Monthly Archives: January 2020

Top 100 Games of All Time (90-81)

Time to dive back in. Many people who know me already know my #1 game of all time so that won’t be a surprise to anyone (and there is a hint as part of the class blog.) However, how we get there is the interesting part for many. Without further ado-let’s dive in!

I look forward to seeing your comments and commentary!

90. Cursed Court
Atlas Games
Designer: Lee Moyer
Owned: NO

Why it is on the list:  As I will mention a lot: I’m not a big party game fan. However, add in bluffing and I’ll be more interested. Remove targeting (which I mentioned always happens to me in games like the Resisitance or similar games) and I will be at least willing to give it a try. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this game in the few times I played it.

Who may like it:  Fans of gambling and bluffing. This is a fun game of “what do they ACTUALLY know and are they faking me???” which adds a good level of strategy to what is mostly a party game.

A game of Cursed Court in process showing the bottom half of the board.  Image from

89. The Game
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Steffan Benndorf
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I considered three of the Pandasaurus small deck games-The Game, Illusion, and The Mind. All three are good (although The Mind is almost more of an activity than a game in some ways) but I prefer the Game. Both are very different-two co-op games with limited communication, the other a nice art game. What it boils down to-which would I prefer to play, and it will be The Game practically every time. I even use this more to teach from. (Bethany and I used it as an example when we presented at Origins last year.)

Who may like it:  Fans of The Mind but who may want a little bit more of a game. Fans of challenging, short cooperative games.

88. Sentinels of the Multiverse
Greater Than Games
Designer: Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, Adam Rebottaro
Owned: Yes (not all expansions, but some)

Why it is on the list:  I can play solo? It is a fun challenge. It is superhero based. I realize for as much as I say I don’t like co-op games I have a lot on my list…really it isn’t I don’t like co-ops…I don’t like some people that you can play co-ops with. This is a superfun superhero game where you have a villain you’ll be challenging and pick your heroes and location and battle it out. I don’t play this often but every time I do I want to play more.

Who may like it:  Superhero fans who don’t care about IP. You aren’t going to be Superman…you will be “Sentinel” but it is one of the best superhero games you can play.

87. Lords of Waterdeep
Wizards of the Coast
Designer: Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  This is the entry point in many ways to worker placement games. Simple, a ton of fun. The Dungeons & Dragons theme is what originally will draw a lot of people in but it is an excellent game that will get people more interested in other board games. Definitely a gateway game to many other games. I prefer to only play with both modules from the expansion-they are, to me, essential-though not to the point I refuse to play without them. I just don’t have nearly as much fun without them. However, unlike a lot of gateway games this one still holds up and is fun after you’ve played a ton more games…which is the sign of an excellent gateway game. One that both experienced and new players can enjoy.

Who may like it:  Fans of Dungeons and Dragons. Fans of fantasy settings. People wanting to learn what a worker placement game is.

86. Incan Gold (Diamant)
Eagle-Gryphon Games/IELLO
Designer: Bruno Faidutti, Alan R. Moon
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  Fun, short, big-group risk taking game. Would be worth adding to the class, I believe. You are trying to get the most treasures while avoiding hazards like snakes, fire, and zombies. It typically will take 15-30 minutes so a fun filler around other bigger games.

Who may like it:  Fans of press-your luck exploring games. Or in the case of Jennifer (my wife) fans of NOT taking risks and laughing while others take too many risks allowing you to win…

85. Raxxon
Plaid Hat Games
Designer: J. Arthur Eliis
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list:  It started with a brilliant marketing plan. It is a game that ties into the Dead of Winter universe (with Specter Ops, etc.) The marketing campaign drew me and a bunch of others in. Sure it was a gimmick-but it got attention for what is a solid co-op game. I’ve enjoyed every time I’ve played this one.

Who may like it: Fans of the Dead of Winter storyline, zombies, co-ops or risk taking, as that is all present.

84. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
Paizo Publishing
Designer: Mike Selinker, Chad Brown, Tanis O’Connor, Paul Peterson, Gaby Weidling
Owned: Two of the base sets: Skulls & Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous (though not complete on either)

Why it is on the list: I enjoy playing role playing games…but don’t get to play them nearly enough. That is partly by design…just like the best pro wrestling characters are often a person’s own personality jacked up to 100, the best role playing characters also often are. Most people have trouble taking me at normal…much less jacked up to an extreme level. However, this game feels like a role playing game and is a fun cooperative adventure.

