Here is a list of the top performing game pages on Board Game Atlas and Board Game Prices in mid-April 2020. You can check out the March update here.
Several things for you to keep in mind before you dive in:
- The number or symbol in the parenthesis next to the game title indicates a change in the game page's position relative to the previous month. "-" indicates there was no change, + indicates moving to the top, and - indicates a shift to the bottom.
- Except for some shifting in position, many of the top 50 games manage to stay in this group months on end. However, there are always games that break into this solid lineup by getting a spotlight from notable content creators. Interestingly, 50% of the top 50 games from March have fallen out of the list.
- Other common causes for major shifts are when there's a new game released, when a game is coming back in stock, or when there's a major price drop.
- This is a series of articles that I currently plan to continue for the upcoming months.
Without further ado, here's the list:
1. Gloomhaven (+8)
Frosthaven's Kickstarter is heading toward the $8M mark, and it's no surprise that its predecessor is continuing to see a surge in traffic. Despite being a 22-pound monster of a game both in sheer number of components and its price point, Gloomhaven continues to grab new gamers as well as long time coming interest of those wanting to get in on the original before Frosthaven. Besides, it's one of the top solo games out there and perfect for the shelter in place.
2. Nemesis (-1)
This one has managed to stay in the top 3 since November 2019. If anything, it speaks to the tenacity of those out there still trying to secure a copy.
3. Wingspan (-1)
The mid-April update is filled with card games on the rise, and this is at the head of the pack in Q1 2020. Before you scroll down, can you guess which card games managed to break into the Top 50?
5. The King's Dilemma (-)
As mentioned in the March update, this game entered the spotlight with SU&SD's review in February and is still going strong. Everyone's wanting to get in on the hype and even COVID-19 hasn't slowed it down yet. In fact, there have been a few reports of owners of the game setting up remote sessions to combat the social distancing.
6. Maracaibo (-3)
7. Brass: Birmingham (-1)
8. Mandala (+279)
If you're someone who actively follows SU&SD's videos, this one shouldn't come off as a surprise. Quinns did an absolutely fantastic job of selling these card games to the viewers, and it was my first time feeling so compelled to buy a card game. This sold out like pancakes in a matter of days, and I can see why, considering not just the possibility of a great game at a low player count (given the shelter in place) but also the low price commitment.
9. Caper (+16)
Caper is continuing to climb up the ranks at a rapid pace. And while it was a mystery at the time when I wrote the March update, I finally found the cause.
First, I managed to dig up from our analytics that 95% of the traffic is coming through google searches. Then I found that one of the trending google queries related to Caper is "best two player board games". This search query brings us to the source in question.
"The Strategist" section of the online New York magazine regularly shares various commercial products recommended by "experts," and they published an article titled "The Best Two-Player Board Games, According to Experts" on March 19, 2020. And while this game was included in the article with a direct link to Amazon, our Board Game Price's link is one of the top google search results for "Caper". This perfectly aligns with the date and the trend indicated in our google analytics.
Lastly, the search query for "best two player board games" also brings up an article that was published early this month, and is from another reputable source but with a gaming focus. Here's the article for reference.
10. Tournament at Avalon (+806)
Here's another winner from the previously mentioned video from SU&SD, which made the 2nd biggest leap in rankings in April. Chaotic trick-taking game with variable player powers.
11. Everdell (+5)
12. Root (-5)
13. The Isle of Cats (-3)
14. Great Western Trail (+3)
15. A War of Whispers (-7)
As mentioned in the previous article, this one jumped into the scene after SU&SD's January review. It's been showing signs of a gradual falloff since then. How do you feel about this game that's been dubbed "Game of Thrones in an hour"?
16. Ora et Labora (+71)
This 2011 Uwe Rosenberg game received spotlight when we sent out a newsletter to notify that it came back in stock.
17. Blood Rage (-5)
18. PARKS (-5)
19. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (+32)
Before I get into this, let me share one interesting piece of data. Of the 200K total views on Board Game Atlas alone since the beginning of March 2020, 25% of that traffic was on a simple forum post titled "Good games to play over Zoom," which happened to be at the top of a google search result. Needless to say, COVID-19 and the shelter in place has gamers seeking alternative ways to put together a game night, and this also led to an article I put together a while back.
This brings us to Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. While COVID-19 has been devastating in its effects, one major positive has been seeing how the gaming community has been coming together in solidarity. In particular, Space Cowboys (the publisher) made remote play material available so that those with a physical copy will be able to connect with their friends. Here's their facebook post which has been shared 86 times to date. This game was also featured in The Strategist's article mentioned above.
