There are so many different tabletop board games out there, with more released each year thanks to the hobby’s growing popularity and an abundance of Kickstarter campaigns. Tabletop gaming has always been, for many, an escape, providing a welcome break from screens and a reason to gather around the table with family or friends.
Board games have really begun to branch out, with something for everyone, whether you’re into your role-playing, want something based on your favorite game or TV show, or just want something simple and small to take away with you on holiday. Here are some notable releases scheduled for 2021.
Bloodborne: The Board Game
Bloodborne: The Board Game is a campaign action-adventure tabletop game for 1 to 4 players acting as Hunters, and is based on the extremely popular video game of the same name.
It’s set in the dark town of Yharam where a twisted plague has spread uncontrollably and is turning people into blood-thirsty, violent beasts. You and your team of Hunters are the only ones able to quell this growing threat, and must fight these monsters and townfolk in order to uncover the mysteries hidden within the city’s walls and the source of this barbaric plague.
The highly anticipated sequel to the tactical combat game Gloomhaven, Frosthaven is the new dungeon-crawler sequel that has recently become the most funded Kickstarter board game of all time.
Frosthaven sees your gang of 1 to 4 adventurers frequenting the only outpost in the harsh northern region that finds itself on the brink of destruction from vicious threats. You’re Frosthaven’s only hope, and through using a range of characters, your goal is to fight back and build a thriving community in the frozen wasteland before the monsters or frost claims it first.
Dinosaur World and Dinosaur Island Rawr ‘N Write
Dinosaur World sees you attempting what we all really should have learned by now is the worst idea in history. That’s right — your very own dinosaur theme park!
Dinosaur World is a game for 1 to 4 players that sees you building your very own Dinosaur Park; complete with DNA splicing, worker placement, exciting new attractions, and even jeeps to take unwitting guests on a tour of your absolutely 100% safe park.
Dinosaur Island Rawr ‘N Write is a roll-and-write version of the game glistening in 90s glory. Built with the same excitement and thrills as the main version, but transformed into a draft dice and worker placement game in a travel-friendly sized box.
Cascadia is a small puzzle tile-laying game celebrating the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.
It’s a strategy game for 1 to 4 players who compete to create the best ecosystem in adding rivers, wetlands, forests, prairies, and mountains to create abundant wildlife habitats. Each game takes around 30 minutes and its small size means it can be taken with you on your next holiday to the great outdoors.
Possibly the cutest addition to the tabletop library this year is Lizard Wizard, a game where you recruit tiny scaled magicians to become the most powerful Arch-Mage in the land.
Lizard Wizard is a strategic selection game set in the world of Astoria. Between 1 and 5 players compete to recruit Lizard Wizards from seven unique schools of magic whilst building towers, researching spells, and searching the darkest of dungeons for artifacts and gold. You will compete with your friends to become the most powerful Arch-Mage and if you succeed, will attain control of Astoria with the cutest army of tiny scaled friends this world’s ever seen.
Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile
From the designer of Root comes a brand new thematic strategy game where 1 to 6 players can guide and change the course of history in a land where Empires rise and fall. Your story might just become legend.
Oath has all the beauty of Root from artist Kyle Ferrin coupled again with that award-winning strategy and backstabbing. In Oath, players can take the role of agents scheming to bring the kingdom to ruin. The consequences of one game can affect those that follow, meaning every time you return to the table you could be facing a new threat from a land filled with corruption or ruled by a warlord, shaping the kingdom for many games to come.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters
Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters is a roleplaying strategy game that sees you seeking to unravel the mysteries of a number of scenarios in this immersive and frightening campaign story.
The game takes place in Montreal after the appearance of the Second Inquisition and fall of the Sabbat, and sees you alone or within a team of up to 4, making decisions that could unlock scenarios or lock them away forever. Your characters’ choices affect almost every aspect of the story’s outcome, and as your group continues to investigate, you’ll converse with NPCs and fight for survival. You will all see your choices alter the game’s course and its conclusion.
Endless Winter: Paleoamericans
Endless Winter: Paleoamericans sees you guiding a tribe through developments and generations in a 10,000 BCE North American wilderness. You will see your people move from Nomadic hunter-gatherers to a possibly prosperous society as your people encounter new lands and establish traditions in this harsh, frosted wilderness.
Endless Winter is a Euro-strategy game for 1 to 4 players that has you combining worker placement and deck building as you send your tribes to perform various actions and collect and spend resources to keep moving forward.
Return To Dark Tower
A sequel to the 1981 game Dark Tower, Return to Dark Tower sees you and your friends seeking to gain strength in order to face and take down the malevolent forces of the Dark Tower once and for all.
A sequel to possibly the most epic 80s game that featured an electronic light-up tower that played music, Return to Dark Tower tasks you and up to 3 other players with once again taking up the role of heroes as you face this malevolent enemy. The first half of the game is an engine builder that has you gathering resources and strength by defeating monsters and undertaking quests. Ultimately, you will all eventually find yourselves at the doors of the tower in the dramatic second act, where, using cooperative and competitive play, you will try to vanquish evil once and for all.
Darwin’s Journey appeared earlier this year in an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign, and will see you playing through Darwin’s memories as you land on the shore of the as-of-yet unexplored Galapagos.
Darwin’s Journey is a worker-placement game for 1 to 4 players which features you recalling Darwin’s memories of his discoveries within the Galapagos and how this gave him the theory of evolution. It’s a strategy game where you and your friends compete in distributing your workers to study, explore the island, and gather knowledge, all to contribute to the field of biology and the natural world.
NEXT: New Witcher Tabletop Game Kickstarter Campaign Begins In May
Phoebe is originally from England but has decided to have a break from the rain and is now freezing herself in Calgary, Canada. She worked as an archaeologist for 5 years but unlike Lara Croft, never got to fight a T-Rex. She’s still scared of Lavender Town.
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