Board games are more popular than ever, particularly when looking for things to do in lockdown. 2020 has been an amazing year already for brand new games with many more releases on the horizon. Take a look below for our top picks of this year’s crop.
Calico – October 2020
With a playing time of under 45 minutes, Calico is a tile-laying game where players compete to sew the cosiest quilt to attract the cuddliest cats. Yes, it’s as adorable as it sounds. Points are earned through colour and pattern combinations as well as through the different cats. With the most adorable box art and fairly serene gameplay, this is perfect for casual gamers and cat lovers alike.
Sleeping Gods – Kickstarter release May 2020
In terms of an immersive, open-world experience look no further than Sleeping Gods, where players become the lost crew of a steamship in 1929, “exploring mysterious islands, meeting new characters, and seeking out the totems of the gods so that you can return home.”
The cooperative game runs over a 10-20 hour campaign that allows players to join and leave as they wish, as well as being able to stop the game at any time, saving their progress for later. The art of this game alone is enough to draw you in, with a giant atlas instead of a game board. But with a novel-length book to read as you explore, and hundreds of quests with multiple outcomes, this storybook game is not one to miss
Endangered – Kickstarter release March 2020
Based on human progress and environmental collapse, this cooperative game has players working together as conservationists to save just one species from extinction. Each player takes on a different role each with unique powers which combined with the environment, hazards and specific rules for your chosen species makes each game is a unique challenge. As they say themselves, this game isn’t the easiest to win but can be achieved with strategy and teamwork, providing a topical addition to your collection that we can all learn from.
Cindr – August 2020, pre-order now or become a late backer on Kickstarter
No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, this is a game where you can date dragons.
Marketing itself as a 30 minute “push your luck” dice game, this silly tongue in cheek pastiche of dating apps allows players to swipe through potential matches looking for a compatible dragon to go on a date with. The better your dates go, the more points you accumulate but try not to get burned (in more ways than one).
This game seems like a great game to play with your friends after a few drinks where you can all laugh (or cringe) at the dragons’ profiles together and work to find your perfect dragon partner.
Hey, we don’t kink shame.
Pandemic Legacy Season 3 – postponed
This one might be a little bit *too* on the nose for the current situation, and the publisher Z-Man Games has actually announced that this release will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as it was one of the most anticipated games this year, we wanted to give it a mention and help build hype for when it is eventually released. As the final instalment to the Pandemic legacy trilogy, players work together to cure diseases and prevent outbreaks with an ever-changing narrative-driven campaign.
This game will definitely be one to look out for when the global situation is behind us and props to Z-Man games who are donating to a COVID-19 relief organisation
Cosmic Frog – Summer 2020
Each player in this game has control over, yes you guessed it, a giant space frog. The official publisher’s description is a bit all over the place and makes it quite difficult to understand what this game actually involves, but what we do know is that it’s a game of “collection, combat and theft on a planetary scale.” In a nutshell, you are a frog that eats planets to collect terrain for your new world, all while proving to your higher being that you are the best frog. It’s wacky, intense and definitely not one to miss.
Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game – August 2020, pre-order now
More and more video games are getting board game adaptations, and Metal Gear Solid is no different. The video game has been adapted into a cooperative board game following some of the traditional storylines with miniature figures representing its characters. Players use their skill sets to complete objectives throughout several campaign missions. And yes, of course, Solid Snake is featured.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian/The Child edition monopoly (AKA Baby Yoda monopoly) – September 2020, pre-order now
Okay, we know we’re not really monopoly people around here, but we couldn’t resist giving a special mention to this limited-edition game. Inspired by The Mandalorian on Disney+ and announced on Star Wars day (May 4th), this game allows you to “Take turns looking over intergalactic real estate in this daring mash-up of adventure and finances.” With every player as Baby Yoda/The Child. While it is undoubtedly another monopoly edition with just aesthetic changes to add to your pile, it’s a bit of fun and perfect for any Star Wars obsessed fans out there.