Mensa, the organizaiton that argues that it can best measure and quantify your IQ by posing increasingly difficult puzzles to exam takers, has provided a list of what its members consider to be the best board games of 2023.
The distinction goes to five board games that the organization argues stand out by virtue of their design, execution, original thought, and artwork. The exact phrasing is “original in concept, challenging, and well-designed,” and generally games that offer consumers high value for their money.
The awards were first held in 1990, and they have distinguished numerous games that are played to this day, including Magic: The Gathering, Dominion, Azul, and Hive, all of which played to this day and loved by audiences.
For this year’s edition, more than 400 judges weighed in during the Mind Games event in Columbus, Ohio which took place from April 20 through April 30. A total of five games were chosen by the judges this year.
Among the winners was Mille Fiori, a card-driven family-friend game by prolific game designer Reiner Knizia that plays over 60-90 minutes and is fit for 2-4 players. In the game, you claim a share of workshops, trade shops and patrons to score.
Cats, History, Ancient Greece, and Growing Your Garden
Another winner was Trekking Through History designed by Charlie Bink and Underdog games, in which players travel to some of the most important moments in human history. Mensa distinguished Akropolis and Gartenbau as well.
Akropolis has already won the As d’Or award, i.e. the Game of the Year award in France. In the game, you set out to build a Greek city on multiple levels and keep your districts perfectly placed. The game is designed by Jules Messaud and Gigamic.
Gartenbau on the other hand is an abstract strategy game for 2-4 players in which you purchase plants, grow flowers, collect seedlings and enjoy your journey to becoming a Gartenmeister. Not least, Mensa distinguishes the adorable boop.
The game is a quick 20-30-minute 2-player game fit for ages 10+ in which you will boop cats off the bed before the opponent boops yours off.