The wheel of time ever turns, and so it must come to pass that we revisit the very best board games of 2022. With more plays under my belt and more distance from their hype-infused releases, I’m now ready to look back on all the 2022 releases that I played. For those who don’t know, this has become a yearly tradition, and you can still go back and peruse my reflection of 2019, 2020, and 2021 releases. You can also compare the list below to my Top 15 Games of 2022 which was posted back in January (spoilers: most of those remained Lovers).
With over 50 games to cover, I’ll simply be offering my brief thoughts on each game as I categorize them into Lovers, Keepers, Dumpers, Flingers, and Seekers.
Note: This original post was sucked into an internet black hole a few weeks after going live. Fortunately, I still had a copy of the text, but the many of the images and links from the original post will be missing here.
The must owns, can’t get enough ofs, top 50 games of all time candidates, going through withdrawals if I wait too long to play it again type of games.
- Caesar!: Sieze Rome in 20 Minutes – Paolo Mori is an ever reliable designer when it comes to making great board games, and Caesar is no exception. Those who enjoy games like Dogs of War, Blitzkrieg, and/or Samurai owe it to themselves to try out this quick 2-player game. You’ll take turns claiming spaces on the map with border tokens as you compete to assert your dominance in the neighboring regions.
- John Company: Second Edition – Even if John Company was the only board game on my shelf, I still wouldn’t have nearly enough time to explore its depths. Just gathering a willing group to play for several hours per session is a tall order. John Company is an epic political negotiation game that asks players to engage with shady economic systems too unwieldy for anyone to possibly control. Even if the company goes up in flames, you’ll be content as long as you profit off of the implosion and retire in a cozy mansion.
- Resist! – Resist is the kind of solo game that really hits the sweet spot for me. Clean systems, a quick game length, tough decisions, and a variety of scenarios all make for a rewarding challenge that is worth repeat visits. At the heart of this game, you’ll constantly be force to decide when to part ways with each of your powerful resistance fighters (cards) who never fail to go out in a blaze of glory.
- Carnegie – Carnegie remains the best Eurogame that I played last year (and possibly even this year). I haven’t played it nearly as much as I’d like to. But the mere heartache I feel over that fact is proof that it stands head and shoulders above the many other titles in this crowded genre (most of which I have no problem abandoning forever).
- Gang of Dice – Gang of Dice has seen a meteoric rise in my esteem from where it first started to where it is today. This is easily one of my favorite dice games and favorite push your luck games I have ever played — all of which is thanks to the dramatic combination of dice wagering, deadly explosions, and narrow misses. My only regret is not telling everyone earlier (and in all caps) to STOP PLAYING IT AT 2 PLAYERS OR ON BOARD GAME ARENA. You’re not doing yourself any favors.
- Splendor Duel – I thought I had made my peace with Splendor long ago after growing weary of the milquetoast gameplay. It’s a mighty impressive feat that Splendor Duel managed to reel me back in and get me excited about Splendor once more. This version of Splendor is far more dynamic, tight, and thrilling for me — a 2-player game that I’ll happily continue to bring to the table.
- Heat: Pedal to the Metal – I still believe that Heat is one of the best games to release last year. From the gorgeous artwork to the exciting tension of how hard to push your vehicle, it’s a joy to return to. I believe that Days of Wonder absolutely made the right call to pack the base box with 4 maps and multiple modules — we have had a blast exploring it all.
- Undaunted Stalingrad – Maybe if David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin actually took a vacation once in a while, I’d have enough time to catch up with their output. Instead, I find myself falling further and further behind in the Undaunted series with every passing year. Despite my growing feelings of inevitable doom, I’m still loving our slow progression through the 2-player war epic that is Undaunted Stalingrad — one of the best legacy style campaign games ever created.
- Tatari – Believe it or not, but after decades of pumping out dice games and push your luck games, Reiner Knizia has managed to create some of his best ever in 2022 and 2023. I’ve already mentioned Gang of Dice, I’ve been signing the praises of the new 2023/2024 release MLEM: Space Agency, and 2022’s Tatari is the final title in this shining triforce. Tatari has seen a very limited release exclusively in Asia (you basically have to track it down from Amazon Japan), but this doll-purging dice game is an endlessly satisfying filler that will forever live in my collection.
