Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The most popular games of 2013

Last Friday saw our the last Windsor Gaming Resource event of 2013: our Boardgame Bash! I wanted to take a moment to thank every single one of you who came out to one of our events and made 2013 our best year ever. We've gotten more events in than any year in the past and I've met a ton of new wonderful gamers. Thank you!

The other thing I wanted to do was take a look back at 2013. After every event I gather a list of all of the games played and enter those plays over at www.boardgamegeek.com (awesome site BTW). This lets me see; not only what's been played, but how often each game was showcased at one of our events. Here's the results of that data collection:

The 10 most popular games at WGR events in 2013:

1. Munchkin

I will admit that I'm personally not a big fan of this but if this year's events are any indication, I'm in the minority with that opinion. This one and the next one tied, showing up at 11 different events.

For those who haven't heard of it (I'd be surprised if that's anyone who follows this blog) Munchkin is a pretty simple dungeon crawl parody game full of back stabbing and one upmanship. Kick in the door, kill the monster and steal it's loot. You will have to ask for help along the way but expect a knife in the back from those same friends as you approach level 10 and the win.

2. The Settlers of Catan

This one doesn't surprise me at all. There's a reason The Settlers of Catan is the most well known "Eurogame" in the world - it's a great game. It also introduces a lot of mechanics that players only familiar with traditional roll and move games may not know.

Catan really is a great gateway game and has been the doorway to hobby gaming for many people, myself included. I expect this one to remain popular for years to come.

3. King of Tokyo

The first time I tried King of Tokyo I wasn't a big fan. Yet another push your luck Yahtzee game but with giant Kaiju monsters. Eventually one night at one of our events at Villains Beastro I gave it another shot and found I loved it. I'm  not sure what changed, I think it may have been the expansion that added power ups and differentiated the monsters. Whatever it was, I was glad I gave the game another shot as I've found it to be one of the best filler games out there. I'm always happy to see it come out at our events.

4. Race for the Galaxy

Race for the Galaxy was hugely popular at the beginning of the year. I would receive requests from players week after week to bring this one out. For some reason that popularity died off as the year went on. I don't think this is any reflection on the gameplay of this great game, but rather the amount of great new games that came out in 2013 and people's desire to try new things.

"Race" continues to be one of the most popular card games out there for good reason: it's a fantastic card based 4x game. There's a bit of a learning curve but once you are past that you've got a great strategic game with no one right way to win.

5. Ca$h 'n Gun$

What's not to love about a game where you point foam guns at the fellow players in a virtual Mexican Stand Off?

This one is great for public play events as it's quiet the spectacle. It always gathers a crowd and is responsible for getting the non-gaming public to join in the fun at some of our events. 

You've just completed the bank job of a lifetime. Now it's time to split up the cash. There's no way this is going to go smoothly. The only problem with this game is that it's been out of print for some time.

6. Love Letter

One of the hottest new games of 2012, Love Letter continues to be a WGR event favourite. 

There's a new trend in tabletop gaming and that's a trend towards micro games. Small games that are very portable and easy to explain. The best of them don't sacrifice strategy and gameplay and currently Love Letter may be the best of the best. Though it's looking like Coup may usurp the throne in 2014.

Love letter is a deck of only 16 cards but involves a solid amount of risk, deduction and just a bit of luck.

7. The Resistance

I've always enjoyed the group game Werewolf. We've seen versions of it at a few of our events over the years with Do You Worship Cthulhu? seeming to be the most popular version. That was until The Resistance came out.

This brilliant big group game can handle 10 players. It's a hidden role game that pits The Resistance against the Imperial Spies. The Resistance is trying to complete missions and the Spies are trying to make those missions fail. 

One of the best parts about this game over the Warewolf games is that no moderator is required, so all players get to actually play and enjoy the game.

8. Magic the Gathering

I think we can blame the Cards & Coffee events hosted by Hugin & Munin for this one showing up on the list. Magic has been very popular since it first came out in 1993. The fact that it's on this list 20 years later (oh man I'm getting old), showcases that very well. Magic continues to be the driving force in card gaming and it doesn't look like it's slowing down any time soon.

Build your deck, summon some monsters and cast some spells to defeat the opposing player trying to do the same for you. Over the years this one has evolved a lot of cool and interesting ways to play besides the traditional head to head.

9. Quarriors!

One of the biggest innovation in tabletop games in the recent years was the invention of the "Deck Builder" games where the drafting of cards isn't something you do before the game, but rather it becomes the game itself. 

Quarriors is an interesting twist on this mechanic. Instead of drafting cards you collect dice which you put in your dice bag and pull from every turn.

10. Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age

This one surprised me. I don't remember seeing it out all that often but I guess it was there and I missed it.

Roll through the ages is a very solid Yahtzee like dice game. You roll and then use the resources rolled to build cities, craft wonders and upgrade your technology level. For an even better experience you can download the free Late Bronze Age expansion.

If anyone is interested in seeing all of the games we played at events in 2013 you can check here:

Did your favourite game make the list?


  1. I played a few of these games at the events; and agree there's a lot of fun times.
    My prediction for 2014 is boardgames with holographc dice and robotic genetically encoded playing cards. Well... maybe 2015

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