Anticipated Games of 2021 Part 2

 With hundreds of new board games scheduled to be released this year, it's practically impossible to identify which will be among the best. In this series, I will be briefly detailing games that I am personally looking forward to. 

These entries will be in no particular order.

Cascadia- Flatout Games

Calico, also designed by the team at Flatout Games, was one of last year's critical darlings, appearing on a number of influencers' top ten of 2020. 

In it, players draft a tile to add to their hand and choose one to play, looking to gain buttons or attract cats by placing colors together or creating patterns. There are also goal cards that will score even more points, so the tiles you choose and their placement is a simple, but mind-melting task.

But we're not here to talk about Calico, but Cascadia. 

Familiar, but Different

Many of the same elements of tile drafting and placement are present in this lovely game illustrated by Beth Sobel, who was also responsible for the cuteness overload of Calico. But the theme is of the great outdoors (Pacific Northwest, more specifically) instead of the quilted indoors. Each tile creates a bit of this rugged and beautiful terrain that you are responsible for not only putting together, but populating it with the animal species that inhabit it: red fox, Roosevelt elk, chinook salmon, red-tailed hawk, and grizzly bear.

Drafting tiles is not as simple as choosing the habitat tile that best suits your needs. Nor is it a matter of taking the animal you're most desperate for. You can't pick and choose. At the start of your turn, there will be four habitat tiles laid out and an animal token will be drawn from a bag that will make a set of habitat tile and animal token. When you draft, you must take BOTH, and fit them in as best you can.

There are additional rules about wiping the animal tokens if all four animals shown are the same type,  and a player can use a special nature token to exchange those on the table with new ones from the bag. This can be done strategically to help yourself or to limit another player's ability to gain points.

And speaking of points, those are decided based on score cards for each animal type. They all score differently. Not only that, but the game will come with 4 or 5 unique score cards for each species that can be mixed and matched, or drawn at random. This plethora of options gives Cascadia an expanse of replay-ability that reflects the area it is intended to replicate.

From Cute to the Cascades

All in all, Cascadia seems to be another multi-layered puzzle that is easy to learn but will consistently provide its players unique challenges to amass the most points. It could easily be expanded down the road with new scoring cards and/or wildlife types. 

Will it live up to the hype of Calico? Could it surpass the success that its cozy predecessor has had?  That is difficult to say. However, what I would say is that Cascadia has the potential of being a landmark gateway game for years to come. I'd expect nothing less from this team!

What games of 2021 are you looking forward to the most? Leave them in a comment!


  1. This looks like a fun little game!! I'm looking forward to try Cloudage, Townsfolk Tussle, ISS Vanguard, Draconis: The Invasion, Oath, Burncycle. Loved the post buddy!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts