The end-of-year retrospective week continues at the OG with a further look back at 2020. It’s often hard to try all of the games from a given year by the time that year ends, and it’s always valuable to have more time to explore new releases before deciding on your favorites. So today we dig back into 2020, having had more time to explore that year’s games, and we share our favorite 2020 releases. With another year under our belt, we’re even more confident that these are the gems from 2020 that we still love to play. What are your favorite 2020 games?
Talia: My game of the year for 2020 is definitely The Fox in the Forest Duet. I just adore the two-player cooperative trick-taking fun of this 30-minute gem. Working together in this card game to collect all of the gems, while avoiding getting lost in the forest and using all of the various card abilities, is always a blast. My runner up is Lost Ruins of Arnak, which is perhaps the first deck-builder that I actually enjoy, in large part because it gives me Caylus vibes as a tight, competitive worker placement game where the deck-building is much more of a means than an end. Two great games that I’ll be happy to play hopefully for years to come!
Liga: I would like to mention three titles, published in Italy in 2021, which for me were absolutely deserving and of great value and that I played a lot: My City, Lost Ruins of Arnak, and Nidavellir.
Joe Huber: The two games released in 2020 which have stuck for me are Sheep & Garden, mentioned before, and Beyond the Sun, which I’ve had a lot of fun with. I’m still well behind on playing 2020 releases – I’ve played 154 games released in 2018, and 39 released in 2020, for comparison – so hopefully I’ll still come across a surprise hit or two.
James Nathan: Rise of the Metro, which released in mid December 2020.
Mark Jackson: There’s been a lot of whining about 2020 being a “down year” for games… but for me it was a bountiful harvest of really enjoyable games – Lost Ruins of Arnak, Dune: Imperium, Hallertau, Undaunted: North Africa, and Minigolf Designer.
And, my copy of Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 sits on my nearly unplayed shelf of shame, waiting for the return of a consistent gaming group. (We played the training mission – but the “real” game hasn’t started yet.)
Tery Noseworthy: I like several of the games already mentioned – Lost Ruins of Arnak and Minigolf Designer to name two – but here are two others I really enjoyed.
- Loot of Lima – why didn’t anyone tell me how good this is? Oh wait, everyone did, since it is designed by our very own Larry Levy. I kept wanting to try this but never saw a copy pre-pandemic. It was at Lobster Trap, and Brian suggested we give it a try. I am SO glad we did because I loved it and immediately ordered a copy.It’s everything I like about some other deduction games out there, with none of things I don’t. I expect this to see a lot more play in 2022.
- Glasgow – two player games see a lot of play in this house, even when were aren’t in the throes of a pandemic, and so I am always on the lookout for specifically two-player games. This is a great two-player tile laying game with a lot happening in the strategy and limitations of placing those tiles.
Rand: I’ve mentioned Rise of the Metro and Field of the Cloth of Gold above. Beyond the Sun and キャットインザボックス (Cat in the Box) certainly belong among my favorites of 2020, too.
- Beyond the Sun
- Pandemic Legacy: Season 0
- Anno 1800
- The Grand Trunk Journey
Alan How: Similar to Larry:
- Beyond the Sun
- Anno 1800
- Dwellings of Eldervale
- Super skill pinball arcade
Only 3 games of interest for the 2021-2022 time frame, zero bought and of those only Ark Nova has any significant interest, Crew “2” and Cascadia being the others.
6 games from 2020
10 games from 2019
Things are definitely slowing. Too much fluff and not enough depth. Great con games but not anything that I need to own.