- The Quest for El Dorado: Dangers & Muisca – For myself and most fellow Kniziaphiles, The Quest for El Dorado: Dangers & Muisca is easily the best expansion for this deck building race game — one that we are eager to recommend to any with an ear to hear it. It’s expansions like this that elevated El Dorado to the G.O.L.D. Tier of all Knizia games (Greatest of the Only Living Doctor). You can check out our recent video series if you want to see how we rank all of the 161 Knizia games that we’ve played.
- Hot Lead – Ask different people which Criminal Capers game (published by yours truly) is their favorite of the bunch, and you’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask. If you ask me, then I’ll answer with Hot Lead. Not only is it my favorite, but it is also the fastest of the bunch. You can fly through a play in 5-10 minutes. And even after dozens upon dozens of plays, I still get a kick out of this fast filler game. The joy of the game is in trying to out-wit your opponents — bid a card that is higher or lower relative to theirs and claim the best evidence for yourself while sticking your rivals with evidence cards that make them bust.
The solid games that have survived many purges over the past year. I would be sad to see them go, but I don’t need to bring them to the table constantly either.
- Skymines – Skymines is the updated version of a classic Pfister Eurogame: Mombasa. I’ll be honest, I don’t play these kinds of games nearly as much as I used to. Part of it just due to the gaming groups I’m with most weeks. The other part of it is the fact that I never play these games enough to remember the rules upon repeat plays, so then I have to dig through the laborious rulebook once more. But at any rate, Skymines has always provided a satisfying strategic experience that I’m happy to revisit when the opportunity arises. The mix of shared incentives via gaining shares in companies is what makes it a keeper on the shelf.
- An Empty Throne – My main 2-player gaming partner still doesn’t like An Empty Throne due to its abundance of card text, but even the games that usually collect dust are easier to keep around when they come in a very small box. I still appreciate An Empty Throne for how it lets players manipulate the game state while deciding how to use each card.
- Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition – I’ve cooled a bit on Cat in the Box since last year — that’s probably due to the fact that we are now drowning in trick taking games. There seems to be a hot new title for folks to check out every week, and there is simply no keeping up with this surge. But it’s still enjoyable to check in on the genre from time to time and try out the flavor of the week. Likewise, it’s still enjoyable to revisit Cat in the Box for how it lets players decided their own suit and possibly even back themselves into a paradoxical corner.
- San Francisco – Despite a charming production, and despite the fact that it was the only big (sort of) box Knizia game to release last year (compare that to this year which has a least 6 big box Knizias), San Francisco appears to have never really taken off in the market. It seems that the drafting mechanism was a bit polarizing for players. I didn’t absolutely love this game, but I’ve enjoyed my plays of it. And I’m still hearing that some Knizia fans list this one as their favorite Knizia release of 2022. For those of us who enjoy it, I think that satisfaction comes from the subtle but critical competition for scoring. You gotta watch rival boards like a hawk and scrape for every point you can get when the winning score can be 10.5 points.
- Ahoy – When I lived in Ohio, meaty favorites like Root, Oath, Pax Pamir, and Age of Steam were some of the easiest for me to get played. I had found a group of friends and fellow gamers who shared my appreciation for these designs, and we were able to dive deep into them. Ahoy definitely would have fit in at these sessions as well thanks to its interesting asymmetry. Unfortunately, I now live in Arizona where it thus far has been harder to get these games to the table consistently — and often when we do play them the games last far longer than they used to. At least in the case of Ahoy, this is the most approachable title of the ones I’ve listed, and it doesn’t take nearly as long to knock out a play. Of course, now that a new expansion is on the way, that might also keep me from playing it much when I know we’ll be hitting it hard upon the expansion’s arrival.
