Best Board Games 2014

Back by popular demand – Our list of the Best Board Games 2014!

There were plenty of great games released last year.  Unfortunately, we here at BBGL know that it is often difficult (even for the biggest board game fan) to play each and every game released.  Not to mention the cost involved to add another 2 or 3 games to your library, only to find you didn’t really enjoy them.

It’s often quite difficult choosing a “new” board game simply because there isn’t much information to make an educated guess on if you’d like the game or not.

So we have done our best to provide you with a list of the best games to help narrow down your options when selecting the latest game to add to your collection.  We’ve had lots of fun playing these great games and have also spent lots of time scouring the internet in order to provide you with a comprehensive list of the best of the best in each genre.

Don’t agree with our list? Don’t see a game on our list you would like us to add?  Please don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts and we will do our research and add (or delete) always with the goal of helping others like you find and play the best games available.

As always we’ve separated our list by category in order to help you find one that meets your needs.

Best Board Games 2014CategoryAge PlayersPlaytimeRating (1-5)
Stars
Dead of Winter Crossroads GameFantasy/Thematic13+2-5100 min4.5 Stars4.5
Splendor Board GameFamily10+2-430 min5 Stars5
King of New YorkFamily8+2-640 min4.5 Stars4.5
One Night Ultimate WerewolfParty8+3-1010 min4.5 Stars4.5
Five TribesStrategy13+2-460 min4.5 Stars4.5
Star Wars - Imperial AssaultFantasy/Thematic12+2-590 min4.5 Stars4.5
Legendary Villains: A Marvel Deck-Building GameCard Game14+1-545 min4.5 Stars4.5
Pandemic: The CureFamily8+2-530 min4.5 Stars4.5
Sheriff of NottinghamFamily/Party13+3-560 min4.5 Stars4.5
Star Realms Deckbuilding Game2 player/Card8+220 min5 Stars5
Abyss Board GameStrategy13+2-430-60 min4.5 Stars4.5
Camel UpFamily8+2-830 min5 Stars5
Cash N Guns Second EditionParty10+4-830 min4.5 Stars4.5
Marvel Dice Masters: The Uncanny X-Men2 Player/Dice14+215 min4.5 Stars4.5
Arcadia QuestFantasy/Thematic13+2-460 min5 Stars5
Castles of Mad King LudwigStrategy13+1-490 min5 Stars5
Thunder AlleyThematic/Racing10+2-790 min5 Stars5

 

Best Party Game of 2014: One Night Ultimate Werewolf

It’s the typical day in the village where One Night Ultimate Werewolf takes place.  People are tending crops, tanning leather what have you.

Suddenly something happens to trigger paranoia in the masses.  Instead of jumping to the logical conclusion that perhaps there’s a criminal in town, it’s obviously a werewolf.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast paced game for up to twelve players.  Each player takes a card, each with a different role, leaving three cards in the middle.  When game play starts, everyone looks at their card, identifying their role.  There are two teams:  Team Werewolf and Team Villager.  Team Werewolf consists of two possible werewolves and a minion.  Team Villager consists of the remaining players that are neither werewolves nor minions.  Everyone closes their eyes.

There is an optional phone app that designates turns as well as keeping time for discussions.  After all of the roles that occur during the night take their turn, then everyone “wakes up” and discusses who they think the werewolves (if any are).

Players only have eight minutes to decide.  At the end of that time, everyone reveals who they want to kill.  If it is a villager, then team werewolf wins, if it is a werewolf, then the villagers win.  There are a couple of wild cards:  The Hunter and The Tanner.  The Tanner hates his job and is suicidal.  If people select him, then he wins and everyone else loses.

The Hunter card is interesting as well.  If the Hunter is selected, then not only does he die, but the person across from him dies as well, giving either team an additional shot to slaying a werewolf.

 

Click for more Werewolf Info, Reviews and Pricing!

 

Best Fantasy/Thematic Game of 2014: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game is a zombies post-apocalyptic game.  Did I mention that I adore zombies?  They are possibly the most versatile villain in the horror universe.  I could probably write an entire article about them, but let’s stick with the game.

