Alright, now you’ve gone through my number 10 to my number 6 games of all time. There was one big one in there that fell out of my top 5 (Adrenaline), but I’m not super surprised by it. All but one of the games that I’m going to talk about here were in my top 10 last year – so let’s get to it.
5. Tiny Towns. Another 2019 game? Absolutely… but the last one on my list. So, yes, if you ask me, Tiny Towns is my favorite game from 2019. We also got this game as a review copy – but I know that it didn’t influence me to make it a favorite of mine. We first encountered Tiny Towns at Unpub 2019, where we playtested the expansion (Fortune), which just came out in February (and we’ll have a review for shortly). Immediately, I was hooked.
There is nothing like taking the little bits and pieces and building up what becomes a little town. The challenge of getting things exactly right is an awesome puzzle, and everything is such high production. I don’t want to spoil too much from our review – but Fortune took the original game “up to 11” so to speak. It’s just a fantastic game that any puzzle lover is bound to enjoy.
4. World’s Fair 1893. Oh, World’s Fair. I do not understand how you don’t get more buzz. Yes – I’m still of the opinion that this is one of the most underrated games ever to be published. Not only is it a simple to understand game, but there are all sorts of amazing things that you can do with it. It goes really quickly and there are all these little facts about history. I love history. And I love this game. It’s another area control/majority game, but it has all sorts of layers of strategy in it, from where you need to place cubes to when you want to end the round. It’s so good, and it even moved up a couple spots this year.
3. Mystery of the Temples. This title, which was brought over to the US by Deep Water Games, is something amazing. We played it again on my birthday and I was like “yes, this is why this is one of my favorite games of all time.” There’s something so satisfying about continually going around the board, gathering items and making every single move count. And, like World’s Fair, it goes so quick and you have to strategize as fast as you can! It’s got a lovely production and the Deep Water Games version is also colorblind friendly!
2. Aeon’s End. Oh, Aeon’s End, I freaking love you. I love that it’s really difficult to Alpha Game you, and that your legacy version is my favorite legacy game ever (and I’ve played Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 now). I love the Expedition campaigns that were introduced in The New Age. I love that you’re a cooperative game that can kick my butt to the moon and I still had a great time.
Every single mage plays completely different, and they include difficulty ratings for every mage and every Nameless (big baddie) (mages started getting difficulty ratings in The New Age; Nameless got them in War Eternal). Aeon’s End is everything I want from both a deck building game and a cooperative game. How is this game not more popular? I think it’s one of the most underrated co-op games on the market (alongside Flash Point Fire Rescue).
1. Carcassonne. There is nothing I can say about Carcassonne that I haven’t already said. In my opinion, Carcassonne is the epitome of perfection in a competitive game. With so many different expansions and spin-offs, you will always find that there’s something new to try or enjoy when you play it. Our Carcassonne collection has gotten quite extensive, so my lovely wife got me an amazing storage solution for it. I have all big expansions except The Tower, Princess and Dragon, and the Catapult (which hasn’t been reprinted yet), and I’ve played a good number of the spin-off titles too. The game is beautiful, challenging, versatile, and fun. And nothing has even come close to toppling it for me.
So, there you have it. In a few days, I’ll also be sharing “The Aftermath” – that is, observations about my top games that I noticed when looking over my list after sorting stuff out. Be sure to join me for that!