2022 has been quite the year for board games. It's been especially good for those cosy, family-friendly games that play in 1-2 hours or less. Here the team at Birdwood Games share their top picks.
Designed by Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Aaron Mesburne, Kevin Russ, Shawn Stankewich | Illustrated by Beth Sobel | Published by Flatout Games
The team at Flatout hit it out of the park again with another puzzly delight (Calico and Cascadia are favourites of ours from 2020 and 2021). In Verdant you are collecting and caring for your house plants and while the theme is chilled, the gameplay is intensely crunchy.
Designed by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle | Illustrated by Marlies Barends and Beth Sobel | Published by MCG
Although this game is packaged in a modest-sized box and is a roll and write - a genre that is typically pretty light - dos Three Sisters pack a punch! Perfect for for those who love to be efficient in their gameplay, create combinations and eke out bonuses.
Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave | Illustrated by Natalia Rojas and Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo | Published by Stonemaier Games
While technically an expansion, this game gets a spot on the list because it offers a standalone solo and two player version of the beloved Wingspan. In addition to that Wingspan: Asia also introduces new bird cards and expands the player count of the base game to 7. Talk about bang for your buck!
Designed by Manny Vega | Illustrated by Sandara Tang | Published by Cardboard Alchemy
This game makes the list along for Tang's delightful artwork. Just look at those whimsical dragons going about their business! Happily the art and production is backed up with simple and satisfying gameplay.
Designed by Roberta Taylor | Illustrated by Shawna JC Tenney | Published by KTBG
Join the adorable critters of Maple Valley as they prepare for winter. Combining push-your-luck mechanics with dice rolling and placement, this game melds together comforting storytelling with compelling gameplay.
Designed by David Chircop | Illustrated by Yusuf Artun and Sara Campos | Published by Mighty Boards
In this game you and your fellow players will be building a humble village into a bustling town. Using a combination of route building and irregular tile placement, Hamlet offers a new experience every time you play.
Designed by Lottie and Jack Hazell | Illustrated by Holly Exley, Kate Avery and Dann May | Published by Birdwood Games
With over 160 beautifully illustrated dog cards and highly thematic gameplay, this game is a celebration of dogs and our relationship with them. For ages 10 and up, this is the perfect board game for families or for a lazy Sunday afternoon.