Abstract Strategy Games

I love a good theme, and I tend to favor thematic games over ones of a less engaging nature. However, there are some abstract games that are wonderful. A few of my favorites include Santorini and Element. Very engaging gameplay in these. What are some other good abstract strategy games you enjoy? 

Like| 30 comments | report | subscribe

Please log in or make an account to post a comment.

Supporter13 months ago

I really tend to only favor thematic games. I haven’t yet purchased any abstract games for my collection. 

13 months ago

I think the only abstract game I’ve ever purchased is Santorini. And while definitely abstract, it looks great on the table, so that helps haha But yeah, I tend to fall deep for the thematic games. 

13 months ago

Have you tried Tak ? Placing and shifting tiles to create roads; extremely relaxing for me. 

Also, Quantum might fall into this category. It's got a theme, but it's similar to Santorini in that respect. 

13 months ago

I haven't played Tak, but I've read the book it's from :) 

I have played Quantum, however, and I really liked it. Lots of fun. 

13 months ago

The novels are great. Have you read the story about how James Earnest and Patrick Rothfuss created it? 

13 months ago

I haven't. Is it online somewhere?

13 months ago

I think it's linked off the original Kickstarter page. 

I can't seem to find it right now, it might be in this video. 

https://www.twitch.tv/nycc2/v/59564589


Supporter13 months ago

Onitama Is one of our favorites

13 months ago

That one seems to be mentioned quite a bit. It’s always looked neat, but I may have to check it out more closely!

13 months ago

I would put some heavier games in here like Reef Encounter and Tigris and Euphrates. Tile laying goodness with heavy strategies and depth!

13 months ago

I assume the "depth" bit was a pun for Reef haha I didn't realize Tigris and Euphrates was considered abstract. Not sure why, but I'm more interested in it now haha

13 months ago

It actually was not an intended pun lol. 

T&E is for sure more abstract. The theme comes out a very very small amount but it is heavy on the mechanic side of things. 

Supporter13 months ago

I also enjoy Santorini, but find more than 2p a bit too chaotic with the complex god powers haha (and the rulebook doesn't seem to help all that much for clarifying the interactions between the god powers). I really like Azul for the simple gameplay and how chill it is (and the tiles are just too satisfying to play with!)

I've also wanted to get Hive PocketDragon Castle, and Patchwork

13 months ago

Dragon Castle catches my eye in the store regularly. But I've yet to try it. 

13 months ago

I love Dragon Castle, but I also love the computer game tile-matching Majong.  :-)

I have played Hive years ago but didn't get the hype.  It seemed too easy. 

Patchwork was okay but hardly ever makes it to the table.

I enjoy the Blokus games, Azul, Reef, Qwirkle, Indigo, and Backgammon too.

13 months ago

I used to play Majong on ye auld CPU too. Never had a clue what I was doing though haha Then I got older and actually learned the rules. It’s fun!

We have Blokus; it definitely needs to get played more. It’s a lot of fun! 

13 months ago

Santorini was definitely designed as a two-player game, but made to include more players for marketing purposes (I have no evidence of this, but I'd bet my ship on it). 

Patchwork is one of our favorite two-player games. We even blinged it out with real buttons! haha  And I really want to try Dragon Castle (and not just because it has "Dragon" in the name, although that helps).

13 months ago

I have Dragon Castle. I love it to death, my wife hates it lol. Rarely gets to the table but it’s an excellent abstract!

13 months ago

I'm a huge fan of Santorini. It's one of my favorite games!

Another one I own and also really enjoy is Azul.

I haven't played a hard copy of it, but I enjoy the app version of Onitama. It kinda gives you that Chess feeling, while sort of condensing the game into a smaller board with fewer pieces. It's much simpler to learn as well, as there's only a couple of rules.

I've only played it a few times, but I'd say Hive does a similar thing as Onitama.

13 months ago

Azul is great actually. Good depth for the experienced gamer but simple enough for the n00b

13 months ago

Agreed. Have you tried the sequel? To me it doesn't quite look different enough to justify a purchase.

13 months ago

My neighbor has Stained Glass and I enjoyed it too.  Different enough to enjoy them both.  I want to try the newest Summer one too!

13 months ago

Me too! I don't know how it will be to play but it certainly is pretty! All three games are.

13 months ago

I actually got Stained Glass as a gift last Christmas! It actually functions quite differently. Same mechanics but there is more to consider since where you place the tiles determines where you can and cannot place the next tiles. It’s definitely an interesting one! It also adds some needed variability that the original does not. 

13 months ago

Hmm interesting. I'll have to give it a try some time!

13 months ago

It adds some complexity that is nice, the components are nice, I would not have gone out of my way to get it though, I am happy to own it as well!

Supporter13 months ago

Plus one for both Hive and Onitama. Those are my favorite two abstract strategy games. 

13 months ago

I've seen Onitama around, so I'll have to look into it. 

Azul is a great game. We don't own it, but our local library does so we can borrow their games for a few weeks. We've taken home Azul a few times :)

13 months ago

Whoa, libraries lend games now? Don't think my local one does, but that's awesome!

13 months ago

They don't have a large selection by any means, and they seem to rotate their collection every few months, but it is nice that they have games I'd like to play but don't own. Fingers crossed they get a bigger selection soon!