Five & Dime 2010: Most Played Games

Game Score 2010 2009 2008 2007
Dominion 2495 65.18% 69.82% 59.63% new
Race for the Galaxy 1420 39.29% 46.75% 59.63% 18.60%
Pandemic 925 30.35% 43.20% 50.31% 0.61%
Roll Through the Ages 780 23.53% 23.96% 0.62% new
Agricola 675 23.29% 33.43% 60.87% 6.71%
Carcassonne 585 18.12% 15.09% 13.66% 25.00%
Ticket To Ride 565 18.82% 21.30% 23.60% 25.61%
7 Wonders 545 18.59% new new new
Stone Age 525 17.18% 17.46% 24.22% new
Small World 520 19.76% 26.04% new new
No Thanks/Geschenkt 465 15.53% 14.50% 13.04% 22.56%
Lost Cities 450 15.53% 13.61% 18.01% 23.48%
Crokinole 445 12.71% 10.36% 15.53% 10.98%
Tichu 440 11.06% 13.02% 24.84% 16.77%
Hive 410 12.24% 11.54% 9.32% 11.59%
Innovation 405 11.76% new new new
Settlers of Catan 385 13.18% 14.20% 17.39% 17.99%
Forbidden Island 375 12.71% new new new
Thunderstone 360 12.24% 0.30% new new
Dixit 355 12.94% 4.44% new new
Puerto Rico 355 12.00% 8.58% 7.45% 13.11%
Hansa Teutonica 340 12.24% 1.48% new new
Ingenious 335 9.88% 12.43% 12.42% 20.12%
Coloretto 330 10.82% 11.24% 4.35% 13.41%
Battle Line/Schotten-Totten 320 10.12% 9.17% 8.07% 13.11%

26th place with a score of 315: Diamant/Incan Gold – 10.59%

“score” is computed by giving a game 5 points for each person playing it 5-9 times and 10 points for each person playing 10+ times

the percentage numbers for each year are the percent of respondents who reported playing the game 5+ or 10+ times

It’s year #13 – which should be unlucky, if you buy that kind of hoo-ha, but I just think it means I’ve been doing this way too long. Once again, we broke the record for number of responses with 425… almost 100 more than last year!

Games that dropped out of the top 25 this year:

  • Diamant/Incan Gold (now at #27)
  • Sorry! Sliders (now at #29)
  • Space Alert (now at #32)
  • Le Havre (now at #39)
  • Ra (now at #53)
  • FITS (now at #54)
  • Power Grid (now at #56)
  • Battlestar Galactica (now at #58)
  • Galaxy Trucker (now at #65)
  • Finito! (now at #91)

The same top five from 2009 stayed the top five for 2010… with Agricola & Roll through the Ages trading places. (While I’m at it, let me give a big ol’ “hat’s off!” to designer Matt Leacock, who has managed to create not one but TWO games that have hung in the top five for the past couple of years… and then also put another game – Forbidden Island – into the top 25!)

Will this top five hang in for another year? Hmmm… I think the release of expansions for Dominion, Race for the Galaxy & (possibly!) Pandemic ought to keep them all three in the running. I’m guessing that Agricola may finally soften a bit this year along with Roll Through the Ages, but I don’t think either of them will drop out of the top 25.

Two years ago, I called “jump the shark” on Carcassonne – and yet it has managed to stick around despite my dire prediction. I’ll go out on a limb & say that I think it’ll hang in for at least one more year. (Watch me be wrong yet again.)

My yearly attempt to predict what WON’T return went swimmingly – I was 5 for 5 as I predicted that Power Grid, Finito!, Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert & Battlestar Galactica would all drop off the top 25. Let’s all pause now while I bask in the glory of my predictive powers.

And with that particular “Moment of Mark” done, it’s time for my predictions for 2011… I’m confident that Dixit & Forbidden Island will be on their way out. I’m less confident that Hansa Teutonica & Ingenious will be leaving, but I’ll go with those two to round out my slate of predictions.

I always list a set of “big questions for the year”… here are the questions for 2010 with the “answers” (such as they are):

  • Q: What’s with this wave thing going on with Tichu, Hive & Crokinole? (Their playing percentages don’t really degrade as much as undulate.) Will this continue?
  • A: Actually, all three of them settled in at roughly the same percentage play as the year before – how long will that last?
  • Q: Again, will Dominion & Race for the Galaxy be able to hold onto the top spots? I think the answer is “yes,” esp. since they both have expansions on the way & their closest challenger (Pandemic) doesn’t.
  • A: I was right!
  • Q: Who’s got 2010 in the Dead Pool for Settlers? Will it finally drop off the Top 25? My guess: no – but we may finally be closing in on that in 2011 or 2012. (That makes me sad, btw.)
  • A: Settlers is only down 1 percentage point… which I think means it won’t drop off the top 25 in 2011.

