Oink Games' SCOUT board game, one of the best games of 2022.
Image: Oink Games

Every year brings its own set of board games that are praised by critics and receive a warm welcome from the community. The year 2022 was no exception, with dozens of worthwhile contenders vying for players’ attention. Today, we bring you the best board games 2022 has had to offer, with many of these titles becoming instant hits with players, and some, perhaps, geared towards a bit more of a niche audience.

Either way, the board games on our list for 2022 are marked by sound design and distinct innovative features. They are deservingly the best titles that came out in 2022 and will definitely be something that you want to play if not frequently – then at least try once! Let’s have a look.

List of the Best Board Games 2022

  1. Cascadia
  2. SCOUT
  3. Top Ten
  4. 7 Wonders Architects
  5. Echoes: The Dancer
  6. Magic Rabbit
  7. My Gold Mine
  8. So Clover!
  9. Trek 12: Himalaya
  10. Magic Mountain
  11. That’s pretty clever! Kids
  12. Quacks & Co. Quedlinburg Dash
  13. Honey
  14. Living Forest
  15. Cryptid
  16. Dune: Imperium
  17. Ark Nova
  18. Khôra: Rise of an Empire
  19. Witchstone
  20. Froggies


Flatout Games' Cascadia by Randy Flynn
Image: Flatout Games
  • Designer(s): Randy Flynn
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Age: 10+
  • Complexity: 1.83/5

If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to own your very own wildlife park – then look no further than Cascadia – a fun, simple, but extremely engaging tile-laying and token-placement board game by Randy Flynn. The game offers five different habitats – grassland, water, mountain, forest, and desert; and five different animals to inhabit them – hawk, fox, salmon, elk, and bear. The terrain consists of hexagonal tiles that contain from 1 to 3 terrain types. Each player starts with three such tiles and must strategically place them to form the largest habitat of each type. This, naturally, adds up to the end score, but there is the additional strategic factor of the wildlife tokens. By adding them to their appropriate habitats, players can maximize their potential scores and achieve victory easier. This unique blend of wildlife and strategy earns Cascadia a spot on the best board games 2022 list.


Oink Games' Scout board game
Image: Oink Games
  • Designer(s): Kei Kajino
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Age: 9+
  • Complexity: 1.35/5

SCOUT is a ladder-climbing board game that’s all about the cards. However, unlike other competitors in the genre, and on our best board games 2022 shortlist, SCOUT has a few unique distinctions. Perhaps the most notable one is the dual-indexed cards the game is most famous for. Players will be quick to note the numerical values on the upper left corner of each card – from 1 to 10 – and the smaller number beneath it. The smaller number indicates the numerical value on the other side of the card. In SCOUT, players may not adjust their hands when drawn in any way, but they can flip them to get the bottom values if they prove to be more favorable. Players may choose from three different actions each round in order to obtain Victory Points. Rounds are based on the number of players, so games are dynamic and engaging. It is these unique distinctions that earned SCOUT a place in our shortlist.

Top Ten

Cocktail Games' Top Ten board game and game components.
Image: Cocktail Games
  • Designer(s): Aurélien Picolet
  • Players: 4-9
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Complexity: 1.09/5

A game that blends guessing, unicorns, and… poops together, Top Ten is a guessing card game with a fun twist that is sure to add flair to any party. To start, players first need to determine who will be this round’s “chief”. Contrary to the prestigious title, that player will be this one’s guesser. After this difficult decision is made, he then provides players with a random 1-10 numbered card. Each card represents a “suggestion rate” of sorts – 1 being the worst, 10 being the best. But perhaps what earns Top Ten a spot on the best board games 2022 list are its themed cards, which are over 500! Each one is read out loud at the beginning of each round, after which the “chief” makes his suggestion. Afterward, each player must make his own suggestion based on the numbered card drawn. The “chief” must then decide the adequacy of the suggestion from 1-10. If he happens to get it wrong, a unicorn token is flipped on its poop side. The game is played over five rounds – if you have a unicorn token left by the end, you win! Otherwise… poop.