Who may like it:  Fans of role playing games and board games. This feels like playing an RPG in card game form.

83. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Indie Boards & Cards
Designer: Kevin Lanzing
Owned: Yes, the base game

Why it is on the list:  This feels like a huge chunk of co-op games in one section. For real: I only have 25 even semi-co-op, one-v all, or full co-ops on the top 100 and I keep talking about them here…and the next one also is. This is a fun game where you are firefighters working to save people (and more importantly a puppy and kitty) from a fire ravaging a building.

Who may like it:  People who want to be a firefighter but without the risk. Fans of fun cooperative games with asynchronous player powers.

82. Last Friday
Ares Games
Designer: Antonio Ferrara, Sebastiano Fiorillo
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: You are a bunch of camp counselors at a summer camp. Suddenly, you discover their is a “maniac” at the campground killing the campers…perhaps one with a machete and wearing a mask…maybe even a hockey mask…now it is up to you (and your fellow counselors) to survive this 80s slasher movie. Fun Hidden movement game where, as opposed to most, it plays out very different for each of the four rounds. Who is hunting who? That goes back and forth each round.

Who may like it:  Fans of Friday the 13th and other 80s slasher movies. People who like hidden movement games but want more of a back-and forth with a better chance for the seekers to win.

81. Between Two Cities
Stonemeier Games
Designer: Matthew O’Malley, Morten Monrad Pedersen, Ben Rosset
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I also consider this a gateway game. While understanding the scoring is a lot for some people, I actually think this is a simpler drafting game to understand for many people that 7 Wonders (though not as simple as Sushi Go). This is a fun city building game that people always seem to enjoy. Of course…if you combine it with another game you will get an even higher game on this list… 

Who may like it:  Fans of drafting, city building, SimCity, or simple games where you get to work with others to learn and play.

Well…that is the next 10. Coming soon will include our next list which will include a legacy game, two games hinted at in this blog, another hidden movement game and much more!

Top 100 Games of All Time: 100-91 (plus honorable mentions)

At the Dice Tower it is time for their Semi-Annual listing of the top 100 games of all time to coincide with their annual Kickstarter. So on their YouTube channel you can now watch their Top 100 countdown.

It got me thinking “with the work I do for/in/around games people ask me frequently for game recommendations, my thoughts on games, my favorite games, etc. Could I create a listing of my top 100 games of all times? The answer: Yes. So the next question that came up was: will anyone care to read it? The answer? I guess we will find out soon.

So without further ado…the bottom 10 for my list. Some of these are prospects I’ve only played a few times, others are good but just weren’t quite enough to make the list. But first, let’s start with a quick listing of 10 Honorable Mentions in alphabetical order:

Colt Express – Fun, old west programming game.
Crokinole – Dexterity/disc flicking game
Kingdomino – Tile placement/pattern building game
Ladies & Gentlemen – Card Drafting/Set Collection Game you can read a lot about in past blogs
Photosynthesis – Action Point tree growing strategy game (I’ve only played once…could get higher or drop if I play more)
Pirate’s Cove – Pirate themed pick-up-and-deliver game.
Qwirkle – Tile Placement/Pattern Building Game
Sunflower Valley – Roll and Draw/Village Building game
Tussie Mussie – Card drafting/bluffing game
Witches of the Revolution – Cooperative Deck Building

100. Qwinto
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Bernhard Lach, Uwe Rapp
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Jennifer (my wife) and I have been playing a lot of roll-and-writes lately. This, for now, is the top of my list. We have played more of Qwixx, but I prefer Qwinto because I think it adds a bit more strategy to the game than Qwixx does.

Who may like it: fans of similar games of course. People who like simple roll-and-writes but with a bit more strategy. Fans of abstracts.

