Let’s take a look back at my 2022 in boardgaming. I will be giving a short summary for each month and my opinions on some of the games I’ve played. And I will conclude with some juicy stats about my year!
The year started with a new to me game, Paleo. Paleo is a cooperative game in which you have to fulfil certain goals while keeping your tribes alive. When you start you have a small tribe and only a few specialities. Throughout the game you build up your tribe and will eventually be able to reach the goal for the module. It’s a simple to start game where every module needs a slightly different approach.
I also started a 10×10 challenge with the goal of playing a few of my games at least 10 times throughout the year. Had I known how my year would turn out I might have picked some shorter games but I started the year nice and ambitious with games like Spirit Island and Paladins of the West Kingdom on there.
Then I found out I was pregnant! Our first was conceived with a lot of help after a lot of time so this was the nicest and biggest surprise to us. Sadly I felt pretty awful during the first trimester so I didn’t play a lot of games.
Games I played this month: Aeon’s End Outcasts, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, Three Sisters, Underwater Cities, Cartographers, Clever, Paladins of the West Kingdom, Terraforming Mars, Paleo.
Morning sickness was in full swing and I wasn’t having a great time. Only played a few games with my husband.
We mainly played Wingspan at that remains a favourite for two players here. It’s a great looking game and it’s a lot of fun to build your little bird engine. There isn’t a lot of confrontation and you don’t know who exactly is going to win until end game scoring. Which is great for when you play with someone who doesn’t do well with losing (and I don’t mean myself lol).
We also played some MicroMacro Crime City. Which is a perfect relaxing game for when the kids are in bed and you don’t have a lot of brainpower left. We spent a few nights just pouring over the pictures and the intricate, little stories and details on the map.
My birthday is in May and I received some pretty great games and bought a few more with my birthday money. In the end I had a pretty great birthday haul: Ark Nova, Cascadia, Dune Imperium, Raiders of the North Sea expansion. I also received two Kickstarters: Yura Yura penguin and Winterhaven Woods.
Hadrian’s Wall was the biggest success of the month and also the biggest hit of the entire year. It’s such a great flip and write game that takes no time at all to set up, play doesn’t take overly long and the experience is very rewarding. I played a ton of games and started the solo campaign (which I still haven’t finished yet…). You can find my review on Hadrian’s Wall HERE.
Games I played this month: Everdell, Cascadia, Robinson Crusoe, Three Sisters, Lost Ruins of Arnak, Hadrian’s Wall, Tekhenu.
I started to actively participate in #mechanismsmonday and played and shared games of Spirit Island and Gloomhaven JOTL for this.
I also played a lot of Ark Nova. I wanted to write a well thought out review so I had to play it a bunch of times before I could do that. I wrote a very positive review because it’s a great game with a very sturdy solo mode (read it HERE). I love the idea of building your own zoo and matching animals to score big time. I had some doubts about the randomness which got a lot of discussion going on BoardGameGeek. And although the situation I ran in to (drawing no blue cards the whole game) was pretty unique I still feel like the randomness of the cards can definitely help or hinder your game.
I also got to write my first preview when the creator of Shu’s Tactics asked me to try and review the game before it went live on Kickstarter (read it HERE). Shu’s Tactics turned out to be a lovely roll and write with some fun twists on the genre which I still enjoy playing. There’s still a lot of content coming out for it and it has all been of great quality.
Games I played this month: Four Against Darkness, Anachrony, Super Skill Pinball 4-cade, Lost Ruins of Arnak, Ark Nova, Clever, Spirit Island, Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion, Shu’s Tactics.
July marked the start of the solo summer challenge in which I participated during the summer holiday (check out the article HERE). It was a great distraction when the temperatures skyrocketed and my belly got bigger and bigger. The goal was to play one or more games for every letter of the alphabet, starting with A and B in June and changing every week to new letters. It got me to play a lot of new games and make some great print and play builds.
I also got to playtest the solo automa for Castles of Burgundy. Which was great but sadly I cannot say anything about it…
The biggest thing of this month was my game room make-over. After collecting more games than would fit on my shelves it was time for a change. I also got a new (bigger!) table and I now have a great gaming space. The greatest thing is that I can leave a game setup for as long as I need in my own space which is something you really need with unpredictable, small children.
My main favourite of this month was Rolling Realms. I took this with me on our holiday and it was great to just play it anywhere. It’s so easy to take with you, doesn’t take up a lot of space but still offers a nice and thinky experience. It’s one of my favourite travel games.
Games I played this month: Hadrian’s Wall, Black Angel, Ark Nova, Grove, It’s a Wonderful World, Rolling Realms, Clever, Cartographers, Cascadia, Agropolis, Forbidden Desert, Castles of Burgundy, Polyhedral Park Planner, Lost Ruins of Arnak.
Got some new games among which the new expansion for Lost Ruins of Arnak, Expedition Leaders. I already enjoyed Lost Ruins a lot but the expansion really takes it up a notch. There’s so much variety and replayability with the new leaders.
I wrote a review for Cascadia after playing it a lot. My favourite relaxing game (for now, Verdant is getting close) that doesn’t take a long time to setup or play. It’s a perfect nap time game and so it sees a lot of play here.
