It’s 2014, a few states legalize recreational pot while even more legalize same-sex marriage, George Clooney marries a beautiful European politician while Kim and Kanye get hitched in Europe, Ellen takes a record-breaking selfie at the Oscars, the internet is captivated by the ALS ice bucket challenge and Jimmy Fallon takes over the tonight show. Even with all this change, the one thing that remains is great board games were put out. Below please find the best board games of 2014.
#20 One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast game in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf…because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win! This party game is for 3 – 10 players and lasts a quick 10 minutes each.
In Panamax each player manages a shipping company established in the Colón Free Trade Zone. Companies accept contracts from both US coasts, China and Europe and deliver cargo in order to make money, attract investment and pay dividends. At the same time the players accumulate their own stock investments and try to make as much money as possible in an effort to have the largest personal fortune and win the game. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 100 minutes.
In Patchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. On a turn, a player either purchases one of the three patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. To purchase a patch, you pay the cost in buttons shown on the patch, move the spool to that patch’s location in the circle, add the patch to your game board, then advance your time token on the time track a number of spaces equal to the time shown. Games last 15 – 30 minutes.
#17 Kanban: Driver’s Edition
Kanban: Automotive Revolution takes place on an assembly line. Players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company. With promotions come advantages at the factory, such as more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must strive to shine next to your peers. This economic strategy game is for 2 – 4 players and takes about 90 – 120 minutes.
#16 Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
The goal of Power Grid Deluxe is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network reaches a predetermined size. Players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they need to power these cities. As power plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, which can be dangerous. Games are for 2 – 6 players and last about 120 minutes.
#15 Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Each player starts as a lowly but hopeful captain of a small starship. Players fly their ships about the system, completing a variety of missions, exploring new sectors and battling other ships. Navigating hazardous environments, players choose to mine, salvage, or trade valuable cargo. Captains vie with each other for Titles, riches, and most importantly Fame. One captain will rise above the others, surpassing mortality by becoming Legend! Games are for 3 – 5 players and last about 1 – 3 hours.
#14 La Granja
In La Granja, players control small farms by the Alpich pond near the village of Esporles on the island of Mallorca. Over time, the players develop their farms and deliver goods to the village. Players are vying to earn the title of “La Granja” for their country estate! Over the course of 6 game rounds, players will expand their farm by adding fields, farm extensions, market barrows, and helpers. For 1 – 4 players, games run for about 90 – 120 minutes.
#13 Arcadia Quest
In Arcadia Quest, players lead guilds of intrepid heroes on an epic campaign to dethrone the vampire lord and reclaim the mighty Arcadia for their own. But only one guild may lead in the end, so players must battle against each other as well as against the monstrous occupying forces. This campaign-based game for 2 – 4 players and games last about an hour.
#12 Castles of Mad King Ludwig
In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria…one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, and now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever. Pieces are drafted amongst all players in this building competition game for 1 – 4 players. Games last about 90 minutes each.
#11 Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Legendary Encounters is a deck-building game where players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of protagonists such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat Xenomorph cards that are added to the central game board. For 1 – 5 players, games last about 30 – 60 minutes.