The Best Board Games for Adults [2019]

The Best Board Games for Adults [2019]

Gaia Project

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Game to Play Rating
  • Incredible replay value
  • Randomised board structure
  • Good run-time
  • Very deep and complex
  • Great for 2-5 players

Great Western Trail

Strategy board game
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Game to Play Rating
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Flawless board design
  • Exciting theme
  • Great for 2-4 players
  • High replay value

Star Wars: Rebellion

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Game to Play Rating
  • Great thematic gameplay
  • Addictive “cat-and-mouse” dynamic
  • Asymmetry of Empire vs Rebels adds to depth and variety
  • Medium complexity strategy game great for all levels of player

GAIA Project

Players: 1-5
Ages: 12+
Game play: 60 – 150 mins

Gaia Project is a beautiful and complex strategy game from the makers of the very successful Terra Mystica. It is also one of the most critically acclaimed games in recent years.

Based in outer space, each player chooses a faction or race, with the aim of colonizing the galaxy by developing their race across a range of metrics, including terraforming, navigation, economy, artificial intelligence and research.  

Claim new planets and unlock powerful abilities help grow your empire, each faction has its own unique skills that need to be leveraged in order to collect the most victory points and achieve interstellar domination.

Users and experts agree that the multi-component board structure along with the varying factions make the depth of this game very impressive and give it great replay value. It is also one of the few complex strategy board games that works well with 2 players.

Pros:

  • Incredible replay value
  • Randomised board structure
  • Good run-time
  • Very deep and complex
  • Great for 2-5 players

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Plastic pieces feel a bit cheap
  • Space theme not for everyone

Great Western Trail

Strategy board game

Players: 2-4
Ages: 12+
Game play: 75 – 150 mins

Great Western Trail is an exciting board game settled in the dramatic scenery of the nineteenth century’s Texas. This strategy game invites you to ship cattle from Texas to Kansas City by train in an epic adventure.

Each milestone reached can earn you money and victory points, but it takes entrepreneurial spirit to decide when to trade your livestock and how to ace the game. Apparently complex but quite simple, this game is perfect for players aged twelve or older and it takes approximately two and a half hours to complete.

Users and experts agree this is a fun family game full of exciting decisions and strategies. The planning to move your cattleman is interesting while the entire game blends challenging decisions with more straightforward actions that appeal to both inexperienced and avid strategy gamers alike.

Pros:

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Flawless board design
  • Exciting theme
  • Great for 2-4 players
  • High replay value

Cons:

  • Too simple for some experts
  • Some components can feel cheap

Star Wars: Rebellion

Players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Game play: 180 – 240 mins

An exquisite, thematic strategy game, perfect for groups of family and friends alike, Star Wars: Rebellion cleverly captures the essence of the Star Wars theme and storyline while also providing excellent gameplay.

Star Wars: Rebellion is an epic game of cat and mouse between The Empire and The Rebels. The Rebels win the game by evading The Empire and gaining support throughout the galaxy. The Empire wins if they find the Rebel base and destroy The Rebel troops set there to defend it.

The various moves and missions are true to Star Wars lore, with your favourite characters being assigned to various adventures across the galaxy. Combat can be engaged by with side and can be either ground based or in space.

The two piece board is impressive and expansive, while the pieces are also delightful, true to style from creator Fantasy Flight Games.

Easier to learn than some other strategy games, and great for a wide range of players, this game will please beginners and die-hard gamers alike.

Pros:

  • Great thematic gameplay
  • Addictive “cat-and-mouse” dynamic
  • Asymmetry of Empire vs Rebels adds to depth and variety
  • Medium complexity strategy game great for all levels of player

Cons:

  • Combat play can seem needlessly complex
  • Rules can get a bit complicated
  • Die-hards will prefer less randomness in combat
  • Game play can run long

Dominion: Prosperity

Players: 2-4
Ages: 13+
Game play30 mins

Prosperity is the fourth addition to the popular deck building game Dominion. It is not a standalone game, meaning you have to own either Dominion or Intrigue to play. Yet, Prosperity adds enhancing mechanics to the original game, boosting its overall value.

As its name suggests, the central theme of Prosperity is wealth. The 25 new Kingdom cards include powerful expensive cards, treasure cards, victory tokens, and cards that interact with treasures.

Both users and experts appreciate the interesting tweaks this expansion set brings to the game. The simplicity of the cards and the overall value they bring can easily take Dominion to a whole new level most players will enjoy.

Pros:

  • Incredible combo potential with other expansions
  • The perfect first expansion for Dominion
  • Cards introduce new ways to play
  • Excellent replay value

Cons:

  • Not a standalone game
  • Makes the game harder for beginners

Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

Players: 2-4
Ages: 12+
Game play: 30 – 60 mins

Clank! is one of the hottest games on the market at the moment. More than a board game, this is a deck building game that engages players into an exciting mission of retrieving valuable artefacts while trying to stay alive while down in a dragon’s dungeon.

The expansive game space includes a main board, cards, wooden cubes, counters, and meeples, all nicely stored in a fancy velvet bag. Overall, the pieces are nicely constructed while the meeples can easily attract younger players with their adventurer shapes.

Most users like the fantasy adventure theme, perfect for kids and adult players alike. The deck building adds more fun to this board game, offering players a variety of strategies. Experts also praise the race component that appeals to those with a strong spirit of competition.

Pros:

  • Challenging map for players of all ages
  • Short runtime
  • Engaging theme
  • Great for 2-4 players
  • Multiple strategy possibilities

Cons:

  • Minimal player interaction
  • Can be complex to explain

Twilight Struggle

Players: 2
Ages: 13+
Game play: 120-180 mins

Twilight Struggle is one of the most popular two-player strategy games on the market, engaging players in an intense political war between the USA and the Soviet Union.

This Cold War game is tense, challenging, and deep. Each decision made in the game mirrors real-life decisions world leaders have made during real historical events. Advertised as ideal for players over 13 years old, Twilight Struggle will most probably appeal to those old enough to know what the Cold War is all about.

There seems to be a generally positive consensus among users and experts regarding the game’s excellent replay value. Most players also appreciate the complex strategy of the game and the degree of involvement. The political theme, though, might not be for everyone.

Pros:

  • Designed for 2 Players
  • Complex strategy game
  • Outstanding replay value
  • Deep thematic war game
  • Interactive play

Cons:

  • Can be challenging to learn
  • Not great for casual/entry level board game players

Pandemic

Pandemic boardgame review

Players: 2-4
Ages: 8+
Game play: 45 mins

Enjoying huge popularity around the globe, Pandemic is a cooperative board game that brings together two to four players engaged in a race against the clock to save humanity from four deadly viruses.

The game is perfect for all those who have dreamt, at least once in their lifetime, to become a scientist, medic, or another type of specialist ready to save the world from disaster. Attractive visuals boost the value of this game, making it engaging for younger players too.

Users and experts praise Pandemic’s team-building ability. The game is captivating, intense, and dramatic. Perfect for up to four players and lasting for roughly an hour, this cooperative game is a blast, although it might not be the best game for those with a strong competitive spirit.

Pros:

  • Outstanding integration of theme and gameplay mechanics
  • Immersive experience
  • Fairly easy to learn, though difficult to master
  • Team building game
  • Ideal for kids over eight years old

Cons:

  • Some players may not like the cooperative component
  • Relatively high difficulty level

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