22 Games We’re Excited for in 2022

At the start of each year, we like to take a look at some of the games on the horizon. With so many games being published each calendar year, we want to share some of the games that caught our attention. Without further ado, here are 22 games we’re excited about this calendar year.

Fall of the Mountain King

Publisher: Burnt Island Games
Release Window: Q2-Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan and Ric

Fall of the Mountain King

After 2019’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, I’m excited to see how this prequel game sets itself apart in gameplay and story. The battle between gnomes and trolls looks epic and knowing Burnt Island Games, the components will be top-notch. The mix of mechanics here have me excited as you position ancestry cards and control your troll armies. Thankfully, I think Bob backed this one so I’m hoping he’s up for teaching me how to play later this year.

My Father’s Work

Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
Release Window: Q1 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

My Father's Work

I’m a huge Frankenstein fan and the setting and goal of My Father’s Work really connects with me. Players compete to finish the work of their mad scientist Father over the course of 3 generations. The storybook and legacy elements look really immersive and the Victorian setting is beautiful. Players trying to balance research and staying in the good graces of the village seems like a mechanic I would really enjoy. I’m hoping that this is a game that will fulfill the mad scientist asperations of my childhood. Now I just need someone to loan me enough money to purchase the game when it releases this year.

Cryptid Cafe

Publisher: Squatchy Games
Release Window: Q1 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric and Ryan

Cryptid Cafe Preview

When this first hit Kickstarter, I was immediately drawn in by the colorful and creative artwork. Soon, we were able to play the game together on Tabletop Simulator with the game designers, and I had a great time with it. I think I even pledged for the Kickstarter in the middle of the demo. Each player is tasked as a waiter, delivering gross but still adorable food to your monstrous clientele. You’ve got some good worker placement elements at play here, light enough to draw in new gamers but complex enough to keep more experienced gamers interested. The game is slated to ship out this year, and I’m excited to get it to the table with my family.

Gartenbau

Publisher: 25th Century Games
Release Window: Q4 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan, Erin and Bob

Gartenbau plant market

You know that you fell in love with a game when you keep thinking about the prototype that you played months ago. Gartenbau is a gorgeous game that is satisfying and puzzley in all the right ways. The central board is a rondel where players are collecting seed types and resources in the form of rain and sun. I’ll be excited to get this game back on the table because apparently the 6 weeks we spent with the prototype was not enough.

Rolling Heights

Publisher: AEG
Release Window: (maybe) 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

Rolling Heights

I like the idea of rolling a handful of meeples to see what happens. Rolling Heights is a new game from John D. Clair that allows you to roll meeples to see how efficiently they work each round. The game has some press your luck mechanics and the city building theme is right up my alley. Rolling Heights launches on Kickstarter in February but I’m a little concerned that this is going to be more realistically a 2023 release.

The Palaces of Carrara (Second Edition)

Publisher: Game Brewer
Release Window: Q4 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric and Bob

Palaces of Carrara second edition

I had a great time with this game when Bob first introduced it to me on Board Game Arena. The game, to me, is all about timing. It has a very interesting mechanic for collecting supplies which utilizes a rondel, forcing players to decide if they want to get supplies while they are expensive or wait a turn, hoping other players pass them up and they’re cheaper later. It also has some unique approaches to scoring in which you’ll want to wait to maximize your points. However, you also must be aware of the other players as many scoring opportunities are only available once per game. It is fun online, but this game seems to me like it would be great with everyone gathered around the table.

Darwin’s Journey

Publisher: Thundergryph Games
Release Window: Q2 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan, Erin, Ric and Bob

Darwin's Journey worker placement spots

We’re cheating a little bit since this was on our 2021 list but it needs to be repeated. Darwin’s Journey is fantastic and we’re all excited to get our hands on the physical copy. This was one of our first games we backed through Kickstarter and it’s just months away from shipping. Darwin’s Journey is a tight worker placement game that has players leveling up their workers. Will you focus on exploration of the Galapagos Islands or submit new species to the museum? I’m getting excited just thinking about having this game on our table!

So, You’ve Been Eaten.

Publisher: LudiCreations
Release Window: Q2-Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

So, you've been eaten.

