Top 100

Top 100: #98 Ingenious

The first abstract game on my list and one that we have played a great many times. I’ve always wanted to try to make a giant version of this one similar to the Qwirkle set we use at Platypus-Con ,but the need for a board has always slowed our roll. Regardless it is a terrific game of tile placement and potential for being quite cutthroat!


On your turn all you do is play a tile. Each of the tiles look like two hexagons put together on one of their sides. There is no rule on where you have to place the tile other than it needs to be in the confines of the board. Although generally you are going to want to play them near tiles that have the same shape/color combo as what you are placing. Being next to similar symbols is how you get points. For the five directions radiating out of each of the hexagons you placed you go as far as you can without hitting a different symbol. Adding together all of those values is the score for that color you got from playing the tile!


If you manage to max out your score in one of the colors that is called getting an ingenious. You have to hold up jazz hands and say, “Ingenious!” (Not really but its a house rule I keep trying and failing to get my friends to adopt). In reality what you get is another turn right away! If you plan it right you can even get multiple extra turns if you Ingenious multiple colors in succession.

The end game scoring is one of my favorite parts of this game. The score you get is the lowest value among all the colors. So while getting an Ingenious gives you a benefit, you need to make sure not to ignore any of the colors. Especially if you playing with me! If I notice you currently have a lower score than me, I might try to make the color you need inaccessible securing my victory! Although I promise to try to play nice the first time you give this great game a try!

Top 100: #99 La Isla

It's not everyday that I enjoy making agonizing choices. There were lots in making this list! But I really like trying to make choices in La Isla. Each round you will have to three cards to do very different things with. But which card to use for each function is where the difficult choices begin!


The three things you are doing with your cards are giving yourself a special power, collecting resources, and modifying the point value of one of the animals that the players are trying to collect by placing their pawns on the board. Choosing your special power can sometimes be super easy because lots of them are great - and if they set up with another you already have then all the better! After the third round you are going to have to start replacing special powers with new ones though which is also a tough decision!

Collecting resources is one of the other functions of the cards and those resources are used to put explorers on the board. You need a pair of resources matching the location you want to place on in order to put down the pawn. But what if you need the resources from a card with an awesome special power?! When you do place adventurers down you have a chance of collecting an animal chip which gives you points at the end of the game based on its place on the point value track. And that's what you do with your third card, increase the point value of one of the animals. Hopefully one that you have or plan to have lots of chips in!

La Isla is great in that with a small board and a deck of cards it gives an endless source of decisions to be made. And once you get deeper into the game there are even advanced cards with more intricate powers on them to make the decisions even more fun!

Top 100: #100 Medieval Academy

Starting off the list is a great drafting game set in a medieval times theme. But I feel the theme is closer to the restaurant experience than to the actual time period. There is dragon fighting, tournaments, and wooing damsels. But don’t forget to pay favor to the king, attend to your studies, and give to the poor!


While there are lots of choices in Medieval Academy it boils down to a pretty simple drafting game. Everyone will get dealt cards and then slowly building up a hand to use in the second phase by picking one card from each set of cards that gets passed. Once all the cards have been drafting players take turns playing all but one of their cards from their hand influencing different tracks on the board.

After card playing is finished different tracks score. Some score every round (like the tournaments) while others like fighting the dragon are only scored at the end of the game. The scoring differences between the tracks are one of my favorite parts, as it makes you choose between points now and points in the future.


The ability to play a game over and over is important to me (despite the fact I don’t get to do it often) and this game delivers. Not only does having different players and different strategies alter how the game will go because of the drafting but each scoring board has two sides. You can mix and match which ones you want to flip for each game making a ton of different combinations.

If a person enjoys drafting games this is going to be one of our first suggestions if they haven’t tried it already.