7 Wonders Architects

Repos Production's 7 Wonders Architects board game box and components.
Image: Repos Production
  • Designer(s): Antoine Bauza
  • Players: 2-7
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Age: 8+
  • Complexity: 1.33/5

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to build a wonder and propel your civilization to greatness? No, I’m not talking about Age of Empires, but the critically acclaimed board game that made the best board games 2022 list- 7 Wonders: Architects. The game has many layers – players must develop their military might, economy, science, and diplomacy in order to obtain the necessary progress points to develop their wonder and receive the much sought-after Victory Points. In a neat addition, the player who owns the infamous Cat receives two Victory Points at the end of the game. A game of 7 Wonders: Architects ends whenever any player builds their wonder the fastest. However, being the fastest wonder builder doesn’t necessarily make you the winner, as your Victory Points may surprisingly be lower than you expected. It’s important for players to take all aspects of the game seriously in order to win, like any good civilization leader.

echoes: The Dancer

Ravensburger's echoes: The Dancer board game and components.
Image: Ravensburger
  • Designer(s): Matthew Dunstan, Dave Neale
  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Complexity: 1.24/5

Any ghost enthusiast will love the eerie gothic theme of echoes: The Dancer. A mystery-solving board game at its core, this horror game will bring out your inner paranormal investigator and detective! Players are tasked to put the story of a young girl haunting a Scottish manor in the correct order to uncover the secret of her tragic passing. Her story is divided into six unique chapters, and each one has a unique board for an extra bit of immersion. Furthermore, the inclusion of the game’s free unique app will have players listen to a myriad of creepy noises and ghastly voices that are directly tied to the source material. This amazing addition is one of the many reasons why the game has earned a place on the best board games 2022 list.

Magic Rabbit

Lumberjacks Studio's Magic Rabbit
Image: Lumberjacks Studio
  • Designer(s): Julie Dutois, Romaric Galonnier, Ludovic Simonet, Cécile Ziégler
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Age: 8+
  • Complexity: 1.14/5

Everybody knows the symbiotic relationship between magicians, hats, and rabbits – they kind of just go along together. But if you’ve watched enough magician cartoons, you just know things can get rather messy. Such is the case with Magic Rabbit, where players will have to quickly put their stage in order in just three minutes! Yes, you read that correctly, the game has just three minutes of playtime, and in those crucial minutes, players will have to arrange the rabbits and hats to match their particular numbers – from 1 to 10. And as if that wasn’t hard enough – there are additional obstacles to the game, like the Dove tokens and the special envelopes, all of which add further difficulty. This unique set of challenges has put Magic Rabbit on the best board games 2022 list.

My Gold Mine

IELLO's My Gold Mine
Image: IELLO
  • Designer(s): Dr. Hans Joachim Höh, Michael Loth, Christof Schilling
  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Age: 7+
  • Complexity: 1.07/5

This fun push-your-luck thriller will have its players mine for gold as fast as possible while trying to get out of the way of the mighty dragon Dragobert – the ideal plot for one of the best board games 2022 has to offer. Each player starts the game by receiving a miner card and a corresponding colored token. Afterward, gold cards are shuffled and placed face up. Finally, the exit cards are shuffled and placed face down. From that point on, players will get to build the mine itself, using 9 large card mine tracks. The exit card is placed on the left side, the mine cart in the center, and Dragobert on the right. Each player’s miner token is then placed on the cart, and the shiny gold nuggets players will be competing for – within arms reach. Players need to carefully weigh the risk of getting more gold nuggets or getting burned by Dragobert! The rush for gold has placed My Gold Mine on our shortlist.

So Clover!

Repos Production's So Clover board game
Image: Repos Production
  • Designer(s): François Romain
  • Players: 3-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Age: 10+
  • Complexity: 1.10/5

If you’re looking for a fun and unique word association game, look no further than So Clover! Often called one of the best party games no one knows about, So Clover! focuses on player creativity and intuitiveness to make for an exciting experience. Each player receives a four-leaf clover, a marker, and four cards with words written on each side. Players must then form two words on each outer edge of their clover and make clever one-word associations between them, which are written on the outer leaf itself. Once all four sides are properly formed, they are taken off the cover, after which a random card from the deck is shuffled in. The collective goal is to reform the original clovers using the keywords. This makes for a ton of fun and replayability, which puts So Clover on our list.

Trek 12: Himalaya

Pandasaurus' Trek 12: Himalaya board game box.
Image: Pandasaurus
  • Designer(s): Bruno Cathala, Corentin Lebrat
  • Players: 1-50
  • Time: 15-30 minutes
  • Age: 8+
  • Complexity: 1.45/5

Those who would love to go to the Himalayas, but lack the time and desire to climb steep slopes, can instead visit the famous mountain range on the tabletop with Trek 12: Himalayas. This roll-and-write alpinism board game found its way to the best board games 2022 listthanks to its large potential player count and simple, but rewarding mechanics. The game offers three different sheet pads with progressive difficulty levels, which already sets up players with multiple sessions, allowing them to further test their tabletop mountain climbing skills. Players must carve their way to victory by creating chains and areas of consecutive numbers, ranging from 0 to 12.

