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90 Second Nerd Board Game Preview: The Quest Kids Matching Adventure image
90 Second Nerd Board Game Preview: The Quest Kids Matching Adventure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEfVANi8KhI) [The Quest Kids: Matching Adventure]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Price tracker is matching the wrong games (so getting prices wrong) Like| 4 comments | [+]
Maiden in the Forest - PnP Solo Game by Todd Sanders Like| 5 comments | [+]
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Lots of gaming this week solo and otherwise!

  • #Terraforming Mars (Solo, physical): One of my favourites and the first game I really enjoyed solo.  I played it with just #Terraforming Mars: Prelude as I felt like a more basic game.
  • #Spirit Island with #Spirit Island: Branch & Claw (Solo, Physical): Probably my favourite solo game when I want something meatier.  I enjoy playing with 2 spirits but bumped the difficulty up a bit much and got handily swamped!  Might be time to step it back a bit.
  • #Streets (TTS, Multiplayer): I backed this one on kickstarter.  One of the few games I've backed in a while but I really like Villagers so I figured it was a safe bet.  I enjoyed the game and I think it will get better with repeated plays.  Speaking of Villagers...
  • #Villagers (Solo, Physical x2): It's a nice easy game to setup and the solo play doesn't have too many bits to remember.  Played two games.  Narrowly lost the first one and then finally got my first win in the second game!  The solo play requires a bit different thinking than the multiplayer game which I'm finally starting to get.
  • #Ecos: First Continent (TTS, multiplayer): I quite enjoy this game.  (I enjoy most games where you create a map.)  I was trying to play too strategically to work up to one big scoring card but my plans were repeatedly (and accidentally) thwarted by the other players.  I have to remember to draft more medium level scoring cards and not to get fixated on one goal.  
  • #Trickerion (TTS, multiplayer): First time playing this game and it was super interesting!  We're going to play again next weekend now that we all have the game flow down.  The game makese more thematic sense than some of the other complex games we're tried with a couple of exceptions. Thinking ahead is super important which gave me a bit of a #Lignum feeling to it.  To have a really top score you would want to pick the top level trick you are going to go for from early on in the game.
  • #Take 5 + Take a Number (Physical, muliplayer x2): Had some friends over for a socially distanced night and they quite enjoyed Take 5.  This is turning in to a good investment.
  • #Just One (Physiical, multiplayer): Same friends, same evening, also good fun.  I think this game works best with 5+ players though.  With 4 the danger of 2 people matching creates a lot of really cautious play.

Great week for gaming!

Fun! I like this idea of matching games to GIFs. Here's an easy one...

I don't think it is too broad, I think it just pays to use it in appropriate contexts/situations. I think by being broad it allows you to put across a rough idea of what a game is about or the kind of game you like. However, in another situation it might be more useful to be more specific: you might want to say 'deck-builder' or 'tableau builder' or even more specific you might say 'you build an conveyor belt of tiles which resources travel through and change/multiply to meet certain requirements'. All of these are 'engine builders' but you are matching your description to what the situation demands. 

While not exactly the same it would be akin to calling 'euro game' too broad a term. It is too broad for some situations but just right it others, similarly other descriptions would be too specific in some situations.

Words/phrases are just a way of communicating shared ideas, it is is up to us to use them appropriately. A word, in my mind, can be too anything in the wrong situation.

Excellent, I do like ones where it is likely to change game to game - birthday matching, worst day, hold their breath the longest etc. As then it is a little bit of excitement as you work it out.


I like good expansions that breathe new life into a game or in some way take it to another level, so I don't mind buying more content for a game that I love. If it's a game I simply "like" but don't love, I probably won't buy the expansion. There have been a couple of times when I bought the expansion at the same time as the base game, but that's rare.

Some of my favorite expansions I've purchased:

  • #7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon - takes the game to a whole new level strategically, without adding a ton of new rules. Probably not great for first-time players, but once you're familiar with (or even tired of) the base game, this is excellent.
  • #War Chest: Nobility - really solid expansion that doesn't try to do too much. It turns a weak option into a strong option, and adds some new units that leverage the new mechanism.
  • #Western Legends: Ante Up - you can rob a train. Need I say more?
  • The #Everdell expansions. While on their own, these expansions are merely "good", the mixing and matching I can do with them to get a different Everdell experience based on how we're feeling that day is really fun.

Some middling expansions I've purchased:

  • #Wingspan: European Expansion - it's basically a "more birds" expansion, and I honestly don't feel that it adds a lot to the game. The round end abilities are cool, but I could take or leave this expansion.
  • #Dune: Ixians & Tleilaxu House Expansion - honestly I don't have any specific complaints about this expansion, but I don't feel that it is necessary for our group. While the new factions are awesome (if more complex), there's a ton of gameplay in the base box, especially for a game that will get half a dozen plays per year if we're lucky, and probably closer to 3 plays. Still, it's nice to have these around for when we want to shake things up.

I don't think I have any that I really regret buying. The one that jumps out at me as an expansion I just have zero interest in is #7 Wonders Duel: Agora. It seems like it just adds so much "clutter" to the game, for lack of a better term, and Pantheon brings the base game basically to perfection in my eyes. I have no need for that one.

