This year I had a tough time finalizing my Top 10 list. There were some excellent releases that just missed my list and I honestly felt bad each time another one fell off. Count this list as my “honorable mention” list.
Disney Sorcerer’s Arena
Disney Sorcerer’s Arena was one of my bigger surprises this year. After demoing the game at Origins with Isaac Villa (Gaming with Sidekicks), I was hooked. This arena combat game is actually based on a mobile app and has so much depth on the tabletop. Players choose a team of fighters from the line up of Disney and Pixar characters. Teams go head-to-head in the arena, earning points for knocking out opponents and occupying locations in the arena.
The OP has an excellent line up of characters including and even more are planned in 2023. The rulebook is built so well, stepping players through the mechanics and layering in new complexity at just the right pace. Disney Sorcerer’s Arena is an excellent game for families and a system that we’re excited about.
Ready Set Bet
2022 is the year of the horse in my book. Between Long Shot the Dice Game and Ready Set Bet, horse games were a staple of game nights at our house. Ready Set Bet is the real-time bidding game where players are watching dice powered horse tokens as they speed toward the finish line. The 4 rounds can be tense and the game supports up to 9 players which makes this a must for parties.
After each of the 4 rounds, players will receive a bonus or perk going into future rounds. The huge betting board gives players opportunities for betting on individual horses or more specific race scenarios that could lead to bigger payouts. With the right race caller and a table full of friends, this game is a blast to play. Ready Set Bet is a game that is here to stay in our collection.
After two rounds of our demo at Origins, we knew that we had to own Tenpenny Parks. I’m a sucker for amusement park themed games and this one is dripping with style. The artwork from Vincent Dutrait and solid component quality immediately draws you in. Something I love about Tenpenny Parks is the tight economy as you build your attractions.
Players advance along “thrill”, “awe” and “joy” tracks as they try to draw in the biggest attendees. You’re constantly making sacrifices and quickly run out of space on the small boards that each player starts with. With money being tight, spending just a couple bucks can feel brutal if you haven’t planned properly. Even after 6 months with the game, Tenpenny Parks is regularly hitting the table in our home.
Founders of Teotihuacan
This tile-laying game was at the top of my mind for a good part of this year. Founders of Teotihuacan challenges players to build out an ancient city with tiles that give resources and score points according to the temple being constructed at the center of the city.
Founders of Teotihuacan is an excellent introduction into some of the more strategic games that Board&Dice publishes. I really like the architect meeple that moves around the outer-edge of the city that dictates where players can build new tiles. I really enjoyed digging into this game, finding combos and trying to balance the resources to advance your civilization. If you didn’t check this tile-laying game out in 2022, it’s worth grabbing a copy.
Heat: Pedal to the Metal
This was a tough one. During Christmas I finally got to play this new racing game from Days of Wonder. Heat: Pedal to the Metal is a fantastic racing game that I’m so excited to have in our game collection now. While I’ve only played the game twice at the time of this article, this game is a fantastic 2022 release. Players have to manage the “heat” cards as they push their vehicle to the limit in this F1 racing game.
The game comes with 4 race tracks and modules to advance the gameplay after your first couple games. At the end of the year, this was my most anticipated game. I have no doubt that as I dig into the game more, it will continue to rise in my best games of 2022.
These are 5 games that just missed my Top 10 Games 2022. See the 10 board games that made my Top 10 in this video. What games were your favorite this past year?