A game that has a fully punctuated sentence for a title is immediately going to catch my attention. So, You’ve Been Eaten is a big ball of silliness. In a standard two player game, one person is a miner trying to harvest crystals from inside of a monster. The other is the monster, utilizing its immune system to attack the miner. The game also boasts a “zero player” mode, which I don’t quite understand. There are lots of things I’ve never seen before in a game, so I’m excited to see if the game fulfills all of its quirky promise.

Motor City

Publisher: Motor City Gameworks
Release Window: Q4 2022 (maybe)
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan and Bob

Motor City

The team at Motor City Gameworks knocked it out of the park with Three Sisters last year. Motor City is the latest roll and write from this team and it’s a game I can’t wait to play. This roll and write has players running an auto plant in the city of Detroit. Gaining big bonuses and combos are something that this team is known for and I love the theme of running a car factory. Look for a preview of this game ahead of the Kickstarter launch in the first part of 2022.

Wicked & Wise

Publisher: Weird Giraffe Games
Release Window: Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

Wicked & Wise

I had the pleasure of meeting Fertessa Allyse at a board game meetup back when those were a thing. I remember that on at least one occasion, she brought out a trick-taking game that she was working on. Everyone that got to try out the game said that it was a must play. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to experience it myself. Lucky for me, that game turned into Wicked & Wise, a game I backed immediately when it hit Kickstarter in 2021. I like that it takes a mechanic that most people are familiar with and shapes and morphs it into something that’s completely different and incredibly intriguing. It’s asymmetrical team-based trick-taking, and I can’t help but be hooked just by that basic description. As I take steps to downsize my collection and focus on titles with a small footprint and great experiences, this is one that will likely stand out.

Blood on the Clocktower

Publisher: The Pandemonium Institute
Release Window: Q2 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

Blood on the Clocktower

I don’t know as much about Blood on the Clocktower as I would like, but it’s one that keeps getting high praise from different reviewers in the community. It looks like a social deduction game, but with all of the problems that those games carry with them. Even though players can be “killed”, they continue to play on as ghosts. New players can also jump in during a game as Travellers, thus allowing for those who might be a little late to your game night to join in. While large game nights may still be a bit of a challenge for the foreseeable future, this is one that I would love to try whenever that might be possible again.

Hoop Godz

Publisher: Colorway Game Labs
Release Window: sometime in 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

Hoop Godz

Our hobby is lacking sports games (that are good) and Hoop Godz is going to be a welcome addition when it publishes. In Hoop Godz, two players are controlling their team of 3 street ballers. Each character has a unique ability and players use “juice” to power the players on the court. The mechanics work really well and it was a blast playing this online when the Kickstarter campaign ran in 2020. I’m excited to see what tweaks have been made to the game and even more excited to have a really solid sports game on my game shelf.

Maul Peak

Publisher: Pencil First Games
Release Window: Q4 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

Maul Peak

If you’ve played Skulk Hollow, you know how special this asymmetric 2-player game is. Maul Peak is the stand-alone sequel to the game that we’ve been looking forward to. Players choose between a tribe of bears or the massive Guardian that has to be taken down. It looks like this will be a slight step up from the original as it introduces new powers and abilities. The most exciting part is that both games can be merged together for 4 players to enjoy. Plus, the original Foxen Clan can play against the new Guardians.

It’s a Wonderful Kingdom

Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Release Window: Q2-Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

It's a Wonderful Kingdom

It’s a Wonderful World is one of my favorite card drafting games of all time. It’s replaced the classic 7 Wonders and it’s a game I still enjoy pulling off the shelf. Like other modern classics, this game is getting the head-to-head, 2-player treatment that it deserves. This game features new artwork depicting two new fantasy realms along with a bluffing mechanic and traps that can be set against your opponent. My hope is that it’s a game that Erin and I can get into weekend rotation of 2-player games.

Colt Express: 2 Trains & 1 Mission

Publisher: Asmodee
Release Window: Q2-Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

Colt Express expansion

One thing I love about these lists is that I always end up discovering something I didn’t know existed but am really excited about. This expansion to Colt Express, one of my favorite games is just that. Releasing eight long years after the original game, this box promises to take many of the elements of this game and turn them on their heads. First up – it’s semi-cooperative! Now you’re working on teams to try to pull off a huge heist. Second – another train! You’ll be jumping onto another 3D model of awesomeness, making sure to get back before time runs out. There’s also new characters, new things to steal, and a Gatling gun. How could you not get excited? I’m always looking for an excuse to bring this game out, and it sounds like I’ll have several reasons with these new additions.

