- Action / Movement Programming
- Action Drafting
- Action Point Allowance System
- Action Queue
- Action Selection
- Added Mechanics
- Area Control
- Area Enclosure
- Area Majority/ Influence
- Area Movement
- Auction: Dutch
- Automatic Resource Growth
- Bag Building
- Campaign / Battle Card Driven
- Card Drafting
- Card Placement
- Catch the Leader
- Chit-Pull System
- Command Cards
- Commodity Speculation
- Communication Limits
- Cooperative Play
- Crayon Rail System
- Cube tower
- Deck Building
- Deck Constructing
- Delayed Purchase
- Dice Building
- Dice Movement
- Dice Rolling
- Dutch Auction
- Dynamic Currency
- End Game Bonuses
- Engine Building
- Feeding Workers/Characters
- Force Commitment
- Grid Coverage
- Grid Movement
- Hand Management
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Hex and Counter
- Hexagon Grid
- Hidden Movement
- Hidden Objective
- Hidden Roles
- Hidden Traitor
- Hidden Victory Points
- I Split, You Take
- Increased Value of Unchosen Resources
- King of The Hill
- Line Drawing
- Line of Sight
- Lose a Turn
- Map Addition
- Map Reduction
- Modular Board
- Movement Points
- Narrative Choice
- Network and Route Building
- Once per game ability
- Order Fulfillment
- Paper and Pencil
- Pattern Building
- Pattern Movement
- Pattern Recognition
- Pick-up and Deliver
- Player Elimination
- Point Salad
- Point to Point Movement
- Pool Building
- Press Your Luck
- Random Production
- Ratio / Combat Results Table
- Real Time
- Relative Movement
- Resource Gathering
- Role Playing
- Role Selection
- Roles with Asymmetric Information
- Roll / Spin and Move
- Roll and Write
- Scenario / Mission / Campaign Game
- Score and Reset Game
- Secret Unit Deployment
- Set Collection
- Simultaneous Play
- Simultaneous action selection
- Skill with a Doubling Cube
- Social Deduction
- Solo / Solitaire Game
- Square Grid
- Stacking and Balancing
- Static Capture
- Stock Holding
- Sudden Death Ending
- Tableau Building
- Take That
- Targeted CLues
- Targeted Clues
- Tech Trees / Tech Tracks
- Tile Placement
- Time Track
- Tower Defense
- Track Movement
- Tug of War
- Turn Board Game
- Turn Order: Auction
- Turn Order: Claim Action
- Turn Order: Pass Order
- Turn Order: Progressive
- Turn Order: Random
- Turn Order: Roll Order
- Turn Order: Stat-Based
- Variable Phase Order
- Variable Player Powers
- Variable Setup
- Victory Points as a Resource
- Worker Placement
- Worker Placement with Dice Workers
Popular Variable Player Powers Board Games (Mechanic)
Random thought: Is there a unique feeling or experience that certain mechanisms tend to draw out from players? or does it entirely depend on how the designer wields that mechanism? If each mechanism does drive a unique type of feeling, is there a certain compatibility or non-compatibility between different mixture of mechanisms?
For example, let's take worker placement. This mechanism typically involves players having a group of workers they can allocate to different action spaces on the main board. Each worker completes a task for you to build your empire toward a common goal.
- It's evocative of a managerial role. There's a sense of control, organization/structure, and efficiency.
- The player's role is also one step back in terms of the degree of personal attachment to what's happening. The events in the game directly affect your workers, which then affects you as the "manager". The workers are a bit of a means to an end, I'm afraid.
Variable Player Powers and Asymmetry
Let's do one more, taking variable player powers and maybe even asymmetry. Like the name suggests, this involves giving each player an entirely different power he/she can utilize throughout the game, and typically assigns each player a unique character or faction. In the case of asymmetry, it's basically variable player powers, except with added chaos where each character or faction plays by its own rules.
- There's a greater sense of attachment to your character because it has a unique identity.
- In the case of asymmetry, you even end up thinking in the same mindset of that character or faction. This leads to players feeling naturally inclined to playing a specific character because it resonates with their personality and playing style.
