Popular Mechanics

Since 2015, Popular Mechanics has published a running article on the best new boardgames that they periodically update. The list has grown from 15 to 35 to 50 games (archived articles here). Every iteration of the list has been written by William Herkewitz, so the list captures his evolving exploration of new entries in the hobby. Popular Mechanics recently published the latest update to Herkewitz’s list of best new boardgames. New is a relative term in the parlance of boardgames, and in this case it means published in the last six years, as the oldest game on the list is Quantum. The list is not ranked, so it is a collection not an order. Each entry has a well-written two-to-three paragraph description of the game and why it merits inclusion.

So, what changed since the list was last updated in December 2018? Games added to the list: Architects of the West Kingdom, Azul, Betrayal Legacy, Brass: Birmingham, Claustrophobia 1643, Decrypto, Monolith Arena, Nemesis, Planet, Vindication, Western Legends, and Wingspan. These twelve new additions bumped the following titles off the list: Camel Up, Century: Golem Edition, Clank!, Dead of Winter, Dice Forge, Five Tribes, Mombasa, Nemo’s War: 2nd Edition, Now Boarding, Super Motherload, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and Whistle Stop

Here you can check out the full list and see the thirty-eight titles that kept their spot.

Picture from popularmechanics.com

Popular Mechanics, a longtime publication about popular science and technology, has often covered features that would interest the intellectual and creative minds of its readers, so it should be no surprise that the magazine has published a list of 50 best new board games for the past three years. While their list is not as comprehensive as the Dice Tower’s Top 100 Games or the numerous lists of Top Ten GamesPopular Mechanics has been a champion of the boardgame hobby to the uninitiated.  Popular Mechanics’ latest list comes just in time for the holidays and includes a wide variety of games to appeal to every type of gamer.  While only a handful of popular games from 2018 make the list, such as Rising Sun , Everdell, and Root, the majority of the list is comprised of great games from the past several years.  Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Terraforming Mars, Star Wars: Rebellion, Scythe, Gaia Project, and Great Western Trail all make the list. Check out their list to see Popular Mechanics 50 Best New Board Games.

It may seem unusual to see board games discussed in a non-board games or non-entertainment magazine, but Popular Mechanics has dabbled in providing board game advice to its readers for a couple of years now.  The Dice Tower crew updates its Top 100 Games each year, produces a Top 10 Games of the Year each December as well as numerous Top Ten Games in an endless number of categories.  Popular Mechanics has done well to include a large variety of games on their list, ranging from party games, to heavy strategy games, to children’s games, to legacy games.  While a couple of games from 2018 are on the list, such as Rising Sun and Thunderstone Quest, many of the games are from 2017 and earlier.  Needless to say, the list does recognize some great games:  Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Terraforming Mars, Star Wars: Rebellion, and Scythe all make the list. It was truly compiled by a lover of games.  Check out their list to see Popular Mechanics 50 Best New Board Games.

Picture from popularmechanics.com

It’s coming to the end of the year, and what does that mean, lots of people putting out their Top X for 2017 lists.  The Dice Tower does this themselves as they have already released their Top 10 Games of 2017 and Top 10 Pop Culture of 2017 on Youtube.  But not to be left out, Popular Mechanics has now released their list for the Top 50 Games of 2017.  What is interesting about their list is that they are a lot of great games on here from across the spectrum, from party games, to micro games, to heavy strategy games, and even Kickstarter games.  Although like any list, some maybe are not as great but get by on notoriety, but strangely also some games not from 2017 make the list.  Some of those games on the list include Star Realms, Quantum, and Codenames, which are great games, but odd choices for being included on a 2017 list.  Either way, check out their list to see the top 50 “new” board games for this year of 2017.

ghostbusters game board

What happens when you release a board game with a theme connected to a major motion picture?  Usually some extra coverage from main-stream sources. It’s not typical for Popular Mechanics to write about board games, but that’s precisely what has happened with Cryptozoic’s Ghostbusters board game.  Popular Mechanics picked up a copy of the game and did a brief review of the game in light of the recently released Ghostbusters movie.  So if you like seeing what folks outside the industry think of board games, you can take a look at the review on Popular Mechanics’ website.