Tech's Top 100 Games of All Time 2017 Edition
Jake Glenn

Wyoming
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This is my first year of doing a top 100 list and I will hopefully be releasing one each year. I enjoy a lot of heavy euros and social deduction games, but have a pretty broad taste in games.

I have played roughly 250 games so there were probably only a handful of games that didn't make the list that I was sad about - and I'm sure as time goes on, more beloved games will drop off the list. There are just too many good games!
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1. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:160]
Jake Glenn

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#100

My Rating: 7.5

A nice little quasi Magic-esque game. I can see why people play this religiously, and it has the potential to be a strategic powerhouse with great combos and room for replayability with added expansions. I worry that the initial draft is the most interesting part of the game and the rest could get a little repetitive, but so far so good.
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2. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Jake Glenn

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#99

My Rating: 7.6

I love the almost 'push your luck' aspect, the interaction (what cards have my opponents played/what is still in play?), the single set of cards, the 'double or nothing' feature, the tension, the pacing, everything.

It's a bit light, a bit luck based, a bit abstract. But it plays so well. Should I withhold cards that will help my opponent but are clogging up my hand? How many moves are left for me to achieve what I want to? Should I slow the game or rush to do what I need? Risk it and play a 5 on a 1? But what if I am about to draw a 2? All of these choices/questions and more, each turn, each game. I love it.
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3. Board Game: Lost Cities: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:938]
Jake Glenn

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#98

My Rating: 7.7

Very similar to Keltis, in which I prefer the theme and some minor gameplay elements - enough to keep this as a separate entry, but I've considered combining them.

The hidden bonuses are interesting but I prefer having them open for all to see (as in Keltis) because it makes for more tactical decisions and less luck.
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4. Board Game: Keltis [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1340]
Jake Glenn

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#97

My Rating: 7.7

While I prefer the one set of cards in Lost Cities (which provides a more tense experience), the board play in Keltis adds another dimension that requires both added tactical decisions and often more bold plays, as players try to hoard the gemstones or combo extra movements. I also prefer the theme; while the idea of exploring in Lost Cities is fitting, it doesn't draw away from the abstract experience. Whereas Keltis feels as though I am playing a mystical, ancient abstract Celtic game.
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5. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:573]
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#96

My Rating:7.7

I'm surprised at how much I liked this game, and how addictive it is. It feels random but at the same time I've seen players excel at it by a large margin. The tension of trying to stay alive and also set your opponents up for failure is really engaging and fun, and it's a bit of a push your luck/card counting/number counting game but one that's highly interactive and can be quite mean. But the 'take that' aspect is kind of indirect; it isn't 'haha, I played this super mean card on you that I happened to draw' but rather outbluffing and setting up pitfalls for all of your opponents.
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6. Board Game: Stir Fry Eighteen [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:8437]
Jake Glenn

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#95

My Rating: 7.7

I've played games where I am unlucky with draws but have managed to pull off some incredible bluffs. And that's what I like about this game. Bluffing is a mechanic I thoroughly enjoy and it is well implemented with this set collection game.
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7. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:379]
Jake Glenn

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#94

My Rating: 7.7

The components in this game are beautiful and interesting and work really well with the theme. The Pyramid dice roller is a fun gimmick and the camel stacking also adds to the hilarity of play. It sometimes feels as though the game is too random and unpredictable and optimal plays cannot be determined (eg I suck at this game!) but at the same time it doesn't matter. It adds to the theme of bidding and pushes you to either go all or nothing or try your best to cover your bases. It is a good length, games never feel too long and rarely too short but has great replay value.
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8. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:109]
Jake Glenn

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#93

My Rating: 7.7

My answer to Ticket to Ride (yes, I know it's quite different, but still). I like the action selection, and instead of blocking, forcing your opponents to pay you to use their track. It's less grokky and more insidious. Also, the 'pickup and deliver'. I guess it just works for me as a train game.
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9. Board Game: Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1634]
Jake Glenn