- As a consequence, game events that impact your character also feel more personal. Will get into this more in the following section.
Case Study: Atlantis Rising 2nd Edition
The reason I bring this up is because of Atlantis Rising 2E. It's a great co-op game and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But, there was one little part that bothered me just a tiny bit—lack of your own personal character—and I think it's mostly due to the combination of worker placement and variable player power mechanisms at play.
I had read before that some people claim this game to be Forbidden Island "but better" in every single way. And while I agree that Atlantis Rising is an excellent game with nail-biting tension, it was lacking in the character department, which is funny to say because in comparison, Forbidden Island's character cards barely have any character. It simply shows scuba diving gear for the "Diver," a helicopter for "Pilot," or a compass for a "navigator," and so on. Certainly not like these beautiful Councilor player boards illustrated by the amazing Vincent Dutrait.
This is where I felt slightly misled by those who claimed this game to be "Forbidden Island but better". Let's compare:
- Variable player powers - Each player takes on a role within a team of a navigator, pilot, diver, and other rather generic individuals. Each character comes with its unique power such as increased mobility or the ability to "shore up" the flooded island tiles at a faster rate.
- Point-to-point movement - Each player moves one character around the island tiles that are flooding away at an alarming rate. You are desperately trying to maintain foothold while collecting ancient treasures to escape the island.
Atlantis Rising 2E
- Variable player powers - Each player takes on the role of an Atlantean Councilor. Similar to Forbidden Island, the Councilors have unique, powerful abilities that encourage making cooperative decisions in order to construct the Cosmic Gate and lead their fellow Atlantean citizens to safety.
- Worker placement - Unlike Forbidden Island, players control not just the Councilor (the Leader worker), but also have numerous Atlantean followers to place on the board to retrieve crucial resources. Similar to Viticulture, the Councilor is like your Grande worker—a special worker you reserve to maximize your benefits. Players place their Councilors and their followers on the board to gain actions, but they're not able to complete their actions if the island tile ends up flooding away. When this occurs, the workers at the flooded tile simply go back to your supply of workers and just can't be used for the current round.
Going back to our look at the two mechanisms—worker placement and variable player powers—there's a tension between the feelings they create in Atlantis Rising 2E. In return for rewarding the players with a more strategically satisfying gameplay where you manage not just your character, but also another set of workers, your character takes a backseat and becomes a part of the puzzle. It's not the main character and is instead a stat booster to help other workers' probability of success for gathering materials for the Cosmic Gate. And when disaster strikes and an island tile that your workers are standing on floods away, it's a shame that you've lost your workers and/or your Leader for that round, but you'll have them right back for the next. This isn't to say that Atlantis Rising 2E doesn't have tension. In fact, it has plenty of brutal moments but the case I'm trying to make is that the characters have a bit of hollowness to them in comparison to the nice chrome.
On the other hand, Forbidden Island is a much simpler game with a small decision space and little ways to mitigate bad luck. But, it has one thing that it does really well—immersion. You and your friend feel like you're on the island. You feel like you're the diver of the group. You can feel the danger in a way that's more personal. In comparison, the danger you feel in Atlantis Rising 2E is not the safety of your character, but the end goal getting disrupted. There's a difference.
Again, I want to be clear. Atlantis Rising 2E is a great co-op game that deserves your attention if you love Pandemic-esque type of games. But as someone who tends to overthink and ponder these things while taking a drive, it's interesting to think about how mechanisms might play a heavy hand in shaping our feelings during gameplay.
With that said, what do you think about my thoughts? And what sort of feelings do you think are created by other mechanisms such as rondel, drafting, hidden movement, or others? Let me know in the comments below!
Unlike what the title suggests, Atlantis Rising 2nd Edition (2019) is a co-operative worker placement game in which players must band together to save their fellow Atlanteans from certain doom. The island of Atlantis is sinking and facing the wrath of the gods for turning toward technology over worship of its deities, and it's a race to the finish to gather all the necessary resources to build the Cosmic Gate and transport the civilians to safety.
Unboxing Atlantis Rising 2E
- (+) The production is absolutely superb. It was my first time opening up a box and seeing a plastic cover over the top. First of many clues indicating there's a lot love poured into this game.
