My massive backlog of games to talk about didn't lessen in 2022, only got worse.
2022 was a big year for playing games, bigger than 2021, which I thought was big enough! Below is the breakdown of games I played in '22 versus '21.
Number of different games played: 139.
Of which were new (To me.): 68.
Total number of gaming sessions: 541.
Number of different games played: 78.
Of which were new (To me.): 46.
Total number of gaming sessions: 333.
Why have the numbers gone up so much? Two factors, 2022 saw the end of lockdowns and a full year of playing on Board Game Arena where not only could 5 or 6 games be easily played in an evening, some games could be played multiple times per session.
Most played games:
Lucky Numbers, with it's simple, unpredictable, luck based and strategy mechanics replaced Lover Letter as our regular 'finisher' on Sunday nights.
Now on to the industry-defining, glittering, 3 Spellcasters & a Dwarf annual game awards.
These are for games I first played in 2022, not necessarily games that were published in 2022.
Game of the year: Cascadia
Cascadia is a tile-placement game with fairly simple rules but a wealth of options, strategies and approaches to scoring points. Players have to manage and optimise multiple scoring vectors that use tiles and tokens but rarely do they get to draft both the tiles and tokens they need, forcing them into meaningful, compromising decisions.
What more could you want?
Disappointment of the year: Terminator: Dark Fate The Card Game
This co-operative deck-builder had some interesting ideas but also seemed broken, so much so that we struggled to make any headway into the game. It felt like the game needed more playtesting and balancing.
Surprise of the year: Akropolis
Another tile-laying game! This time one with actual figurative multiple levels of gameplay!
Simple rules, lots of decision and a quick playtime make this game a cracking package.
Honourable mention: Parks
For a long stretch of 2022 I thought that this worker-placement, resource-management game was going to be the game of the year until Cascadia came along.
With limited workers spaces along the hiking trail, players are faced with trying to anticipate their opponents actions while also prioritising their own and gather the resources to buy point scoring cards.
Parks also has some of the best components and artwork I've seen in a game for a while.
I play, I paint.