Chai: Tea for 2

Publisher: Steeped Games
Release Window: Q1-Q2 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

Chai: Tea for 2

Another head-to-head game that we’re looking forward to this year is Chai: Tea for 2. We got a rundown of the game at Origins 2021 with our friend Jazz Cruz. I’m a sucker for dice placement games and tea. The game feels like a meaty 2-player game that plays out as a race to deliver tea. I really enjoy how the game takes players from the process of collecting tea leaves through shipping them to their final destinations. The components look excellent and I can’t wait to dig into the game later this year.

Green Team Wins

Publisher: 25th Century Games
Release Window: sometime in 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan, Erin and Bob

Green Team Wins

When Chad at 25th Century Games first introduced us to this party game, the word “amazing” and “instant classic” was tossed around by almost everyone at the table. Green Team Wins is a party game from the team that created Medium. During the course of the game, players are trying to side with the majority of the players at the table as they answer completely subjective questions. They come in the form of multiple choice, either/or, fill in the blank and more. Keeping your answers aligned with the majority will give you victory points while one wrong answer can have you banished to the Orange Team. This game gets loud and you’ll always learn something new about the players that are at the table. We introduced our family to the game during Christmas with a prototype of the game and everyone had a blast. Look for this to be the party game of the year!

Return to Dark Tower

Publisher: Restoration Games
Release Window: Q1 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

I didn’t back Return to Dark Tower on Kickstarter because I don’t have that kind of money to throw around. I’m not all that familiar with the property (though I did watch the movie… and I liked it! TAKE THAT!), but I wasn’t even all that intrigued by the playthrough that I watched. But I must say, I really wanna see that tower in action. I mean, it’s gotta be the most impressive board game component of all time, right? Even better than that credit card reader from Mall Madness

A quick note from Ryan: Please never tell Ric that The Dark Tower movie based off the Stephen King books is totally unrelated to this board game. Let’s see how long it takes him to read this article.

Book of Villainy

Publisher: Gold Seal Games
Release Window: Q2 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric and Ryan

Book of Villainy preview

Fertessa Allyse has been a busy bee lately, as this is another title that will be hitting tables in 2022. While Wicked & Wise caught my attention with its original gameplay, Book of Villainy had me hooked by its hilarious spin on a well-worn theme. You take on the role of a villain, but not a very good one. So instead of having the goal of world domination, you’re just trying to do cool things that you can write about in a “tell all” book. All of the cards in the game reflect the humorous approach to the game, and they’re actually funny. Not like, “Aww, that’s kinda cute,” but like, funny. I’ve backed this one on Kickstarter, too, so I’ll be looking forward to it arriving in the mail towards the end of next year.

Mythic Mischief

Publisher: IV Games
Release Window: Q3 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ric

Mythic Mischief

I’m very intrigued by this title from IV Games. I’m a sucker for factions that offer players different ways to approach a game. I also like the design here, with great artwork and cool miniatures. I’m still not convinced by the theme, though. I mean, with all the high production value, you think it would be about more than goofing off in a library. So while I’m not convinced yet if good the game will be any good, I’m hoping I get the chance to play it in the coming year.

Resurgence

Publisher: Half-a-Kingdom Games
Release Window: Q3-Q4 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan and Bob

Resurgence

This bag building, worker placement, action planning Euro game was a hit at Origins 2021. After Bob and some friends demoed the game, they talked about it non-stop the rest of the show. Resurgence has players competing in a post-apocalyptic Moscow with a team of survivors. Each round, players send out survivors to collect resources and find new survivors to add to their bag. Resurgence was designed by Stanislav Kordonskiy who previously worked on Dice Hospital, Old West Empresario, Rurik and more. This game checks so many boxes for me and I can’t wait to try it later this year.

Creature Feature

Publisher: Trick or Treat Studios
Release Window: Q2 2022
Excitement Level:
Nominated by: Ryan

Creature Feature

Trick or Treat Studios announced their entry into tabletop gaming in the middle of 2021. Creature Feature is a new bluffing card game created by Richard Garfield. I’m really digging the artwork and the premise of being a casting director in the golden age of monster movies. Players pair stars with co-stars while trying to win movie roles. It feels like this would be a solid card game for the whole family to play during our annual Halloween game nights.

These are just 22 of the dozens of games we are excited about this year. What game releases are you most excited about in 2022?