The Games of Summer 2022

The humidity outside is 80%, and walking to the car feels like you’re stepping into a bowl of hot soup. This can only mean that summer is here!

Whether you’re traveling this summer or staying indoors to enjoy the A/C, we’ve got a handful of summer-themed games that won’t make you sweat (unless you’re overly competitive). So grab an iced drink and pick up one of these games for your next get together.

REEF

Publisher: Next Move Games
Number of Players: 2 to 4
Time Commitment: 30 minutes
Full Review | Purchase on Amazon

Review: Reef

In a lot of ways, REEF is a hidden gem of a game in the Next Move Games lineup. This 2018 release is a colorful puzzle that has up to 4 players earning points for completing goals. Players draft duel-use cards that give them chunky plastic coral to add to their board. These same cards are also used to claim pattern goals for points throughout the game.

REEF was released in the shadow of the mega hit game Azul 12 months earlier. In a lot of ways, REEF didn’t get its day in the sun due to people comparing the two. I really enjoy the puzzley design, and how the strategy changes throughout the game as new cards are revealed. If you’re looking for a bright, beachy game to play with the family, REEF is a great pick. This is a great time to pick up this underwater themed game, especially since it just received a second edition release..

Santa Monica

Publisher: AEG
Number of Players: 2 to 4
Time Commitment: 30-45 minutes
Full Review | Purchase on Amazon

Santa Monica player area

Build the busiest boardwalk, but don’t forget to give your visitors something to do. In Santa Monica, players are going to build the beach front, and board walk, of one of the most famous destinations around. Drafting cards can feel tight in the game and often you’re looking for just that right card to add to your tableau. Currency in the game comes in the form of wooden sand dollars that need to be spent wisely during the course of the game.

Santa Monica is dripping with summer theme with the pastel colors, fun illustrations, and super cute meeples. Players have to strike a balance when bringing new crowds to the beach. These cute meeples become negative points if they don’t have activities to enjoy. Santa Monica is a fantastic game for just 2-players or a table of 4. This is one game that could possibly convince me to take a day to visit the beach.

Twin Palms

Publisher: Bink Ink LLC
Number of Players: 2 to 5
Time Commitment: 20-25 minutes
Play Online | Pre-Order

It’s tough to find a trick-taking game that does something new. We were pleasantly surprised earlier this year we played a new card game called Twin Palms. Cards are brightly illustrated cards with people (and animals) enjoying beach blankets with the color of one of three suits.

There is no leader or trump suits in Twin Palms. Instead, everyone plays a pair of cards and rank according to the suit(s) and numbers that are played. Before each round, players bid based on their 10-card hand, winning a bonus for taking the exact number of tricks they bid.

Twin Palms brings something new to the trick-taking genre but is still easy to jump into for gamers who enjoy classic card games. Since you can’t play the physical version of Twin Palms this summer, grab a friend and play digitally on Board Game Arena. Chances are you’ll see us in there playing a game during the week.

Summer Camp

Publisher: Buffalo Games
Number of Players: 2 to 4
Time Commitment: 30-45 minutes
Full Review | Purchase at Target

Summer Camp campers

Summer Camp is a Phil Walker-Harding game that was released last summer. Players will begin the game by choosing 3 different camp activities that will serve as the themes for that game. This family-friendly deck builder is a great game to break out during the weekend or after dinner with the kids. Summer Camp is all about earning badges, and the player who earns them first is awarded the most points.

Our family really loves how accessible this game is and how much the “summer camp” vibe comes through. This is an excellent pick for any summer gaming session, and it’s easy for kids to pick up. The game scales really from a casual 2-player session to a 4-player game with kids and adults. You can find Summer Camp at your local Target stores nationwide.

Longboard

Publisher: 25th Century Games
Number of Players: 2 to 4
Time Commitment: 20-30 minutes

Longboard card game

A new release for this summer is Longboard, a new card game from Dr. Reiner Knizia. Players are using cards to “shape” surfboards to outscore their opponents. As the boards climb higher, cards can only be added if they are the correct color and have an equal or higher number than the card below it. Using wild cards can help in a bind but don’t score points at the end of the game.

There are 4 random objectives in each game of Longboard which each player is trying to achieve. Finished boards (having 4 or more cards) score points from the stickers that appear on each board card.

Longboard moves fast and is an excellent game to play during a beach vacation or while traveling with family and friends. You can grab a copy of Longboard at gaming conventions this summer or from the 25th Century webstore when it arrives in the warehouse in coming weeks.

Do you have a favorite game to recommend this Summer? Let us know in the comments!