Variant: Top 100 Games – 90 Through 81

Top 100

Image via parentstv.org

We made it past those games that just eked their way into the top 100 list. Now, we settle in for some staples.

90. Small World

I still love my first GeekInsight Game of the Year from way back in 2010. Combat is aggressive, but almost entirely deterministic. If you want a territory, you can conquer it as long as you’re willing to commit the pieces. Plus, I really enjoy the decline mechanic where, if you spread too thin or get decimated, you simply close up shop and start fresh with another race. And the race/power combinations make each game unique and interesting.

89. Wrath of Ashardalon

Wrath of Ashardalon is my favorite based on theme alone, but this could easily be any of the D&D Adventure games. The monster cards do a good job of bringing AI to the game and allowing it to be fully cooperative. The miniatures are fun and there are a ton of them. Plus, this is a great game to play with my son. He can’t read all the cards yet, but he loves to move around, roll dice, and kill monsters. That makes this game a hit.

88. Takenoko

I think of Takenoko almost as a super gateway game. It’s light enough that non-gamers or casual gamers can get the gist of it quickly. But there are enough choices to keep veteran gamers entertained. The artwork and little pre-painted figures help to set a playful mood and the experience is always enjoyable.

87. Tsuro

Tsuro is one of only a few abstract games that I genuinely enjoy. Players build out their paths hoping not to be forced off the board or collide with another player. The goal is to be the last piece on the board. The beauty of Tsuro is that it never lasts more than 10 minutes and accommodates up to 8 players. It’s simple, quick, and satisfying.

86. Legacy: Testament of Duke de Crecy

I had some skepticism about this game initially. But repeat plays have put those aside. Players can acquire titles, buy land, and even start filthy business ventures – all while maintaining a cadre of friends and potential suitors. Plus, the children powers are awesome and provide nice little mechanical bonuses along with dashes of theme.

85. Mysterium

Perhaps the most atmospheric game I own, Myseterium is all about cooperatively solving a murder. One player is the ghost and can communicate only by providing the players with cards that have nothing but artwork on them. No points, no stats. Just artwork. From those images, the players will have to divine the culprit, location, and murder weapon. Always a blast as both the ghost who feels the frustration of lacking appropriate cards, and as the player who gets artwork that has seemingly no bearing on the available suspects.

84. Little Prince

Little Prince is both very cute and very mean. I love the way that you change up he player order and get a chance to manipulate the other players. Part of the game is getting the tiles you want (and avoiding those you don’t). But another part is recognizing what the other players’ want and then trying to give the next turn to a player who will damage the remaining opponents. It’s a thing of beauty.

83. For Sale

Possibly the best filler game out there, For Sale is just a solid experience. It’s easy to teach and easy to play. But the decisions can be difficult. Whether to pass or bid more is critical. And the auction for checks at the end requires some memory and card counting. It’s a great title and worth every play.

82. Dixit

Ah, Dixit. Not only is the idea of this game a fun one, but it exercises an entirely different and creative side of the brain that is often absent from other board game titles. It’s a fun and interesting challenge to give a clue that some people will understand, but vague enough that some players will make an error. Plus, you have total control over the clue. There are no restricting game mechanisms. A fantastic title for the creative crowd.

81. Coup

I love bluffing games, and Coup is at or near the top of the genre. The goal is to kick everyone else out. You can do it by accumulating 7 coins and eliminating one of their two cards. But that’s the hard way. You can also do it by calling them out on a bluff. Sure they say they have the Captain, but do they really? Call them out and you might get them to lose a card. If you’re wrong, though, you lose one. It’s a simple premise with great abilities that makes this title so fun.

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