- (+) Gorgeous illustrations by Vincent Dutrait, undoubtedly one of the top 5 illustrators in the industry.
- (+) Fantastic insert that addresses common pitfalls. There's a finger slot for accessing cards. The hole is deep enough so that you don't have cards floating around. The housing area for the main tiles have another small indent at the bottom for smaller cardboard tokens. Intuitive organization for ease of teardown. It's clear the publisher has given plenty of thought on how to efficiently house each and every single part of the components, and I appreciate that.
- (+) I might be wrong but the resources (ore, gold, and crystal) seem to be made of the same material but just have different finishes. This isn't a complaint but a praise on the attention to detail to mimic the material type without just doing a simple color swap. The mystic energy (blue marbles) and atlantium metal have good weight to them that make them feel satisfying in your hand. The quality of these components won't leave you feeling like the deluxe version was a must-have, and that's a win for your wallet.
Barriers to Play
- (+) A great insert goes a long way to mitigate setup/teardown time, and this is a fantastic insert. My recent acquisition of Clans of Caledonia, on the other hand, is more like "Here's everything, good luck!"—let's save this talk for a future review of Clans though.
- (+/-) Rulebook is okay. Not the best, but it does its job to address most of the "How about when..." type of scenarios in your head.
- (+/-) The biggest timesink is laying out the tiles for your island. If you're an animal who just likes to throw all the tiles back into the housing without any sort of organization... well that's really on you. I recommend saving time for future plays by stacking the tiles of matching peninsula and house them in order of setup. There could've been more clarity on which peninsula corresponds with each side of the hexagonal center, but that would've likely required sacrificing a bit of the artistic integrity.
- (+) There's a bit of resemblance to Forbidden Island (2010), which requires players to collect ancient treasures and escape on a helicopter before the island's doom. The major difference is that Forbidden Island employs set collection/hand management while Atlantis Rising throws in more complexity into the mix with a worker placement mechanic. Fans of Forbidden Island wanting "Forbidden Island but more" will likely love Atlantis Rising 2E.
- (+) Thematic ties - Atlantis' resources are widely extracted close to the heart of the civilization but are largely untapped toward the outer end of the peninsulas. This means your workers have greater likelihood of acquiring resources at the outer end of the island tiles, but this also makes them vulnerable to suffering misfortune before carrying out its duties (the success of acquiring a resource is determined by a die roll, where the further you go out to the edges, the lower the minimum required die value for success).
- (+/-) There's a lot of luck here—dice rolling for success in acquiring resources, and rounds with absolutely devastating Misfortune card draws or just a calm before the storm. I personally enjoy the thrill of the unknown and story-worthy moments behind "lucky games," and my wife and I love the tension just before revealing a card draw.
- (+) Remember the "blue marbles" I mentioned in a previous picture? Well these mystic energy are your main method of luck mitigation. Spend 1 or more to add 1 value each to your die roll, spend 1 to keep helpful cards from the library that will grant helpful immediate or persisting effects, spend 4 to place mystic barriers along peninsulas to take the hit when there's a flood, or spend 5 to unflood an island tile. Not having these defenses in place will make you feel like the game is beating you when you're down.
- (+) Unlike Pandemic, where players move point-to-point on a map and must resolve problems in their respective areas, a round in Atlantis Rising goes like this: (1) you place your workers on any island tile, (2) suffer misfortune, (3) take actions and move the workers back to your pool, and (4) endure the wrath of the gods. In a given round, any of the players have the liberty to try and acquire certain types of resources, build one of the Cosmic Gate Components, or provide protection by setting up mystic barriers or unflooding tiles. Because many of these actions essential toward the common goal can be accessed by any player in a given turn, this should decrease the likelihood of quarterbacking, in which a player tries to call the shots and tells everyone the "right" moves.
- (+) The rulebook presents 5 different variations of difficulty, which adjusts the complexity of the Cosmic Gate Components (there are 21 total but you select 9 of them to play with), changes the number of "Calm Seas" and "Controlled Flood" cards in the Misfortune deck, and changes the player's starting number of mystic energy.
