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What's Hot: Top Board Games of June 2023

What's Hot: Top Board Games of June 2023

Welcome, intrepid board game aficionados, to our jubilant June roundup! In a month known for its delectable BBQs and pollen-induced sneezes, we're here to guide you through the maze of meeples and tokens to our top five tabletop titans. Warning: you may need to rub your eyes in disbelief – or that might just be the pollen again – as two of these gaming gems are so eagerly anticipated that they are still in the realm of 'preorder'. That's right, folks, these scintillating sneak peeks will have you chomping at the bit to beat the summer heat with fresh cardboard goodness. Prepare to bookmark those pre-order links and let the games – soon to be released, we promise – begin!

5. Legacy of Yu

Legacy of Yu Solo Board Game

Number of Players 1
Playtime 60 Min
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) Shem Phillips
Publisher Renegade Game Studios

Alright, all you sovereign solitaire gamers, prepare to embark on an epic journey of strategic solitude with Legacy of Yu, the latest brainchild from the dynamic duo of Shem Phillips and Garphill Games. Imagine yourself as Yu the Great, but instead of a giant, floating head in the sky, you're a meticulous mastermind building canals like a beaver on a caffeine high. This game isn't just about waterways, though. Oh no, you're gathering resources, trading like a Wall Street wolf, and placing workers like you're in charge of an ant colony. Oh, and did we mention the barbarians? They're the uninvited party guests who won't take a hint. You'll spend your time masterfully maneuvering your meeples, making trades that would make a Merchant of Venice blush, and repelling these barbaric party crashers all in the name of empire building.

If you're feeling a sense of déjà vu, it's probably because you're a fan of Phillips' other adventures in solo gaming, like the much-loved Raiders of the North Sea and Architects of the West Kingdom. But rest assured, Legacy of Yu is not just a remix of greatest hits. No, it's more like that rare, unreleased track that superfans will absolutely adore. It has the heart-thumping tension of Friday, the strategy of Robinson Crusoe, and a hint of Mage Knight’s wild unpredictability, all rolled into a single-player strategy extravaganza. But don't be fooled - Legacy of Yu has a charm all its own, like that exotic cousin who shows up at the family reunion and instantly becomes the life of the party.

This isn't your granddad's game of Solitaire - Legacy of Yu is perfect for the modern solo gamer who likes to take the reins and control their own fate. The worker placement mechanic will appeal to those who appreciate the allure of a well-oiled machine, while the resource gathering and trading will entice players who get a thrill out of strategic exchanges. If the thought of repelling barbarians gets your blood pumping, then you're in for a treat – there's nothing quite like showing those party crashers the door. And for those who enjoy their board games like a fine wine, to be savoured and enjoyed over time, the evolving gameplay of Legacy of Yu promises a depth of complexity that's as rich as a chocolate lava cake - and just as satisfying to dive into. So, buckle up, sharpen your wits, and prepare to channel your inner Yu – the legacy of your empire awaits!

Buy Legacy of Yu solo board game online now!


4. Sleeping Gods: Distant Skies

Sleeping Gods: Distant Skies

Number of Players 1-4
Playtime 60-600 Min
Suggested Ages 13+
Designer(s) Ryan Laukat
Publisher Red Raven Games

Ahoy, cardboard captains, and welcome to the wondrous world of Sleeping Gods: Distant Skies, the hotly-anticipated sequel to the original tabletop titan, Sleeping Gods. Ready to channel your inner explorer? Because you're in for an adventurous ride across the mystic skies. This isn't your typical Sunday afternoon hot air balloon ride, but a thrilling journey through a fantastical, ever-changing landscape. It's up to you to command your steamship, recruit your crew, and unlock the hidden treasures in this celestial voyage. Remember to keep your wits about you, though, because from ferocious sky-beasts to unforeseen events, the cloudscape is packed with unexpected encounters that could make you wish you'd stayed on the ground!

If you’re a fan of the original Sleeping Gods, you're in for a serious treat with Distant Skies. It's like revisiting an old friend who’s learnt new magic tricks, bought a quirky pet dragon and started doing yoga on the weekends. Of course, it maintains the familiar taste of exploration and crew management from the first instalment, but adds an extra pinch of sky-high exhilaration. Picture this: it’s as if Indiana Jones took a detour into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang territory, while still maintaining that edge-of-your-seat excitement that would give even the most hardened adventurers sweaty palms. Compared to similar games like 7th Continent or Gloomhaven, Distant Skies offers a fresher, breezier form of exploration, like a gust of wind that’s keen on blowing your gaming hat off!

So, who would enjoy Distant Skies? Well, let's see: Are you a thrill-seeker who dreams of taming wild griffins? A shrewd strategist who enjoys resource management? Or perhaps a budding Jules Verne who thrives on riveting narrative arcs? This game is an explorer's paradise, offering a captivating blend of strategy and storytelling that will appeal to a broad spectrum of players. Whether you're in it for the immersive narratives, the strategic gameplay, or simply the joy of seeing what's beyond the next cloud, Distant Skies is sure to captivate. In other words, if you love adventure, buckle up Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore!

Preorder Sleeping Gods: Distant Skies online now!

3. Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West

Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 20-90 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock, Alan R. Moon
Publisher Days of Wonder

All aboard, board game buffs, for the wild, wild west edition of the modern classic - Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West! Created by a trifecta of top-tier designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock, and Alan R. Moon, this game puts you in the driver's seat of a locomotive racing across the American frontier. You'll be claiming routes, connecting cities, and scoring points, all while managing your hand of destination and train cards. But here's the twist - the game changes with each play. Yes, you heard that right. Permanent alterations to the game board, the rules, and even the game components themselves make every session as unpredictable as a saloon brawl.