Magic Mountain

Amigo's Magic Mountain board game.
Image: AMIGO
  • Designer(s): Jens-Peter Schliemann, Bernhard Weber
  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Age: 5+
  • Complexity: 1/5

Magic Mountain may take only 15 minutes to play, but its fun and interactive mechanics will leave players wanting for more. Centered around sorcerers’ apprentices and evil witches, the goal is to move all the apprentices from the top of an elevated game board all the way to the bottom before three witches do the same. The game board also includes several forked paths which will come into play later. The game also offers a unique chaos mechanic to the game – the will-o’-the-wisps – colorful marbles that go down the slopes and forked paths of the board with a smash, making it a worthy contender as the best board games 2022 has to offer. Any apprentice or witch it hits moves to the next available spot on the switchback path in the will-o’-the-wisp’s corresponding color. This colorful pinch of chaos deservingly puts Magic Mountain on our list.

That’s pretty clever! Kids

So Clever, Kids' board game - German version.
Image: Schmidt Spiele
  • Designer(s): Wolfgang Warsch
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Age: 5+
  • Complexity: 1.17/5

The child-friendly version of That’s Pretty Clever! does justice to the original title, having the same mechanics and playstyle, albeit with a lighter tone. In a dice-rolling game at heart, players roll five dice with different colors each turn. Whoever rolled the dice then chooses an action, and the rest of the players choose from whatever actions are left. What makes the game worthy of the best board games 2022 listare its luck-mitigating mechanics, essentially combining the thrill of rolling dice with strategic thinking and a unique blend of chaos and control. This further allows for extra replayability, allowing for hours upon hours of fun.

Quacks & Co. Quedlinburg Dash

Schmidt Spiele's Quacks & Co. board game.
Image: Schmidt Spiele
  • Designer(s): Wolfgang Warsch
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Age: 6+
  • Complexity: 1.27/5

Set in a fantasy version of the German town Quedlinburg, this push-your-luck board game uses a unique “bag building” mechanic to keep its animals running. No, you didn’t read that wrong. In Quacks & Co.: Quedlinburg Dash, players will mount friendly farmyard animals in order to win a prestigious race. “Bag building” acts similar to deck building – each player starts with a bag filled with starting tokens. They are weak at first, but during the course of the game, tokens will become more and more powerful, allowing you to win the game easier. Furthermore, different mounts have different power levels, with some of them allowing you to move massive spaces across the board. Others have unique effects, making the game full of variety and strategy. It’s no wonder why it made it to the best board games 2022 list.


Pegasus Spiele's board game Honey.
Image: Pegasus Spiele
  • Designer(s): Stefan Kloß, Anna Oppolzer
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 15-25 Min
  • Age: 5+
  • Complexity: 1/5

Speaking of games that deserve more than a mention on our best board games 2022 list, we should definitely be adding Stefan Kloß and Anna Oppolzer’s Honey. The game received a 2022 Kinderspiel des Jahres Recommended nomination at the Spiel des Jahres and has a simple, yet intriguing, and evocative theme. In the game, players will try to remember how much nectar is in each flower, and then fly over with their bees to gather the precious sticky liquid. By doing so, players will produce honey, and try to fill their jars first to win the game. The game uses 3D set-up and some audio clues that turs it into an instant hit with children and even their older siblings and parents. Fit for ages 5+, this is a game that you should definitely try if you can get your hands on it.

Living Forest

Ludonaute's Living Forest board game.
Image: Ludonaute
  • Designer(s): Aske Christiansen
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Age: 10+
  • Complexity: 2.21/5

In Living Forest, players take on the roles of spirits that must protect their sacred wood from dangerous wildfires that threaten to consume everything. In terms of mechanics, Living Forest is an insanely fun amalgamation of push-your-luck, deck-building, and token placement mechanics as an engine. Naturally, this makes gameplay insanely fun without being too overwhelming, which landed the game a place in the best board games 2022 list. Furthermore, Living Forest was made by a first-time designer, making its inclusion on the prestigious list even more impressive. There are three ways to win the game – by extinguishing 12 fires, by collecting 12 sacred seeds, or by planting 12 protective seeds. You would definitely want to try all three, as the game leaves you wanting to play it more and more.


Osprey Games' Cryptid's game components and box.
Image: Osprey Games
  • Designer(s): Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers
  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 30-50 minutes
  • Age: 10+
  • Complexity: 2.24/5

If you ever wanted to be a cryptozoologist, look no further than Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers’ Cryptid. In an insanely clever deduction game, you will have to use your intellectual prowess in order to win – there are no complex mechanics involved, no chaos cards, and nothing of that sort, which is another reason why we feature this game in our best board games 2022 list. Cryptid uses a thematic modular game board, and its five different clue books and deck of set-up cards offer hundreds upon hundreds of different scenarios players can find themselves. Furthermore, the game has a digital companion app for extra ease of access and smoothness of gameplay.

