With the new year starting, I wanted to look back on some of my top played games of 2021! I ended up playing a lot of new games in 2021 as well as some of the classics. And some games that technically aren’t published yet! With 2021 being a great year for board games, I am very very excited for what 2022 will bring.
Bloodborne: The Board Game
To my surprise, Bloodborne: The Board game was my most played board game of 2021. While I didn’t have high expectations for an adaptation game, this one lingered on my mind and drew me back again and again. Having all of the expansions helped bring to life different scenarios and difficult challenges. I love how the randomly spawned game map can really change the game difficulty based on the luck of the draw. Since this is a cooperative game, I also don’t mind when we all lose.
Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right
Root is a classic that I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. There are many different combinations of factions and player driven decisions that can shape the board into a unique battle ever time. While the Lizard Cult still is my favorite faction, a new faction from the upcoming Marauders Expansion has snuck into my heart. The Keepers in Iron are quickly climbing the ranks of my favorite factions and I cannot wait until release. Check out the Root Winter Tournament going on now to get more into the game!!
Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile
Oath was one of the newly released games of the year that hit the ground running. The new chronicle system that Oath introduced allowed for the start of each game to be unique and varied. I also love to see change in the world deck over the course of chronicle. Thirty-two games in and I am still seeing new cards and I know there are more.
Blokus came into my life out of left field. This was a birthday gift that I was definitely confused by when I first opened it. But this game has everything that I love! It’s an abstract game full of polyominos and hard decisions. As a perfectionist, I had to stop looking at what is aesthetically pleasing and what is a good move to hinder my opponent. But the possibilities of this game seem endless. I could play this game for days.
John Company (Second Edition)
John Company (2nd Edition) is a game that has not been released yet that the group has fallen In love with over the course of it’s development. This game is a step up from the first edition but, man, does it rely on dice. And I am terrible with dice. My luck has often ended in some crazy unlikely failures and destroyed the company while playing. But this game always brings a smile to my face.
Vast: The Crystal Caverns
We set out on an expedition when it came to Vast. We wanted to play with all the factions and all the variations. I stayed in my seat as the Knight for most of the games and I struggled. I had trouble wrapping my brain around this game and I couldn’t understand how to approach the game with a winning strategy. I have mixed feelings after playing a lot of games and there is still more to explore.
1830 is the classic 18XX game and one of my top games that I will always play. It’s hard to argue with a classic. I am very happy that I was able to play it so much last year!! If you’re ever curious about 18XX, 1830 is one of the best places to start.
1836 is a Winsome 18XX game that has earned the love from our group because it is so unique. Starting out with only minor companies and trying to navigate and small and track aggressive map is something that is very fun. And very brittle. Because we’ve pushed the limits of this game, it has broken more than once but it’s a fun game to figure out.
Bullet is another new release of 2021 and is a real time puzzle which I thoroughly enjoy. It’s like Tetris Royale, the board game. This is the first game I’ve ever come across that has it’s own soundtrack. The Intensity of the music combined with the speed of the board game is absolute perfection!
I’m surprised to see that Exceed is the only two player game that made it onto the list. Exceed us a great game system which has been applied to many themes. I got introduced to the Exceed system with the Shovel Knight edition, but more editions have joined the collection. Discovering how new decks and characters work is always exciting. I love seeing which ones jive with me.