The Top 10 Board Games of 2019
It's a new year here at Vault so let's take a look at what sold the best last year and figure out why you should get a copy if you don't have one yet.
The following is a list of our best sellers in 2019, based on the number of units sold. We won't be including Expansions in this list so Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur's Gate and Wingspan: European Expansion, you're definitely in our top 10 but you're not making the cut here.
A small-box pick-up and play type of game, Coup packs a surprisingly deep game in a tiny package. Bluff and scheme your way to victory by removing the influence of your opponents over the special character roles but don't get caught lying, otherwise you may find yourself losing influence too. Coup is a great game for a group of friends wanting to explore who among them can scheme and lie the best.
If Coup is the game about friends finding out who can scheme and lie the best, Secret Hitler is about who can do that the loudest. In Secret Hitler, you're broken up into two factions, Liberals and Fascists, and one of those Fascists is literally Hitler, who the Fascists need to get into power, except Hitler doesn't know who the other Fascists are. Throughout the game, different roles are passed around the table and policies are enacted that can either win the Liberals the game, or give the leaders more and more power. I have not played a game of Secret Hitler yet that hasn't devolved into a everyone shouting "You're Hitler" to everyone else at the table.
If you're a fan of the Munchkin series, Dungeon Mayhem is the perfect game for you. Take on the role of a Dungeons & Dragons hero in a beat-down war to out play your opponents and take home the treasure. It's quick, fun, and easy to explain... the three things that make it an easy game to add to your collection.
Like Wingspan below, Welcome To... is more of a competitive puzzle than anything else. Each turn, you place house numbers into your street and resolving effects based on the card you chose, trying to match up goals and earn more points than your opponents. You'll keep coming back every time thinking "I should have done this last time" and every time, you'll find somewhere else to improve.
Catan is a board gaming classic and it's no surprise you'd find it on this list. If you're looking at playing more euro-style strategy games than the easy card games or luck-based dice-chuckers, you can't find a better game than Catan to introduce you and your friends to this side of the gaming.
Wingspan is less a game and more of a puzzle, and one that you have to solve each time you play, but there's pesky other players getting in the way. Wingspan was originally a hard choice for me to play as it's not really my style but just like Terraforming Mars, Wingspan will worm its way into your subconscious, teasing you with the "If I had just done this thing instead" thoughts, forcing you to pull it out and play again.
Unstable Unicorns is the perfect party game when you're looking for something quick and ridiculous. The aim is to collect a stable of the required amount of unicorns before your opponents, but there's magic cards magic unicorns that throws spanners into the works. It's no wonder it made the top 10 sellers of 2019 because it's just so easy to play and can lead to some fun times with friends.
The best game you can play without saying a word, The Mind is a perfect addition to your social gatherings. The aim of the game is play the cards from everyone's hands into a central pile in numerical order... but you're not allowed to say a word. There is a trick to this game but I'm not going to spoil it for you. Just get yourself a copy and figure out this gem for yourself.
If you're looking to delve into some dungeons as a mighty hero in a serious game of fantasy combat that doesn't take itself too seriously, then 5-Minute Dungeon is perfect for you. You have a frenetic 5 minutes to make it through a level of the dungeon, defeating monsters and circumnavigating obstacles until you face down the level's boss. Run out of time though and you'll be sent back to the start.
Your gaming room will never be the same with soft rubber burritos flying everywhere. Throw Throw Burrito is a game about collecting sets of cards to earn yourself points at the end of the game. Whenever someone collects a set of Burrito cards though, it can trigger a Brawl, War, or Duel, where other plays face off with the burritos until someone gets hit, earning a bruise token. Once those tokens run out, the first round is over and the person with the most points becomes the target for the next round. If they win that round, they win the game, otherwise the winner of the second round challenges them in a Burrio Duel for the title of champion.
There's no turns to this game either, you just keep moving cards around the table until someone yells a Burrito-related phrase, and then the Burritos go flying.
The next 10 were:
- 7 Wonders: Duel
- Tetris Speed
- Forbidden Island
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Exploding Kittens
- One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Technically, Sushi Go was our number one seller, but has a bit of unique statistic, being that someone bought a significant number of them in a single hit (which, coincidentally, takes it from number 1 to number 21). But it does deserve a mention because this game is such an easy game to pick up and play, that it can find a home with long-time tabletop veterans, or freshly-minted gamers, and is likely why this customer bought so many to hand out as gifts to their business contacts.