Which card games are least associated with luck?

These were our board and card game highlights of 2020

Board and card games? Is there still something like that? In fact, the board and card game market is booming like never before. We show a few selected titles that ensure a lot of fun at the table at home.

Update, March 8, 2021:

You can find the new highlights for 2021 at Tonight-News.de!

Original post:

The games industry, whether digital or analog, is one of the few winners of the corona crisis: Due to the numerous lockdowns, more games were played in 2020 than it has been for a long time. The trend was always positive, even without Corona: The international game days in Essen, or "Spiel" for short, have been enjoying ever increasing visitor numbers for years.

Unfortunately, this trade fair also had to move to digital in the Corona year 2020: Instead of jam-packed exhibition halls, there was a charmingly designed website with all the new products, virtual play options and lots of interviews with authors and publishers. If you want to find out about the new products: All information about the first, purely digital game fair can be found behind this link, the new games are available in the following picture series:

News and insider tips for SPIEL.digitalSpiele Highlights 2020 101 photos

"Game of the year 2020" was surprisinglyPictures"Elected by PD-Verlag, on the shortlist there were also"My City"(Cosmos) and"Nova Luna"(Edition Spielwiese & Pegasus Spiele). As" Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020 ", the clever trick-taking game"The crew"Made the race. Also nominated were"The cartographer"(Pegasus Games) and"The King's Dilemma"(HG and Heidelbär Games).

Here you will find our tips for the best "Board and card games for the Corona time at home".

Game fair Spiel '21 in Essen

At the game fair in Essen, the hype about board games and card games is proven every year: If the corona crisis allows, the next game fair should from October 14th to 17th, 2021 take place again on the grounds of Messe Essen. Due to the immense praise of the "digital game fair" in the previous year, it is also quite possible that the organizers will continue to expand the digital component.

The best board games and card games 2020

In addition, our catalog of game recommendations continues to grow from year to year.

The best board and card games59 photos

On the following pages we have selected over 40 board and card games which, in our opinion, belong in every collection and would make a fabulous gift for friends and family.

Have fun browsing and playing!

Photo: Strohmann Games Fantastic Realms

2 to 6 players
From 10 years
Card game
Playing time: 15 to 20 minutes
Entry: medium
Price: approx. 20 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

The deck of "Fantastic Realms" comprises 53 cards - and each of them is unique. Waiting for "the one card that never comes" is all the more exciting - only those who can change their strategies quickly and calculate correctly will end up on the road to victory with "Fantastische Reiche" in the long term.

At the end of the day you will have a maximum of 7 cards in your hand - after that you may draw a few more times or swap with the cards already placed in the middle of the table. "Fantastische Reiche" is played extremely quickly, until you have internalized the values ​​of the cards and the point logic, around 10 to 20 rounds pass. Regardless of the occasion: "Fantastische Reiche" is truly fantastic - and the perfect game as a heat-up and nightcap for every game night.

Photo: Tierra del Fuego Gloomhaven - The lion's paws

1 to 4 players
From 14 years
role playing game
Playing time: 30 to 120 minutes
Entry: medium
Price: approx. 60 euros
Conclusion: 10 out of 10 points

"Gloomhaven" made a name for itself in the gaming scene mainly because the packaging that came with it blew up everything that was previously considered "normal": the title weighs 9 kilos! Fortunately, behind the heavyweight there is also an absolutely fantastic role-playing game driven by decks of cards, which is now being expanded and continued with "The Lion's Paws".

Important: "The lion's paws" are not only an extension to Gloomhaven, but also the perfect introduction! You read that correctly: The lion's paws can be played independently. The recommendation for all newcomers is now clear: Start here first and THEN bring the 9 kilo predecessor into your home.

What awaits you: Four very different characters, countless monsters and an extremely exciting story across 25 scenarios. By the way, you don't have to worry about complex rules: The game carefully introduces you to each new element of the game with really perfectly written instructions, so that even absolute roleplay beginners can quickly get started.

Photo: PD-Verlag Pictures (Game of the Year 2020)

3 to 5 players
From 8 years
Craft and guessing game
Playing time: 30 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 40 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

With a proud 40 euros, "Pictures" is one of the most expensive games to be awarded the title "Game of the Year" - the last ones were usually available for well under 25 euros.