Hi, I'm just new here. But with $200, I would start building up my Game System collection. I'm mostly into abstract strategy games . . . 

  • In addition, download the Shibumi rule book here: https://nestorgames.com/rulebooks/SHIBUMI_EN.pdf (30 games) but make your own shibumi board to fit the 1" marbles. Or get the Shibumi Set for about $30. You can also play commerically available Pylos / Pyraos with this set.

This is $200 with about 100 of my favorite games.

Other favorites for my next $200 would be: 

  • A Magic Cube (say an MF3RS2) - call it a solitaire game.
  • Hive
  • Set - this is a pattern matching card game, fun for all ages. You can also play Quarto with it.
  • Tantrix
  • Othello
  • Entropy
  • Santorini
  • Quoridor
  • Tak
  • Hex (or rather an 11x11 Hex board, and adding some Go stones)

I haven't played a ton ( #Star Realms, #Fort, plus a bag-builder in #War Chest), but I do enjoy the sense of progression a good deck builder can give you. I also like that in most of them, you can pursue all kinds of different viable strategies. For example, in Star Realms, you can try to build your deck entirely of cards from the blob faction and just try to deal massive damage each turn. Or you can mix in some cards from the blue faction and get some defense in there and try to simply outlast your opponent. Or you can build a deck full of "draw a card" actions and just ping your opponent to death.

I've never really played a deck builder that incorporated a board aside from Fort, and those are just player boards to hold stuff, not a board to navigate. I'd love to give #The Quest for El Dorado a try, as that looks like a light-ish one with a fun theme, so you could probably play it with a wide variety of people.

One that I've got pre-ordered is #Dale of Merchants. This one is neat because, while it's a deck-builder, you also have to deconstruct your deck in order to win. The goal of the game is to be the first to build your 8th "stall", which are stacks of cards from matching suits with values up to your current stall number. So you need to build a stall of 1, 2,3...8. The catch is that you need to pull cards out of your deck to put them into your stall, thereby weakening your deck, and lowering your buying power. Really looking forward to getting this in the mail! I went all in on the pledge with a gift card that I won at work...so I'll have DoM, DoM2, DoM3, and #Dale of Merchants Collection, for a total of 27(?) different decks to mix and match to give tons of variety in play styles.

I also just placed a preorder with my FLGS for #Dune: Imperium, which incorporates deck-building with worker placement and some other really neat mechanisms. This game looks so fun to me. Plus it's Dune.

July - Partial Success - 2/3 objectives completed

Sooo we cheated a bit with this one.  We were thinking about playing a warm up game because we had such a long break, but we didn't really feel like going back and repeating June.  So we decided to play a "no commitments" game of July.  (Which is to say, if we won, we were totally keeping it.)  We had a really good start to the game, at about the halfway point we had 2 of the objectives mostly completed and we had just decided that we were going to keep it when we were hit with a literal storm of cascading incidents and lost the game in one escalation.  I think we put out 5 incidents tokens.  So we quickly went "no no, that didn't happen" and restarted. 

For the team evaluation card we went with:  

  1. Strongly agree that for us to win someone else has to lose.  
  2. We went the opposite way with the hidden information and went with a 3 (neutral) for this question.   

Started the game with one funding so we alwasy pick airlift as our first choice. 

What I think went wrong with this game is that we maybe focused too much on the pursuit objective intitally and we let the agents get away from us.  We went a full round just putting down all the blockade markers and only getting rid of a couple of agents.  So we had a pretty full board of agents that we were barely keeping ahead of.  Plus the agents weren't in places where it was easy for us to travel to with our visas. Couple that with getting really unlucky with our incident card draws and we lose the game in one go.  

So our 2nd game had a much worse start.  We drew an escalation on the first turn.  We decided that we were only going to half-heartedly attempt to do the pursuit objective.  We'd block it off from any points where it would get to a Soviet city quickly and then ignore the rest.  If we had the teams then we'd mop up everything at the end.  (Spoiler, this was fine, except that we forgot that South America goes back up north to Havana.  We blocked the one from Mexico City, and then missed it when it expanded back up later.  So we failed this one. (My question though is that since we succeeded the other two we now move on to Aug.  So we don't get to do it again right?  If we had failed July we'd get a 2nd go at it.)) 

After that we had a decently long stretch between escalations and then we drew two almost back to back.  So we had a not so great start but we managed to pull it off in the end even though almost all the Africa cards were in the bottom of the deck.  We ended up having enough teams that we could put one in 3 different cities at once.  We almost got in trouble with the plague cubes.  We didn't go into any of those cities during the game because lucky us they didn't also have agents in them.  I was all set to finally use my neutral alias which got the plague fighting abilities last game but realized I couldn't get there in time to actually get rid of any cubes what with having to get to a safehouse and switch identities first before I could do anything.  Luckily, we ended the game before any outbreaks could happen.  We actually had 4 or 5 more turns left and one more escalation card in the deck when it ended, which is really good for us.  Usually we are in danger of decking out.   

