Top 100 Board Games I Have Played (So Far): #50 to #41

We’re halfway there! :O

My introduction to board gaming as a full-fledged hobby started with two college friends and a game called Settlers of Catan. Since then, I have played at least 200+ board games. Inspired by my desire to improve my writing skills and ability to express myself, I decided to come up with a list ranking my top 100 board games I have played throughout my years. I used PubMeeple to rank them based off my personal enjoyment, that’s it!

If you want to know the previous entries, click any of the following:
#100 to #91; #90 to #81; #80 to #71; #70 to #61, #60 to #51

Thank you for reading!

The premise is simple: dive deep, collect treasure, and resurface before you run out of oxygen. The execution, however, is not because some genius decide it’s a great idea to have everyone receive their oxygen from a shared supply instead of their own set of oxygen tanks.

Your objective is to have the most points from the treasure you gathered. The deeper you dive, the more valuable the treasure. However, each treasure you take will impede your swimming and reduces oxygen from the supply. It only takes a few greedy idiots holding onto two to three each for the oxygen to go from 25 to 0 real quick. Then add some unlucky dice rolls into the equation and your exciting expedition quickly turns into a deep sea disaster.

But when it’s all said and done, the real treasure we take away with us is the laughter and despair we experienced along the way. This is an enjoyable press-your-luck game that fits nicely in a small box.

First thoughts upon hearing Riot Games releasing a board game: “Holy crap!”

When Riot Games announced they were releasing a board game that utilized the League of Legends universe, I was hyped. I haven’t touched League of Legends since Season 3 (2013) but I still follow its eSports scene and recently, I reinstalled the client to play its auto-chess game: Teamfight Tactics. Fast forward to its arrival, I was excited. But the deliveryman was not as he lugged the behemoth to my doorsteps with grimace on his face. He joking asked if he was hauling drugs for me. I could understand why he asked that as this game is bigger and heavier than a newborn child.

Mechs vs. Minions (MvM) has you and your friends control mechs piloted by adorable Yordles (think hamsters) and embark on a ten game campaign. The core gameplay is drafting and programming abilities into your mech to move and wreak havoc against an endless horde of minions. But each game feels distinct featuring a different objective like destroying crystals and escorting a bomb to its destination in one piece. Compared to other cooperative games where tensions are high and players are sweating, I found this to be very lighthearted. If things go completely wrong (and they will), our response is to laugh it off and go next.

Overall, the campaign is enjoyable. Since it’s not a legacy game, the missions are replayable. Hell, you can have your friends hop in and out during the campaign without impeding progress which I love. I wished MvM would incorporate some form of competitive mode similar to its inspiration, Weapons of Zombie Destruction. It would give me an excuse to bring those miniatures to the table. Or an expansion that introduces more characters and regions from Runeterra would be nice. For now, I will look forward to seeing the next tabletop game Riot will come out with (let’s forget Tellstones exist).

Currently, my favorite filler because it reminds me of auto-chess but simpler. On your turn, you pick up a point card or two vegetable cards. The former gives you direction for what vegetables you need for points.

Here, it’s important to be flexible. The market and your neighbors will influence your decisions. You need to pivot to another objective if those onions you need for your point cards never show up on your turn. Or if the neighbor to your left is stacking point cards involving carrots, you can respond by picking up carrot cards to force them to focus on another vegetable.

I can play multiple games of Point Salad with a party of six within a span of a lunch break. But much like salads, it does leave me hungry for something meatier.

Feel like a god as you inflict terror (not terrorism) on the invaders.

Spirit Island approached the overused theme of colonialism, commonly found in Eurogames, and turned everything about it upside down. Here, you and your friends control almighty spirits to terrorize Earth’s most invasive species. That’s right! You fight back against the white colonists invading your island, ravaging it to build settlements, and slaughtering the indigenous people as a token of appreciation. This is an excellent co-op for those looking for a meatier and more challenging puzzle featuring a unique theme and supernatural powers.

Compared to traditional co-op games like Pandemic and Forbidden Island, collaboration in Spirit Island is different (in a good way). Quarterbacking is incredibly difficult to pull off with simultaneous turns and each player having to manage lots of moving parts on their own. Spirit Island is not designed with micromanagement in mind. The core gameplay comes down to: “I’ll take care of these guys. You handle those guys. Let me know if you need help or want to combine our powers together.” Granted, this style of gameplay combined with the large decision tree will intimidate those afraid of making a wrong move that would cost everyone make the game.

The spirits are another highlight. Each comes with their own style. Vital Strength of the Earth prefers defending the land while Lightning’s Swift Strike brings fear and settlement destruction wherever it goes. Part of the fun is finding out what everyone’s spirits are capable of.

I would play Spirit Island more if it didn’t take forever to finish. Most, if not all, of my games would reach a point where everyone knows if we’ll win or lose which is anticlimactic. Sometimes, we would just stop there and move onto another game.