- Treasures of Nakbe – I still recommend Treasures of Nakbe as one of the best Knizia games for families. Although I’ll admit that we played this recently at a super high player count (7 players) and I didn’t like it nearly as much. At 7 players, you do have more players who share your same incentives (they want some of the same racers to win that you do), but you have far less control over how the game plays out. Your impact on the game is so watered down that I’m now strongly inclined to only play this one at 3-4 (maybe 5) players. But at that group size sweet spot, this one is still a blast to break out with the parents, the niece and nephew, the kids, etc. Who doesn’t love cheering for the underdog and sabotaging the lead racer?
- Ready Set Bet – This year I had the chance to play Ready Set Bet, Camel Up: Second Edition, and Winner’s Circle all in close succession (across a few weeks). Up until that point, I had largely maintained that I love all of these games and am happy to rotate through them. But to my surprise, there was a clear winner as to which game was the most enjoyable when they were all played back to back. Yes indeed, it was Winner’s Circle. I still like the other two, but they were also a bit underwhelming in those most recent plays. Ready Set Bet is the most fragile game of the bunch — if you don’t have a committed House player who injects their dice rolling and horse calling with drama and enthusiasm, then the game just falls flat. Likewise, if you don’t have a large enough group of players to keep the board tight, then the tension of betting just isn’t there. But it still usually hits the spot with a large, raucous crowd.
- Bear Raid – Ryan Courtney is a great addition to the board game industry in recent years, and I’m not just saying that because we are publishing his games Trailblazers and Spectral. Setting our own publications aside, Ryan consistently makes games that are challenging, thinky, punishing, unique, and rewarding of repeat plays. This goes against the grain of modern industry trends that are largely pushing games to be more forgiving and are hyper focused on making a great first impression (often at the expense of rewarding deeper exploration and repeat plays). That’s what makes Ryan Courtney designs so refreshing, and Bear Raid is no exception to his exceptionalism. I’ve enjoyed all the levers this stock game lets you pull to invest, short, and sabotage companies.
- Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest – Winds of Galecrest is an interesting case study of reimplementing a classic game. It is certainly one of the more polarizing reimplementations I’ve witnessed (although oddly the same thing happened this year with the same designer — Paolo Mori’s Archeos Society formerly known as Ethnos). In the case of Libertalia, the most polarizing aspect was undoubtedly the new art style and theming (going from a gritty Pirates of the Caribbean look to a colorful anthropomorphic look). I’m largely ambivalent about the competing art styles, but in terms of gameplay I’m definitely on team Winds of Galecrest. The added variety of cards and loot tokens as well as the new tiebreaker track really elevated the experience for me. And I love the wealth of mind games that this one provides as players try to out-fox each other with the same hand of cards.
- Ghosts of Christmas – As mentioned previously, I’m now drowning in far too many trick takers. But hey, at least it’s more interesting than the previous trend of roll & writes. Better yet, at least this trick taker has a good reason to be broken out at least once a year (a Christmas tradition). I’ve enjoyed Ghosts of Christmas every time we’ve played it. It’s interesting to play tricks into the future, past, and present before resolving them in sequential order.
- Factory Funner – Factories are fun… I guess. And good puzzles are too. Factory Funner does what I like most in my spatial puzzle games — it lets me bite off more than I can chew and then suffer the consequences. Take one look at a picture of this game and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
- Nightmare Productions – Knizia auctions and campy horror filmmaking — what more could you possibly want? Well, sadly, the answer is that I want Silver Screen, not Nightmare Productions. Silver Screen — the improved version of Nightmare Productions, converted into a card game. I’ve tried this unpublished design… I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit and can’t go back. Give me Silver Screen, Trick or Treat Studios. Please.
- Sidereal Confluence: Bifurcation – I recently read Charlie Theel’s excellent review of this expansion, and it was painfully on point. Bifurcation is an expansion designed for the most loyal and faithful fans of Sidereal Confluence. I love this game, and this expansion presents a rich goldmine of exciting new experiences just waiting to be explored. But I simply don’t have the regular group for this game. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Still, I did get to try one of the nine alternate factions (snuck one of the simpler ones into a teaching game with newcomers), and it was awesome.
