Last year, I wrote what I thought would be true of the state of board games for the year. I’ll talk about those later, but first I want to make some predictions for this year.
Narrative games will continue to struggle
Personally, I just feel that games like Tainted Grail and Etherfields are ‘overcooked’. These games provide so much content during the Kickstarter but seemingly fail to live up to the hype. One of the issues seems to be that the core games ship first and that any issues with the core then seems to bleed through on to the next wave of shipping. I have a feeling that Solomon Kane (if it fulfills) will be a prime example of this – a beautifully polished and illustrated Kickstarter will end up with a game that is just OK.
Solo board gaming will build
As last year was a bumper, I believe that solo games will continue to go from strength to strength. Hell, even Shut Up and Sit Down came around when the lockdowns were in place. More people have realised the potential for solo gaming and the abilities to entertain. I think this will continue to build the hobby in general as well.
The Top 100
Again, as always, there will be movement in the Top 100. I predict that 2020 games like Dwellings of Eldervale, Lost Ruins of Arnak and Dune: Imperium could very well make it into the Top 100 within the first 6 months of 2021.
As for new entries, there are plenty that will make it to Top 100 – Oath, Sleeping Gods, Oathsworn, Iss: Vanguard. However, it will remain to be seen whether some of these bigger projects will make it to fulfillment in time for a 2021 release.
Last year I said:
The release of Blood on the Clocktower, I feel, will be a watershed moment in board game criticism and the line between review, preview and paid promotion.
Well…This one is still a while away, so who knows what is happening at this stage. I do feel that the media industry is growing which is a good thing. But we will see what happens from here, the hype of this game, pre-release, has been massive with a lot of people lauding it. Fulfilling and providing to the paying public is going to show whether there is a bias in media reporting.
BGG Top 100 Gloomhaven will remain at Number 1 with Pandemic Legacy (buoyed by an interest in Pandemics) will stay at Number 2. With it’s quick rise, I see that Brass: Birmingham will make it to Number 3, taking the spot of Terraforming Mars. There will be movement in the Top 10, though there will not be any new 2020 games that make it into this list.
OK, so I hit most of these. However, Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion landed in the Top 10 in late 2020, so there was movement in the Top 10.