Strategy Board Games of the Year

Strategy board games of the year have gained immense popularity in recent years, captivating both old and new enthusiasts with their engaging and intellectually stimulating gameplay. From classics like chess and Go to modern titles like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, the world of strategy board games offers a diverse range of options for players of all ages and backgrounds.

The surge in interest for strategy board games is evident in the wide array of options available on the market today. As more people seek out interactive and social entertainment options, board games have emerged as a popular choice for social gatherings, family nights, and casual get-togethers with friends. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of strategic tabletop fun, there’s no shortage of exciting games to explore.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating realm of strategy board games, exploring their rise in popularity, criteria for selecting the best ones of the year, top picks for 2022, and an in-depth review of each game. We will also examine the importance of strategy board games in cognitive development and provide tips for organizing game nights with friends and family.

Additionally, we’ll take a look at future trends in strategy board games to watch out for. So grab your dice, set up your game pieces, and join us as we embark on a journey through the world of strategy board gaming.

The Rise of Strategy Board Games in Recent Years

In recent years, strategy board games have seen a significant rise in popularity among people of all ages. This resurgence can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing interest in tabletop gaming, the growing number of game cafes and clubs, and the accessibility of board games through online platforms. As a result, more and more individuals are turning to strategy board games as a means of entertainment and socialization.

The appeal of strategy board games lies in their ability to provide a unique and immersive gaming experience that fosters critical thinking, decision-making, and strategic planning. Players are often faced with complex challenges that require them to carefully consider their moves and anticipate the actions of their opponents. The depth and complexity of these games have attracted a dedicated community of enthusiasts who are constantly seeking out new titles to add to their collections.

The rise of strategy board games has also been fueled by the emergence of innovative game designs and themes that cater to diverse interests. Whether it’s exploring ancient civilizations, building empires, or navigating intricate political landscapes, there is no shortage of themes to captivate players. Additionally, the integration of high-quality components, artwork, and storytelling has elevated the overall appeal of strategy board games, making them a desirable choice for both casual gamers and hobbyists alike.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Strategy Board Games of the Year

When it comes to selecting the best strategy board games of the year, there are several criteria that are taken into consideration. One of the key factors is the level of strategic thinking required to play the game. Games that offer a variety of paths to victory and require players to think several moves ahead typically rank higher in this category.

Another important criterion is game balance, which refers to how well a game is designed to provide a fair and even playing field for all participants. A well-balanced strategy board game ensures that no single strategy or approach will guarantee a win, adding an element of excitement and unpredictability.

The overall design, including quality components such as game pieces, board, and artwork, also weighs heavily in the evaluation process. High production value enhances the gaming experience and contributes to a game’s appeal. The entertainment value and replayability factor are other essential criteria considered, as top-rated strategy board games should be engaging and enjoyable upon multiple plays.

Strategic Thinking RequiredLevel of strategic thinking needed to play
Game BalanceFairness and even playing field for all participants
Overall DesignQuality components and production value
Lionheart Board Game Strategy

Top Picks for Strategy Board Games of the Year

Ever since the surge in popularity of tabletop games, strategy board games have gained a significant following among enthusiasts. The strategy board games of the year are those that offer engaging gameplay, strategic depth, and high replay value. For 20XX, several titles have stood out and captured the attention of both casual players and hardcore gamers alike.

One standout title for this year is “Terraforming Mars.” This game involves players taking on the roles of corporations working together to terraform the planet Mars by raising the temperature, creating oceans, and cultivating greenery. With its intricate resource management mechanics and endless possibilities for strategies, “Terraforming Mars” has become a favorite among fans of strategy board games.

Another top pick for 20XX is “Wingspan,” a visually stunning game that centers around birdwatching and habitat creation. Players must collect food, lay eggs, and attract birds to their wildlife preserves in an effort to earn points. With its beautiful artwork, streamlined gameplay, and unique theme, “Wingspan” has received widespread acclaim within the tabletop gaming community.

Lastly, “Gloomhaven” continues to be a top contender for strategy board game of the year due to its immersive storytelling elements and cooperative gameplay. This legacy-style game offers an ongoing campaign where players navigate through branching storylines while engaging in tactical combat against various enemies. Its innovative approach to character progression and evolving narrative has solidified its status as one of the best strategy board games of 20XX.

Strategy Board GameReason for Selection
Terraforming MarsIntricate resource management mechanics and endless strategic possibilities.
WingspanVisually stunning with unique birdwatching theme, streamlined gameplay.
GloomhavenImmersive storytelling, cooperative gameplay with evolving narrative.

In-Depth Review of Each Top Strategy Board Game

Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars has been hailed as one of the best strategy board games of the year, and for good reason. In this game, players take on the role of corporations working together to terraform the planet Mars.

The game is not only rich in theme and strategic depth but also offers a unique blend of resource management, tile placement, and engine-building mechanics. With its beautiful artwork and immersive gameplay, Terraforming Mars has captured the hearts of board game enthusiasts around the world.


Wingspan is another standout in the world of strategy board games. This bird-themed game has garnered widespread acclaim for its stunning design, educational value, and engaging gameplay. Players collect bird cards, lay eggs, gather food, and attract birds to their wildlife preserves, all while competing to build the most successful habitat. Wingspan’s innovative use of bird-related facts and gorgeous illustrations make it an instant hit among both casual players and serious board game enthusiasts.