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#92

My Rating: 7.7

I think the appeal of Machi Koro for me, like many games, is the engine building. It's a light, somewhat random game, but it centres around how you mitigate that randomness. Do you spread out and play safe, or try to maximize the efficiency of certain numbers? What combinations of cards are you going to make? Will you buy something to prevent someone else from getting it? And will you save up for the big stuff, with the risk that someone else could steal your money? Machi Koro is a weird mix of a light, silly, take that Monopoly-style game mixed with an engine building strategic euro, and yet I still like it quite a bit.
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10. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
Jake Glenn

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#91

My Rating: 7.7

Android NetRunner essentially sells me on two things: firstly, I love the hidden card system, as the corporate player essentially sets up a shield of bluffs that the the hacker must decipher, and the action point system. Not only are those mechanics unique, interesting and really fun, but they really ramp up the depth of strategy.

This game probably doesn't rate higher for me simply because I suck at it, and I didn't get hooked into the deck building.
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11. Board Game: Vinhos Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:198]
Jake Glenn

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#90

My Rating: 7.8

I didn't enjoy Vinhos as much as some of Lacerda's other titles, as it feels a bit skeletal in comparison. But even a Lacerda skeleton is enough to make a thoroughly enjoyable game, and it does have that Lacerda feel. Minimal placement spaces but a lot to juggle. I think expansions could really spice this up for me because it is a wonderful, unique system as you try to juggle your wine production, quality, sales and showcasing.
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12. Board Game: ...and then, we held hands. [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2386]
Jake Glenn

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#89

My Rating: 7.8

At first glance I thought this game would be a bit simple. But wow, there is a lot of depth here, particularly with the advanced play (which I recommend, but prepare to get whooped). Some games, depending on the timing of the cards, I think may be impossible to win (particularly on harder difficulties) but don't let that fool you on just how much what the players do matters. The 'no talking' is both interesting and frustrating, and very thematic. This could certainly move up ratings with further plays, but also I am wary that the randomness of the cards might kill that possibility.
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13. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Jake Glenn

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#88

My Rating: 7.8

For me, a bit too light weight and the randomness of the dice (even with mitigation) does clash a bit with the fact that it is a strategic euro. But despite this, it still works. There are still enough interesting choices and replayability/strategic growth to keep me intrigued. It's fun, tense and I like the hut tiles and scoring cards. Stone Age has a great flow to it and ease of play, and really is a great 'gateway' euro. It gives a good intro into economic management, particularly with the risk taking aspect of worker upkeep and the dice (though this kind of sets Stone Age apart from more luckless euros) as well as coupling this with points gathering. The theme also works well with the gameplay. It's not hard to see why Stone Age is loved as much as it is.
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14. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:137]
Jake Glenn

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#87

My Rating: 7.8

Funnily enough one of the things I'm not all that keen on about this game is the theme, or perhaps the artwork. It's not really my style. I honestly really like standard euro themes such as 'trading in the Mediterranean' and farming, and while I appreciate delineations from that, this just feels a bit tacky. Also, while I quite like the hidden worker placement, I much prefer it in Fresco, where rather than bidding you actually have to choose where you are going.

But apart from that, I quite like Dungeon Petz. Deceivingly complex, and quite unique. I like the worker placement spots, I particularly love assigning the cards to your monsters, and working out how you will try and score them. If you like euros and you want to try something different, I recommend Dungeon Petz.
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15. Board Game: Mysterium [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:151]
Jake Glenn

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#86

My Rating: 7.9

It can be a little fiddly for what is essentially a partyish game, and the voting system is a bit meh and could be done away with, but the core mechanic combined with the detailed cards make for a different and intriguing game. The theme really works with the experience of the game, and almost feels like a newer, better Cluedo. Very thought provoking, but the co-op nature while fun, can also lead to some nasty arguments!
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16. Board Game: Black Fleet [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:633]
Jake Glenn

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#85

My Rating: 7.9

Silly fun, thematic, a tad random. Like Camel Up, it's not usually what I like - or maybe I just like to tell myself that. It feels like a party game mixed with a euro (the merchant ship) and an ameritrash (the pirate ship) all rolled into one great package. But there are some important decisions to make, and a good 'knock down the leader' game that emerges in three player, although oddly still suffers a little from runaway leader - driven mostly by how the upgrade cards work.
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17. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Jake Glenn

