Most-Played Games Of 2020

This odd year has also been an odd gaming year. During the two pandemic waves, we moved boardgame night to my friend Patrik’s apartment closer to town, and I mainly invited people living nearby who wouldn’t have to use public transport to get there. We rented the scenically sited gazebo at Lilla Sickla for three long summer sessions. Both LinCon in May and the annual weekend boardgaming retreat in November were cancelled.

On the other hand, I came back to role-playing games in a big way after a 23-year hiatus. I’ve played four Call of Cthulhu scenarios* with three Keepers, partly over Zoom and Discord. And I’ve game-mastered four scenarios in Ashen Stars** with four of my most dependable boardgaming friends, one of whom participates over Teams.

Here are the nine boardgames that I played more than twice during 2020. The year’s total was 71 games. It’s a little less than usual, and on average I have played each game fewer times than in a normal year.

  • Chosŏn (2014, new: card game, unusual mechanics, unfortunate timing ambiguities)
  • Coloretto (2003)
  • Tichu / Zheng fen (1991)
  • Hive (2001)
  • Roam (2019, new: read my review)
  • Sechs nimmt / Category 5 (1994)
  • Architects of the West Kingdom (2018, new: worker placement, jail your opponents’ workers)
  • Clash of Cultures (2012, new: best boardgame implementation of computer Civ)
  • Keyflower (2012)

Dear Reader, what was your biggest boardgaming hit of 2020?

* Missed Dues (in the 2014 Keeper Screen), The Sanatorium (in the 1990 collection Mansions of Madness), Tatters of the King (2006), Saturnine Chalice (in the 2020 collection Dead Light & Other Dark Turns)

** The introductory one from the core rule book and the first three of four in the collection Dead Rock 7, all from 2011.

Stats courtesy of Boardgame Geek. And here’s my list for 2019.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

One thought on “Most-Played Games Of 2020”

  1. Still playing monthly games of the “Irresponsible & Right” Weird War II GURPS campaign (we’re now into, I belieev, 1945 in in-game time, and have passed 13 years of real-time since the campain started (in-game date of the first session was 1939-10-13, and the real-life date of the first session was 2007-10-13). The first few sessions were progressing about apace in real life as well as in-game, but that started drifting apart somewhat rapidly (we thankfully have a campaign log describing in outline what happened when).

    What with the whole pandemic thing going on, I have not (alas) attended the game design / game test meetup I tried to attend monthly (as a general rule, it worked better during winters than summers). And that, in turn, has stalled some necessary gruntwork associated with boardgame design (namely, graphic design for prototypes), because why would one?

    On the “has had prototype and at least a few test sessions” list:
    * One card came centered around “design games, get them funded through crowd-funding” (hey, a bit meta, but people do genuinely seem to like playing it)
    * One multi-player sudoku-based game (solve a random sudoku, first player who is unable to make a legal move wins; make an illegal move and you’re eliminated; side-effect means that the person AFTER the person completing the board wins, unless it is deemed a collective win pre-start; currently unplayable, some of the tokens are now missing)
    * One worker-placement game whose in-game story is “run a tech company, gather resources, spend them on more workers and collectible sets” (this used to be in a playable state, but is no longer in such a state, as various bits of the prototype have been lost).

    There’s a few more that really needs prototypes before it makes sense to talk about them.

    Liked by 1 person

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