Games I Played in 2019: The Complete and Comprehensive List (Part II)

The first part of this list saw some truly amazing games and they should only get better moving forward.


If you haven't read Part I, I'd recommend checking it out first, it'll help to set the mood.


60. Thunderbirds

Why it's on the List?


I really enjoy the cooperative experience and Matt Leacock is king of the genre.


Why this spot?


I never watched the show, but it didn't matter. The game is good, and it is actually quite different from other Leacock games, it might be my favorite of his.



59. Clacks


Why it's on the List?


I bought this a long while ago and could never get it to the table. Finally gave the co-op a shot in 2019.


Why this spot?


This game is a magical little puzzle. I would absolutely HATE to play this competitively but the cooperative mode is excellent, challenging, and brain-burning.



58. Magic Maze



Why it's on the List?


This is always one of my favorites to introduce to people because it is so unique.


Why this spot?


This game never fails to cause hysterical laughter and unrelenting anger. That "Do-something" pawn may be the best component in any board game, ever.




57. Heaven and Ale



Why it's on the List?


This was a birthday gift from my best friend, he knows me so well. As an avid brewer of beer, who also lived temporarily at a monastery, I can really get on board with this theme.


Why this spot?


The game has a couple of really neat mechanics, and while it is higher on my list than some other ones that fell in this category, I think this one is good but not great. It was very close though, just a couple design tweaks and this definitely would have been in my top 50, maybe even in my top 25.



56. The Game

Why it's on the List?


I love a small box game that really makes you think. Plus the new art edition, is much better than the old one.


Why this spot?


This is another one that I love to introduce to people. It is so simple, but extremely difficult win. It also offers a unique cooperative experience that goes over really well in almost every group.



55. Kreus

Why it's on the List?


This game was bought because I had heard it was kind of like the Grizzled, which is one of my favorites of all time.


Why this spot?


Despite being relatively simple, this game is unusually hard to teach, but once people grasp it, there is a lot of cool moves that you will pull off as a group. It is very hard, and the game is a bit on rails, but I still love it.



54. Dead Men Tell No Tales

Why it's on the List?


We have enjoyed the base game quite a bit, but wanted to try the Kraken expansion.


Why this spot?


I think the expansion is really good, and if I was playing with other people who are familiar with the game, I would definitely include it, because it offers a deeper, more difficult and believe it or not, more thematic experience.



53. Tybor the Builder

Why it's on the List?


Alexander Pfister, Oh My Goods Universe, multi-use cards, what's not to love?


Why this spot?


This game is brilliant and in my opinion it is the superior game to Oh My Goods, it feels like a smoother experience and less of a grind. I would like to see this game get more expansions going forward.




52. Colt Express

Why it's on the List?


This game is chaos and it plays so well when you have 6 people.


Why this spot?


The programming aspect is just so random and funny that I always feel warm and fuzzy when I play this game. Usually the best moments are when someone goofs and fires their gun at the air or tries to grab loot that doesn't even exist.


51. Sprawlopolis

Why it's on the List?


A satisfying solo and cooperative puzzle with just 18 cards.


Why this spot?


This game offers an amazing amount of replayability as it features 18 different scoring possibilities, and you randomly use 3 per game, It is a tad inconsistent because sometimes you get a set of scoring criteria that just work really really well together, and other times, you get ones that seem near impossible.


50. The Ancient World

Why it's on the List?


I honestly backed this game on Kickstarter JUST to get the Near and Far add on.


Why this spot?


My expectations were actually pretty low here. I honestly have never been blown away by any Red Raven game despite adoring the artwork. However, this one is such a treat. The improvements on the 2nd edition has done wonders here.


49. Claim

Why it's on the List?


I like trick taking games and not many play that well at 2 players.


Why this spot?


This one plays only at 2 and it has tons of variety thanks to a standalone expansion, Claim 2. I don't think I have ever won this game, but I enjoy it none-the-less.



48. Atlantis Rising

Why it's on the List?


This is my newest 2019 Kickstarter game. It arrived on Christmas Day, believe it or not! Somehow, I got it played before the new year!


Why this spot?


We made a small mistake in the rules for the 2 player variant and that kept it from feeling super intense, but I loved the puzzle and the use of worker placement in a cooperative game.


47. Aeon's End

Why it's on the List?


Only because I had heard good things. Let's be honest, the generic fantasy theme and artwork is not the reason.


Why this spot?


Wow, this is so good! I'm very disappointed that I judged this game by it's cover and waited so long to play. The cooperation in this game feels wonderful and it's one of the best deck-builders I've had the pleasure to play.



46. Hardback

Why it's on the List?


The spiritual successor to Paperback and another deck-building word game.


Why this spot?


I love paperback, in someways, I like it better than hardback, but the solo/cooperative mode in hardback is tremendously well made and super challenging. I also like the addition of themed letter cards in this game.



45. Claustrophobia 1643

Why it's on the List?


2 player competitive Zombicide, more-or-less.


Why this spot?


The game plays really well and I love how asymmetric it is. The dice allocation and action selection is enjoyably simple, with just the right amount of possibilities.


44. Puerto Rico

Why it's on the List?


It's one of the all-time greats, so when I was finally offered the chance to play it, I couldn't say no.


Why this spot?


