Top Board Games of 2019: Best Expansion

Inis: Seasons of Inis

New harbor tokens and 5th player color.

Inis: Seasons of Inis takes a killer game and fine tunes it with various modules. I haven’t even tried the Seasons module (I’ve heard mixed reviews), but everything else is rock solid.

The 5th player option is great for opening up its playability. The We Need A King module helps keep the game from dragging on too long. The harbor tokens help shrink the map size and increase mobility. The game also comes with new cards to add to the variety and fun. Overall, I absolutely recommend this expansion to Inis fans looking to get the most out of this masterpiece of a game.

Best Art

This one comes out as a 3-way tie! Take a look at these cards and I think you’ll agree:

Wingspan, PARKS, & Unmatched

Wingspan contains over 100 unique, hand-drawn bird illustrations
PARKS is a whole bundle of eye-candy
Unmatched has a style that can even make Alice in Wonderland look like a boss

Best Production


This category is super competitive (just check out the images above), but I have to give it to Wavelength. This is a game that made its physical product design essential to the experience.

Wavelength requires no table, no surface, no extra fluff. One of its most underrated strengths might just be how physically simple and compact the entire game is; it is a self-contained box of limitless fun that gets passed around from one player to the next. The star feature is, of course, the spinning wheel target with its grandiose sliding screen and pinpoint dial. Few things in all of gaming feel more satisfying than flipping this screen wide open with a quick click-slide-thud to elicit genuine reactions from your entire group.

Remaining Contenders for Top Board Games of 2019

I wish I could have played the following games before making this list, but I’d be waiting for many more months thanks to COVID-19 and/or currently out of stock copies. After researching them, these are the known contenders that could ultimately bump some of the above mentioned games off my top 10 of 2019.

The King’s Dilemma

Box art for the King’s Dilemma

The King’s Dilemma is a funny one. The moment I decided I wanted to dive into this game, everyone else had the same thought thanks to SUSD’s appetizing review. To my disappointment, the game instantly went out of stock before I could snag a copy at a reasonable price. But now I suppose I have everyone else to thank because we wouldn’t even be playing this game that shines at 4-5 players.

I’m looking forward to the negotiation, bluffing, and voting that lie ahead once things return to normal.

Caylus 1303

Sadly, I’ve only opened my copy and read the rules to Caylus 1303. I’m again too stubborn to try it at 2 players. But I may actually budge on that front before too long. All I know is that this worker placement game doesn’t hold any punches with players’ feelings.

Bruxelles 1897

While I don’t know a whole lot about Bruxelles 1897, I do know that it successfully crams a surprising amount of mechanisms into a pure card game. These include area majority, bidding, worker placement, and a modular “board.” That prospect alone has me excited for the possibilities.

That wraps up our top board games of 2019! What 2019 games were your favorites?

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ivan

    Very good list. I concur 2019 has been a great year for the board game hobby.

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