Board game Top 10: Sarah’s favourite games 2020

It’s been just over a year since Sarah and me put together her first board game top 10. Back then I said how interested I’d be in how much it may change in a year.

The answer? Hardly at all. This wasn’t a surprise. She tends to like a game with a simple rule set but that has depth of play. So she can easily pick it up without having to recall fiddly rules, but also feel she’s getting better/is good at it.

The result? Nine of last year’s top 10 have kept their places. And boy, have I subjected her to a lot of new titles since then! Games such as Patchwork, That’s Pretty Clever and Fistful of Meeples were on the shortlist, but didn’t quite make the cut. The one game that fell from the list was Africana. A solid game, but after a lot of plays it does start to feel a bit samey.

So below you’ll find Sarah’s current Top 10, with a sentence from her on each. Again they’re not in 1-10 order. But this time I’ve grouped them differently. The first six came straight out of her mouth each time we talked about it.

The next two were easy to add after a bit of thought and were then never in doubt. But the last two made the list from a larger pool of games she’s always happy to play.

Links on the games go to my full reviews, where I’ve done them. But, in her own words…

Sarah’s undisputed Top 6 games (alphabetical)

  • Adios Calavera (2-3 players, 30 minutes): Love this as a short and portable little abstract with a nice theme. Another one which is often so close. I need to remember not to get cornered and maybe try out a few different special powers. Maybe even stinky man…
  • Azul (2-4 players, 60 minutes): Just beautiful and very delightful tiles that feel great too. Looks so pretty! Again, straightforward but taxing.
  • Oracle of Delphi (2-4 players, 90 minutes): My favourite more challenging game. A real fun mission to complete and often pretty close, so that efficiency is super important. I need to start to utilise the gods more, and be certain of the rules lol!
  • Thurn and Taxis (2-4 players, 60 minutes): I enjoy the varied ways of scoring points and it’s a routes game I can just pick up and play. Crazy moment: looking at an aeroplane route map and basically seeing a Thurn and Taxis board!
  • Ticket to Ride (2-5 players, 90 minutes): Love that I know it so well I can play without any rules worries whatsoever (as with Thurn and Taxis). Perfect Sunday morning game. I would just like to maybe occasionally win the longest route or one of the other bonuses.
  • Uptown (2-4 players, 45 minutes): Love the Art Deco style and straightforward but taxing abstract nature of the game.

Just behind them…

  • Codenames Duet (2 players, 30 minutes): Enjoyable with a glass of wine, tapping a different part of the brain. So pleasing to come up with a good link, so infuriating when you see a good link for words you don’t have! Love the co-operative element and was so satisfying to finally make it to Moscow!
  • Ingenious (2-4 players, 30 minutes): Again, super straightforward abstract that requires a good deal of thinking and strategy.

Hanging in the Top 10…

  • Kingdomino (2-4 players, 30 minutes): Another pretty one giving good satisfaction if it ends up looking pleasing…and scoring well too!
  • Welcome To… (2-4 players, 30 minutes): No fiddly cards to worry about. Fun to try to decide which scoring to maximise. Great Spaniel and general aesthetics!

As I’ve kind of a little bit maybe promised myself to bring less home from Essen this year (if it even happens…), I’m expecting little to change again by next year. If that’s the case, I’ll probably add Sarah’s list to my own rather than doing a separate post. But who knows? By then she could be deeply into sci-fi RPGs and minis games…

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