For the first time, the Tabletop Games Blog is giving away an award: the Top Table Award for the best game released in 2019. As you know, a lot of new tabletop games were released this year, probably around 3,000 to 4,000, excluding expansions. That’s more games anyone will ever be able to play in a year, and I have probably only seen 20-30 of those. However, I still thought it’d be good to share with you my top 5 games that were published in 2019 and crown the winner.
As is tradition with charts, I will start at number five and work my way to the top game of 2019 for me. I have added links to my reviews of the games, so you can find out more and see if it might be for you, or someone you know. So here goes.
#5 Silver by Bezier Games
Silver by Bezier Games is a memory game with a twist. In each round, you have five cards in front of you that are face down. You can look at two of them at the start of the round and have to try and discover what the others are during the round. Each card has a value between 0 and 13, and you have to try and have the lowest total value in front of you when the round ends. You draw cards that you can either use for their ability, or to swap with one or more cards from in front of you. It’s really quick to teach and learn and also pretty quick to play, and a lot of fun.
See my review to find out more: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2019/08/31/silver-saturday-review/
#4 Tapestry by Stonemaier Games
In Tapestry by Stonemaier Games you develop your civilization over several millennia, move up the four development tracks and expand on a shared map. In my view, this is a great game where you have only limited choices on your turn, but you need to choose wisely to be the most efficient and win the game. As with all Stonemaier Games I know, the component quality is outstanding, even if there are some gripes. It’s a game I love playing and which has plenty of depth.
See my review to find out more: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2019/11/09/tapestry-saturday-review/
#3 Roam by Red Raven Games
Red Raven Games is known for the beautiful illustrations in their games and Roam is no different. The game is really light and very enjoyable. It is an area control game with a twist. What I think makes it so great is that it is very easy to teach and learn and plays relatively quickly. It’s an ideal game to start a games evening with or play with your family, giving you just enough depth to keep you entertained.
See my review to find out more: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2019/11/02/roam-saturday-review/
#2 Vivaldi by XV Games
If trick-taking games are your thing, then you will love Vivaldi by XV Games. It has all the same sort of mechanisms that you will be used to from other trick-taking games, but with two interesting differences. Only one of the five players knows from the start who their partner is, making it hard for the lead player to decide which tricks to take and which to leave for their partner. The other twist is that there isn’t just a trump suit, but also an opposite suit, which gives negative points. Those two things combined with all the classic fun you find in all trick-taking games make Vivaldi a real joy.
See my review to find out more: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2019/11/23/vivaldi-saturday-review/
#1 Wingspan by Stonemaier Games
Yes, you have probably guessed it already. I love Wingspan and played it almost non-stop for weeks on end with my wife. So, the winner of the Top Table Award is going to this amazing game by Stonemaier Games. Congratulations!
I reckon it’s very much deserved, and Spiel des Jahres seem to agree by giving it the Kennerspiel des Jahres award this year. It’s such a great game to introduce people to engine and tableau-building games, with a brilliant design by Elizabeth Hargrave, the illustrations by Beth Sobel, Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo and Natalia Rojas are just amazing and the component quality is superb. The fact that there are over 150 different bird cards in the game is just amazing on its own. I can’t recommend the game more.
See my review to find out more: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2019/03/16/wingspan/
Well, that’s really all for this year. There are going to be many more games in 2020, and certainly many more blog posts, podcasts and videos from me. So, there is a lot to look forward to, and I hope you will join me again next year.
In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to relax and enjoy playing games with your friends, family or anyone else who matters to you. Our community is such an amazing place and our hobby is what brings us together. Here is to an amazing 2020! If you like this article, please like it and subscribe to this blog or the podcast. It would help me a great deal. It would be even better if you also tell your friends about them. If you like this blog, my videos, podcasts or my other work, please also consider supporting me on Patreon. Even the smallest pledge is highly appreciated: https://www.patreon.com/tabletopgamesblog If you prefer, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi. I’ll post a photo of it on my Twitter feed so you can share it with your friends: https://ko-fi.com/tabletopgamesblog Thank you!