- Root: The Marauder Expansion – The expansion woes continue with Root. Since moving to Arizona roughly 2.5 years ago, I have played Root a pitiful 3 times. Not gonna lie, I hate teaching this game. The less I have to teach it, the better. And I haven’t made significant strides initiating my local gamers on anything from Cole Wehrle (I’ve actually gotten more plays of Wehrle games by commuting down to Phoenix on occasion for a larger game day with heavy gamers). The barrier to entry is so steep when it comes to these games. I would love to explore this wacky expansion more… perhaps some day the climate will change and the opportunity will be easier to get a regular group invested. But I honestly feel a stronger drive to get John Company and (next year’s Arcs) to the table, which doesn’t help Root in the near future. I only have so much energy and so many opportunities to get these demanding games to the table.
- Kabuto Sumo: Total Mayhem – I’m happy to see that Kabuto Sumo is selling well for Allplay. Well enough for them to support it with this expansion as well as a sequel game launching in a few months. Our hobby needs more games like this that don’t simply recycle the same three hottest mechanisms of the year. There is still no worthy match for a game like Kabuto Sumo. We love breaking this out as a 2-player date night game, and I expect it will be a big hit with my daughters once they are old enough to be initiated. Total Mayhem layers on more fun with unique challenges and fresh items.
- Soda Smugglers – We recently had the chance to demo nearly all of our games for the many attendees at PAX Unplugged, and Soda Smugglers was easily the clear winner of our small box games. It was a blast gathering usually 5-8 folks around the Soda Smugglers table for a quick (20-30 minute) session of bribing, bluffing, and smuggling. The naysayers who are biased toward Sheriff of Nottingham can try to put down Soda Smugglers all they want, but I say that the proof is in the puddin’. And this carbonated puddin’ has literally never failed in all of the large group gatherings that I’ve shared it with. Actually, the most common thing that folks tell us is that they prefer Soda Smugglers to Sheriff of Nottingham precisely because it is way faster, far more approachable, and plays up to 8. That’s why I never hesitate to recommend this one at 5-8 players.
- Pumafiosi – If Hot Lead is the addictingly fast filler, and Soda Smugglers is the large party pleaser, then Pumafiosi is refreshingly weird twist on your classic card game. Here, you want to play the second highest card of the round in order to win so that you can claim your place in the mafia hierarchy with your winning card. But sometimes, you definitely don’t want to win the round… like when all the good spaces are already taken, or when you give players a far too easy opportunity to knock you down the hierarchy and feed you penalty points for your foolish aspirations. Sometimes, you’re better off controlling which other player wins the trick and with what card. It’s strange, it’s casual, and it really hits the spot at roughly 3 players.
Some made me question my life decisions, others simply made me wish I was playing something else. None are welcome back at my table. So long and good riddance. May you find a better home.
- Merchants of the Dark Road – This is a game that I only had the chance to play once… actually, that’s true of nearly all my dumpers of 2022. But you don’t earn the right and privilege to be a dumper unless I sincerely never want to see you again. In the case of Merchants, this one felt like a design that ambitiously decided to toss in everything but the kitchen sink. As I recounted in my 1st impressions post of the game: “There were several board actions, entire animal tableaus, excessive bonus options, and tertiary resource tokens that were virtually ignored and untouched by our entire group. I’m certainly the type who typically prefers a much cleaner design — one that doesn’t start with a messy explosion of rules requiring hours of playtime to scrub through.”
- Sound Box – Here lies a party game that sounded so promising on the surface… so promising that we gave it 3 whole attempts in the same game night. But each and every time we were rebuffed by the design’s relentless insistence on being just a little too harsh and restrictive in every possible way. Or maybe our group was simply terrible at this game. Either way, it fell flat, felt off, and hasn’t returned to the table since.
- Terra Nova – My least favorite and most regrettable purchase of 2022 undoubtedly goes to Terra Nova. It’s biggest offense? Merely the fact that it was incredibly bland. Yes, “offensively bland” is a thing, especially when my time spent learning and playing games is precious and limited. I genuinely do not understand what other folks see in this game that makes them enjoy it, but I’m happy for them, I suppose. And I’m happy that they aren’t asking me to play it with them.
