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The best board games of 2021, as chosen by The American Tabletop Awards

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group

The American Tabletop Awards, the American alternative to the German Spiel des Jahres, have arrived. Divided into four categories: Early Gamers, Casual Games, Strategy Games, and Complex Games, these 20 games represent some of the best new board games to hit the market in 2021.

Launched in 2019, ATTAs were created by a dedicated group of industry professionals. Today, the organization is served by a diverse committee of volunteers, backed by a strong code of conduct that provides transparency and adjudication against conflicts of interest in the selection process. This is not a collection of the most exciting crowdfunding campaigns or a niche list of the most technically demanding games. The awards recognize the best board games for fans of all skill levels.

Find the finalists and grand prize winners in each category below, online and at your friendly local game store.

happy town

happy townCreated by Kawasaki systems engineer Toshiki Sato and his eight-year-old daughter Airu, this year’s winner in the Early Gamers category. It’s a bright and cheerful city builder that takes up very little space and only has 140 cards in the box. A competitive race to create the city’s most lucrative neighborhoods with the happiest residents. Published in the United States by Gamewright, the game will set you back $15.99.

First finalist players

  • accidental octopus – Recommended
  • Kabuto Sumo – Recommended
  • Block Ness – Nominated
  • hammer time Appointed

cubito

Close-up of Cubitos in action, with tiny towers filled with rolling dice.

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group

cubito, a fast-paced racing game, won this year’s casual games award. Players roll tons of dice, turn them into cash to move around the board and buy upgrades for their team. However, if you push things too far, you won’t get very far until the next round. Another brightly colored game with cube-based fiction is currently out of stock by the publisher, but is available at local game stores and on Amazon.

Daily Games Finalists

  • Crew: Mission Deep Sea – Recommended
  • Whirling Sorcery – Recommended
  • 7 Wonders: Architects – Nominated
  • Summer campAppointed

Cascadia

Another game that capitalizes on America’s love affair with the national park system, Cascadia This year’s winner in the Strategy Games category. Designed by the same team behind the award-winning products calico (One of Polygon’s picks for best single-player board games), this tile-laying game focuses on the habitats and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.

Strategy Games Finalists

  • pastry shop – Recommended
  • Genotype: a game of Mendelian genetics – Recommended
  • Hadrian’s Wall – Nominated
  • brewAppointed

Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of ArnakFrom Czech Games Edition, it skillfully mixes worker placement and deck building. Players embark on an expedition to a remote savage island, recover lost artifacts and battle monsters while uncovering mysterious secrets. The game also includes a robust single-player mode and a handy web app for easy setup and gameplay.

Complex Games Finalists

  • bitoku – Recommended
  • Origins: The first builders – Recommended
  • sleeping godsAppointed
  • The Oath: The Empire and the Chronicles of ExileAppointed


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The best board games of 2021, as chosen by The American Tabletop Awards

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group
The American Tabletop Awards, the American alternative to the German Spiel des Jahres, have arrived. Divided into four categories – Early Gamers, Casual Games, Strategy Games and Complex Games – these 20 titles represent some of the best new board games coming to market in 2021.
Launched in 2019, ATTAs were created by a dedicated group of industry professionals. Today, the organization is served by a diverse committee of volunteers, backed by a strong code of conduct that ensures transparency and provisions against conflicts of interest in the selection process. This is not a collection of the most hyped crowdfunding campaigns, nor a niche list of the most technically demanding games available. The awards celebrate the best board games for fans of all skill levels.
We’ve noted the finalists and grand prize winners in each category below, which are available online and at your friendly local game store.
happy city

happy city, created by Kawasaki systems engineer Toshiki Sato and his eight-year-old daughter, Airu, is this year’s winner in the Early Gamers category. It’s a bright and cheerful city builder with a very small footprint and only 140 cards inside the box. It’s a competitive race to create the most lucrative city areas with the happiest residents. Published by Gamewright in the US, the game will set you back $15.99.
First Player Finalists