However, the price finds a quick explanation: PD-Verlag is not one of the big fish in the industry - the award is all the more beautiful for the two authors Daniela and Christian Stöhr. And by the way, "Pictures" really comes with some material, which also describes the game mechanism: Cards laid out with picture motifs should be "explained" with the enclosed building blocks, laces and wooden cubes so that the other players can type the correct term as quickly as possible.

Depending on which material you have to work with, describing the terms is not that easy - and requires a lot of creativity. A great family game, which will certainly not get "old" anytime soon.

Photo: Kosmos Die Crew (Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020)

2 to 5 players
From 10 years
Cooperative cards / trickery game
Playing time: 20 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 13 euros
Conclusion: 10 out of 10 points

Hot contenders for the "Game of the Year 2020" award - that was our introduction recently. Lo and behold: "The crew" can look forward to the title "Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020"!

In the cooperative card game, as an astronaut, you embark on an uncertain space adventure, including over 50 exciting missions - at the start everything is quite simple, at the end it is really crisp, even for experienced card players! In order to be able to master the varied challenges, communication in the team is essential. But that is more difficult in space than expected.

Photo: Starling Games Everdell

1 to 4 players
From 13 years
Worker placement
Playing time: from 45 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 60 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

On Kickstarter, "Everdell" was one of the big winners: Almost half a million USD came together in the end. At "Spiel 19" in Essen, the game was also available in a German version for the first time - when and whether it will open in stores is still in the stars.

But one thing is certain: Everdell is visually one of the most beautiful board games in recent years. The visual opulence is not only due to the beautiful artwork, which runs through the entire material: The highlight is the large, three-dimensional "Evertree", a tree that also serves as a card and figure shelf. From the nicely cut wooden meeples to the well-designed resources - a lot of heart and soul goes into it!

The game itself is a classic "worker placement" game, in which you let your people (turtles, squirrels, mice and hedgehogs) work on a settlement over four seasons. Certainly not the cheapest game on this list, but worth every penny!

Photo: Pegasus Spiele Der Kartograph

1 to 100 players
From 10 years
Flip & Write game with pen and paper
Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 29 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

The northern kingdoms should finally be made arable and attached to the kingdom of Nalos. On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Gimnax, the players should map the country - to do this, draw the appropriate lines and symbols on the drawing pad provided. Only those who draw clever boundaries will earn points in the end!

As usual from Flip & Write games, the interaction between the players is rather limited - in this case you can paint your friends with nasty monsters on their cards. Thanks to the flexible victory point scoring, the replay value is extremely high - as is the pull: "The cartographer" is addictive! Thanks to the great theme and presentation, the game by author Jordy Adan deserves its way into every well-stocked game collection!

Photo: Asmodee Just One (Game of the Year 2019)

3 to 7 players
From 8 years
Guessing game
Playing time: 20 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 25 euros
Conclusion: 7 out of 10 points

Extremely simple and suitable for the next party without much preparation: "Just One" is understood within a few seconds and can inspire a loyal group of up to 7 players for up to 20 minutes. Ok, maybe more - because it seldom stays in one round.

It is about guessing a term that the other players should paraphrase with exactly one word beforehand. These words are written down on pieces of paper and - now comes the highlight - compared with each other before handing them over to the counselor. All duplicate words are truncated! Good for those who are trained in synonyms!

Would you like an example? If the other players write down "alcohol", "flirting", "beer shower" and "chips", guessing the term "party" is not difficult - but if everyone should bet on "alcohol", the search for the right word will be quite a bit trickier.

Photo: Asmodee

Photo: Tierra del Fuego Flügelschlag (Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019)

2 to 5 players
From 10 years
Board game
Playing time: 40 to 75 minutes
Entry: medium
Price: approx. 50 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

Ornithology is pretty much the boring topic we can imagine for a board game - and yet the currently immensely popular "wing flap" by author Elizabeth Hargrave made it to the title of "Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019" without any major problems.

On the one hand, this is due to the fantastic game mechanics, as well as the extremely complex, editorial processing of a topic, which certainly not all of you will immediately "warm up". But don't worry, you don't have to know by heart what an American darter is - and what distinguishes it from the pygmy sultans.

