The best time to write a most anticipated board game list for 2021 was at the start of the year, the second best time is today. So let’s get into it and discuss all the upcoming board games I’m personally looking forward to.
There’s no easy way to say this, but I am a simp for Level 99 games.
They are one of the only 3 companies left who I trust to make board games that tickle my every erogenous zone. I will always check out their board games, and more than likely always buy their board games.
Bullet ❤ is from Kickstarter last year, they’ve tried to emulate a bullet hell style game. Where bullets are streaming down a ‘screen’ towards your character, and you’re trying to create patterns and spend action points to stop them. All on a 3 minute timer.
Spoiler: it arrived last week, and I’ve already played it a few times. You can read my review of it to find out if it lived up to my hype.
Orange Nebula’s second title. Their first, Vindication, was a terrific board game that blended traditional cube pushing adventure and character building – with a snafu for the title. This time around they’re making a cooperative space survival game. Boasting that it will just be mankind against the elements, with no monsters to be seen. Think of yourself as Matt Damon in The Martian.
It looks to have the same polish as their first title, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen a good heavy cooperative game not named Gloomhaven. I am very excited to get my hands on this one.
This game will probably be the most common on these types of lists. Leder Games has been on a roll recently with their four letter word games (Root, Fort, Vast). Oath looks to be no exception. One person plays the Emperor, and tries to maintain control over the region, while the rest of the players are Exiles trying to arrest control.
It has a closed economy, and nary a victory point in sight. But the most interesting mechanic is the one they call dynasty. After each game, the winner gets to manipulate the world deck – a common deck of action cards – allowing the game to change and evolve over numerous plays.
This one arrived last week as well – it looks GORGEOUS on the table. Though a lot more complicated than the other three titles mentioned. However, after reading the rulebook, I can’t wait to get this one to the table!
Here’s my review. I loved it, but not unconditionally.
Deep Space D-6: Armada
FTL is a steam game that I absolutely adore, and Deep Space D-6 is meant to be the board game equivalent. For those who haven’t played it – you should. But essentially you’re on a spaceship jumping through space trying to complete missions. You’ll be hiring crew members, upgrading your ship, and attacked by bad guys.
All with a sprite based art style.
This is the second game of the series and introduces cooperative. The original Deep Space D-6, has been praised with fantastic reviews. So I’m ready to give it a shot!
Merchants of the Dark Road
There are a lot of great games mentioned already, but this might be the one I’m most excited for.
I’ve fallen in love with games that are able to combine good mechanics with narrative and theme. And Merchants of the Dark Road looks to be the perfect blend. You spend turns gathering, and selling supplies with the goal of venturing along the dark road and fulfilling contracts in far reaching areas. Each time you fulfill one of these contracts you get a bite sized piece of narrative – like Scythe‘s exploration cards.
I’m also looking forward to piggybacking off of opponents contracts. Reading their moves, or at least attempting to, and converting that insight into points. It’s a mechanic that I love to see in games, and I always have fun with it. Which makes this one seem like a winner!
Endless Winter: Paleoamericans
I originally passed this one up, but Rahdo’s Final Thoughts suckered me in like a board game vacuum cleaner. Saying it’s a similar game to Dune Imperium (my favourite game of 2020) but so much better. I find that hard to believe, but damnit I hope he’s right!
It is another deckbuilder worker placement game, where you’re building a deck and using your current hand of cards in conjunction with the action spaces on the board. And the cards you don’t use, give you benefits and go towards figuring out who’s first player next round.
Beyond that, it provides three or four different ways to get victory points; hunt, build, explore and recruit. Each of these are their own mechanisms, and each are going to look incredible on the table.
These are games that are either yet to hit Kickstarter, or have already passed and I’m waiting for general consensus and reviews. Either way I do plan on checking them all out.
- John Company
- ISS Vanguard
- The Fall of the Mountain King
- Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage Game
- Darwin’s Journey
- Stellaris Infinite legacy
- Seventh Cross
- Lands of Galzyr
To wrap up, here are some expansions I’m excited for:
- Root Marauder Expansion
- Empyreal Spells and Steam: Far Corners
- Vindication Chronicles
That’s everything on my list at the moment – Kickstarter wise. But there’s a whole slew of games coming to retail that I’m equally excited for. You can read about them in my next post.