It feels like, with the advent of Kickstarter and the popularity of gaming in general, that the quality is just getting better and better for board games. The year of 2015 is definitely testament to that fact, there were so many good releases that came out that raised the bar of gaming in general that many new players might never play a pre-2015 game and they wouldn’t be the worse for it. So here is my list for the best games that were released in 2015:
Raiders of the North Sea – Shem Phillips really hit it out of the park with this one. This was a bit of ‘Year of the Viking’ and Raiders definitely hit all the marks that I want out of a Viking game. The place and pick up mechanic is genius, and it makes the game flow so well. This is also a game that I can set up and play across an afternoon, swapping turns as each player gets a chance. It’s not so detailed that you have to be sitting over the table plotting, but not so simple that you can just sit back and not plan.
Viticulture: Essential Edition – this is a release from 2015, but as of writing in 2018 it is currently out of stock everywhere and waiting for a new print run. This worker placement of building vineyards is a truly wonderful experience and somewhat relaxing. The Essential Edition adds in a few elements like the Mamas and Papas cards which adds depth to the game. Buy here
Blood Rage – another in the Year of the Viking – Eric Lang’s take on the topic this time. Potentially the king of dudes on a map, Lang, brought us one of the hits of 2015 in Blood Rage. Ragnarok (the end of the world) has come and you must make yourself worthy of entering Valhalla . Some of the coolest miniatures, especially the monsters that you can recruit to your side.Buy here
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 – Pandemic has been a gateway for so many people into this hobby, so it is no surprise that the Legacy version is so highly rated to this day. This counts among many peoples favourite game experiences of all time for good reason.
Tiny Epic Galaxies – This one may not be super high on overall lists, but it was a great experience. A rarity in a game that is just as good solo as it is with friends and add to that the fact that the box is small enough to carry around in a backpack makes this a rare gem in an era of big box gaming.
7 Wonder Duel – this one took 7 Wonders and made it even better. 7 Wonders was already highly regarded, but making a 2 player variant seems to be exactly what the consumer wanted. Head to head across several generations this is a great game for 2.
Honourable mentions – there are a few on this list, that to me just didn’t cut it but were overall fantastic games:
- Kingdom Death: Monster – unaffordable and unobtainable…
- Food Chain Magnate – brilliant, but make a mistake early on and you could well pay for it for the rest of the 3 hour game;
- Zombicide: Black Plague – great addition to the franchise and improved it overall, but just not for me.
What about you, what were your favourite games of 2015? What did I get wrong?