I can understand how this game has stood the test of time. It was way ahead of itself in many ways, but it has this quirk that positioning of the weakest player, determines who wins the game. It is sort of like Blackjack, there is this accepted way to play, and if you deviate from that, people at the table will be very unhappy.





43. Camel Up

Why it's on the List?


I was tentative on this one because of my gambling addiction (more than 5 years clean and counting!). I usually try to avoid games that are too much like gambling remind me too much of casino games or horse racing.


Why this spot?


It is a really fun game, and the crazy camels are the best! Luckily, I can manage to avoid that shakiness I get when I see a train ad for the Japanese Racing Association.


42. Barenpark

Why it's on the List?


Designer Phil Walker-Harding may be the best streamliner in the business.


Why this spot?


This game, like most PWH games, is pure elegance. It takes a rather over-used concept, tile-placement with Tetris pieces and just somehow makes it better... I will eat these words soon enough.



41. Caper

Why it's on the List?


When Keymaster games did a reprint, I decided to pickup a copy since it was cheap enough.


Why this spot?


Wow, this was a complete shock. I was not expecting to like it THAT much but I really think it is the best 2 player drafting game out there.



40. Cacao

Why it's on the List?


Ahh, now this is a classic PWH title.


Why this spot?


This game is just so smooth, I feel like I could teach this game to anyone and they will be able to jump right in and compete. Also, the way actions trigger based off the tile placement is really clever in this one.



39. Five Tribes

Why it's on the List?


This was on the top of my list of Bruno Cathala games that I was itching to try.


Why this spot?


This game is intense because you can pickup and drop off any pawns on the board, but everyone else has the same possible moves, until of course someone else does it before you and completely shifts the board state. It is extremely thinky and very enjoyable.



38. Elysium

Why it's on the List?


This game always looked interesting to me, but it flew under-the-radar for some reason. I picked up a copy for very cheap.


Why this spot?


This game is SO underrated. There is this constant tension with every action you take and the use of the colored Corinthians is such a clever mechanic that adds loads of depth to your decisions.


37. Snowdonia

Why it's on the List?


Yet another Kickstarter Deluxe edition I received in 2019. There is so much in this box, I honestly didn't know where to begin.


Why this spot?


This game is phenomenal, I was shocked. It's not a theme I am fond of, but the way that the weather and 3rd party companies come in and snipe your work? Brilliant. Also, the competition for worker placements spots is perfect, just enough to challenge you, but not too punishing,



36. Welcome To...


Why it's on the List?


This was one of the few games that I managed to try out at the Tokyo Game Market.


Why this spot?


It is definitely one of the best flip & write games ever made. The selection mechanic and dual use of the cards is what really separates this one from the rest of the field. I also think this offers much more variability and replayability compared to others in the genre.




35. Treasure Island

Why it's on the List?


This looked like the type of game I would have loved to play as a kid. Compasses, markers, rulers, and a real map you can draw on. So cool.


Why this spot?


It is every bit as cool as it looks. I will say the component quality left a little to be desired, but the asymmetric deduction in this one is so satisfying and this game is absolutely ripe with theme.



34. Maori

Why it's on the List?


This was one of the games that I picked up during my collector's phase when I needed every out of print game.


Why this spot?


This game is just so damn peaceful. If I had to pick one game just to turn off my brain to, it's this. The tile-selection and tile-placement mechanics are good, but it really is only this high because it does something that most games don't do, which is offer a relaxing experience.


33. Doppelt so Clever

Why it's on the List?


I loved Ganz Schon Clever so naturally, had to try this.


Why this spot?


In some ways, this is better than Ganz Schon Clever, but it's sort of like The Godfather Part II. I don't think I could have truly appreciated it, unless I had seen The Godfather Part I first. Both are just so Warsching good!




32. Incan Gold

Why it's on the List?


This is my go-to game for parties with non-gamers.


Why this spot?


It's just so simple to understand and after one round, everyone just gets it. It's quick, it's easy to explain, it's got a super tight game loop. It just works.




31. Fake Artist Goes to New York

Why it's on the List?


It's an Oink game, which is enough to pique my interest.


Why this spot?


This game is a riot. Players put so much effort into not making the drawing obvious for the fake artist that they end up getting accused of being the fake artist. Nobody understands what you did or why. Then afterwards you act like they are the crazy ones for not getting your super specific reference. Perfecto!


30. Patchwork


Why it's on the List?


Not because of the app version, I swear.


Why this spot?


I may have referenced earlier how different Barenpark was, but Patchwork is the OG Tetris tile-layer. It is also THE perfect theme for this mechanic. I may have gotten mildly addicted to the app version, but I still love the physical version and that is how I am judging this here.


29. Rising Sun

Why it's on the List?


Spiritual successor to Blood Rage... Plus those minis...


Why this spot?


This game is almost as good as Blood Rage, and given a better play of it, I think it could meet that same regard. I love the negotiation aspect of this game but I think playing it at 3 players really held it back from being higher on this list.


28. Stew

Why it's on the List?


The award for most charming vagabond artwork in a game goes to...


Why this spot?


Liking Stew this much was completely unexpected, it's basically a really good version of Welcome to the Dungeon, with a better theme, pacing and better artwork, and oh yeah, better everything. I love this game.




27. Keyflower

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