December 23rd. Christmas Eve Eve!! For me, that means the last day of work before some Christmas time off. Plus, it means that we are about to dive into the Top 10!!! Note: From these last 12 games, only three are new to my list, so we are definitely getting into some longer-term favorites. Here we go –>
Links to prior posts:
#12 – Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure (Renegade Game Studios, designed by Paul Dennen) [#8 in 2019; #5 in 2018]
So, hey guess what? I like Clank! (not a surprise since Acquisitions Incorporated, the legacy version of the game, showed up in the #14 spot). The base game, though, with its expansions –> slightly different rulesets and board layouts, makes this such an easy explorative, deck-builder to come back to again and again. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game of Clank! that didn’t end with smiling, tension, and an exciting ending.
#11 – Carcassonne (Z-Man Games, designed by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede) [#6 in 2019]
Slipping just outside of my top 10, Carcassonne is my Go-To Classic game. It is the 2nd oldest game on my Top 100 (El Grande is 5 years older — #88 spot). I really enjoy a good tile-laying game and the simplicity of this game creates such a fun, peaceful play time. Carcassonne is most definitely a “comfort game” for me.
I also appreciate how easily it can be played at different age/competitive levels. I can play with my 8-year old and just have fun casually making roads and cities. OR, I can get on BoardGameArena where I have learned that Carcassonne can get Real Cutthroat. I’m willing and able to play anywhere on that spectrum and find that I enjoy the game in generally any situation.
Last, I appreciate the different module-esque expansions the game has. I own a few at this point and love swapping them in and out for variety of play.
#10 – Root (Leder Games, designed by Cole Wehrle) [#11 in 2019]
Moving up 1 spot from last year, Root is now an official Top 10 game for me. I don’t get as many times to play Root (competitively) as I would like, but I love getting to play all of the different, asymmetric factions — 8 so far with two more coming, I believe. Where I have really been able to get Root to the table this year is with the Clockwork Expansion (the four automated bots for the original factions). Utilizing these bots takes a lot of work on behalf of the player(s), but I find that I really enjoy that.
Furthermore, each bot comes with four difficulty levels, plus four traits that allow you to even hit fractional levels of difficulty. A ton of wonderful gameplay options, not including the four maps that I’m getting to choose from each game that add some nuance to strategies as well. I absolutely adore Root and I see this being a staple on my list for a long time.
#9 – The Pursuit of Happiness (Artipia Games, designed by Adrian Abela and David Chircop) [#20 in 2019]
As a kid, Life was such a fun game to play, because it was a board game that let you ‘play’ through a full life and see what kind of cool events would happen to you. Lots of kids? College education? Good-paying job? Would you complete a good, solid, complete life or end up feeling like you ‘came up short?’
Well, The Pursuit of Happiness takes that same exciting theme, but allows you to actively make the choices for your life (not just spin a dial and see what happens). The worker placement puts you in charge of what aspects of your life you focus on. Every play is an opportunity to “try out” the life of your choice and know that all the decisions were yours. Did you die early from an over-stressed life? Well, maybe it was “worth it!” Or did you live a long life, knowing that you maintained good control over your long-term health.
With the expansions, you can Dream about adventures early in your life and get great satisfaction when you finally complete that dream — take wonderful vacations and get involved in cultural activities — own pets — have children, with their own names and qualities — and tons of different job opportunities that replicate modern day career options.
Now, I have played The Pursuit of Happiness with some people who just see the mechanisms and come away from the game feeling, “well, that was okay.” And for them, I am so sad. If you like to immerse yourself in a game world and/or let a board game be a chance to tell your own story along the way, The Pursuit of Happiness can suddenly become one of your favorite experiences — as it has for me. I now have so many cards for this game, that I know I can look forward to discovering what opportunities will open up for my “life adventure” every time I play. Excellent!
That’s numbers 12 through 9. Let me know what your thoughts and/or feedback are for these titles. Furthermore, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @boardgamecrock1 and Retweet the Top 100 posts to earn entries into the Fantastic Factories giveaway.
See you tomorrow for the next 4.