Crash Octopus – Recommended

Kabuto Sumo – Recommended

Block Ness – Nominated

hammer time — Appointed
Cubitos

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group
Cubitos, a fast-paced racing game, wins this year’s casual games award. Players roll tons of dice, cash them in to move around the board and buy upgrades for their team. Push things too far, however, and you won’t be able to get very far until the next round. Another brightly colored game with cube-based fiction all its own, it’s currently out of stock via the publisher but is available at local game stores and via Amazon.
Casual Games Finalists

The crew: Mission Deep Sea – Recommended

Whirling Sorcery – Recommended

7 Wonders: Architects – Nominated

Summer camp — Appointed
Cascadia

Yet another game that capitalizes on America’s love affair with its national park system, Cascadia is this year’s winner in the Strategy Games category. Designed by the same team behind the award-winning products Calico (one of Polygon’s picks for best single-player board games), this tile-laying game focuses on the habitats and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.
Strategy Games Finalists

furnace – Recommended

Genotype: a game of Mendelian genetics – Recommended

Hadrian’s Wall – Nominated

Brew — Appointed
Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of Arnak, from Czech Games Edition, cleverly mixes worker placement and deck building. Players lead an expedition to a remote savage island, recover lost artifacts and battle monsters as they uncover mysterious secrets. The game also includes a robust single-player mode and a handy web app for easy setup and play.
Complex Games Finalists

Bitoku – Recommended

Origins: First Builders – Recommended

sleeping gods — Appointed

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile — Appointed

#board #games #chosen #American #Tabletop #Awards

The best board games of 2021, as chosen by The American Tabletop Awards

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group
The American Tabletop Awards, the American alternative to the German Spiel des Jahres, have arrived. Divided into four categories – Early Gamers, Casual Games, Strategy Games and Complex Games – these 20 titles represent some of the best new board games coming to market in 2021.
Launched in 2019, ATTAs were created by a dedicated group of industry professionals. Today, the organization is served by a diverse committee of volunteers, backed by a strong code of conduct that ensures transparency and provisions against conflicts of interest in the selection process. This is not a collection of the most hyped crowdfunding campaigns, nor a niche list of the most technically demanding games available. The awards celebrate the best board games for fans of all skill levels.
We’ve noted the finalists and grand prize winners in each category below, which are available online and at your friendly local game store.
happy city

happy city, created by Kawasaki systems engineer Toshiki Sato and his eight-year-old daughter, Airu, is this year’s winner in the Early Gamers category. It’s a bright and cheerful city builder with a very small footprint and only 140 cards inside the box. It’s a competitive race to create the most lucrative city areas with the happiest residents. Published by Gamewright in the US, the game will set you back $15.99.
First Player Finalists

Crash Octopus – Recommended

Kabuto Sumo – Recommended

Block Ness – Nominated

hammer time — Appointed
Cubitos

Image: Alderac Entertainment Group
Cubitos, a fast-paced racing game, wins this year’s casual games award. Players roll tons of dice, cash them in to move around the board and buy upgrades for their team. Push things too far, however, and you won’t be able to get very far until the next round. Another brightly colored game with cube-based fiction all its own, it’s currently out of stock via the publisher but is available at local game stores and via Amazon.
Casual Games Finalists

The crew: Mission Deep Sea – Recommended

Whirling Sorcery – Recommended

7 Wonders: Architects – Nominated

Summer camp — Appointed
Cascadia

Yet another game that capitalizes on America’s love affair with its national park system, Cascadia is this year’s winner in the Strategy Games category. Designed by the same team behind the award-winning products Calico (one of Polygon’s picks for best single-player board games), this tile-laying game focuses on the habitats and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.
Strategy Games Finalists

furnace – Recommended

Genotype: a game of Mendelian genetics – Recommended

Hadrian’s Wall – Nominated

Brew — Appointed
Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of Arnak, from Czech Games Edition, cleverly mixes worker placement and deck building. Players lead an expedition to a remote savage island, recover lost artifacts and battle monsters as they uncover mysterious secrets. The game also includes a robust single-player mode and a handy web app for easy setup and play.
Complex Games Finalists

Bitoku – Recommended

Origins: First Builders – Recommended

sleeping gods — Appointed

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile — Appointed

#board #games #chosen #American #Tabletop #Awards


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