Best Week 2022! The Index!
We do this for posterity. Presumably, posterity will care very much about which board games we liked best each year.
Below the jump you will find links to each day of Best Week 2022. It was an excellent year, filled with games that were playful, meaningful, intriguing, and (ugh) fun. Here’s to another. May it be brighter and more rewarding than the last.
Best Week 2022! Mind’s Eye!
Gimmicks. Brinkmanship. Trauma. Tradency. Little by little, board games have been growing up, encompassing new ideas and new spheres of empathy and expression. This year, Best Week has been a celebration of that expansiveness. It’s a grand time to be pushing cardboard.
Sometimes, though, a game is about sussing out an opponent’s move before even they know what they’ll do. Playing 4D chess. Wheels within wheels within wheels. Today we turn our inner eye toward the exemplars that let you get into your loved ones’ heads.
Best Week 2022! Corrective Tradency!
When it comes to the transmission of culture, board games are an uncommon medium. Partly literary, largely oral, and entirely ludic, we’ve yet to see many games leverage their particular strengths to communicate effectively. Every so often, though, one shows up: a game that uses its language of play to set the record straight.
Today is about the best titles of 2022 to act as tradents of culture and history, leaning on their unique advantages as playthings and tablebound artifacts to open a clearer window to the past.
Best Week 2022! The Traumatics!
We are all broken. As board games grow more ambitious and tackle more mature topics, it’s inevitable that the traumas that are an inseparable part of life will receive treatments of their own. This is to be expected. Maybe it’s also to be expected that such games will be dour and full of halfheartedly ingurgitated meaning. What’s notable is when the games produced by this impulse are worthy of engagement. When they’re playable, interesting, thought-provoking, and yes, even my most despised curse word, when they’re “fun.”
Gah. I need to get that taste out of my mouth before it settles in for the night. So let’s talk about some board games. Today, we’re celebrating the best titles of 2022 about trauma, whether personal or systemic, hidden or overt. These are the traumatics.
Best Week 2022! Seeking Thrills!
Press-your-luck. Brinkmanship. Good old-fashioned hassling. Whatever you call it, this past year featured a wealth of great games that were about seeing how far you could escalate a situation before it blew up in your face. Today, we’re celebrating our hobby’s thrill-seekers.
Best Week 2022! Go Go Gimmick!
“Gimmick” doesn’t need to be a nasty word. When you get right down to it, a gimmick is something done to attract attention. Stretch that definition even the tiniest bit and you get nearly every board game ever made. Since that would result in far too long a list, today we’re examining the year’s games that used singular concepts to draw eyeballs — and won me over in the process.
Welcome, friends, to the first day of Best Week 2022.
New Year, Old Year: 2020 Revisited
Nothing to see here — I’m only four months late to our February tradition. But you know what’s almost as good as February? March.
For those who might not know what’s going on, this is our chance to reexamine my top picks with the benefit of hindsight. How did my Best Week 2020 selections hold up? Let’s take a look.
Best Week 2021! The Index!
We made it! Another year, another buncha board games, another Best Week. Below the jump, you’ll find images linking to every day of this hallowed event. May it keep you occupied while I take a week off. And while our parting is sweet sorrow, rest assured—
Space-Biff! will return.
Best Week 2021! Escape! Escape!
The wheel has turned once more. We’ve heard some good advice about how to keep hold of our fractious sanity. From me, the sage advice-giver. Make something. Learn to rely on each other. Be strong. Reject orthodoxy. And now, last but surely not least…
No, really. Get out. Use a nail wrested from a rotten floorboard to pick the lock. Pry the handle from the rusted door. The billionaires are doing it. Look at them, fleeing into orbit or the depths of digital consciousness. They know where the days ahead lead. So run, run, run into the night. And although the magic circle offers scant protection from the cold, take some solace in the year’s best games of escape and evasion.
Best Week 2021! Reject Orthodoxy!
Orthodoxy. What is it, anyway? It will surprise approximately zero of my readers that I was raised in an intensely orthodox environment. But one person’s orthodoxy is another person’s heresy, and nothing challenges norms and traditions quite like going through a global crisis. Oh, there’s a way we’ve always done things? Institutions don’t like change? Have a plague.
For one reason or another, this year featured a number of very good games about challenging, rejecting, or otherwise giving orthodoxy a good poke in the ribs. Today we celebrate our hobby’s troublemakers, reformers, and heretics.