Top 10 Upcoming Games

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Better Late than Never…

You may think it odd this list is coming almost five months into the 2021. Aren’t these usually dropped back in January; February at the latest. I’ll be honest, you are correct. Even I admit that dropping this now is a bit odd, but 2020 kicked my butt. I completely fell out of gaming news and just wasn’t paying attention to what was coming out because I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get back to a table with some friends and play games; any games. Didn’t have to be new, at this point Monopoly is looking good. sigh

However, I’m one shot down, a second coming in a little over a week, and I’ve been looking at the upcoming games. Now that a time when I can play with friends is in my future, I’m more excited to see what’s coming.

I tried to be careful with this list and only pick games that are coming out. Some of the games that would have been on my list if I’d done this back in January have already hit shelves; Sleeping Gods, Bloodborne, and Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower for example. I also wanted to try and include games that are coming out this year. This means things like ISS Vanguard and Darkest Dungeon aren’t on here even though they are announced for this year. They’re still releasing close enough to the end that I’m not sold on them coming out just yet. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ll err on the side of caution for this. Then there are the bits I’m too close to tell on. Things like the next chapter of Middara which is in the process of coming out and could be hitting shelves as I write this.

With all of that out of the way, let’s grab a look at what’s coming. I think…

Top 10 Upcoming Games 12

Oathsworn: Into the Deepwoods

This game captured my imagination when the first riddle hit the internet. I wasn’t able to solve it, but I tried. The game itself is a mix of dungeon crawl, boss battle, story adventure, and city investigation. It uses a dice or card mechanic for randomization that I really dig. You choose which one you want to use and can change back and forth mid game. The effort in this game is amazing. Tons of story, huge beautiful maps, and your choice between a voice casted app or a physical storybook. The fact that you can get the game preassembled in mystery boxes so as not to spoil the upcoming encounters is just one more piece of the care and options that went into this game. The only reason it’s this far back on the list is that while it’s slated for a mid-year release, there’s still a lot of work to get done and I’m still not positive it will be done.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 13

Oath: Chronicles of Empire & Exile

This is an interesting worker placement/area control game with a varying board state that effects the next game. Oath works on a closed economy that forces some tough decisions. You spend political capital to accomplish things and where you spend it gives some factions more influence across the board. Add to that varying end game conditions, cards that can either be added to your power structure or placed on the field where anyone can use them, and the need to control areas of the board for victory sets this game as a strategic puzzle I’m excited to crack into. I also appreciate that the end of the game dictates how the next game will start and how the game gets put back in the box to set up for that. I’m anxious to see how this one works.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 14

Arkeis

When I talked earlier about theme’s I love 1930’s Indiana Jones style dungeon adventure is high up on that list. Arkeis feels like it’s going to be adding some fun pulpy adventure to my table top in the best way possible. The three dimensional rooms, miniatures, and mechanics all look great. While I know the campaign nature of the game will turn off some players, I love these sorts of games. It also boasts a 60 minute playtime which should be pretty good for my family if they decide to try this one. If they don’t I think my regular game group and I will be able to try this one right off. I know they recently pushed back the release date from Q2 to a bit further back, but I think they should still be pretty close to on track for the year.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 15

Return to Dark tower

I really enjoy Restoration Games. I haven’t played every game in their stable, but the ones I have tried I had a great time playing. If you add that to this game that throws me right back to the 80’s then I’m going to be interested. Return to Dark Tower has some nice mechanics, a fun theme, it looks challenging but not impossible, and there’s a moving light up tower. Yes, the tower is a gimmick, but it’s one hell of a gimmick. Even without the tower, I think I’d still be interested in this game. I think it’s coming out at GenCon, and I hope to be there to try it.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 16

Frosthaven

The board game in my collection that I’ve played the most is probably Gloomhaven. There are probably a couple of pen and paper RPG’s or a miniatures game that sit just above it, but not by much and not in the last three or so years. Frosthaven is Gloomhaven streamlined, expanded, and with the rough edges sanded down. There’s a city building mechanic added to this one, there’s a branching storyline that didn’t exist in the original, and all new classes and creatures. The six new starting classes are really fantastic, original, and different. They’ve made the loot action more necessary and dynamic. There’s new ways to get equipment. This game feels like an old friend who’s gone through massive self-improvement since you last saw them. A member of my game group has kickstarted this one and I’m looking forward to getting it to the table as soon as possible.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 17

The Adventures of Robin Hood

A mystery based story telling cooperative game with a campaign that unlocks secrets on the board. I love the theme, the mechanics I’ve seen look great, and its co-op which I enjoy too. Robin Hood is a story I really like and want more of. Those old heroes from tales gone by need more representation as far as I’m concerned so giving me a Robin Hood game gets me excited. If we can just follow this up with the Lone Ranger and Zorro games I would be pretty stoked for that too.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 18

Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game

I’m a huge Street Fighter fan. I also love two player miniatures games. Both of those are enough to get his on my list but when you add in the expansive nature of this one it jumps up. The battle mechanic looks well thought out and interesting, the figures are top tier, and the different modes of the game add welcome amounts of variety. I’m looking forward to diving into this and running E. Honda over to Hundred Hand Slap the crap out of my friends.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 19

Roll Player Adventures

I really like Roll Player. The dice drafting game of character creation is a great bit of fun, and my friends and I have often joked that we should use it to create characters for an RPG. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to think that and Thunderworks Games decided to give us a game to play those characters in. The idea of taking the end result of a game I have a ton of fun in and adding it to the beginning of another game sounds like it could be just a great long afternoon. At the very least it could be two or three awesome sessions. I’m looking forward to trying this next chapter in the Roll Player Extended Universe.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 20

Wonderland’s War

Part bag building game, part area control, and part objective driven points. Wonderland’s War is filled with things that just look good. I’ve backed this one on Kickstarter and as one of the few games to drive through my 2020 funk I’m pretty hyped to play this. I love Quacks of Quedlinburg and will happily play it again. Wonderland’s War feels like a more involved experience that I sometimes crave. I’m looking forward to diving into this one top hat first.
Top 10 Upcoming Games 21

Descent: Legends of the Dark

I have been playing Descent since the original edition. I love the systems, rules, and themes. It might be the oldest dungeon crawler I’ve ever played aside from D&D. Take a game I am immensely fond of and mix it with an app run intelligence based on what Fantasy Flight has learned from the exceptional Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth and you’ve got me hooked. I’m ready to play this now. They did a livestream a couple of months back where they talked about the new mechanics the game uses and I’m intrigued by how they work. The app functions on a pretty impressive level in that it lets you do things you couldn’t without an app. What you find when interacting with a terrain feature might depend on the character you’re playing. Most of the characters will just find a bookcase, but the tinker might find a secret drawer. The monsters have unique tricks and patterns that you’ll have to learn. The only thing holding it back is that you can’t use previous Descent creatures and heroes with it but I’m hoping they’ll add those in later as they expand the game. Either way I really excited for this one.

One Last Hopeful Thought

I’ve had my first shot, my second one is a week away, two weeks of waiting, and I’m able to venture out in public again. I’m hoping we’ll all be there and things can start returning to a more social experience. I want to go to at least one convention this year and I hope I get to see all of you there when I do.

Since you’ve heard my list, what are some games you’re looking forward to seeing? Honestly, I want to know. I’ve been checked out of the new games for so long I’m certain I missed some and want to hear what you all have to say.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

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