Dune: Imperium

Dire Wolf's Dune Imperium game components.
Image: Dire Wolf
  • Designer(s): Paul Dennen
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 60-120 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Complexity: 3.02/5

It’s no wonder that the critically acclaimed board game Dune: Imperium made it as one of the best board games 2022 has to offer. Not only is it centered around the cult classic Dune universe, but its mechanical smoothness is also unlike no other, combining elements of deck building with worker placement. Players will get the unique experience of controlling a major faction on Arrakis and will have to carefully navigate the delicate political landscape of the planet to fight for better positions, use their vast military might to annihilate foes, or use stealth to initiate surprise attacks. Each faction brings something unique to the table, bringing a different way to play to the mix. It will take a while to try them all, ensuring replayability and diversity.

Ark Nova

A close of up Ark Nova's game components and gameplay.
Image: Feuerland Spiele
  • Designer(s): Mathias Wigge
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 90-150 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Complexity: 3.73/5

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to manage your very own zoo? If so, look no further than Ark Nova. Its players will have total control over a modern, fully automated zoo, with their goal being to build the best establishment they can. They will have to build various enclosures, and establish projects all around the world, all while taking care of the various animals in their care. There are 255 cards in the game, featuring various animals, handlers, experts, veterinarians, enclosures, and conservation projects. Each of those has a special effect and influences the game in a different way, a diversity that put Ark Nova in the best board games 2022 shortlist. Considering the relative obscurity and lack of popularity of its chosen genre, it makes its inclusion in the prestigious list that much more impressive.

Khôra: Rise of an Empire

IELLO's Khora: Rise of an Empire game components.
Image: IELLO
  • Designer(s): Head Quarter Simulation Game Club
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 75 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Complexity: 2.75/5

Set in the glorious times of Ancient Greece, Khôra: Rise of an Empire puts its players in control of a blossoming city-state. The game plays over 9 rounds and will have players use its 7 unique Actions focused on ancient Greek values to achieve victories. Those include Philosophy, Legislation, Culture, Trade, Military, Politics, and Development. The game’s immersive mechanics centered around history have earned it a place on the year’s best board games list in 2022.To add a further layer of strategy to the game, there are three different Tracks players can develop. Much like the Actions, the Tracks are based on different key values of ancient Greeks –  Military, Culture, and Economy. Whoever owns the most developed city-state at the end of the 9th round is declared the winner.


HUCH!'s Witchstone board game box.
Image: HUCH!
  • Designer(s): Martino Chiacchiera, Reiner Knizia
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60-90 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Complexity: 2.77/5

In this fantasy-themed tile-placement game, players use their collective magical and strategic prowess to restore the energies of the Witchstone. They will get to take on the role of a powerful witch or wizard representative of a coven, sending acolytes to do their bidding and concoct deadly spells in their respective cauldrons. Note that the cauldrons also act as each player’s personal gameboard. In order to do that, players will have to perform various Actions each turn, which are dependent on matching symbols on hexagonal tiles, situated inside their cauldrons.  The more matching symbols – the more powerful the actions become. The mechanics are easy to learn, but very hard to master. Nevertheless, they are extremely rewarding, which earned Witchstone a place on the best board games 2022 list. To win a game of Witchstone, players must collect various prophecy scrolls by the 11th turn – whoever has the most on the eve of the 11th turn is declared the winner.


Amigo's Froggies Board Game box.
Image: Amigo
  • Designer(s): Haim Shafir
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Age: 5+
  • Complexity: 1/5

A light-spirited board game centered around little frogs chilling on lilypads, Froggies will have players put cards in numerical order from 1 to 8 in order to win. Each player draws from a deck of cards consisting of numbered cards from 1 to 8, with each number having a total of six cards in the deck (48 in total). This simple, but engaging ruleset is what distinguishes Froggies as one of the best board games 2022.Additionally, however, there are eight “trash” cards and four frog cards. As the name suggests, the so-called “trash cards” have no function and are immediately discarded. The frog cards act as jokers and can be treated as any numbered card. At the beginning of the game, players draw 8 cards to begin, and each additional round starts with a card draw. The goal is to simply place all the numbered cards in numerical order from 1 to 8. When a player manages to do so, he wins that particular round. Afterward, a new round starts, but the winning player is only dealt 7 cards. In the end, only one row of one card must remain in order for a game of Froggies to be completely won.

Krasen Gechev

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.


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