99. Ca$h ‘n Guns (Second Edition)
Asterion Press
Designer: Ludovic Maublanc
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: It is no secret: I am not a big party-gamer. The top partly party-game on my list is number 24…and there aren’t a ton on the list total. In this game you are returning after a heist and need to split the loot. The problem: you’re still all armed. Using foam guns you determine who is the challenge and who you want to go after? This is a simple party game-easy to teach, fun to play…but also with good strategy. I’ve rarely played a bad game of this…although (and this is one of the reasons I rarely play this, The Resistance, etc….I am one of those players that is always targeted by everyone so it makes it less fun for me.

Who may like it: Fans of the Oceans Movies. People who like to have a silly time and aren’t offended by the silly foam guns. This is a serious concern. Will someone have issues with the guns? Will they cause an unwanted trauma? Are you in a place where people won’t get upset? All legitimate issues you may need to consider.
Image of the components to Ca$h 'n Guns including cards, guns, and character standees

98. Machi Koro
Pandasaurus Games
Designer: Masao Suganuma
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I remember the first time I played Machi Koro at a friends house. I immediately wanted to play again and again and wanted to buy the game. That doesn’t happen often. At the same point, I had an immediate issue with the game…which was fixed in the first expansion. (I did not like the set-line-up of cards.) We have Machi Koro Legacy we plan to start soon so we will see how that goes. This would potentially be higher…but this year I found a game with similar mechanics that does almost everything better than Machi Koro that makes this game drop to where it is…and at risk of leaving the list altogether. But you won’t see that game until #13…

Who may like it: People who like building a tableau. People who enjoy building a city. People who don’t mind that randomness will really control your game.

97. Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Upper Deck
Designer: Devin Low
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: I love deck builders. I remember the first one I played (Star Realms, actually) and I was hooked. One based on Marvel characters? Definitely intrigued. This is a great semi-cooperative game that is just held by back a few issues from being much higher. Set-up and tear down is a beast and often take as long as the game. Also the “semi-cooperative” part. I won’t play the game that way. “We work together but if we succeed we total points and only one of us wins” isn’t fun to me. I like it as a strict co-op. The other issue…it is Marvel themed and not DC. (hint for something to come…but not for a long time…)

Who may like it: Marvel fans. Deck building fans.

96. Code of Nine
Z-Man Games
Designer: BakaFire
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: This is a fun anime-esque sci-fi game. I don’t know what it is with this game…I’ve played twice and it just clicked with me. I did great both games and really enjoyed the experience.

Who may like it: Anime fans. People who like puzzles and strategy.

95. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Renegade Game Studios
Designer: Christopher Chung
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: It is a gorgeous tile placement/set collection/pattern building game. I really enjoy tile placement it seems. It is more of a filler to me but a ton of fun.

Photo of the game Lanterns and game components

Who may like it: People who love pretty games. People who enjoy pattern buildings, games like Bejeweled, etc.

94. Santorini
Designer: Gord!
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: The top person I play games with is with my wife, so great two player games are awesome. I like games that force you to think, plan, and think of what others are going to do. I’ve only played a couple of times but seems like one I will enjoy playing against different people.

Who may like it: People who like Chess.

93. HeroQuest
Milton Bradley
Stephen Baker
Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: All you need to know is what the best part about Hero Quest is….and why HeroQuest is so great.

Who may like it: Fans of nostalgia. Fans of RPGs who are willing to be silly and have fun. Is it the best game mechanically? No. Can it be a ton of fun still? YES!

92. Spirit Island
Greater Than Games
Designer: R. Eric Reuss
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I’ve played it once…and am not usually a huge co-op fan. The easies way to describe the game? Reverse Catan. In this game you are the island fighting back against the pesky settlers who are trying to invade you. This was a great time the one time I played and I look forward to playing more.

Who may like it: Fans of hard strategic cooperative games.

91. Citadels
Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Bruno Faidutti
Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I like city/town building, even if it is based on cards. I like variable powers and hidden information. Also: this game’s money looks like butterscotch. What isn’t to like? Fun every time I’ve played…the best part of the game is the drafting and revealing of the roles and what they do over the actual building of the buildings.

Who may like it: Fans of bluffing and deduction games or city building.

So that is the bottom 10 for today. Next 10 coming in a day or two. Feel free to comment your thoughts on any of these/this list! Also-I would love to see both your top 10 and people’s guesses of what may be in MY top 10! Leave them in the comments!