The Giveaway Geek’s Top 20 Board Games

The Giveaway Geek's Top 10 Board Games

With “hobby” board games continually growing in popularity there is a flood of new games entering the market with the help of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, new publishers are popping up all over the place; it may be overwhelming for people who are new to the gaming world to sift through all the data. There are an innumerable amount of websites dedicated to helping those in need by providing reviews, suggestions and databases, not the least of which is Board Game Geek which was of great help to me when I was introduced to the world of gaming. The Giveaway Geek has been in operation for a while now and has held a lot of giveaways, most of which were for board games and in so doing collected a bit of info about those games, namely which ones seemed to perform better in attracting attention to this site.

Ranked by the number of entrants in each of their past giveaways, I give you:

The Giveaway Geek’s Top 20 Board Games

20. Gold West:

Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have not played.
Play Time: 45-60 Minutes
Players: 2-4
Reviews: Rahdo Runs Through, The Dice Tower, Gameosity Reviews

“In Gold West, players compete as prospectors building their mining empires while vying over the precious metals of the frontier. In a delicate balance of resource management and area control, players must plan their building strategies while carefully managing their supply tracks to refine the right resources at the most opportune times. Stay a step ahead of the competition and you could lead the West into the Golden Age.” – Board Game Geek




19. Royals:

Publisher: Arcane Wonders
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have not played.
Play Time: 60 Minutes
Players: 2-5
Reviews: The Dice Tower, Man Vs Meeple, Dad’s Gaming Addiction

“In Royals, players take on the roles of the great noble houses of the 17th century, fighting for supremacy in Europe at that time. With the help of the right country cards, they occupy influential positions and obtain bonuses for this in the form of victory points. The higher the rank of the title associated with the position, the more country cards required. Already-occupied positions can be contested by playing intrigue cards.” – Board Game Geek


18. Draconis Invasion:

Publisher: KEJI Inc
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have not played.
Play Time: 30-90 Minutes
Players: 1-6
Reviews: Bearded Meeple, Board Game Brawl, Undead Viking Videos

“Battle the dark powers of Draconis in the ultimate medieval fantasy deck-building game.

With over 500 beautifully illustrated cards, Draconis Invasion is a fast-paced strategic deck-building card game for 1-6 players. You and your friends must fight the forces of evil in a beautiful dark fantasy world. Players take the roles of noble Heroes in this 45-minute tabletop game. Defeat vile invaders while recruiting powerful defenders, garnering gold, and completing secret campaigns. However, as the battle rages on, fatigue and fear will begin to take their toll, bringing your soldiers to their knees.” – Board Game Geek


17. Cosmic Encounter:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have not played.
Play Time: 60-120 Minutes
Players: 3-5
Reviews: Shut Up & Sit Down, iSlaytheDragon, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Build a galactic empire… In the depths of space, the alien races of the Cosmos vie with each other for control of the universe. Alliances form and shift from moment to moment, while cataclysmic battles send starships screaming into the warp. Players choose from dozens of alien races, each with its own unique power to further its efforts to build an empire that spans the galaxy.” – Board Game Geek


16. King of Tokyo: New Edition:

Publisher: IELLO
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have played.
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Players: 2-6
Reviews: Board Game Quest, Board Game Reviews by Josh, Nearly Enough Dice

“In King of Tokyo, you play mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens—all of whom are destroying Tokyo and whacking each other in order to become the one and only King of Tokyo.

At the start of each turn, you roll six dice, which show the following six symbols: 1, 2, or 3 Victory Points, Energy, Heal, and Attack. Over three successive throws, choose whether to keep or discard each die in order to win victory points, gain energy, restore health, or attack other players into understanding that Tokyo is YOUR territory.” – Board Game Geek


15. Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition:

Publisher: Bézier Games, Inc.
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do Not Own, have not played.
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Players: 5-75
Reviews: Board Game Game Boards, Mostly Board Games

Ultimate Werewolf is an interactive game of deduction for two teams: Villagers and Werewolves. The Villagers don’t know who the Werewolves are, and the Werewolves are trying to remain undiscovered while they slowly eliminate the Villagers one at a time. A Moderator (who isn’t on a team) runs the game.” – Board Game Geek


14. Codenames:

Publisher: Czech Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Owned, have played.
Play Time: 15 Minutes
Players: 2-8
Reviews: Shut Up & Sit Down, The Opinionated Gamers, Giant Fire Breathing Robot

“Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.

In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.” – Board Game Geek


13. Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game:

Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Owned, have played.
Play Time: 45 Minutes
Players: 1-5
Reviews: Board Game Quest, iSlaytheDragon, Board Game Reviews by Josh

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe. To set up the game, players choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain’s attack cards underneath it, then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain’s particular scheme. Players then choose a number of hero decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included, the hero deck can vary widely in terms of what’s available.” – Board Game Geek


12. Castles of Mad King Ludwig:

Publisher: Bézier Games, Inc.
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have played.
Play Time: 90 Minutes
Players: 1-4
Reviews: Board Game Authority, The Dice Tower, Pocket Tactics

“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, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he’s building while also selling his services to other players.” – Board Game Geek


11. Talisman: The Magical Quest Game, 4th Edition:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight GamesOUT OF PRINT
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Owned, have played.
Play Time: 90 Minutes
Players: 2-6
Reviews: Dean The Adequate, Board to Death Reviews, Undead Viking Videos

