While the Near and Far, the next game on our list, has some shared qualities with the heavier games we just discussed it adds one of the things we like even more. Some story elements! The core of the game is a mix of area control and resource management that one its own is engaging. However, there are locations on the board let you go on quests!
On your turn you can either use some of the worker placement type spaces to get you the resources you need to go out and adventure in the lands of Near and Far. Or if you feel you have prepared yourself you can go out on one of those adventures fighting off threats and exploring the vast reaches. As you explore the board you can place down some tents that will be one of the main ways that you score points as well as making it easier to explore further and further each time you go out into the wilderness!
One of the best parts of exploration is landing on the quest spaces that let your neighbor read a scenario to you where you make selections and get different penalties or rewards. While the games predecessor, Above and Below, had this element we felt it made it too swingy where in Near and Far it is just perfect. Instead of winning or losing the game based on how well you do on the scenario it just adds a wonderful flavor to a fun euro game.
Even better than all of the stuff we have already mentioned about Near and Far is also features a campaign mode where you play through the entire book full of maps. We hadn’t mentioned it before but the game board is actually two pages of a large book of different maps. So we suppose the players start in Near and by the end of the campaign they have gotten to Far! Each map will reference different scenarios in the book allowing for a progressive story through the campaign while also getting to change your game strategy because the maps are arranged differently as well!
There is just so much to experience and explore in Near and Far that it had to make it on the Top 100 list. It also has wonderful art same as all Ryan Lauket games. If you want to play a strategic game that leads you through a story as you play while also offering modes to just play a one off you should definitely give Near and Far a try!