Board Game of the Year 2020?

Supporter

Which board game do you think will win game of the year for 2020? Also, what do you think should be the criteria for winning such an award?

Here are some games published in 2020. This is only a small subset of the entire catalog for this year and some of these haven't even seen retail release just yet:

Based on past results, Game of the Year candidates are typically popular games that garnered lots of attention. They're typically in the midweight range in terms of complexity as well.

Personally, I would narrow it down to these games. Not all of them are my favorites, but they seem like likely candidates based on the overall reception among content creators:

  • #On Mars - I think this is highly unlikely because it's too heavy, but Lacerda games often get listed among the candidates
  • #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion - A successful casual adaptation of the #1 game that sold out immediately after its Target exclusive release. If anything, it's got to be one of the most influential games of 2020
  • #Fort - Not my favorite, but I think it'll likely get mentioned as one of the top 5 games of the year
  • #Forgotten Waters - This one got so much attention as well and has seen great reception in the media world. It also seems to have originality, and that's always a plus to be considered as a game of the year
  • I would've gone for one from Garphill Games here, but I'm not sure how likely it is considering that #Raiders of Scythia is too close to #Raiders of the North Sea (which has performed well in 2019) and #Viscounts of the West Kingdom hasn't seen retail release just yet

What do you think?

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2 months ago

Unfortunately I am always a few years behind on new releases so cannot comment on any of these

2 months ago

I am going to throw a sleeper in there and that is #Canvas. I think it might be a sleeper.  It reminds me a little of #PARKS and has that midrange weight (probably on the lighter end imo) but seems approachable to a common audience.  

Supporter2 months ago

I remember seeing the Kickstarter and thinking that it's a really cool concept. Ohhh still available for late pledge...

2 months ago

lol, I like the search while you type feature ;)

2 months ago

Yes! #Canvas! I'm super excited to get this game in December. Have you played it yet? I know they have a print and play version out, but I feel like that would take away the fun of the clear cards...So I must patiently wait...

2 months ago

No, I haven't played it.  I rarely do print and plays and this one seems better to wait for given the clear sleeves.  I am looking forward to it :)

2 months ago

I think most pople are gonna choose Gloomhaven. I think 2020 has been an overall weak year for new releases compared to some of the recent years. Could be covid? hard to say, but there were good games this year just maybe not the top tier new games we have been seeing year after year after year.

Supporter2 months ago

I personally felt the same, especially while making a direct comparison between last year's catalog. It at least felt like the most popular/widely talked about publishers didn't put out as big of a hit. So while I'm sure there are plenty of publishers that came out with fantastic games this year, it wasn't felt all that much on the media side of things (to me, at least)

2 months ago

What were some of your favorite games from last year?

2 months ago

Maracaibo, Wingspan, Paladins of the west kingdom, Escape Plan, kings dilemma, Glen More II and Aeons End legacy were probably my top releases from last year.

Theres still a few months to go but it seems likely next year will be a bigger year. It could even be publishers pushed releases into 2021 due to covid.

 

 

2 months ago

I've played, and previously owned, Wingspan. I enjoyed it for a time. I haven't had the chance to play any of the other games you listed, but GlenMore II and The King's Dilemma are on my want list.

Supporter2 months ago

I haven't played a ton of those.  Out of the ones I have played I'd vote for either #Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun or #Viscounts of the West Kingdom.

2 months ago

I think I agree with these choices.  I haven't had a chance to play #On Mars but I like the designer and while it's not on my list it's a game I'd love to play someday.  I think #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion might end up winning if the award was given today.  It is a great adaptation of the base game without losing anything and appealing to both experienced players and newcomers alike.  I plan to get #Raiders of Scythia and #Viscounts of the West Kingdom is backed and coming later this year.  As much as I love the series I just don't see these winning any game of the year awards.  

2 months ago

GET OUTTA HERE WITH THAT ON MARS MESS!!!  (ok that was a bit aggressive!)

Out of the list of games you put I would guess Jaws.  For me personally, though I would have gone with #Merchants Cove, but I do not think it will actually deliver till 2021.  Some of the game that I have enjoyed that came out this year are

#The One Hundred Torii 

#Sorcerer City

#Tang Garden

#The Court of Miracles

But I do not think I would call them out as being game of the year...

Out of the games I have actually played this year I think my top at the moment, without deep thought is, Vast: The Mysterious Manor (if that is actualyl a 2020...it might be a 2019)

Anyhow for me the judging should be whatever you like it to be!  Just not voting by members of the site.

 

Supporter2 months ago

In the end, I think my main question is: What's the most popular game of 2020? A game that had everyone talking about it all throughout the year?

