The Ugly Monster
Published in

The Ugly Monster

Board Games

The Hot List — Upcoming Games to Remember

A game you may not yet know

Greetings dear readers, dear board game gurus, and those who just like to collect cardboard in pretty boxes. I’ve been updating my lists of upcoming games to be on the lookout for and I’ve got some really interesting ones you’re going to want to keep your eyes on! Buckle up.

This is an update of an article I wrote several months ago, but many of those games have already finished their crowdfunding campaigns and a lot of new information has emerged. Here is a link to the previous article if you want to see what’s changed.

Honorable Mentions

Age of Steam Deluxe: Expansions Volumes 1, 2, and 3
This will be a Kickstarter release that gives gamers a chance to pick up many expansions for a well-loved Classic.

While we’re on train themes, Shinjuku is on its way to Kickstarter. It’s an update to the 2019 release. While it looks similar to recent 18xx Japanese rail line releases, I still think I’m going to keep an eye on this to see if it has anything special to offer.

A game of asteroid mining between competing corporations. This has a VERY similar theme to a game higher up on this list, but there is no reason to think Ceres won’t provide its own unique experience.

A game by Anthony Kirkham. Little is known but the Kickstarter preview page has a good-looking box and it’s a game with betrayal, strategy, and a lot of action. This could be hit or miss.

An economic game of building roads and delivering goods. The art looks fresh, but let’s see what new things it brings to the table.

Tavern & Dragons
A lighter and more colorful game than many games on this list. This will be a relaunch if I remember correctly. Given the success of recent cute dragon games, this might be a hit.

The Borrowers vibes!

Castles by the Sea
By Brotherwise Games. I’ve seen several pictures of the prototype for this game and a great-looking video trailer for the upcoming crowdfunding campaign. Again, this one looks lighter and age-friendly but might be worth a look.

Bedeville Carnival
This is one of the games that made my previous Honorable Mentions list but I’ve come down on it a little bit. I’ve seen a well-produced how-to-play video and I’m not sure it’s for me, but I absolutely think this game has a place in many gaming groups.

Sankokushin: Five Sacrifices
This was listed highly on my last Top Ten list but I’ve cooled on this one as well. The progress toward a release has been slow. I mean really slow. I can’t in good-faith call it a most-anticipated for this year when I’m not confident we’ll even see it this year.

In any case, it’s a highly produced Boss Battler game with an active world element where events and quests are “time-sensitive. The art in this game is something you’ll either love or hate.

Crossroads Inn: The Innkeepers’ Creed
I am a bit on the fence about this one. The previous Crossroads Inn game that was funded on Gamefound was not what I would call a well-run or well-prepared campaign. The box art was hideous. This one looks much more appropriate. The IP on this one is really interesting and the game itself seems solid, but I’m not sold on the price points of previous versions. Let’s see how this one goes.

And now, on to the Top Ten!

I like the looks of this one

#10 Phraya

This looks intriguing! Worker Movement, Pick-up & Deliver, and Commodity Speculation are all within the theme of the Floating Markets of South East Asia. The production quality already looks tip-top and there is now more information and pictures available on the Gamefound campaign page.

Creepy box art!

#9 Tainted Grail: Kings of Ruin

The sequel to the much-beloved narrative & cooperative campaign game is coming back to crowdfunding with a new twist. If you’ve already gotten through all of the content of T.G. I’m guessing this is an automatic back.

A return of a classic!

#8 RA

The old beast is getting the deluxe treatment with an all-new UI, art by Ian O’Toole, and deluxified bits. It’s the same RA you all know and love, but now a lot easier to get to the table to revive this once top game.

This will be a money machine!

#7 Castles of Burgundy Special Edition

One of the most loved games of all time has had some of the worse art and components of any top-rated game for as long as I can remember. I initially steered clear of this game because of how plain it looked, but after giving it a chance I found the gameplay good enough to stick with it. I would love it to look much better though, and that’s what is about to happen!

This world is getting so big!

#6 Sleeping Gods: Distant Skies

The first 5 games of the Top Ten are ALL going to be launching on Gamefound instead of Kickstarter.

The original Sleeping Gods has been a smash hit and is steadily climbing into the BGG Top 100. This quick sequel seeks to expand upon the world that so many gamers dove into. This looks like it could be an absolute wallet-buster. This campaign will be packed with pledge levels and add-ons. Save up!

That doesn’t look like Mombasa!

#5 Skymines

Finally, a game comes straight to retail. This is the reimagining of Mombasa that I mentioned in my previous Top Ten list. I’m really excited for this one, especially for the double-sided map board and the new modules. This game desperately needed a retheming. Kudos to the designer for taking the time and effort to do so.

The World is expanding

#4 Viticulture World: Cooperative Expansion

Viticulture Tuscany is one of my all-time favorite games and this is a totally new spin on it! New art, inclusivity, new play modes, and the ability to play on many different continents are going to provide us viticulturists with a lot of hours of enjoyment.

#3 Wingspan Expansion 3

No Kickstarter games yet on the list!

Another Stonemaier Game and another retail release. Jamey has not yet released information about what continent the next expansion will represent. We are looking (most likely) at either South America, Africa, and Asia. I suppose the Antarctic will come sometime later but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jamey pushed the Antarctic expansion ahead to highlight the destruction we are causing to the climate.

This game will be a smash-hit regardless and I’m just as excited for the Nesting Box (big box) as I am about getting those beautiful new bird cards.

A witches game! Yay!

#2 Septima

To be fair, I have no idea if this game is going to be good or not, but I really want it to be! The art and components look fantastic and I like the idea of this being a light-to-medium play experience with a really appealing theme. Mindclash games has been on quite a roll and this is certainly a game I would love to write more about. If I had the chance to play with a prototype that would be fantastic!

Still my most anticipated

#1 Unconscious Mind

Fantasia Games is still keeping my attention with their upcoming release Unconscious Mind. A game in which players are early psychologists trying to help their patients recover from psychological problems with action programming and a host of interesting game mechanisms.

I love me some dual-layered player boards!

I hope this game lives up to the hype it has been generating. If it ends up being as well-designed and holistic a game as Endless Winter, I’m going to be really happy.

And it even has cute lil’ meeples! Aww!

And that’s the breakdown. Wow. That was a lot of work, but I know this is going to help a lot of gamers find some real joy, so it’s all worth it. I will continue to update my anticipated games as things change in the board game release world.

Please give me a follow or lick on email delivery to get all of my articles to your inbox (no strings attached).

Thanks for reading!

*Edit-Disclaimer: I somehow forgot in my research to include Wayfarers of the South Tigris. That game would have certainly been in my Top Ten most anticipated.

Wayfarers of the South Tigris

Sorry, I forgot this one when I initially published the article.




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


A board game enthusiast and author.