The big questions for 2011:

  • Will 7 Wonders have enough “oomph” to break into the top 5? I think the answer is probably “yes,” aided by the release later this year of the Leaders expansion.
  • Can any of the other deck-building games join Dominion & Thunderstone in the top 25? I think not.
  • I’m a big fan of Summoner Wars… and I’m predicting that the release of the Master Set this summer will give it the push it needs to reach the top 25. Agree or disagree?
  • I don’t see much on the horizon that looks like it will crack the Top 25 – so how many returnees will we have? I’ll take 20 in our imaginary pool.

In fact, what do you think about any of this? Use the comments area (and keep it clean & friendly!)

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About Mark "Fluff Daddy" Jackson

follower of Jesus, husband, father, pastor, boardgamer, writer, Legomaniac, Disneyphile, voted most likely to have the same Christmas wish list at age 44 as he did at age 14
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10 Responses to Five & Dime 2010: Most Played Games

  1. Marc Gilutin says:

    Thanks for all of the work, Mark. I always look forward to this report. ( although I’m also guilty this year of not submitting my own).
    Judging by the friends in my circle that still never say no to it, I put 7 Wonders in the top 3 for this year.
    Have fun!

  2. Brian Leet says:

    * Will 7 Wonders have enough “oomph” to break into the top 5? I think the answer is probably “yes,” aided by the release later this year of the Leaders expansion.

    Yes, and that is hindered by early year distribution problems. Leaders is excellent, so I think the game could also have a 2012 that equals its 2011 (just to move farther out on the prediction limb).

    * Can any of the other deck-building games join Dominion & Thunderstone in the top 25? I think not.

    None that I’ve played yet.

    * I’m a big fan of Summoner Wars… and I’m predicting that the release of the Master Set this summer will give it the push it needs to reach the top 25. Agree or disagree?

    Disagree, although I’ll concede the fans are rabid.

    * I don’t see much on the horizon that looks like it will crack the Top 25 – so how many returnees will we have? I’ll take 20 in our imaginary pool.

    Bold given that ten dropped this year. But, I agree with the sentiment and will take 18.

  3. E.R. Burgess says:

    7 Wonders is here to stay for a couple of years. The short playtime and the tendency to get that ‘once more!’ thing going (also helpful for Dominion, Race and Pandemic in particular on this list) makes it a shoo-in.

    Thunderstone is good and it more people play it, I could see it going further up the Top 25 but it isn’t as fast as Dominion and doesn’t have an online version (or PC version in the case of Race) to help push those numbers up. Nightfall is also good but that may be just too many deckbuilders (and there are more – Puzzle Strike and Eminent Domain might just surprise people when they get proper distribution).

    I agree with you on Dixit and Forbidden Island. Settlers may lose ground just on the introduction of more Settlers-related products that are coming out or did recently.
    They may scratch that itch for people and drag it down.

    I think Michael Schacht’s new “Mondo” may pop onto the list because it’s fun, has a quick playtime and also has that ‘one more time’ feel.

  4. If I had a picture of me foaming at the mouth while holding a Summoner Wars box, I would certainly post it here.

    If I had any way to consistently enforce a “no-internet-gaming stats” rule, I would – but I don’t. (And I don’t personally track my stats separately, so it seems rude for me to ask someone else to do the same.)

  5. Dave Vander Ark says:

    I think the Dixit expansion due out in July might be enough to help it hold on for one more year.

    (Says the man who decided it was more trouble to track plays than it was worth and gleefully gave that up in 2010)

  6. Mike Hansen says:

    Great information as always! Thanks for doing this.

    I do think 7-Wonders will push Agricola out of the top 5, and maybe RTtA as well. Agricola is a great game, but the length of play will make it tough to stay.

    I like Innovation as a dark horse to break into the top 5. This assumes their expansion does well.

    I think Alien Frontiers will make a showing also, especially after they hit their third print run.

    Regardless, 2011 should be an interesting year for gaming.

  7. Mark Jackson says:

    Mike – my one question w/Innovation breaking in is the polarizing nature of the game – there are a lot of people who actively hate the game as well as those who obsessively love it.

    And Alien Frontiers is in my blind spot, as I really did NOT like the combination of a great dice system with a tired & overly powerful action card system when I played it.

  8. Mike Hansen says:

    Mark,

    I agree that Innovation has extreme camps. Our group loves it and it typically gets multiple re-plays on the same night. I know Tom Vasel spoke to this nature in one of his Dice Tower podcasts. He likes the game a lot but others in his group actively dislike it.

    The short playing time and multiple play aspect is why I think it might make a showing. There are several games in the top 10 that will never hit our table because our group think does not like them (Dominion, RfTG, Small World). Tastes are a funny thing.

    You might try AF again. I have not heard folks refer to the cards as overly powerful before. In the games I have played folks focusing on card heavy strategies tend to get crushed.

    ps. Mirthworks is putting Alien Frontiers on the web, so I am bit biased on that one :)

  9. Mark Jackson says:

    You’re correct – I should give AF one more try… but my first playing was one of those “hey, I love this game system & the artwork is cool & it does lots of the things I like in a game & ooo, Kingsburg w/out some of the irritation” – and then “seriously? you can take 1/3 of my victory points w/one card play?!” to “I have to get up & walk away from the table for a minute because of the violent disconnect between the game systems.”

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