Now, if you've ever found yourself traipsing across the landscapes of games like Pandemic Legacy or Risk Legacy, you might notice some familiar signposts here. The legacy mechanics that Legends of the West adopts are a clear nod to the genius of Daviau, the mastermind behind the legacy genre. Yet, it's not just a copy-paste of the mechanics - the game takes a fresh route by integrating legacy elements with the classic Ticket to Ride mechanics. This is Ticket to Ride with a wild west twist, delivering a unique blend of the familiar and the excitingly unknown, like finding a new saloon in your favorite ghost town.

So who is Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West for? If you're a fan of Ticket to Ride, enjoy the thrill of the unknown, or have a penchant for cowboy hats, this could be just the ticket. This game will undoubtedly appeal to lovers of the legacy genre, who enjoy seeing their actions have a lasting impact on the game. Strategy enthusiasts will relish the added layer of complexity that the legacy elements bring, while casual gamers will appreciate the accessibility and familiar mechanics of the original. If the idea of embarking on a railroad adventure across the wild west with lasting consequences gets your locomotive chugging, then it might be time to saddle up, preorder, and prepare for the journey of a lifetime!

Preorder Ticket to Ride Legacy: Legends of the West online now!


2. Ra

Ra (2022 Reprint) Board Game

Number of Players 2-5
Playtime 45-60 Min
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) Reiner Knizia
Publisher 25th Century

Rev those time machines, board game enthusiasts, because we're heading back to 1999! Well, not exactly, but Ra, the iconic brainchild of Reiner Knizia, is making a grand return in a long-awaited reprint. Dust off those ancient Egyptian history books because you'll be in the sandals of a Pharaoh, competing against other players for the most prosperous reign. This isn't your everyday game of Snakes and Ladders, though. Ra puts you in a high-stakes, high-tension bidding war for civilization cards, with each round (an Epoch, if you're feeling fancy) bringing the possibility of prosperity or disaster. But be careful, the ancient Egyptian God Ra has a wrathful side, and a disastrous 'Ra' tile can end the Epoch sooner than you'd like!

Think of Ra as the love child of Monopoly and Jeopardy with a sprinkle of The Mummy's suspense (the Brendan Fraser one, of course). It takes bidding from the world of auctions, mixes it with the set-collection strategy from classic card games, and gives it a unique twist with the unpredictable 'Ra' tiles. Comparisons with other bidding games like Power Grid or Modern Art might arise, but Ra has a charm of its own, a bit like that eccentric uncle who insists on wearing his Pharaoh costume to family reunions. The reprint doesn't just rest on the laurels of the classic version, though. It has received a graphical facelift, making the journey back to ancient Egypt more vivid and vibrant than ever.

Now, if you're the kind of player who enjoys a good brain-burner and gets a thrill out of cutthroat competition, Ra will feel like coming home. The game's unique blend of bidding and press-your-luck mechanics caters to those who enjoy intense decision-making and strategic gameplay. At the same time, fans of history and ancient civilizations will find the theme appealing and immersive. And let's not forget the risk-takers, who will relish the game's unpredictable nature and the constant dance with the wrath of Ra. So if you're ready to test your mettle against the ancient Egyptian gods, gather your bidding suns and set sail for the fertile banks of the Nile!

Buy Ra online now!


1. Cascadia: Landmarks

Cascadia: Landmarks Expansion

Number of Players 1-6
Playtime 30-45 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Randy Flynn, Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich
Publisher AEG
Base Game Cascadia

Ready to strap on those hiking boots again and head back into the verdant wilds of the Pacific Northwest? Well, then you're in luck! Cascadia: Landmarks, the first expansion to the 2021 smash hit Cascadia, is poised to take you on yet another fauna and flora-filled escapade. Although it's still on pre-order, it's already topping our list this month, outpacing even its availability! This expansion enriches your Cascadian journey with new and exciting features. It introduces landmarks into the mix, enticing players to place these iconic structures strategically within their growing landscapes. But remember, each landmark follows its unique placement rules, adding an extra layer of complexity to this already engaging tile-placement extravaganza.

If you thought Cascadia was the Reese's Pieces of tile placement games, combining two great tastes of 'nature' and 'strategy' in perfect harmony, then Cascadia: Landmarks is like finding out there's a peanut butter cup with a bonus dollop of caramel inside. It stands shoulder to shoulder with its contemporaries, like Carcassonne or Isle of Skye, but with a few extra badges on its sash. It cleverly builds upon the original game by injecting new tactical decisions without bogging down the crisp gameplay that fans have come to adore. With the introduction of landmarks, it's as if Cascadia went on a summer vacation and came back for the new school year with a surprising new hobby, like juggling or unicycling, that has everyone intrigued.

Cascadia: Landmarks is definitely a must-play for fans of the original game, but its appeal extends beyond that group. If you're the type of player who loves laying down tiles to create an intricate landscape and doesn't mind the occasional brain-burner, then get ready to fall head over hiking boots for this one. The expansion's new mechanics introduce an additional strategic element that will appeal to those who love their gaming sessions with a side of tactical depth. At the same time, its inherent simplicity and the delightful art make it a fitting choice for more casual gamers too. And for the nature enthusiasts among us, the expansion provides even more opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest – all from the comfort of your gaming table!

Preorder the Cascadia: Landmarks expansion online now!

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