Talisman is an adventure board game set in a high fantasy medieval world. Players have 14 characters to choose from all based on role playing archetypes, such as heroes, wizards, villains, thieves, monsters, etc. The game makes players feel they are traveling the world to find equipment, weapons, ancient relics, and companions that will help them on their quest to acquire the Crown of Command. Along the way they visit various locales in the worlds, battle each other and fantastic creatures to make their way to the top.” – Board Game Geek


10. T.I.M.E Stories:

Publisher: Asmodee
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 90 Minutes
Players: 2-4
Reviews: Shut Up & Sit Down

“The T.I.M.E Agency protects humanity by preventing temporal faults and paradoxes from threatening the fabric of our universe. As temporal agents, you and your team will be sent into the bodies of beings from different worlds or realities to successfully complete the missions given to you. Failure is impossible, as you will be able to go back in time as many times as required.” – Board Game Geek


9. Forbidden Stars:

Publisher: Fantasy FlightOUT OF PRINT
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 120-180 Minutes
Players: 2-4
Reviews: Shut Up & Sit Down, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Bell of Lost Souls

“From Publisher – The shifting Warp Storms that surround the long lost Herakon Cluster have finally abated, leaving the ancient treasures and planets within this sector open to the rest of the galaxy. Now, the great factions of the galaxy mobilize their fleets and race to establish a foothold. The reward for successful domination surpasses all other concerns, and the price for conquering this sector will be paid in lives.” – Board Game Geek


8. Lords of Waterdeep:

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Owned, have played.
Play Time: 60-120 Minutes
Players: 2-5
Reviews: The Opinionated Gamers, BoardGaming.comForbes

“Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!” – Board Game Geek


7. Fury of Dracula 3rd Edition:

Publisher: Fantasy FlightOUT OF PRINT
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 120-180 Minutes
Players: 2-5
Reviews: Drive Thru Review, The Dice TowerBoard Game Brawl

“This edition features all-new art and graphic design crafted to complement the game’s intuitive, thematic mechanics. Rounds are now broken into day and night: hunters take actions during both, but Dracula can only act at night. Combat is now more streamlined and decisive, and new rumor tokens allow Dracula to mislead hunters and extend the terrible reach of his influence. Count Dracula triumphs if he advances his influence track to thirteen; if the hunters can defeat him before then, they save the continent of Europe and win the game.” – Board Game Geek


6. Eldritch Horror:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 120-240 Minutes
Players: 1-8
Reviews: Board Game Quest, Superfly Circus, The Dice Tower

“Across the globe, ancient evil is stirring. Now, you and your trusted circle of colleagues must travel around the world, working against all odds to hold back the approaching horror. Foul monsters, brutal encounters, and obscure mysteries will take you to your limit and beyond. All the while, you and your fellow investigators must unravel the otherworldy mysteries scattered around the globe in order to push back the gathering mayhem that threatens to overwhelm humanity. The end draws near! Do you have the courage to prevent global destruction?” – Board Game Geek


5. Pandemic Legacy:

Publisher: Z-Man Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have played.
Play Time: 60 Minutes
Players: 2-4
Reviews: The Guardian, The Dice TowerBoard Game Quest

Pandemic Legacy is a co-operative campaign game, with an overarching story-arc played through 12-24 sessions, depending on how well your group does at the game. At the beginning, the game starts very similar to basic Pandemic, in which your team of disease-fighting specialists races against the clock to travel around the world, treating disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.” – Board Game Geek


4. Star Wars: Imperial Assault:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have played.
Play Time: 60-120 Minutes
Players: 2-5
Reviews: The Kotaku Review, Polyhedron Collider, The Board Game Family

Imperial Assault puts you in the midst of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire after the destruction of the Death Star over Yavin 4. In this game, you and your friends can participate in two separate games. The campaign game pits the limitless troops and resources of the Galactic Empire against a crack team of elite Rebel operatives as they strive to break the Empire’s hold on the galaxy, while the skirmish game invites you and a friend to muster strike teams and battle head-to-head over conflicting objectives.” – Board Game Geek


3. Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 120-180 Minutes
Players: 1-5
Reviews: Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ars Technica, Rare Horror

From PublisherMansions of Madness: Second Edition is a fully cooperative, app-driven board game of horror and mystery for one to five players that takes place in the same universe as Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign. Let the immersive app guide you through the veiled streets of Innsmouth and the haunted corridors of Arkham’s cursed mansions as you search for answers and respite. Eight brave investigators stand ready to confront four scenarios of fear and mystery, collecting weapons, tools, and information, solving complex puzzles, and fighting monsters, insanity, and death. Open the door and step inside these hair-raising Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. It will take more than just survival to conquer the evils terrorizing this town.” – Board Game Geek


2. Star Wars: Rebellion:

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 180-240 Minutes
Players: 2-4
Reviews: Ars Technica, Polygon, The Kotaku Review

Star Wars: Rebellion is a board game of epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance for two to four players!

Experience the Galactic Civil War like never before. In Rebellion, you control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. You must command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to your cause. Given the differences between the Empire and Rebel Alliance, each side has different win conditions, and you’ll need to adjust your play style depending on who you represent” – Board Game Geek




1. Scythe:
Scythe

Publisher: Stonemaier Games
Ryan’s Owned/Play Status: Do not own, have not played.
Play Time: 90-115 Minutes
Players: 1-5
Reviews: The Board Game Family, The Dice Tower, GeekDad

“It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory”, which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries.

Scythe is a Worker Placement/Economic Engine board game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor. In Scythe, each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europa who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction’s stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.” – Board Game Geek