- Catherine: The Cities of the Tsarina – Speaking of incredibly bland games, Capstone Games and I had a rough year together in 2022 with the likes of Terra Nova and Catherine. Fortunately, we still have our prior experiences together to cherish (with games like Pipeline, Watergate, The Estates, Bus, and more), and we fortunately bounced back with the likes of Wandering Towers and Match of the Century in 2023. So that’s great, I’m happy to support this prolific publisher and their latest projects whenever they fit my tastes. But Catherine serves as a stark reminder to me that not all Capstone Games are spicy and flavorful. Some are astoundingly flavorless, like Catherine: The Cities of the Tsarina.
- Puzzle Strike 2 – Oh boy. Puzzle Strike 2. It’s games like this that trigger all of my defensive instincts as a gamer, designer, publisher, or what have you. The fight or flight urges are difficult to suppress when I recall this box of rainbow explosions. Where some dumpers are merely flavorless (perhaps because I’ve already burned my gaming tastebuds with far too many brutally interactive & spicy games), Puzzle Strike is instead tasteless.
Do you like to dabble? I dabble from time to time. These games were amusing to try. Didn’t love em. Didn’t hate em. And sure, I’d play them again… given the right mood and circumstance.
- Long Shot: The Dice Game – I already recounted this year’s experience of how Winner’s Circle raced ahead of my pack of racing/betting games. The tides are turning, and it’s very possible that with time I will reduce my collection of this genre down to one title. Long Shot: The Dice Game is a design that I got to try via a friend’s copy, but never felt the need to own — and doubly so now that I’ve settled on my favorite. It’s got a neat mix of betting and rolling and writing, and it is far more interactive than most roll and write games. Kudos to you, Long Shot.
- Foundations of Rome – Foundations of Rome took the world by storm as a relatively plain game with an insanely over-the-top production. As a public lover of tile placement games on a shared board, I was disappointed to find that the plastic was the most impressive part of this entire experience. Heck, I’d take the frighteningly hideous Genesis over this game, any day. But it was at least fun to let a friend bite the bullet and bring it to the table for us to bask in its opulence for a play. And now that this Kickstarter nuke has landed with a boom and spread far and wide, it’s getting a dirt cheap version in Foundations of Metropolis. Are we doomed to see more simple games follow this route of a dramatically overproduced box followed by a mellow version a few years later? Gosh, I hope not.
- Wonderland’s War – Speaking of games that I was happy to play but not invest in, Wonderland’s War is likewise an explosion of components crammed into a huge box. Loads of people cite this game as one of their favorite releases of 2022, and good for them. As for me, I’m certainly more sensitive to games that have more rules, use more components, take up more space, and eat up more time. Perhaps that’s a product of my habits and setting — trying far too many games and playing with far too many different groups of people. Wonderland’s War is right up my alley in theory, presenting a push-your-luck area control game with a charming production. But then it just takes everything way too far (mechanisms, rules, components, playtime, you name it) for my tastes. Still, I’m glad to have tried it.
- Longboard – Longboard is that distant cousin you only see every once in a blue moon because they live way over in Hawaii and rarely make the trip to the mainland. More accurately, it’s the distant cousin to the Lost Cities family that I’m down to play occasionally. You are still building lines of cards that ascend in their value, but in this case your hand is open and your opponents can force you to trade with them by giving you a higher total value of cards. It’s a neat premise and an enjoyable experience. But I find myself growing increasingly suspicious of the objective cards which seem to detract from the core focus of the game all in the service of superficial variety.
- Green Team Wins – Green Team Wins seems like one of the few games out there that plays well at extremely high player counts (8, 12, 15, etc.), assuming you’ve combined enough copies of the game to reach those heights. It’s rare for me to find myself in such a gathering that is actively looking to play a party style game together, and with smaller groups I’d probably just prefer to play something else. But GTW does score brownie points for filling that large group niche of trying to conjure the most popular answer across a series of questions.
