Best 5 Board Games of 2018

I’m lazy. Which means instead of writing a news article, or figuring out which of these board games came out in 2018. I’m instead quantifying this list by saying that these board games were all new to me last year.


5. Arkham Horror 3rd Edition

Arkham Horror is becoming the village bicycle.

Everyone has ridden it. Or one of its offshoots. I own Eldritch Horror, and I like it well enough. But it suffers from the same randomness and a disjointed story beats that I criticised Tales of the Arabian Nights over.

The 3rd Edition of Arkham Horror does a lot of unique things that ties the overarching story together. Making this the first game that actually has me invested in the narrative outcome of the game.

I haven’t played it enough to review it. But I’ve played it enough to know that this is one to look out for.

Dale of Merchants box cover - features a hiker overlooking a small town by a waterfall

4. Dale of Merchants

One of the best experiences of this hobby. Or any hobby that involves collecting. Is finding that diamond in the rough.

In 2018 that was Dale of Merchants.

I came across the game in an unassuming reddit comment with two upvotes. That was enough to take the chance. And it paid off. Big time.

I love this game.

Read my review.

3. Azul

Last year introduced me to a lot of abstract games.

Turns out they’re awesome.

One stood out among the rest. Santorini. But my wife still won’t play with me since the last crushing defeat.

However, she will play Azul. And playability is one quality of board games that can’t be ignored. It’s also a fantastic game at two players and easily ranks as my number 3 game of 2018.

Read my review.

2. Terraforming Mars

It isn’t a best board games list without some controversy. So here:

I’ve only played Terraforming Mars once.

This isn’t enough to provide one of my patented in depth reviews. It is enough to leave a long lasting impression. That one play has been on my mind since August. And I’ve been looking to repeat since.

Even at one play. You immediately realise how deep the game is. You immerse yourself in choice and strategies. You build an incredibly robust and satisfying engine. And most importantly, you flip the bird at Elon Musk and say this is how you do it.

1. Spirit Island

This should be no surprise.

I bought this game early in the year. January, or maybe February. It was my first “heavy” game. It took me so long to get around to reviewing it. Not because I didn’t want to or had nothing to say. But because I didn’t want to stop playing it. I didn’t want to move onto the next game.

Which is why it’s my most played game of 2018, and also the one that I’d recommend to everyone!

Read my review.

Five, four, three, two, one! We’ve done the countdown. I hope you’ve enjoyed the content from 2018, and look for more this coming year. In the meantime. What are you thoughts? Are these games all worthy? What were your top 5 of 2018?

Answer in the comments below.

Why is Spirit Island the best board game ever?

Over 41,000 Aboriginals were killed in the colonization of Australia.

A sobering thought.

Spirit Island is a cooperative reverse colonisation game. You play spirits protecting or using the indigenous population to stop colonists from destroying the land. It’s a heavy subject. And while this review won’t hold this tone throughout, as that’s not what this site is about. It’s important to acknowledge what came before us. And understand that people today are still suffering from the actions of our forefathers. With that in mind:

I acknowledge and pay my respects, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people past, present and emerging, whose land I stand upon today.

Alright. Let’s talk Spirit Island.

Continue reading “Why is Spirit Island the best board game ever?”

Santorini: Zeus Lands Lead in Greece Lightning


As trashy as Jersey Shore gets, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Greek gods. Zeus, for instance, slept with anyone and anything, and ended up having more babies than a kindergarten. Seriously, once you hit double digits, maybe it’s time to consider a vasectomy? I mean I’m six months into having my first child, and I’m already thinking about it. Anyway, believe it or not this is a review for Santorini, a 2-4 player abstract board game designed by Dr Gordon Hamilton, and published by Roxley and Spin Master.

For this review, it was only played with 2 players as recommended by the rule book.

Continue reading “Santorini: Zeus Lands Lead in Greece Lightning”