In a lot of zombie media, you want to make sure you have a trustworthy team.  In this game, you are given a mix of different characters with different talents and motives.  The overall goal varies and each player receives an individual goal as well.

Ultimately, this is a game of survival.  Every round brings a different crisis to the colony, where players are encouraged to collaborate and assist others (unless you get a card that identifies you as a betrayer, then all bets are off).  If you have a player who becomes a detriment, you can banish them, where they end up getting their own goals.

As if this weren’t enough, your group will be faced with frostbite (it is winter after all), starvation, disease, as well as crossroads cards where the group makes a choice and has to suck up its consequences or reap its rewards.  This game has fully-immersive storytelling, which makes it truly unique.

 

Click for more Dead of Winter Info, Reviews and Pricing!

Best Strategy Game of 2014:  Five Tribes

One of the most enigmatic creatures of mythology is the genie or djinn

Are they good or bad?  What’s the deal with the wishes?  Could you trick the genie into giving you more wishes by wishing for more wishes?  What do they look like?  Are they harem girls?  Are they big plumes of smoke, erupting from their lamp looking like over inflated balloons?

In Five Tribes, you take a trip back in time to Arabia, where gold is plentiful, oases are shady, and the king is dead.  Well, yes, the king died and now it is up to you to conquer over all your friends by playing this Mancala spin-off on crack.

There are sacrifices!  There are djinn!  And most importantly, there are multicolored meeples!

Here’s how to play.  Before each turn, players can bid on play order, which when used effectively, can get you ahead in the game.  The first action is to take the meeples off of one of the tiles and redistributing them, always making sure that the last meeple has a matching meeple on the tile.

Then, the player removes the meeples of the same color off the board.  Depending on the role, each color has a different benefit as well as point value.  When a tile gets cleared, the winning player puts a camel on it.  After a player distributes all their camels, the game is over and the points are scored.

Click for more Five Tribes Info, Reviews and Pricing!

Best Family Game of 2014:  Pandemic: The Cure

This past Halloween, I sat down and played the game Pandemic.  I realized two things that night, first, it isn’t a good thing if you are the first player and opt not to move.  I was playing the role of the scientist, so I wanted to stay at the lab.  This was a big to do.

The second thing wasn’t a new realization but it came back and bit me:  I am not good at cooperative games.  I had the phrase “not a team player” a lot on my report cards as a kid, so it makes sense, I suppose.  I later played another installation of the Pandemic Series: Contagion.

Similarly to the adult version of Pandemic, Pandemic: the Cure places three to five players in a race to cure the world of four diseases.  In addition, there are role cards with different abilities.  Outbreaks and epidemics are abound as well.  That’s where the similarity ends.

Unlike the adult version of Pandemic, actions are determined by dice rolls.  There are event cards which benefit the players by removing dice from the pool on a given region.  With three difficulty levels, I know that I’m planning on hunting this game out and adding it to my Pandemic repertoire.

 

 

Click for more Pandemic The Cure Info, Reviews and Pricing!

Best Kids Game of 2014:  King of New York

When I was a kid, there was a video game called Rampage.  In this game, you played a wolf or a dinosaur whose primary goal is to destroy buildings.  Flowerpots fell, and chaos ensued.  With the King of New York, this game takes on Rampage with a splash of King Kong.

Just like Pandemic: The Cure, King of New York relies on dice.  This game is for two to six players and each game piece features a different monster.  With a board depicting the five boroughs of New York City, players start in all the boroughs except for Manhattan.

Each monster comes with ten hearts.  Naturally, monsters take damage (after all, being a destructive monster could be a little painful) from their own actions or military attacks.  When a monster loses all their hearts, they are eliminated.  But there are plenty of options to keep your monster healthy.

Another aspect in the game is the fame factor.  Each turn comes with three dice rolls.  When you collect three stars, you get the superstar card, where your monster becomes famous.  If you roll three ouch cards, the entire military population turns against your monster, but never fear!

As the defender of New York, you and the Statue of Liberty become teammates in saving New York.  With all this excitement, it is sure to become a family favorite.

 

Click for more King of New York Info, Reviews and Pricing!

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