20. Camel Up 2E (-9)
21. Air, Land & Sea (New)
Here's another underappreciated card game highlighted by SU&SD. And that brings me to this question: After watching the video, which of the card games did you feel compelled to buy the most? Mine was Mandala.
22. Catan (-)
23. Res Arcana (-9)
24. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (+100)
I'm honestly not sure what to attribute this to except for the fact that Frosthaven's campaign is still going on. It's also one of the top anticipated games for 2020 featured on numerous YouTube videos but I've yet to find a single leading source of this jump.
25. The Quacks of Quedlinburg (-10)
26. Bruxelle 1897 (+404)
This is a card game based on the Bruxelles 1893 board game. It was funny seeing all of the pictures of these cards games posted on facebook's The Board Game Group soon after SU&SD's video.
27. Terraforming Mars (-)
28. Tournament at Camelot (New)
Here's the last one. Came out in 2017. This is the base game and the Tournament at Avalon is the standalone sequel.
29. Undaunted: Normandy (-11)
30. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition (+30)
Here's another monster of a game for solo sessions during the shelter in place. Not sure that alone explains where the jump came from though.
31. Azul (+7)
32. The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 (+9)
I wouldn't have expected a social deduction game to be on the rise this month. And looking at the data, that is correct. While the total number of views haven't changed much on this game, many of the games that were above this in March have fallen off.
33. Village (+348)
This game was also featured on a Board Game Prices newsletter to highlight a great sale. I do want to try it out some day just because of its unique take on worker placement.
34. Forgotten Waters (New)
Keep on the lookout for this one. Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower absolutely loves it and it's his favorite pirate-themed adventure game. Rodney Smith of Watch It Played also released a how-to video a few days ago. There's plenty of exposure it's getting to rise to the top 20 in May. If you want it now, it's currently available for pre-order.
35. Scythe (-3)
36. Spirit Island (-3)
37. At the Gates of Loyang (+93)
This was included on a newsletter when it was on sale for $24. Great deal on a game that comes with a fantastic solo option. Placed at #16 on 1 Player Guild's 2019 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games.
38. Orleans (+96)
This was included in the same newsletter. It was at $30. Why did I not get in on this deal??? It always manages to remain in the second tier of my wishlist, but I'd love to try a great bag-builder.
39. A Feast for Odin (+17)
Similar to The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, this game isn't actually trending. The change in position is largely due to the typical hierarchy of the top game pages getting thrown off by multiple factors like SU&SD, newsletters, and the games in the #40-60 range in March being more of a one time trend that quickly fell off.
40. The 7th Continent (-6)
41. Viticulture: Essential Edition (+22)
Although this did see a slight increase in traffic, the big jump is mostly related to the explanations I provided above for A Feast for Odin.
42. Dominion: Menagerie (-7)
43. Arkham Horror: Pallid Mask (+1)
44. Sheriff of Nottingham (+25)
There was a significant spike in traffic on April 8th. There's nothing else worth noting or any media coverage I've seen though. One thing I am aware of is that the 2nd edition is out or is getting released soon.
Oh, and remember how I mentioned about The Strategist's article before? They had another article in late March for "Best Four Player Board Games" that featured this game. While that certainly didn't have any impact on the traffic, I did notice that they listed the price at $146 on Amazon...
45. Pandemic (-24)
Pandemic is frequently mentioned by non-gamer oriented popular blogs that generate tons of traffic. That was the likely reason behind its surge of traffic in March (this was also featured on the article I mentioned above), but it's starting to dwindle down now that more than a month has passed since the release of many of the COVID-19 related articles.
46. Whitehall Mystery (+880)
Another newsletter deal alert.
47. Marvel Champions: The Card Game (-19)
As mentioned in the previous article, it's a Marvel success that broke into BGG's top 100 quite rapidly. It's been gradually slowing down but with these types of games, a new expansion does wonders to bring them back up to the top.
48. Aeon's End (+22)
Similar to Viticulture and A Feast for Odin. It's not seeing more traffic than before. This is at #3 on my wishlist though!
49. Too Many Bones (+49)
Interesting. This actually had an increase in the rate of traffic. I can't find any trace of media influence here though. One thing I did see is that Jeremy Howard (who was featured on The Dice Tower for some of the recent videos) was doing a giveaway for this game. Great solo option I'm sure but an expensive one to get into during these times!
50. 7 Wonders Duel (+52)
This game was featured on the same article mentioned above that included Caper.
And we're done!
Hope you enjoyed the read and please let me know what you think below! Thanks, and stay safe everyone.
- Breaking down SU&SD's influence on game page views.
- May Update for top game pages viewed.