2017 had #Gloomhaven, 2018 had #Root, and 2019 had #Wingspan. Which game matches that level of popularity for 2020? At least according to our google analytics, all three of those games hit absolutely huge spikes in traffic that outclassed all others within their respective years. And for this year, I remember seeing #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion having a decent peak during the Target release, but it's still far behind the level of popularity of all those other games in my opinion since in the end, it's a "sequel". And while #Fort is doing well staying within the top 10 most visited game pages and sometimes top 5, it doesn't have that same level of excitement for me.

On another note, I'd really like to try out #The One Hundred Torii and #Tang Garden. Have you reviewed #The Court of Miracles yet?

Edit: Also, if #Nemesis had come out in 2020 instead, I think it would've been the most obvious candidate in terms of popularity (according to the metrics at least)

2 months ago

Think one of those Prospero Hall games might sneak on to some lists due to their mass market nature?

My #The Court of Miracles review posts tomorrow.  I actually enjoyed it enough that I designed an AI for solo play and adding players to low player count games

Supporter2 months ago

A lot of interesting games on the list there but nothing that screams to me "game of the year" for most people. I personally have played none of these so I can't even comment on if there are any good candidates or not. 

2 months ago

I can empathize with playing next to none of these. I own Sorcerer City but it's definitely not a game of the year to me. As everyone else is saying #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion seems the most likely based on accessibility and popularity alone.

2 months ago

Yea, its odd nothing is really popping out as Game of the Year to me, plenty of stuff I experienced for the first time this year, but it is from last year or prior.

I like Sorcerer City, but it is not one that I am constantly thinking about playing.

 

Supporter2 months ago

It all depends what sort of "game of the year" you are asking about. Are you asking for Dice Tower's game of the year? or the Spiel pick? or Heavy Cardboards golden elephant? or something else?

Of course I think that #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion will win a lot of aclaim. As I believe #Fort will.

I am sure that there are other games, not yet mentioned, that will be in the running. But, I feel a little less confident about what games will be in the general running than I have been other years.

Supporter2 months ago

#Fort is a good game but it fell a little flat for me. I suppose I went in with too high of an expectation (or wrong expectations). And as much as I really like the repackaged JoTL, I'm not sure how I'd feel about another version of Gloomhaven taking the win.

Supporter2 months ago

Yeah JotL seems like a good choice. But still nothing sticks out as a game most people would say is the game of the year. 

2 months ago

Of course I'd hope that my personal favorite, #Oceans, would win, I think it hasn't gotten the attention to win. Fort got the hype but I don't know if the reception has been high enough to win it. My money is on #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, with the combination hype, reception, and accessibility.

Supporter2 months ago

I wonder why it hasn't gotten the attention, especially when it raised $700K+ on Kickstarter.

And it seems like the majority vote is JoTL so far haha. I'm thinking of setting up some sort of a sitewide poll going on BGA and BGP to poll a much wider audience.

2 months ago

I don't know why, either. It's so good! I mean it's certainly less popular than JOTL (4600 owners vs 7800 owners on BGG). I wonder if the fact that it's a Kickstarter hurt it in this department. The hype waned over the months people were waiting for it. It wasn't egregious or anything, I don't think there were any delays, but just due to the nature of Kickstarter, people can't get excited and then get just as excited when it starts shipping.

2 months ago

Speaking of Oceans, someone had suggested it to me after my top 25 list was posted. Its predecessor #Evolution was such a flop with us that I dismissed it pretty quickly. Have you played Evolution? I heard Oceans is much less aggressive which I think was our main issue.

2 months ago

Yep, I have Evolution Climate as well as Oceans. I love Evolution, but I do recognize that it can be quite brutal at times. That's a big difference with Oceans. You're still competing for the resources, but it's much more forgiving and less brutal. It's almost impossible to directly make an opponent's species go extinct; aside from a few Deep traits, the only time they can go extinct is on your own turn.

I'd say that while it's definitely competitive and does have attacking, it is less mean overall than Evolution. It feels more puzzley in trying to build robust, self sustaining combos that, once you're able to start playing your Deep cards, will score you tons of points every turn. The way the scoring works does feel a bit more "gamey" and less thematic than it does in Evolution, but I think that overall it's a more fun game to play, which is really the point.

The art is amazing (IMO), and to me the gameplay is super satisfying. It depends on the day, but #Oceans may very well be my #1 game overall.

2 months ago

Interesting...I'll have to check it out more!

2 months ago

Yeah! I love the game, and I want more people to love it, haha.

2 months ago

Speaking of games you seem to enjoy lol, I was doing some research on #Res Arcana because that was also suggested to me. People have to start recognizing I don't need anymore excuses to buy games hahaha. Anyways I think it was you wh