Here is a list of the top performing game pages on Board Game Atlas and Board Game Prices in March 2020 (for those who aren't aware, we acquired boardgameprices.com late last year and have since been combining our efforts to become the best community with forum discussion, latest game data and price comparison).
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.
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. I am working on an update for April and it's filled with surprises due to COVID-19 and its social implications.
The winner of the 2019 Kennerspiel des Jahres. Superb productions, obviously, but I especially like how accessible it is and its ability to draw new people into the hobby. There are enough strategical elements to satisfy gamers of all level too.
First with Railroad Ink, and now with King's Dilemma, Horrible Guild (the publisher) continues to strike the right chord with SU&SD. Jumping +171 in position from January to February, The King's Dilemma lives up to its hype and is still going strong as we enter the second week of April. Do you think this will stay among the top 20 games visited in the upcoming months?
My personal favorite. It's one of the most divisive games out there with those who love it vs. hate it. Either way, Leder Games has produced a game that won't be leaving the group of top 10 most visited game pages anytime soon (I may have to eat my words for April though, I started gathering data for the next article and there are numerous games that are shaking up the hierarchy).
Maybe all of the people who have been on the edge are finally jumping on board before Frosthaven fulfills? Or maybe it's the mentality of catching up on on all of the movies you missed out on so that you can properly appreciate the sequel. It may also be a sign of people preparing for their shelter in place with a game that is sure to last.
Chaotic fun that fully relies on luck and intuition. Despite having been out of stock for the longest time, it continues to remain as one of the top 30 most visited game pages. I just had to snag a copy when there was a reprint early this year and it was great fun for the family.
You may be surprised to see this here but it's fairly consistent in its staying power to remain in the top 100. And unlike BGG's main audience, BGP's audience covers a much wider spectrum that includes new and casual gamers.
This may be a sign of a fall off after the huge publicity it's received from placing on several media personalities' "top games" lists, including Zee Garcia of Dice Tower placing it at his #2 game of all time in 2019. The April update I'm working on currently indicates a big drop off below #50 position.
Zero traffic in December 2019, entered the fray at #238 in January 2020, went off the map again in February, and it's now back at #25. It's a bit of a mystery, but one thing I'm aware of is that Zee placed this as his #22 on Dice Tower's Top 100 Games of All Time 30-21, which likely explains the bump up in January. This still doesn't explain Caper's jump onto #25 though.
The Marvel formula continues to see commercial success. Despite being in its early years, this card game quickly broke into BGG's Top 100 games after receiving praise from numerous media outlets. It's been showing signs of slowing down ever since it fell out of top 10 most visited games in the past months (and looks like it's taking a significant dip in April), but it's making up for it with new expansions that are starting to break into the top 50's.
This expansion unlocks the solo and co-op potential for Root lovers to get in more plays. Wasn't on the map even as far back as December 2019, but emerged starting February at #128 spot. Likely boosted by Leder Games' announcement for pre-orders starting late March.
By now, you should be able to pick up that almost all monumental leaps in traffic is caused by SU&SD. After staying in the #200-300 mark for months, it has landed on #36 after SU&SD's review and receiving their "Recommends" badge. I can't comment on the gameplay, but you know Oliver Barrett has done an amazing job on the art if he can make you wish each of these unexpected legends had a comic book of their own.
This expansion was out of stock for a while, so it may be the result of people coming to check its availability. Another likely reason is that people are naturally looking this up after news of pre-orders available for The Underworld and The Clockwork Expansions. By the way, if you haven't noticed, the base game and all expansions for Root are now placing in the top 50 game pages visited.
I've only looked as far back as December 2019, but despite all of the controversy, it has remained within the top 40 most visited game pages. It does seem like it will experience a drastic drop in April though. It's currently placed at #130 mid-April (I will be coming out with the April update hopefully this coming week!)
Simple but a solid entry-level engine-builder. The only explanation I can think of is that there was a major price drop, but that doesn't seem to be the case when I look at the historical price data on our game page.
My best guess is the same as the one I provided for Pandemic above. I can also see there was a significant price drop in March. A more creative guess is that people are getting in on legacy games before the shelter in place. Interestingly, this has gone out of stock starting April and is only available at second hand markets.
