Thoughts on My 2021 Games
I'm sure that by this point, despite this being the infancy of 2022, board gamers have watched countless videos and read numerous blogs about the best titles that 2021 had to offer. There are so many top tens from respected content creators that I am humbled that you would come and see what I have to say. Here's the thing- I didn't play ten games that were new in '21. I don't even OWN ten games that were released last year.
Will that stop me from creating a list of my own? No! I want to be in on the fun, too. So here are the nine games of 2021 that I own and my thoughts on each title- if I've managed to play it.
Ankh: Gods of Egypt
Cool Mini or Not
This area control game by legendary designer Eric Lang was a Christmas gift. That, combined with a necessary quarantine after Christmas prevented me from having some friends over to be the one worshipped as Egypt becomes monotheistic.
Cascadia has been a critical darling this year, and I will not tarnish that in the least. It's a light-weight, simple to learn puzzle game. Each of the five animal types has four different ways to score (five, if you have the Kickstarter version), but if those rules aren't simple enough for you, the game also includes a family variant in two difficulties (both super easy). My seven-year old loves to play this one. So do I!
Dinosaur Island Rawr 'N Write
Of all the 2021 games that I own, this one hit the table more than any other. As of right now, it's probably my favorite game of 2021. I expect this to change as I get some of these other games played, but this roll-and-write is solid to say the least. It has become my go-to game if I have some time to spare and my favorite roll/flip-and-write. Quite an accomplishment for a game that I decided in the last metaphorical hour to include in my Dinosaur World pledge. Speaking of...
This is another game that was a casualty of not getting a group together. I do NOT want my first play to be a solo one. I am enthralled by the theme of building a dinosaur theme park and populating it with meeples. The dual-layered boards and metal coins are going to make this look great on the table, but will most likely consume every inch of it as well.
This game is the epitome of "fiddly." There are so many things to keep track of with tiny, easy-to-accidentally-move pieces. The miniature mechs look great, but that's about the best thing going for Galaxy Hunters. It's a worker placement game where the spots are rarely contested. Most of the planets have at least two docks where players can gain resources, mechs can land on the planet and gain the same resources, and you can go to a different planet with a copy ability to gain those same resources. When you're playing a worker placement game there should be fear building inside of you hoping, praying that your competitors do not go where you need to go. That's never an issue here. I may play it again, but I won't be hurrying to do so. This was a massive let-down.
Received this game about a week before Christmas. The only time I've had with this two-player pick-up-and-deliver puzzle game where players move a hex to make a clear path for themselves and then go to cities to collect or deposit dyed wool is putting the pieces together. That was lame. It's kept me from suggesting it to my wife. Eventually it will get played and I am hoping to love it despite some initial disappointments.
Red Raven Games
This one hurts. It never hit the table despite me finding a copy back in the early parts of July at a game store in my hometown. So many people were searching desperately for this title, and having a copy unplayed for almost six months definitely fits the shelf of shame moniker. I had difficulty getting a group together, but hopefully that will change in 2022.
Super Mega Lucky Box
Heard the name Phil Walker-Harding and was interested. Heard the term "bingo" and was not. But after the overwhelming positive opinions on this quick game my interest was piqued again. It plays similar to Mr. Walker-Harding's Silver and Gold, but accommodates for a higher player count and has enough unique aspects to it (particularly the ability to change the number drawn) that the two can easily fit on a shelf together.
Grey Fox Games
Hear that? No, really listen. Do you hear anything? Probably not. I've heard nothing about this game, and I can't figure out why. Yes, it had issues getting to backers, but this game seems to have been straight up ignored. Tortuga 2199 is a deck building area control game with fifteen choices of what to do on your turn, and it offers multiple paths to victory. The artwork is great and the gameplay interesting. The hexes are gigantic and I've fully enjoyed my time exploring them. Perhaps this game of space pirating can pick up steam in 2022 because it fully deserves to.
I also received my copy of Townsfolk Tussle on December 28, but that is a 2022 release. : )
What are your favorite games of 2021? What games from last year do you hope to finally get played in 2022?