting your hands on soon?