Interestingly, my scar came into play for the first time this game.  I walked into Sydney to clear out some agents and then didn't realize that I was stuck there.  My scar says I can't walk out of or through the Pacific Rim area.  I ended up having to burn a card to fly out.  The satellites never seemed to be much of an issue.  There were a couple of times when our dispatcher had to move someone out and once when our ever faithful Airlift card got the dispatcher out of a tough spot and across the board to prevent an incident at the same time.  But overall not that much more difficult.   

End game bonuses: (4 pts)

  • My neutral alias that got the plague fighting stuff got a visa.  (Her actual ability is the one where you can reveal 3 cards to find the objective instead of discarding them but we've literally never used that.)  We noticed that it was really hard for me to get to where the plague cubes were especially with having to switch identities.  So hopefully this helps next game.  We also have to start going there earlier.  Can't wait for the cities to get to 3 cubes otherwise I might not get there before the next escalation.   
  • Cargo pilot got a black book (drop safehouse when you discard matching city card).  Her allied alias is the Clinic Planner so she's already used to being our safehouse dispenser.  This just makes her alternate alias more useful.   
  • 2 anti surveillances.  We ended up with all 4 incidents in cities that previously had no surveillance in them.  We considered just spending all 4 points on anti surveillance, but decided to split the difference.   

But hey on the bright side, +1 funding which means we get to keep our Airlift card!  Yay! 


Thanks for the contest and opportunity!

1) Very interested to try GtR, I don't know anyone else who owns a copy.  I've played a number of other games by Chudyk (designer), none of them really stuck with me, but this is the one everyone talks about...and no?  I would not pay $250 for what basically amounts to a large deck of cards.  ;)

2) Game enjoyed the most in 2020:  

Clank! Legacy. By far the best legacy game we have played (see below) and one of the most fun games we've played in general.  So much so, we bought a second copy and did it again.

3) My City.  We...um.  Yeah.  It's a matching the shapes game?  Legacy?  Did not know that going into it.  I was expecting more. We played two chapters, I don't know that we will play more.

4) top 5 games:

1 - Terraforming Mars - it gets played the most, talked about the most, thought about the most.  You know a game is good when the wife says "I'll go set up Terraforming Mars while you make dinner."

2 - Guild Master - KS game that was more than a year overdue, one of the few that was worth the wait.  Good at two, better at 4, great fun.

3 - Underwater Cities - very good.  Sort of feels like TfM, but definitely different, received the expansion earlier this year, it's good.

4 - La Granja - I love this game.  I need to play it more.

5 - Clank! Legacy - played through, got another copy and played it again, already talked about getting another copy in 2021 and doing it again!

Honerable mention:  Everdell, Maracaibo, Firefly the Game, Castles of Burgundy, Forgotten Waters.

Thanks again!


I would probably say #7 Wonders with all available expansions. Just a game that never gets old, works with variety of player counts and mixing and matching expansions would really help replayability!

I agree with most of the commentary below about Wingspan. It's a game I enjoy and really admire it but when I personally think of highly thematic games I don't think it's as good as others. I think the most spot on point is that while some of the mechanics are thematic (predator birds, birds that migrate habitats) plenty are not and it always feels like an engine builder for points rather than running a bird sanctuary. With that said, I think it does a great job setting a fantastic mood for the type of game it is, and the eggs, the wooden dice, the dicetower, the unique bird cards, the art on the player boards etc do a fantastic job of that. I do think it's important to remember what a great place Wingspan exists in in terms of being an inviting gateway game and I believe that how thematic it is is going to depend greatly on what your experience in gaming is up to that point.


I think Wingspan exists in an area of strategy games where the components themselves do a great job keeping it from being a dry game and giving it a mood and then the more the mechanics match the more thematic it feels. I think of #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Agricola (Revised Edition) as games that do a great job of this with both mechanisims and components. I think #Root #Everdell #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods all do a great job setting the scene with their art and then matching it in varying degrees with mechanics. 


I can think of countless "Ameritrash" games that are highly thematic but skill checks often ruin that dynamic for me personally. Even a game like #Forgotten Waters which drips with story and theme after awhile didn't feel like much of a game to me and lost its immersiveness. While still not in my wheelhouse I found #Gloomhaven and #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion to be much more immersive because the card play makes you feel like you are really dictating what happens and controlling your character. Conversely #Scythe was a game where the theme was almost non-existent to me until I played #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and from then on the game was far more thematic in my mind than it had been previously. The most thematic game I've ever played would have to be #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and much like with Rise of Fenris, that experience has made other #Pandemic games feel more thematic just because I have seen how immersive it can be. 


A game that hasn't gotten any mentions yet that I've seen that's both a strategy game and highly thematic, in my opinion, is #Brass: Birmingham the historic accuracy that went into that game is remarkable and it really comes through in the most unique aspect to the game- the sudden switch from canals to rails. The included history of the characters in the rulebook is also a nice touch. I would contrast that with a game that I also love but don't find thematic which is #A Feast For Odin which, in true Uwe fashion, comes with what is essentially an entire book explaining the history that exists in the game but if you never read the book you would never really know and it's dry enough that you really don't need to and it becomes vikings playing tetris.