I’ll never get tired of playing Sushi Go! A card drafting game mimicking the dine-in experience at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. It’s always satisfying to get a Wasabi and Eel Nigiri combination or a trio of Sashimi in one round.

One day, I shall have a sushi boat.

If Sushi Go is an appetizer, then Sushi Roll is a main course dish. This is more involved and interactive than its card counterpart. You can develop strategies and make sound decisions right off the bat given the open information and a dynamic pool with dice being rerolled every turn. It’s fine as is but if I wanted to play a meatier drafting game, then I would stick with 7 Wonders or Sagrada instead.

Welcome to creating the ideal 1950’s American neighborhood with fences, parks, and swimming pools. This reminds me of playing Bingo. The only difference is here, you have decisions to make. Each round, you choose one of the three pair of cards revealed. Each pair has a number that must be assigned to an empty house and an ability letting you build your neighborhood in interesting ways.

There is enough depth and strategy to keep me engaged. But this could use some sort of player interaction. I mean, what is stopping me from copying everything my neighbor does for the entire game? But that’s a common issue in blank-and-write games (according to my friend) and it’s very minor compared to the limited amount of paper sheets we have. There’s never enough!

Not going to lie, I’m disappointed there are no ducks in this game. Sad shuba shuba.

A press-your-luck game where you are a quack doctor making dubious potions with questionable ingredients like mandrakes, spiders, and pumpkins. Throughout the game, you’re drawing chips from your bag with the goal of advancing down the spiral pattern in your cauldron as far as you can without causing an explosion. You get more coins (to purchase chip) and points (for winning) the further you go. Normally, I detest games where victory is heavily influenced by luck. But I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed playing Quacks of Quedlinburg.

The bag-building and the large amount of variable powers provided are great aspects to the game. However, I think the main reason why I enjoy this game is how it plays around with my emotions. There’s always that feeling of anxiety and excitement that comes with drawing a chip. I teeter back and forth between despair and relief depending whether or not I draw a cherry bomb. One round, I would be ecstatic high-rolling crow skulls and mandrakes. Then next round, my dumbass draws one too many cherry bombs causing my cauldron to blow up and I fall behind with sadness and regret.

The luck-fest involved can be frustrating to deal with but Quacks doesn’t punish you entirely for taking a risk. When your cauldron explodes, you get a choice between either coins or points for that round. And if you’re falling behind, there are fortune tellers and rat tails that give you a fighting chance to come back without being spoon-fed. Sure, I have several games that resulted in a runaway leader but there are games where it’s too close to call at the final round. Quacks of Quedlinburg is one of those games where it’s more about the journey than the destination.

PSA: Spay and neuter your bunnies. This is actually a nightmare in real life!

Bunny Kingdom is an adorable drafting / area control game where you lead your army of plastic buns to victory by building cities and collecting resources all across the 10x10 land. The gameplay loop is simple: everyone draws two cards from their hand, then resolves those cards, change hands, repeat. The cards you draft can let you mark a territory on the board with one of your bunnies, gain a building to construct later, or provide an endgame objective (these are called parchments).

The area control element is tricky to understand at first because of how scoring works. Ultimately, your goal is to accumulate victory points by creating lots of connected territories which the rulebook calls fiefs. The point value for each fief is dependent on the strength of their cities multiplied by the number of unique resources they have. This is important because you don’t want to facepalm realizing you combined two fiefs together when they shared the same resources.

Throughout the game, I’m making plenty of tough drafting decisions based on the board state and my parchments. Seriously, do not sleep on those parchments because they make up a good chunk of your score. Sometimes I find myself giving up good cards to cut off my opponent’s territory. And when you pass up on good cards, there’s a good chance they won’t end up in your hands again. Drafting is the main focus of Bunny Kingdom and here, it’s executed well.

The other part of Bunny Kingdom is scoring after each round which is the equivalent of 3rd grade math homework. I find it tedious to go through especially after the final round where we also have to reveal and resolve our parchments one-by-one (I think that’s what the rulebook said. My friends and I never understood what it said). Fortunately, it’s not a major issue that impedes the flow and fun factor of the game which I find to be delightful every time we play it.

As I mentioned before with Welcome To…, blank-and-write games tend to lack player interaction. What is stopping me from copying everything my neighbor does? A makeshift wall or a swift punch to the face are plausible solutions. But Cartographers tackles this question by introducing ambushes where you take your neighbor’s sheet and draw goblin tiles anywhere on their map. These tiles are disruptive enough to affect their future turns and scoring (if neglected) without screwing them over completely.

This is my preferred blank-and-write game. I like the concept of drawing a map with Tetris pieces. The long-term planning with variable objectives and player interaction create an enjoyable spatial challenge. To be honest, I prefer playing this on Tabletop Simulator because this mod lets you fill out your sheet with colorful tiles (see below). Plus, saving the environment by not wasting those sheets of paper is a nice bonus!

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