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#84

My Rating: 7.9

I love the 'buildings' in Rosenberg's other titles, so a game that hones in on this gets a tick from me. Plus a euro that adds a tinge of bluffing, another tick. Initially I thought the resource wheel was a dumb idea, but it works, and it's fun, and just another feature that keeps you honest.
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18. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:175]
Jake Glenn

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#83

My Rating: 7.9

This plays like a euro version of Chess. I love that it is completely balanced (aside from the usual first player issue) and it is a tight, quick, highly interactive worker placement game. The simplicity isn't necessarily a weakness as it streamlines play, however there are very few buildings to choose from which limits strategic choices (the expansion may help here). I love how pressed players are to try and achieve everything they need to on a given turn and before game end, and the tension between the back and forth, hoping the other player won't take needed placement locations. It is a bit limiting in terms of strategy (both players have to achieve essentially the same things, eg minimum of all animals) but is rich in tactical decisions and how you go about achieving that end.
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19. Board Game: Dice Forge [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:356]
Jake Glenn

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#82

My Rating: 8

I'm really enjoying exploring different crafting/building mechanics in games, particularly ones that do controlling and mitigating randomness well. Dice Forge can still be pretty random (like bag building and unlike deck building, you might buy a die face and never see it) but it's still an interesting mechanic, with a great engine building feel to it, as well as variable set up with some cool paths to victory.
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20. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:911]
Jake Glenn

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#81

My Rating: 8

This is a great abstract strategy game. I'm on the edge of my seat while I play it, very fun. Some abstract games just don't grab me, while others, like this, suck me in completely. The art is nice and the theme works well enough, but the gameplay shines. It's a slow, tactical, thinky game much like playing Chess, but I find it more engaging.
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21. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:84]
Jake Glenn

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#80

My Rating: 8

This game is tough, mean and not forgiving to those who aren't self seeking. Very true to its source material.

I really like the diplomacy that eventuates from the game's need for temporary alliances. As everyone is jostling to keep one another from reaching a game ending position, it's very bad gameplay not to continually forge and fracture alliances. But we are human, and this is where it gets interesting - can I let the Greyjoys get away with taking two of my territories last turn? Should I simply tell them I will support them and then watch them die a horrible death against the Lannisters? Or should I get over it and play 'the Game of Thrones?'

I like that it isn't 'total conquest' but rather relies on an endgame trigger, however I'm not sure how I feel about that combined with a round limit. Maybe it would have been better to let the game be open ended? I like the combat, the ability to support (although doesn't seem to get played enough), and the way actions are selected. The bidding is tense, and external threats make an interesting mix of co-operative and cutthroat competitive play.
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22. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Jake Glenn

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#79

My Rating: 8.1

Ground-breaking abstract game with a very interesting scoring system and unique gameplay. Yes, adding in the random cards can kind of ruin what is otherwise a great strategy game, but it makes for tense gameplay as you have to work out when and where to attack with considerable odds, or take a chance if the chips are down.
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23. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:435]
Jake Glenn

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#78

My Rating: 8.1

Four player is chaotic and fun, but ultimately lacks a bit of direction and tension and my rating was going to slip a bit until I discovered two player, which has me craving playing it on a regular basis. I'm not sure why this beats out other Knizia games I love to be my favourite, such as Tigris and Lost Cities, but I guess I came for the camels, and stayed for the gameplay.
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24. Board Game: Mythe [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:5107]
Jake Glenn

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#77

My Rating: 8.1

I am a sucker for games that have elements of bluffing and social deduction, particularly when it delivers it in a new and interesting way. Mythe does this, with beautiful art work and production to boot. While the game can stall (sometimes) at higher player counts, for the most part gameplay is clever and fun. I love how Mythe gives you these interesting predicaments, such as near endgame trying to end up with one of the magical items while opponents know you want to keep it, or whether to hide bombs or keep them - while also trying to read your opponents.
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25. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:126]
Jake Glenn

Wyoming
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#76

My Rating: 8.1

Engine building. Need I say more? Surprisingly though something felt off about Imperial Settlers; maybe it gets a bit too conflated, yet at the same time simple. Or a bit too limiting with the cards. But still, quite fun, and great engine building.
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