What's Hot: Top Board Games of May 2023
Well, board game aficionados, as the flowers bloom and the bees buzz, we're back with our monthly dose of tabletop delight! May was a box-fresh, shrink-wrap-cracking extravaganza of epic proportions! This isn’t just any old list – oh no – we’re talking the top five board games that sent the month of May into a cardboard frenzy. So, grab your meeples, shuffle your decks, and get ready to take notes, because we're about to embark on a rollercoaster ride of tabletop titans that will have your gaming shelf begging for mercy!
5. Ierusalem: Anno Domini
|Number of Players
|Carmen García Jiménez
Let's embark on a biblical journey with Devir's Ierusalem: Anno Domini, a divine deck-building, set collection, and worker placement game! In this holy hustle, you're not just playing for points, but for a prime seat at the Last Supper. The game works by having players manage resources, construct an influential deck of disciple cards, and carefully allocate their faithful followers. The goal? To garner enough holy clout to score an invite to the dinner of the millennium. Now that's what you'd call a 'last supper' worth fighting for!
Let's look at it this way, if Dominion and Agricola had a baby and that baby was then baptized by Ticket to Ride, you'd get Ierusalem: Anno Domini. It takes the deck-building from Dominion, tosses in Agricola’s worker placement, and then, for good measure, sprinkles in a smidgen of set collection akin to Ticket to Ride. Yet, this game is not just a greatest hits of board game mechanics - it carves out its unique place in the pantheon by adding a hearty helping of historical context and a dash of divine humour.
So, who's going to enjoy this epic biblical banquet? If you're a fan of deck-building, relish the strategy of worker placement, and get a kick out of set collection, then Ierusalem: Anno Domini might just be your new board game messiah. It's a game that welcomes strategy aficionados, casual gamers, and anyone who's ever wondered what it'd be like to throw down with the apostles. Whether you're into turn water into wine or just enjoy a good ol' fashioned deck-building duel, this game is sure to deliver a heavenly good time!
4. My City: Roll & Build
|Number of Players
|Prospero Hall, Michael Mulvihill
Get ready to unroll your blueprints and put on your hard hats for My City: Roll & Build, published by KOSMOS. This game is a literal roll-and-build (hence the title), where you roll dice, draw buildings on your personal city board, and watch your cityscape evolve! Buildings need roads, parks require careful planning, and don't forget about the rivers; they need their space too. Every roll can change your city's future. Will you foster a bustling metropolis or create a peaceful utopia? Only the dice can tell!
If Barenpark and Yahtzee decided to put their differences aside, learn some city planning, and created a tabletop love child, My City: Roll & Build would be the end result. It borrows the spatial puzzle-solving elements from Barenpark and sprinkles in the dice-driven suspense of Yahtzee. But it's not just a carbon copy, oh no. With its unique combination of dice, drawing, and city planning, My City: Roll & Build offers a unique spin on the roll-and-write genre that's entirely its own.
Are you a fan of spatial puzzles? Do you like your games to be a bit dicey? Or perhaps you're just an aspiring city planner looking for a low-stakes way to test your skills. If any of these apply to you, then My City: Roll & Build should be right up your alley. Its dice-rolling mechanics add an element of unpredictability that keeps each game fresh and engaging, while the city-building aspect appeals to those who enjoy a dash of strategy. And hey, if you've ever wanted to fit an entire city on your coffee table, then here's your chance!
3. Azul Mini
|Number of Players
|Fabio Cury, Michael Shinall
Ladies and gentlemen, gather 'round because the majolica tiles are back and this time, they're pocket-sized! Yes, you heard it right. We're talking about Azul Mini, a compact, travel-friendly adaptation of the highly adored abstract strategy game. Here, the objective remains the same: accumulate the most points by thoughtfully drafting and placing tiles on your personal board. But there's a catch! You must strategically arrange these beauties into specific patterns to score big.
As you dive into this pocket-sized marvel, you might be reminded of its glorious predecessor, Azul, but rest assured, Azul Mini holds its own. With its concise gameplay, Azul Mini presents a wonderful dance of tactics, risk, and reward. You're drafting, you're strategizing, and you're trying to outwit your opponents, all while maintaining that perfect balance on your board. And if you're a fan of the original Azul or other abstract games like Sagrada, you'll find a familiar rhythm here, but with a refreshing brevity that adds a distinct charm.
Now, who is Azul Mini for? This pocket wonder is ideal for those who enjoy a dash of strategy, a sprinkle of tactical manoeuvring, and a whole lot of beautiful, colourful tiles. If you're the kind of player who enjoys the challenge of pattern building, the thrill of the right draft, and the joy of compact, travel-friendly games, then Azul Mini is just the ticket. Whether you're a seasoned Azul player or a newcomer to the scene, you're bound to get hooked on the miniaturized charm of this delightful game.
2. Masters of the Universe: Clash for Eternia
|Number of Players
|Trevor Benjamin, Roger Tankersley, David Thompson
|25th Century Games
Have you ever wanted to channel your inner He-Man or She-Ra? If the answer is a resounding "By the Power of Grayskull!", then buckle up for a nostalgic journey to Eternia in the board game Masters of the Universe: Clash for Eternia. In this captivating game, you'll gather your band of heroic or villainous compatriots, embark on strategic quests, and engage in intense battles for control of Eternia's magical power. Roll dice, play cards, and use your character's unique abilities to secure victory for your team.
While your inner child might be comparing this to those cherished afternoons playing with action figures, in the board game world, Masters of the Universe: Clash for Eternia finds its kinship with games like Descent: Journeys in the Dark or Imperial Assault. All of these games place you in the shoes (or, in He-Man's case, the boots) of a unique character with special abilities, navigating a land rife with challenges and foes. However, what sets Masters of the Universe apart is that undeniable flavor of nostalgia it carries, effectively transforming your kitchen table into Castle Grayskull.
Now, who should join this battle for Eternia? If you enjoy team-based competitive games, love rolling dice, relish strategic card play, or you're simply a sucker for a good nostalgia trip, Masters of the Universe: Clash for Eternia is calling your name. So, don your power sword or havoc staff, call your Battle Cat or Panthor, and prepare for an epic journey down memory lane. Skeletor and his minions aren't going to thwart themselves, after all!
1. Dorfromantik: The Board Game
|Number of Players
|Inside Up Games
Welcome to Dorfromantik: The Board Game, where the simple act of placing hexagonal tiles can transform into a landscape brimming with serene countryside charm. The task at hand is straightforward – draw tiles, place them wisely on your personal board, and aim to match the terrain types to maximize your score. The key lies in strategizing to chain those combos together for bonus points, all while fulfilling task cards for even more points. The game continues until you've run out of tiles, and at that point, whoever has the highest score gets to call themselves the master landscaper.
This board game incarnation may remind you of popular titles such as Carcassonne or Kingdomino, with its tile placement mechanics and scoring system based on matching and clustering terrain. However, where it truly shines is in its connection to its digital roots. Dorfromantik: The Board Game brings the award-nominated tranquillity and aesthetic charm of the original Dorfromantik video game to your tabletop, capturing the essence of building idyllic landscapes right from the comfort of your living room.
If you're a fan of peaceful, puzzle-like gameplay, Dorfromantik: The Board Game is your match made in pastoral heaven. Players who enjoy a well-integrated theme, the strategic placing of tiles, and the satisfaction of creating a harmonious landscape will find this game a joy to play. Plus, it's worth noting that for those familiar with the digital version, this board game offers a tangible way to experience the game's delightful world building. And, with its award nominations, who wouldn't want to try their hand at being the master of their own rustic paradise?