Gloomhaven continues to be a top choice among fans of strategy board games. This epic dungeon-crawling adventure offers a deep and engrossing gameplay experience that can last for dozens or even hundreds of hours. With its unique campaign-driven storytelling element, character progression system, and tactical combat mechanics, Gloomhaven sets a new standard for immersive tabletop gaming experiences.

These top strategy board games of the year offer diverse themes and gameplay styles that cater to different preferences within the gaming community. Whether you prefer resource management on Mars, bird-watching in your wildlife preserve, or embarking on an epic fantasy quest, there’s something for everyone in these exceptional games.

The Importance of Strategy Board Games in Cognitive Development

Strategy board games of the year offer more than just entertainment; they also play a crucial role in enhancing cognitive development. These games provide numerous benefits for children and adults alike, making them an essential part of leisure time activities.

Enhancement of Critical Thinking

One of the key aspects of strategy board games is the requirement for critical thinking skills. Players need to plan and execute their moves carefully while anticipating their opponents’ actions. This process can help enhance problem-solving abilities, analytical thinking, and decision-making skills. As a result, individuals who regularly engage in strategy board games often exhibit improved cognitive abilities in various aspects of their lives.

Development of Social Skills

In addition to boosting cognitive functions, strategy board games also aid in the development of social skills. These games offer opportunities for communication, collaboration, and healthy competition among players. By engaging in these activities, individuals can improve their ability to communicate effectively, work as part of a team, and handle both victory and defeat gracefully.

Promotion of Memory Retention

Many strategy board games involve remembering rules, strategies, and past moves made by opponents. This constant mental exercise can lead to improved memory retention over time. As players continue to participate in these games, they may notice an improvement in their ability to recall details from various sources-making strategy board games an enjoyable way to keep the brain sharp.

Dominoes Board Game Strategy

By recognizing the significance of strategy board games in cognitive development, it becomes clear that these games have much more to offer beyond mere entertainment value. Whether played individually or with friends and family, these games serve as valuable tools for honing essential cognitive skills while providing fun and enjoyment.

How to Organize Strategy Board Game Nights With Friends and Family

Are you looking for a fun and engaging way to spend quality time with friends and family? Organizing strategy board game nights can be the perfect solution. Not only do they provide opportunities for bonding, but they also stimulate critical thinking and strategic skills. Here’s how you can organize a memorable strategy board game night with your loved ones:

Choose the Right Games

When planning a game night, it’s essential to select the right strategy board games that will appeal to everyone in your group. Consider the number of players, their ages, and their gaming preferences. Some popular choices for strategy board games of the year include:

  • Gloomhaven
  • Wingspan
  • Terraforming Mars

Set the Mood

Creating the right atmosphere is crucial for a successful game night. Choose a comfortable and spacious area to set up the games, ensuring there is enough seating for all participants. Additionally, consider adding some ambient lighting and background music to enhance the overall experience.

Plan Refreshments

No game night is complete without delicious snacks and beverages. Prepare a selection of easy-to-eat finger foods such as chips, popcorn, or mini sandwiches. You can also offer a variety of drinks like soda, juice, or even themed cocktails to add an extra layer of fun to the evening.

By following these simple steps, you can create an enjoyable and memorable strategy board game night that brings your friends and family closer together while enjoying some of the best strategy board games of the year.

Future Trends in Strategy Board Games

In conclusion, the world of strategy board games continues to enthrall players with its diverse selection and immersive gameplay experiences. As we look forward to future trends in strategy board games, it is evident that the industry is poised for further innovation and growth. With the increasing popularity of tabletop gaming, we can expect to see a continued emphasis on creative game mechanics, engaging narratives, and high-quality components.

One future trend to look forward to is the integration of digital elements into strategy board games. This seamless blend of analog and digital gameplay promises to enhance the overall gaming experience, opening up new possibilities for interaction and storytelling. Additionally, the growing interest in cooperative gameplay and social deduction games suggests that future strategy board games will emphasize collaborative and interactive dynamics, catering to a wider audience.

Furthermore, as the world becomes more interconnected, we can anticipate greater cultural diversity in strategy board games, with themes and settings inspired by a wide range of global histories and mythologies. This inclusivity will not only enrich the storytelling aspects of these games but also foster a deeper appreciation for different cultures among players.

Ultimately, the future of strategy board games appears bright, promising an exciting evolution that will continue to captivate enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With so many new developments on the horizon, enthusiasts will undoubtedly have much to anticipate in the years ahead as they eagerly await upcoming releases in this vibrant industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Strategic Board Games?

The best strategic board games are highly subjective, but some popular choices include Settlers of Catan, Terraforming Mars, and Pandemic. These games require players to think critically and make strategic decisions to win.

What Is the #1 Board Game in the World?

According to various sources and sales data, the #1 board game in the world is probably Chess. With its centuries-long history, global popularity, and status as a competitive sport, Chess remains a top choice for board gamers.

What Is the Most Prestigious Board Game Award?

The most prestigious board game award is widely considered to be the Spiel des Jahres, or Game of the Year, which is awarded annually by a German panel of game critics. Winning this award can significantly boost a game’s reputation and sales worldwide.

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