The Best New Board Games on Amazon
Yes, we are living in the golden age of board games. (In fact, 5,000 new tabletop games were introduced in 2018 alone.) The proliferation of complex, interesting, and addictive games like Codenames and Pandemic have allowed a new generation of players to hang out at home sans screen. Start your own game night with the best new board games on the market now (and yes, they're all available on Amazon).
Gùgōng hit the market just in time for the 2018 holidays and has been gaining popularity ever since. One to five players take on the role of powerful Chinese families trying to secure an audience with the emperor. They do this through an innovative card swap system, using "Gift" cards to complete in-game tasks that lead to "Victory Points." The person with the most Victory Points at the end of the game wins.
From the same people who developed the immensely popular game Terraforming Mars, this competitive birding game has one to five players who act as bird enthusiasts looking to attract the best birds to their wildlife preserves. Wingspan takes a little over an hour to play and while it may seem like it has a pretty tame concept, it's super-competitive, with reviewers noting how quickly they were sucked into its world.
Three to five players battle for control in feudal Japan and every player chooses a clan, each of which brings its own unique advantages to the game. There are two phases to game play, the Political Phase, during which players prepare their clans for the second phase: War. This is where the action is and requires cunning and the ability to bluff to win battles and take opponents' coins.
For Nerf Herders
The point of this four player game is to build up your own mythos and make your mark on the galaxy, playing as either a bounty hunter, a mercenary, or a smuggler. Players go on missions and take dangerous jobs for some of the scum of the universe. The more successful you are, the more fame (or infamy) you gain. Be forewarned, though—play can last up to three hours.
Choose Your Own Adventure
People who were obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid and want to relive that thrill as an adult will love Gloomhaven. Two to four players must work together to clear out dungeons, gain experience, and expand their story, which can be built upon game after game. Gloomhaven uses an innovative card system to drive gameplay and is meant for players 12 years and up.
In this game, players are cryptozoologists working to discover elusive creatures. With just a handful of clues, everyone must cajole their opponents into revealing information, but reveal too much and another player may find the creature first. Misdirection is key. With a modular board, five clue books, and a deck of setup cards, there are hundreds of possible Cryptid scenarios to play through. Players can also augment their game with an app.
It's the players' job to build a kingdom and guide a princess, knight, and dragon in accomplishing objectives written on the pages of each player's "Book." As an objective is accomplished, the player is able to read that page aloud. The first player to read their entire Book wins. Best for ages 8 and up and gameplay lasts about 30 minutes.
To win this strategic card game, two to eight players (ideally over the age of 14) must assemble an army of seven unicorns to become the Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical. Players start with a Baby Unicorn and through card-drawn upgrades, downgrades, and magic, they can build their armies. Be aware, though, that cards impact other players, so it's very possible that players will make a few enemies along the way...
Quest for El Dorado
With more than 100,000 possible board layouts, Quest for El Dorado is an ever-changing, deck-building, adventure game for two to four players ages 10 and up. Taking on the role of a group of daring adventurers searching for the lost City of Gold, players can accumulate equipment throughout the game to assist them on their quest. The first to find El Dorado and cross into the city is the winner.
Players of this chaotic game scream and shout as they work together to try and repair a malfunctioning spaceship on the brink of being sucked into a black hole. Each player is responsible for repairing malfunctions in their own individual sectors of the ship, but if one person fails, everyone fails. Each round only lasts five minutes, making Spaceteam a little intense and best for ages 10 and up.