My favourite thing of the month was that I got to host the #solosundaychallenge. I chose the roll and write print and play game Voyages and a lot of people participated in the challenge. Voyages (and Aquamarine) are great roll and write games that you can print yourself. There’s tons of content and maps to keep you busy for a long time. Definitely worth a few bucks to try these out.
Games I played this month: Lost Ruins of Arnak, Mobile Markets, Aquamarine, Voyages, Maquis, Paleo, Cascadia, Quests over Coffee, Atlantis Rising, Paladins of the West Kingdom, Underwater Cities
September started off with some nice plays. One of the games I played was This War of Mine, which I decided to sell. It’s a great solo game but there is just too much randomness and bad luck for me. I don’t have fun while playing the game and I think having fun I essential for me.
Then baby Mathis was born on September 10th and our lives were turned upside down. Having a baby in the house again changes everything, especially when there’s also a toddler. Luckily the birth went great and we were home the same day. Not a lot of games got played for those first days though lol.
I did, however, buy Twilight Inscription and got a few plays in when baby and toddler were sleeping at the same time (yes, miracles so happen).
Games I played this month: A Feast for Odin, This War of Mine, Twilight Inscription, Rove
Then everything fell apart. I never shared any of this online because I just couldn’t talk about it at the time but on October 2nd I got admitted to the hospital with some pretty severe labour complications. Three weeks after delivery, I thought I was save and suddenly I got very, very ill. I ended up staying in the hospital for four days together with Mathis on antibiotics the whole time.
Once I got a little bit better my husband brought over Twilight Inscription and I played a bunch of it on a tiny hospital table with a sleeping baby on my chest. I really enjoy the game as a great roll and write with sprawling options and a lot of variability in the race cards. But mainly I see it as the game that got me through that time. It’s a life saver that one.
After getting back home thing eventually got back to normal and I got back into some gaming. I finished the summer challenge with 34 different games played for a total of 63 plays.
And it was also time again for the Top 200 people’s choice solo games awards so I wrote an article about my Top 20 solo games of 2022.
Games I played this month: Twilight Inscription, Mini Rogue, Warp’s Edge, Verdant, Dinosaur Island Rawr and Write, Verdant.
November was a month where I received a bunch of games I had been eagerly awaiting. First I got my hands on a new copy of Voyages of the Beagle for Robinson Crusoe. Then I received the Everdell Complete Collection (finally!). And I managed to buy a copy of Too Many Bones for a decent price secondhand. I also wrote a review about Verdant and had some fun making a bunch of reels.
Games I played this month: Warp’s Edge, Jump Drive, Meadow, Endless Winter
And here we are in December. The year is almost gone again and I’ve played so many games and have made some great friends in this board game community. I reached 900 followers on Instagram, which is pretty big for me after posting pretty infrequently with everything going on throughout the year. My blog has taken off a bit and I have some great returning readers. And even if I didn’t I really enjoy writing so I will continue to do so in the new year!
My new years resolution is pretty simple: play a lot of great games! If this year is anything to go by there will be ups and downs and there will be great and less great games and the fun will be in experiencing it together with others like you.
Total different games played this year: 54
New to me games: 33
My top nine most played games:
- Hadrian’s Wall: my most played game by far. I love how easy it is to set up and start playing while also offering a thinky and strategic game experience. It’s a great roll and write!
- Lost Ruins of Arnak: I love worker placement and deck building and I like how this game combines them. I also love the theme and the different ways in which you can play this solo. The expansion offers great variety and the eraptor insert makes setup a breeze.
- Rolling Realms: my favourite quick game that I played a ton of when we were on holiday. You can play it practically anywhere and the solo campaign offers lovely replayability.
- Paladins of the West Kingdom: I love this game and all the strategy it offers! The solo ai is also one of the best ones out there. The only thing holding me back from playing it more is the setup and play time sadly.
- Everdell: cute critters and a lovely solo experience. Received the complete collection this year and I’ve been busy sleeving and stickering for quite a while 😉
- Ark Nova: quite a new game but a great game nonetheless. I love building a zoo and the solo is nice and straightforward without detracting too much.
- Cascadia: another great nap time game. Such a relaxing experience to play this one. Every play is different and the solo campaign offers a nice challenge.
- Paleo: love the theme and the easy play. Playing two handed is super simple and the new modules from the expansion add a lot of gameplay.
- Feast for Odin: this one is huge in table presence and play time but do very rewarding! There are so many ways to play and the solo is great and easy.
My five 2022 release games:
- Verdant: a great and relaxing game in which you try to grow plants in the best conditions possible. You build a grid with plants and rooms and try to make the best combinations to score your plants. The solo is very easy and the game offers a lot of fun in a short amount of time.
- Endless Winter: another worker placement and deck building game. But this one is set in the ice age, has great art and components and offers some fresh mechanics. I’ve enjoyed playing this one and the solo is pretty sturdy (but could use a little bit more challenge).
- Twilight Inscription: a grand roll and write with variable races and setups and a lot of strategy in four player sheets. I have never played its big brother so I can’t compare the two but I think this is a pretty great experience!
- Aquamarine: a roll and write you can print at home with a ton of maps to play. Your goal is to make deep dives and discover a lot of treasures while trying not to run out of air too fast.
- Three Sisters: another roll and write. This one is about gardening and there’s a lot of depth here. The solo for this one really tries to hinder you so you have to take its actions into account when choosing yours which is a nice change from the other roll and writes I’ve played.