- 9 Lives – I tried a lot of trick takers last year, and it’ll be even more this year, and 9 Lives hasn’t exactly been the pick of the litter for my tastes. There were some neat ideas here, to be sure. Perhaps I’m just not clever enough, but it all felt a bit too random and chaotic to execute satisfying maneuvers — especially because the winner of the trick always adds one card back into their hand from the trick that was just played. For my tastes, I much prefer Shinzawa’s own Ghosts of Christmas that released this same year.
- Guards of Atlantis II – This tabletop MOBA darling proved to be too far outside my wheelhouse for me to really appreciate. There are some interesting concepts here of simultaneous card reveal, gradual hand upgrading, jostling for initiative, and trying to get the upper hand on the rival team. My memories of this game would be much more fond if I hadn’t spent most of the 3-hour session just marching my figure around to get it into position.
- Wormholes – Wormholes is a strange beast of a game. It offers the promise of a wacky, wild, unpredictable space-faring adventure, but then sands down its concept until there is little left but a mostly solitaire, top-decking efficiency puzzle. In that sense, I imagine it’s a bit like the prospect of making the thrilling journey off this planet and into outer space only to get there and find that there isn’t much to see but a massive void of darkness and some floating rocks that are light years apart. I suppose we’re not all cut out for such a journey.
- The Wolves – Where many of the greatest area majority games present a simple, clean system and store their complexity within the player decisions and interaction, The Wolves is a game that sort of flips that on its head. Here, you must navigate a puzzly, complex, restrictive action selection mechanism and seek to more efficiently take control of the board and scoring opportunities. The puzzle is kinda interesting, but I much prefer the cleaner old school way of doing these types of games.
- Turing Machine – The hottest deduction game of 2022 was unquestionably Turing Machine. It just didn’t manage to light our own gaming table on fire. It definitely feels like a solo puzzle mascarading as a multiplayer game. But the puzzle is neat thanks to the mystical system of cards, holes, and colors that line up to give answers and guide you toward the solution. I just wish this puzzle felt a bit less like homework.
- Planet Unknown – Tracks, polyominoes, and a Lazy Susan, baby! What more could you want? We had an enjoyable couple plays of Planet Unknown. In my first impressions post, I compared this one to a hit-or-miss buffet. As long as you know what to enjoy and what to avoid, you’ll come away stuffed from some good gaming. But just like how I judiciously spend my food money, I prefer to spend my gaming time either on consistently reliable gaming feasts or on finding exciting new-to-me designs. I own several other polyomino games that I’m more interested in revisiting over this one.
- Spots – Just like my assortment of polyomino games, I own far too many push-your-luck dice games. Unfortunately, Spots was sent back to the pound from our collection after it didn’t make the cut. But it certainly was charming on all counts. Ultimately, it was a little too mellow and wordy for our tastes.
- Paint the Roses – I like the premise of this cooperative deduction game, and the presentation is great. It just felt a little too heavy on the discovery of information and light on the deduction of information. Furthermore, the cyclical loop of drawing new whim cards, putting out tiles and cubes, and solving each other’s whim cards grows repetitive after the first few rounds.
- Dandelions – I never acquired the overwhelming urge to own Dandelions, but I’m still intrigued to try the 3-player game after observing how much better it plays at that count versus 2-players. The secret sauce to this fast filler is found in the competitive bumping and jostling for majority, which needs crowded areas (enough dice from 3-players) to shine.
- Galaxy Cat Extension – This is one of those completely dumb yet still kinda fun games that has managed to cling on for dear life in my collection. It’s a tiny little card game anyway. And it’ll find new life once my girls are old enough to give it a whirl. But it’s also one that I’ll likely unleash on some unsuspecting gamer friends maybe once a year just for some wholesome and hilarious cat stretching and abducting.
- QE: Commodities – As I think back on my experience with QE: Commodities, I’m starting to realize just how often a new expansion is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and dooms the entire game to purgetory. Mind you, it’s not always because the new expansion is bad. In the case of Dice Throne Adventures, Welcome To: Zombies, and Horrified: American Monsters (which is a sequel rather than expansion… but close enough), those new offerings were indeed awful and they absolutely soured my taste for the game. I proceeded to purge my collection of all things Dice Throne, Welcome To, and Horrified soon after I tried their extra content… But then there are plenty of other games like Fort, Nidavellir, Downforce, and more recently QE where my plays of the base game significantly slowed down over time, then a solid new expansion brought me back to play again only to find that I no longer loved the core experience. This final play of QE was just too slow paced compared to what I now prefer in an auction game, but the new concepts in this expansion are at least interesting.
