Like my movie list, not in any particular order. Also, there are games I’ve purchased that I haven’t had a chance to play yet (Pulsar 2849, Black Angel, Fury of Dracula, and GKR Heavy Hitters for instance).
Lords of Waterdeep (2012)
There’s never been a game of this that I haven’t enjoyed. It’s probably the game I’ve played the most since buying it… wow… about six years ago or so. It’s a very good casual game because it’s easy to learn, but there is enough variability that it can keep you on your toes. A strategy that works one time may not work another. I wish they’d made more expansions for it. The one we got was fantastic, but I feel like there’s a lot more potential here.
Dice Forge (2017)
This is one of the most beautifully illustrated games, and the central mechanic of taking sides off a dice and making your own customized dice with new faces you create is genius. If I had one complaint, I wish you had more time with your awesome dice! The round limit makes for a nice compact game, but it always feels like it leaves you wanting more because it ends just as you get some really great dice together. The expansion (Dice Forge Rebellion) adds some really fun twists, though.
Star Wars: Rebellion (2016)
If there was one game I wish I could play more, it’s this one. I’ve only been able to play it maybe… 4-5 times since I purchased it. But every time has been a blast. It’s THE game that replicates the experience of the first Star Wars trilogy (episodes IV, V, IV) better than any other. The asymmetrical play is stellar. I haven’t had a chance to play the Rogue One-themed expansion, though I own it. I’d love to see a new trilogy edition of this, though.
Camel Up (2014)
If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly game that can play a lot of players (up to 8!) then Camel Up is for you. It’s genuinely exciting watching as the camels make their rounds. You can go from betting on a sure winner to having them lose right at the last second.
Blood Rage (2015)
This is a game that at first looks like an area control game, but that’s actually just part of it. You definitely can’t win just by doing that. It’s actually not terribly difficult to learn, but there are a lot of strategies to employ. I worry that some of the card combos are almost unbeatable, but I’d need to play this more times to truly know. I think I’ve only played about 4-5 times so far. I wish the expansions were more readily available. I did get the 5th player and Gods of Asgard expansions. Just wish I could get the Mystics of Midgard one. BTW – the minis in this are really beautifully done. I wish I had a better storage solution for them, though.
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition (2016)
I’m not putting these in order on purpose, but if I had to choose a #1 of the decade, this would be it. Using the iPad app as the game master is a stroke of genius. It cleans the game up and even though it can be epic and HARD, I enjoy every minute of it. Even when I’m losing, it’s fun. One time we forgot to go back for a guy and we lost, and I STILL remember that and think of it as fun. I have pretty much every expansion for this and will buy all the others. If I could do it, I’d play this once a week. I have SO MANY more adventures I want to play. The one downfall? The minis are week. I hate the way the monsters attach (and fall off) their bases. Also, I wish they’d release the one set of tiles/minis I missed again.
Clank in Space (2017)
I haven’t played the original Clank enough yet to compare the two. I’d say they are probably on equal footing. But when it came time to buy a game for myself, I bought the space version. The theme appealed to me, and it was something different from a LOT of my games at the time. The mechanic here is a lot of fun, although I feel like maybe it’s a little too easy when I’ve played it, although it feels like it should be harder.
Above & Below (2015)
I’ve played this quite a bit because Paul bought it and is usually eager to play. It’s a great game. The combination of pretty casual play, easy to learn rules, and Choose Your Own Adventure-type storytelling is a winning combo. It’s pretty compact time-wise, and it’s gorgeously illustrated!
Forbidden Island (2010)
I wasn’t quite sure if Forbidden Island would be too early for this list, but it just made it. I have Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky, and I think the original is still my favorite, with Desert a close second. I need to play Sky more, but the fiddly electric components put a damper on that one for me. Desert is a little more complex, but I kind of like the straightforward simplicity of Island. It’s beautifully illustrated, and I feel like the sense of danger from the sinking island is the most exciting of these games.
Colt Express (2014)
This is a weird one in that I don’t own it. It’s always weird to buy a game someone in your friend game already owns. I have SO MANY games, but usually if I love a game I buy a copy myself. This one, I haven’t. I have to say, I had a hard time choosing between this, Azul (2017) or Horrified (2019). The last one only lost out because I’ve only been able to play it once. But it’s gorgeous looking with an amazing theme that’s superbly executed. And Azul is a fun, casual game with oh-so-satisfying to manipulate tiles. Anyway, back to Colt Express. The 3D train is fun, if a little fiddly to deal with if you have large fingers. lol. What I love about this game is the “programming” mechanic where everyone is programming their moves ahead of time, sometimes knowing what the other people are going to do, sometimes not. It can make for some satisfying combos when it goes right. But even when it goes horribly wrong it’s entertaining.