Rather, "flapping wings" is about clever maneuvering: Lure rare bird species with your food, let them mate and lay eggs. Ingenious: The colorful plastered eggs and the cube tower in the shape of a birdhouse upgrade the title again. Great part!

Photo: Tierra del Fuego Scythe

1 to 5 players (7 players with expansion)
From 14 years
Board game
Playing time: 30 to 180 minutes
Entry: difficult
Price: approx. 70 euros
Conclusion: 10 out of 10 points

The bulging strategy game by Jarney Stegmaier has been THE darling of the scene for years and has already won 1.8 million dollars on Kickstarter. In Germany, the extremely elaborately designed title is now being distributed by Tierra del Fuego - and in our opinion it really belongs in every well-stocked game collection!

Important: Don't be intimidated by the extravagant material and the huge game board! "Scythe" may not be a title for a casual evening with the parents, but after some training it is nowhere near as complicated and complex as it seems. Just imagine a slightly more complex "Catan" - then you will come very close to the core.

Photo: Pegasus Games Detective

1 to 5 players
From 16 years
Board game
Playing time: 120 minutes
Entry: medium
Price: approx. 40 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

Detective is a modern crime game in which you can slip into the roles of real investigators in a modern setting. The game offers a total of five different cases - you always have to decide for yourself which clues to follow up and which not. Always remember: time is limited!

The fascinating thing about Detective: never before has a game managed to break through the fourth wall in the same way! As a detective, not only do you have to browse the game's extensive database, but you also have to actually do some research on the internet and use every other resource the real world has to offer.

In short: Anyone who already liked "Escape Games" can hardly avoid "Detective"! No wonder that the title also made it onto the shortlist for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019.

Photo: Pegasus Games Meeple Circus

2 to 5 players
From 8 years
Board game
Playing time: 30 to 60 minutes
Entry: easy
Price: approx. 50 euros
Conclusion: 9 out of 10 points

Welcome to the circus! And yes, you can take this invitation seriously: "Meeple Circus" transforms your living room table into management, while the typical circus music roars in the background (from your mobile phone).

Over three rounds you have to eagerly collect acrobats, animals and props, then it's time for the big performance: Live, of course, and all players at the same time! You try to reach the highest possible meeple figures and satisfy the wishes of the audience.

In short: an all-round successful family game with a strongly lived theme and a wonderfully cute design. It couldn't be more beautiful!

Photo: Pegasus Games

Photo: Tierra del Fuego Gloomhaven

1 to 4 players
From 12 years
Board game, tactical game, role play
Duration: days, weeks, months
Entry: difficult
Price: approx. 160 euros
Conclusion: 10 out of 10 points

Without a fixed group of players and regular game evenings, you can save yourself the purchase of "Gloomhaven": The thick package feels like 100 kilos, in fact "only" 9 kilos. Just the first "setup" and becoming familiar with the rules should keep you busy for a whole week.

If you are not afraid of the effort, or (even better!) Can join a well-rehearsed troop, you will find the currently holy grail of the role-playing and tactical guild in Gloomhaven: Over 100 scenarios, an epic story, and more monsters, than you can count, players quickly tears of joy in their eyes.

Even better: A so-called "Legacy" game is also hidden behind Gloomhaven. That means: Your decisions can lead to permanent changes in the game. So you put your own personal stamp on the game after each round - and discover new secrets again and again. By the way, all of this completely without dice - instead you work with decks of cards!

Photo: Cover Azul (Game of the Year 2018)

2 to 4 players
From 8 years
Board game
Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes
Entry: medium
Price: approx. 30 euros
Conclusion: 8 out of 10 points

Ok, admittedly: laying tiles in a royal palace sounds about as exciting as mowing the lawn in the dark. Fortunately, Azul offers even more: Behind the tactical tile fun is the German game author Michael Kiesling, whose last games of the year "Tikal" and "Torres" were a few years ago.

Kiesling ensures that collecting and laying out the nicely designed stones quickly turns into an addicting evening filler. And - typical of the "game of the year": every inexperienced player (from 8 years of age!) Can get to grips with the rules within a few minutes.

The game mechanics itself does not only rely on the completion of rows, but also on the cleverest possible placement of your stones. The highlight: each color can only appear once per row. It's a shame: game professionals should be a bit bored after just a few rounds. As a game for families, Azul does its job more than well and is definitely recommended.