- Boop – Maybe if I was a cat owner, I would be more enchanted by Boop and its cute presentation of cats on a bed. But this abstract game is just a stretch too… abstract, I suppose. There isn’t a single mechanism or gameplay element here that excites me, even if I can see potential for deeper strategies.
- Challengers – Challengers is the flinger that I’ve enjoyed the most, and by a long shot. I initially thought it would be a lover or at least a solid keeper for me. But now I’m not so sure. It’s been too polarizing in the groups I’ve shown it to, with at least one person detesting the game and others not exactly begging me to bring it back to the table again. But I still thoroughly enjoy this epic round robin tournament of war on steroids.
I’m still open to trying out these leftovers. I’ve heard good things about them here and there. Of course, I’ve now had over a year to find and play them, so I’m obviously not that desperate. Although some are much harder to track down or get to the table than others…
- Mosaic: A Story of Civilization – I’ve seen enough friends and trusted critics comment on their enjoyment of this engine-building civilization game that I’m keen to take a crack at it. I just don’t have the energy or drive to be the one to purchase, learn, and teach the game. It needs to land in my lap for me to happily oblige.
- Blood on the Clocktower – Speaking of happily obliging with convenient opportunities, Blood on the Clocktower is another experience I wouldn’t run away from, but the chances of me actually getting to play it are slim. I hear many claim that this is the greatest social deduction game of all time, and my response is, “I hope you’re right, and I hope I someday find out for myself.”
- Sniper Elite: The Board Game – Hidden movement games haven’t exactly been my cup of tea in the past, but if anyone can get me to at least try another one it’s co-designer David Thompson (who was also behind Undaunted, Resist, Switch & Signal, and Battle Orders). The idea of playing hide and seek with an expert sniper sounds amusing.
And that’s it for my Revisiting of the Best Board Games of 2022! It’s still hard to believe that I managed to play so many releases from a single year, but I suppose that has been made easier by the fact that I consider it part of my job. Not only do I enjoy sharing my experiences with these games in posts like this, but as a publisher I feel the need to keep up on the latest hotness and see what games folks are loving and why.
A portion of our success is owed to games like Root, Chinatown, and Sidereal Confluence for helping to inspire Zoo Vadis, or to Sprawlopolis, Tortuga 1667, PARKS, and Curious Cargo for helping to inspire Trailblazers. So many great modern games are standing on the shoulders of the giants that preceded them. Much of my passion for this hobby and industry is fueled by the killer ideas and experiences provided by other brilliant designers, publishers, developers, and artists.
There has never been a better time to be a fan of board games. If you’d like to stay up-to-date on everything we’re playing, talking about, launching on Kickstarter, and releasing to purchase, then you can subscribe to the Bitewing Games Newsletter.
Happy Holidays, and happy gaming!
Article written by Nick Murray. Outside of practicing dentistry part-time, Nick has devoted his remaining work-time to collaborating with the world’s best designers, illustrators, and creators in producing classy board games that bite, including the critically acclaimed titles Trailblazers by Ryan Courtney and Zoo Vadis by Reiner Knizia. He hopes you’ll join Bitewing Games in their quest to create and share classy board games with a bite.
Disclaimer: When Bitewing Games finds a designer or artist or publisher that we like, we sometimes try to collaborate with these creators on our own publishing projects. We work with these folks because we like their work, and it is natural and predictable that we will continue to praise and enjoy their work. Any opinions shared are subject to biases including business relationships, personal acquaintances, gaming preferences, and more. That said, our intent is to help grow the hobby, share our gaming experiences, and find folks with similar tastes. Please take any and all of our opinions with a hearty grain of salt as you partake in this tabletop hobby feast.