TOP TEN Games of 2019

2019

From Funkoverse to Wingspan, the following are just the tip of the iceberg of great games that came out during the previous year.

- Matthew Kearns

MeepleGamers

What a ride 2019 has been!  Origins, GenCon, PAX, Essen, etc. brought gamers across the world together to share experiences and play games.  Kickstarter continues to reign as a preferred engine for producing capital to develop games.  From Funkoverse to Wingspan, the following are just the tip of the iceberg of great games that came out during the previous year.

Funkoverse - Funko Games

Funkoverse

By Steve Mayne

Tons of fun with a lot of replayability.  The game breaks down into the three things.  It’s fun to play, combing the sets gives lots of neat stories, and the anticipation of new sets and characters to play later.

Marvel Champions - Fantasy Flight Games

Marvel Champions

By Mark Gillham

Each character feels like they were brought straight out of the comics.  Thematically, the player is immersed in a world against a Marvel villain.  Fantastic entry into the LCG (living card game) world with a theme which could draw a lot of new gamers to the hobby.

Cover Your Kingdoms - Grandpa Beck Games

Cover Your Kingdom

By Ben Parker

This game is like Cover Your Assets with new cards that really changes player standings.  Plus, the fantasy theme and puns are lots of fun.  I love “mean” games and Cover Your Kingdoms is my favorite “mean” game this year.

Bushido - Grey Fox Games

Bushido

By Matthew Kearns

Bushido surprised me.  Normally I don’t like 2-player games — the feeling of limitation, lack of the community with other players, etc.  But Bushido being a duel, a fighting game with so many options makes it not only fun and highly replayable, but you’ll want to keep playing after just one game.

Cabo - Bezier Games

By Josh Hale

I was introduced to the re-print by the events and marketing team of Bezier at Dice Tower West. Interesting side note, both Ally and Matt, said events and marketing team, were previously astronauts at the ISS, and were planning to go to Mars, but Bezier seemed to be a better fit. The game Cabo, was also a better fit for Bezier, as it allowed the game to be re-printed, rather than languish in gamer limbo. I’m a fan.

DragonRealm - Gamewright

Dragonrealm-BGG (1)

By Matthew Kearns

Definitely my favorite reviewed game out of the year.  The ease of play, ability to shift difficulty, and art put this game at my highest rank so far.  Choose an approach, roll your dice, and let fate take its course in Dragonrealm.

Parks - Keymaster Games

Parks

By Josh Hale

This game hit me by surprise. Most games that hit my main list are games that I found. This one was sent for review, and frankly, it makes that other game where you are walking in a line across a map feel dated. This is just done so VERY well, and with the 59 Parks art, it seems this game was destined to sit on my top ten. I truly think this is one game that you should get the neoprene board to play with. It is fantastic.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg - North Star Games

The Quacks of Quedlinburg

By Mary Crabtree

When I purchased this game, I did no research which is rare for me.  I saw that you had your own personal cauldron and the Harry Potter nerd in me screamed.  I was at a local game store in Florida on vacation and saw it had won a reward and so I took a chance.

That chance has definitely paid off.  When I first read the rules, I wasn’t sure if my heavy strategy gamer friend would like it because of the “push your luck” mechanism but he loves this game.  Everyone loves this game.  Even my non-gamer brother played it three times over Christmas.

I would describe Quacks as a Push Your Luck Bag Building game.  It has a unique catch up mechanism if you are way behind.  Even if you have pushed your luck too far in a round, you still get one of two benefits in that round.  It has great replayability with four sets of ingredients that can be mixed and matched once you have gone through all the sets.

I am really looking forward to the new expansion that recently came out. I will be picking that up soon!

Wingspan - Stonemaier Games

Wingspan

By Mark Gillham

This is a nice engine-building game about birds.  Players build their aviary with birds from different regions to earn victory points.  The art is phenomenal.  Multi-award winner.

By Mary Crabtree

This has been an instant hit with all whom I’ve introduced to it.  My favorite way to describe it is “peaceful.”  Player conflict is never a factor and a lot of cards give things to all players.  Everyone is always in a good mood while playing.

I love the engine building mechanism and that actions are less and less each round.  The four rounds give the best length to the game and opportunity to build a prosperous aviary.

Cloudspire - Chip Theory Games

Cloudspire

By Kevin Billman

Chip Theory Games had another major release in 2019 with Cloudspire, their mix of MOBA and tower defense.  Like all of their games, there is a bit of rules overhead with numerous keywords, but in keeping with their style, once you get rolling it is elegant and straightforward.

There is variability with both co-op and competitive play options.  Their component quality continues to be unmatched.  Cloudspire looks great on the table and offers a wonderful experience for your group.