I can't point to any media coverage that would've done this. From looking at its price history, there doesn't seem to have been a major price drop. SU&SD covered this 5 months ago so it's not the likely cause either. Would love to get in on polyamino tile games but I think The Isle of Cats will be my first.
Yet another game reviewed by SU&SD. It didn't earn a "Recommends" badge but Matt stated that "it's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be a 10/10 for you to really enjoy it". The exposure alone dragged this game to the top 10 most game pages visited after their December review. Since then, it's been showing signs of a gradual fallout.
I suspect this fallout is caused by the shelter in place all over the world. It certainly isn't the best game to get into at the moment since it requires a higher player count. Speaking of which, is there a recent purchase you've made that you're dying to get to the table but can't for similar reasons?
Viscounts of the West Kingdom's Kickstarter launched in the beginning of March. It's the last game in the West Kingdom trilogy from Garphill Games. The Kickstarter also offered the Tomesaga which attempts to tie in all three games for an epic campaign.
An old social deduction game from 2005, it has managed to stay in the top 60 games viewed as far back as December 2019 (I haven't looked past that). Like many other games that require higher player counts, this game is also experiencing a drastic falloff in April (currently placed at #138).
And we're done! In the beginning, I had planned to end this at #100, but it felt like too much for me and for the readers to go through. But I do plan to continue this series in the future if there's interest. I already have data compiled for a mid-April update and let me tell you, COVID-19 and the shelter in place has thrown everything out the window.
Hope you enjoyed the read and let me know what you think below! Thanks, and stay safe everyone.
April Update for top game pages viewed.
Breaking down SU&SD's influence on game page views.
Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) 2020 Nominees Announced
And the results are in! The nominees for the most prestigious annual award in the board game industry was announced yesterday on May 18. You're probably familiar with most of the games in the Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur-Enthusiast) category but maybe not so much for the other categories. Either way, check out the nominees and see how your predictions lined up.
(Spoiler: The runner-ups that didn't make the cut were Paladins of the West Kingdom, Res Arcana, and Underwater Cities. Plus, one particular nominee is building up a major success story for publisher Horrible Guild, first scoring big points from SUSD and now this! Can you guess which game I'm referring to?)
Wait... There are Editors for Rulebooks?
I'm not sure why that thought never occurred to me until about 6 months into the hobby and after having cracked open numerous rulebooks. But, it makes perfect sense. One of the biggest barriers to entry in this hobby is bound to need fine-tuning. So I took some time to interview Joshua Yearsley, editor extraordinaire whose portfolio includes working with Leder Games on Root and Oath.
Here are some cool projects we're helping to spread the word. First, we have AdapTableTop which has tripled its total fund in just a week. If you need a modular solution to expand your limited tabletop space while also preventing food hazards, make sure to check out the campaign. And if anything involving "tile placement," "area control," or cool dark fantasy art checks off any of your interests, you should take a look at Obsidia before the campaign ends in two days. If anything, you can try it out for free on Tabletop Simulator.
"The world's first good look at Raiders of Scythia, the re-imagining and reinvention of the classic Raiders of the North sea from Garphill Games. This is what a new version should be, trimmed down, tuned up and full on. Check it out" - J from 3 Minute Board Games
If you're a fan of Garphill Games' trilogies, worker placement mechanic, or just love finding out about new board games, take a look! And it'll only take you 3 minutes. Initially, I thought it would be a hard sell to those who already own Raiders + Expansions, but the comment section seems to prove otherwise, at least not to the degree that I imagined.
Small World meets World of Warcraft! These types of games are so tempting because they play on the nostalgia factor. Thankfully, I played Starcraft. Now, if someone makes a compelling Final Fantasy or Smash Ultimate board game, that may be my first time forking over more than $100, or even backing a Kickstarter.
Thanks for the read! Trent is continuing to pump out new features one after the other so please give us tons of feedback. I'd especially like to hear how you like the improved play log feature and your gallery. Also, keep on the lookout for a cool new feature for the home page that will help you stay up to date with what your closest friends on Board Game Atlas are up to!
There's an AMA with SJ Macdonald happening right now so join in on the fun if you're interested! If you don't have a reddit account and wish to ask a question, comment your question below and I'll try to pass it off.