- (+) Variable player powers - there are 10 different Councilors you can play as (e.g. Artificer allows the player to place the Leader worker on an unbuilt component's action space).
- (-) The character powers aren't exciting. At least, not in comparison to those you'd see in games like The Voyages of Marco Polo. And to be fair, such dramatic powers are probably not needed or fitting in a game like Atlantis Rising, but the characters feel more like stat boosters/luck mitigation tools with a pasted on theme.
- Atlantis Rising 2E is great if you're looking for a solid alternative after years of playing Pandemic.
- This is a must-have for fans of Forbidden Island wanting something "more" in your decision space.
- Fantastic production with great table presence.
- Highly luck-based elements but comes with various ways to mitigate them.
- Great replay value with crushingly tough difficulty levels.
Now that Trent's publicizing my logged plays page everywhere, some of you noticed that I already got a play in for this game!
To be honest, I've been hesitant to do a write-up on this because I couldn't quite put my finger on how I feel about this game. I thought about getting a solo session in before I do it justice, but I think it's fine since it's not a full review after all. So here are my first impressions after one 2p game with my wife, where we played as the factions with the lowest complexity (as recommended by the rulebook).
1. Pre-Game Experience
(+) Charming theme and presentation - It's cute, and I mean that in a good way. Just about everything inside the box has a charm about it, from the unique resource tokens to all of the unique card art across the 6 different factions. Many of the illustrations have the type of humor that I tend to like using in my own art too.
(+) Great insert - Of all of the games I own, the ones with the best insert so far are this game, #Atlantis Rising (second edition), and #Camel Up (second edition). Easy access to all components, finger slots for pulling out the tray that holds all resources, and labels to help you figure out how to put everything back. This all means short setup and teardown time.
(-) Rulebook - It's laid out pretty well, but it's definitely not the best I've seen. I feel like it tried to present all of the info in the most streamlined way with as few pages, but in the process lost out on the details that would be helpful. For example:
- Each faction has a unique faction marker (used for keeping track of VP's) and ship token (used for the sailing action). The rulebook doesn't have a "key" that shows which belong to which faction. These tokens have a unique art, and in the case of the ship token, a unique shape as well, but it's just one little detail that would've been helpful (this key was later provided in the online FAQ).
- I felt confused on its usage of terminologies like location and field for referencing different card types, and also felt that the terminology wasn't the most intuitive (they weren't used consistently either, as mentioned in the FAQ), so whenever it used those words throughout the rulebook, it was slightly difficult to follow. And perhaps its just a nature of a card-driven game with lots of unique cards, but there's a need for additional clarity on its abilities sometimes. This is also provided in their FAQ, which I referenced a few times throughout the play.
(+/-) The Teach - I personally had a harder time teaching this in comparison to a game like #Viticulture: Essential Edition. Empires of the North is definitely on the simpler side when it comes to its gameplay, but I think the nuances of the card usage added to its difficulty to teach (which was still quite easy). This was one game that I didn't test out ahead of time before teaching my wife, so I'm sure that added to it as well.
2. The Game - Each round is broken up into 4 phases: Lookout, Action, Expedition, Cleanup
- Lookout - Get additional cards into your hand
- Action - Play or activate cards to get resources and convert them into points. Set off your ships on a sail to pillage/conquer islands
- Expedition - Resolve your ships that went sailing
- Cleanup - Un-exhaust all activated cards, get your workers back, etc.
- Fast turns and great combos - The majority of your gameplay time is spent on the Action phase, where you have a choice of 4 different actions. It's a quick back and forth between you and your opponent where you're improving your engine and maximizing your resources by chaining your actions so that you can extend the number of turns without passing this phase. The action wheel at the center is the crux of your strategy because placing your action pawn in one of these tiles grants you more powerful moves (e.g. constructing a card without paying the cost). The catch is that you only have two pawns that can each be used twice at most. If you place a pawn on one of the actions, you can use it again in a later turn by moving it to and activating an adjacent tile by spending one food token. It's an elegant touch that presents you with an interesting decision space. I do think it falls apart in terms of thematic connection though, which I don't mind. The combos build up fairly quickly so this phase will get longer and longer with each round. With experience and knowledge of the cards, I can imagine finishing this game in an hour after 4-5 rounds.
