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The Best Games of 2017 (that I have not played)

sean johnson
United States
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I am curious just how many new releases the average gamer gets played in an average year? Every month on twitter a lot of people post their play stats from the Board Game Stats app, so I know relatively speaking I tend to play a lot of games. Despite that I feel like I am ALWAYS missing out on the newest games. So far at this point, I have played 61 games released in 2017. That is up from where I normally am at this point (for instance in 2017 and 2016 I had played 50 of the previous years releases by June).

Despite playing more games than previous years, there are still a lot of games released last year that I have not yet played. As usual this list contains popular games like Lisboa. I have made this list for several years in the summer, and I think this is the first time that I struggled to find ten games that I had not played and had genuine excitement and anticipation to play. Back at the end of 2017 when I made my favorite games list, I did mention that I thought the year as a whole was not as good as the previous couple of years for new games. Perhaps my thoughts on that are staying consistent.

Of the ten games I put on this list last year I have only played two of them, so perhaps that means it does not bode to well for these games. In either event, here are the top ten games from 2017 that I have not yet played (but want to!)

10. Betrayal at Baldur's Gate
I actually have never played Betrayal at House on the Hill either. However, I do like the D&D theme. I have heard that Betrayal at House on the Hill as the potential to be a dud scenario, but I would hope an update on the system would seek to fix that. It was on my short list at Gen Con to do an event for this game, but the times I saw it were up against other stuff I really wanted to do.

9. Anachrony

Everything I have heard about this game is overwhelmingly positive and that is the only reason it is on the list. Aesthetically this game does not appeal to me at all. Just look at the boring box cover. Seeing the game on the table also generates a complete lack of excitement. Despite that this game has universally good word of mouth, so I would like to see what the hype is all about.

8. Wasteland Express Delivery Service
In general I am not a huge fan of post-apocalyptic settings (it is just all too hopeless and nihilistic for me), but I do like engaging thematic games. While I like the pick up and deliver mechanism, my wife loves it. So a deeply thematic pick up and deliver game would be a good fit for us to try together.

7. Ethnos
Last year at game nights this game came out once maybe twice, and then disappeared. That was sad, because I really wanted the chance to play it. I like the card drafting and area control combo. I know one of the complaints against this game is the look and art, but I like it. Especially when compared to over-produced games full of miniatures today I liked the more minimal and retro presentation.

6. The Expanse Board Game

This game is based off the Expanse TV show. I have not seen that show yet. The game play description states that it is inspired by Twilight struggle. I have never played that game. However, I like things set in space. I have also played other card driven area control games and I enjoy the concept. This game seems like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of a game that combines two great things I like, so I want to give it a play.

5. Bärenpark
I like the Tetris-shaped pieces in Cottage Garden, but I do wish there was a bit more game around it. To that end I think Barenpark is the game that would fit that bill. I have been looking for an opportunity to play this game for a while, and that chance has just never presented itself.

4. A Handful of Stars
This is on the list because again, the space theme naturally appeals to me. It is this high up on the list because of the designer. At this point it is probably safe to say that Martian Wallace is probably my wife's and I favorite designer. We have liked several of his games. Even though the game has some infamous problems, I enjoyed the system in A Few Acres of Snow and thought the game was really onto something. Martian Wallace must have agreed since this game is his third iteration of it. I hope the third time's the charm, and this is a game I want to play to find out if it is.

3. Alien Artifacts

I have been really close to buying this one in the past. The theme (again) naturally appeals to me, but so does the game play. My wife and I both like more complex card game and we especially like it when cards can be used for more than one purpose. If I can not find a way to play it first, this is one of the games on this list I am most likely to buy.

2. Charterstone
This is the only game on this list that I am guaranteed to play because it is the only game on the list we already own. We are waiting to finish Pandemic Legacy Season 2, but once we do we are going to start into this one.

1. Sagrada

This game has a lot of stuff going the right way for me. Even though it is mild, I do like the building stain glass windows for a church theme. I like the idea of dice drafting, and I like the look of this game. This is another game that I have only heard good things about, and as an added bonus I feel like I should be able to get this one played. I know a couple of people in the game group have it and enjoy it, so here is hoping Sagrada will make it to the table for me sometime in 2018.
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