Bandit Blog

What's Hot: Top 5 Board Games of July 2022

What's Hot: Top 5 Board Games of July 2022

The summer heat is here! Timing is perfect as this month brings us a nice spicy mix of new games, upcoming releases, and favourites that have found their way back onto the top five charts. Whether you're enjoying an afternoon outside with a quick game, or beating the heat inside for a game night, you can't go wrong with any of these titles in our top five board games of July 2022!

5. Star Wars Villainous: Power of the Dark Side

Star Wars Villainous: Power of the Dark Side Characters

Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 50 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) N/A
Publisher Ravensburger

The powerhouse that is the Disney Villainous board game adds one of the biggest powerhouses in the galaxy to the party with Star Wars Villainous: The Power of the Dark Side. Really, how could you have a villain-themed series of games without some of the most iconic villains of the sci-fi universe. This standalone game features five Dark Side acolytes; including Darth Vader, General Grievous, Asajj Ventress, Moff Gideon, and Kylo Ren.

The gameplay is similar to any other Villainous title, each villain has their own unique win conditions and goals that they must work to achieve over the course of the game. Each turn, players move to different locations on their boards, take actions based on the location and cards in their hand, then refill their hand at turn's end. Players must strike a fine balance between playing cards that help them reach their ultimate goal, but must also be careful to ensure they slow down the progress of their opponents at the same time.

Expected at the end of Q3 this year, we can't wait for this one to arrive so we can bring the awesome power of the dark side to our next gaming session.

Preorder Star Wars Villainous: The Power of the Dark Side online now!

4. Viticulture World: Cooperative Expansion

Viticulture World: Cooperative Expansion Gameplay

Number of Players 1-6
Playtime 60-120 Min
Suggested Ages 13+
Designer(s) Mihir Shah, Francesco Testini
Publisher Stonemaier Games
Base Game Viticulture: Essential Edition

Viticulture is one of the Bandit's favourite two player games, but this worker placement classic is great at almost any player count. It no easy task to find fault in the game, but for those that enjoy more harmonious gaming sessions, the new Viticulture World: Cooperative Expansion may be perfect. This expansion adds a cooperative mode to the game, with players working together as an extended winemaking family competing against AI-controlled asymmetric continents for winemaking dominance.

Featuring a new game board, tokens, tiles, and event cards, players combine these with the vineyard mats and game cards from the original game. Players have six years to achieve two victory conditions in the selected region. These include having each player reach 25 victory points, and having the shared influence token reach the end of the influence track. The use of objectives, asymmetry, and cooperation will remind players of Spirit Island and Orleans: Invasion.

Buy Viticulture World: Cooperative Expansion online now!

3. Wordle: The Party Game

Wordle: The Party Game Gameplay

Number of Players 2-4
Playtime -
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) N/A
Publisher Hasbro

The worldwide phenomenon 5-letter word game gets the board game treatment with Wordle: The Party Game. We're always impartial to ditching the phone or app to play a great word game, so if you're feeling limited by the one Wordle a day limit, this game may be the way to scratch that itch.

After gathering a few family members or friends, one person is nominated as the Wordle Host. The host writes down a Secret Word. Just like the digital game, all other players then try to guess the word in as few tries as possible, with six attempts being the max. The main difference between this game and the online version is the added competitive element of players trying to score more points than everyone else. The fewer tries a player needs to solve the puzzle, the more points they score. Score the most points to be crowned the Wordle champion!


2. Space Station Phoenix

Space Station Phoenix Game Setup

Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 60-120 Min
Suggested Ages 14+
Designer(s) Gabriel J. Cohn
Publisher Rio Grande Games

We always love when a game flies under the radar and then gets a groundswell of buzz and support once it's been released. Such is the case with Space Station Phoenix, a resource management and worker placement game set in Earth's future. Players take on the role of Galactic Councilmembers, sent to Earth to construct space stations to observe and interact with humanity.

Players start the game with nine ships and a station hub. The ships act as spaces for actions that players use to gather resources, build their stations, and explore nearby planets. Featuring engine-building mechanics as well, players start with a powerful production engine and proceed to break it down part by part to improve efficiency with each turn. With numerous starting positions and an immense selection of station parts, the combinations for replayability are seemingly endless.

Buy Space Station Phoenix online now!

1. Cascadia

Cascadia Board Game Gameplay

Number of Players 1-4
Playtime 30-45 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Randy Flynn
Publisher AEG

This puzzly, tile-laying game from AEG is no stranger to any recent list of top board games. Cascadia has seen a further surge in popularity with the announcement of it being awarded the prestigious 2022 Spiel des Jahres award for game of the year. It hard to disagree with the accolades, as this game is excellent in all aspects, from the gameplay mechanics, to the artwork, down to the components.

Cascadia is a tile-laying game with token-drafting mechanics featuring the habitats and wildlife of the majestic Pacific Northwest. Players try to build the most harmonious ecosystem as they piece together wildlife and habitats, working to maximize their point potential for end game scoring.

During the game, players take turns building their personal terrain area and populating them with wildlife tokens. On their turn, a player selects one of the available habitat tiles, with each one paired to a wildlife token. Once selected, the habitat tile is placed so it connects to the existing ones in the habitat and the wildlife token is placed on an eligible empty habitat space. Players must choose wisely, as there are four tile/habitat combinations to select from, based on what they need and what they want to prevent their opponents from being able to take.

To win, players score points based on the configuration of their wildlife tiles and habitats, and the scoring conditions displayed on the six wildlife cards.

Buy Cascadia online now!

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