- I especially like how rewarding it is to pillage or conquer an island.
- I always love variable player powers and Empires offers 6 flavors! We tried out the factions with the lowest complexity so I'm looking forward to seeing how the other factions will change up the game. In line with this, I could definitely see why others have commented that the game feels like it's "on rails," where it seems to put players on a set path in strategy. I can't disagree with that at all, but I also feel like just as players typically make a decision in the beginning of the game on which strategy they will go for, Empires would have players making this decision in their choice of faction.
- I have a feeling that Empires will be a great solo game, likely even better than multiplayer.
- This game currently falls in the same category as my first impression of #Architects of the West Kingdom, where it wasn't love at first sight. They're both a race to the finish line with little tension where you're mostly focused on building up your combos, gaining resources, and scoring VP. Except, I like Architects a lot more in this area because it gives you what to aim for. Architects awards VP's for contributing to the construction of the cathedral or building structures by gaining a specific set of resources, which is often challenging and unique in its teeter-tottering of the virtue track. For Empires of the North, the main method of gaining VP's is by activating card abilities and conquering islands. It's less about accomplishing difficult tasks, but more about triggering the right card abilities in order and building up your engine with the right cards. Granted, there are some cards in the deck that seem to reward big points. For example, my clan's deck is heavily focused on expedition, and has cards that reward you lots of points based on the number of islands you've conquered. It also has cards with permanent features like giving you a VP every time you pillage an island. To sum it all up, Empires is a lot more focused on engine-building and achieving a consistent flow of VP's, while Architects is better at giving you sense of accomplishment that's more grounded in reality (due to difficulty, lots of points, and because the type of structure built affects your virtue positively or negatively).
- Very low interaction. The game does offer a way to interact with your opponent. The primary way is by using raze tokens, which can be spent to exhaust one card in your opponent's empire so that it throws off their combos. The game doesn't encourage this usage all that much though because unless you're playing as the clan I played as, raze tokens are harder to generate and they're valuable resources for conquering islands that reward you lots of resources or great powers if constructed. I never used these to ruin my wife's combos because I don't like mean plays especially when it's a 2p game.
- Tied to the first point is that this game seems to be best played with 2p. You're presented with so many choices in the number of actions that you're mostly focused on your own tableau the whole time, and having AP prone players will bump up the gameplay time too much. I think the Action phase will last way too long at higher player counts.
- Thematic ties. The game definitely has thematic ties because it has players expanding their empire, collecting resources, pillaging and conquering islands, etc. My issue is that in the end, despite all of the really nice illustrations, it felt like it all disappears into thin air sometimes. I found myself focusing mostly on building the right combos and paying attention to the effects of the cards that the cards/buildings became just one piece of the puzzle I'm putting together, instead of feeling like a "structure" that I've added onto my empire. I asked my wife for her thoughts after the game, and while she liked the game and had fun, one of her comments was that she wished it had a board, or some building components like in Catan or Viticulture. She likes to have a sense of progression and accomplishment when she looks at the board state, and for Empires, she felt like it was just a lot of cards in front of her. This also made me wonder if tableau builders may not be the right fit for us, but I thought of two exceptions. (1) #Wingspan is also low in interaction, but I like its satisfying chain-building and how it lays out three engines to focus on: food, eggs, bird cards. This brings organization that helps players focus on tuning their engine and even having the leisure to enjoy the fine details of the art and flavor text, whereas Empires relies on the players to come up with their own method of establishing order. (2) #Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is another example. The cards feel like actual structures because you have to spend workers to build them. They can also be upgraded to a more advanced structure to improve production. There are also religious buildings that provide "smiles" to increase contentment among your workers instead of them stirring up a riot, and many other examples.
To be clear, I like the game, but I didn't love it. I'm still very interested in exploring the other factions and see if it changes my opinions. And just as I ended up loving Architects for its solo play after my first impressions, I'm hoping the same will happen to Empires too!
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.
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