This page is a collaboration between me and one of my closest friends, Avi, devoted to tabletop gaming.
- Avi’s Game Recommendations (as of Dec 2023)
These are roughly sorted by weight - i.e. games at the top of the list are lighter and easier to learn, and the later ones are richer and take more effort to learn and play. In general, I like heavier games.
Card assassins is not your average card game. It is played at all times behind the scenes. It is the perfect game for group trips, competitive roommates, back stabbing co-workers or courageous families. How the game works Assassinate assigned players by getting them to say their “kill word” during a normal conversation. Acquire their target and kill word and move on. Last one standing wins! Don't get assassinated! —description from the publisher
Super cute game that works for a group. This is a game that you play “in the background” - i.e. this game will happen while the group does other things. The most fun time I played this was while wine tasting. Family friendly, although you need to be somewhat literate.
The best party game that works with people of almost all ages. This is more of an “activity” than it is a game. It’s “pictionary” meets “telephone” - super fun and hilarious. This is a classic.
#1 abstract and #5 family game on bgg. Tile laying set builder with a lot of variability. Not a fast game, but relatively easy to learn. Also cute theme - you’re placing animals and terrains in your park. Family friendly, but slight learning curve on how the scoring really works.
Fun dice roller/placement game that scales well to 5 players, and family friendly. Cute, quick, easy to learn. You’re collecting energy and raw materials to build various buildings in order to produce goods to score points.
You know this game. Just a pure classic that lives up to its classic status. No need to say much here.
Only played this game once, but it was super fun. This is a coop game with a “stop global warming” theme. You have to convert your dirty and polluted industries into more eco-friendly ones while populations and energy demand keep rising. The Earth is your friend, if you treat it right.
Basically you’re Indiana Jones going on an adventure. You have to take multiple forms of transportation to explore the world, buy tools and artifacts, collect relics and gems, and advance your exploration and research to score the most points. Highly recommend buying it with the first expansion - I almost wouldn’t recommend the game without it.
Rajas of the Ganges
Manage your dice to build profitable markets and grand monuments in historic India.
Kind of an underrated dice rolling/placement game. Beautiful table presence with one of the most innovative scoring systems. Also a fun Indian theme. You’re collecting goods, advancing down the river, and building temples in your land.
Older classic unique hybrid auctioning/worker placement/city builder game that scales to quite a few players. Has a big decision space, but forgiving for making the “wrong” decision. Your differently skilled workers have to go out into the world to make resources and help build up your town.
This was the hottest game of 2022 (although it technically came out in 2021, but most people didn’t get their hands on it ‘til 22). This game has a lot going on with a fantastic action-selection mechanism. The scoring system is borrowed from Rajas of the Ganges (above). You’re competing to build the most attractive and/or eco-friendly zoo.
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Lead your people, build monuments and make offerings to earn the favour of the gods.
Most unique and brilliantly designed classic worker placement. This game bursts my brain; my wife says I overthink it. I liken this game to the “arthouse film” of games - it’s just an insanely brilliant design. You’re playing as Mesoamerican civilizations trying to collect resources, advance your technology and ultimately appease your gods.
A very underrated game that’s amazingly thematic (albeit quite heavy). You really feel like a late 19th century industrialist. Building up your conglomerate - banking, real estate, etc to make money, but you score most of your points from your philanthropic works.
Our all time favorite game. Very heavy coop with extreme asymmetry. Great theme - puts most board games on their head. You play as the island trying to fend off the colonists as they blight your beautiful home. Crazy crazy replay value as there are dozens of completely different characters you can play and different adversaries you can take on.
Just a brilliantly designed asymmetric area control game. This is the successor to the classic and extremely influential Terra Mystica. This is a slightly smoother and more refined game, and plays really well for 2 players. You’re an alien race expanding your empire throughout the galaxy. Advance your technologies and economy in order to score the most points.