The Drafthouse 100 WIP

The Drafthouse 100 is a constantly evolving list of the best board, card, and tabletop games on the market. It represents countless hours of reasoned debate, data entry, statistical analysis, and childish name calling. All done so you, the glorious reader, might have a guide as you peruse the rabid seas of you friendly local neighborhood games shop (and/or Google).

#1 – Lords of Waterdeep
#1 – Lords of Waterdeep

A worker placement game that's accessible enough for newcomers, and deep enough to keep veterans engaged game after game. Looking to get into heavier Euro-style games? Start here.

Players2-5
Playing Time60-120 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#2 – 7 Wonders
#2 – 7 Wonders

Though not the first of it's kind, 7 Wonders is the game that brought card drafting to the masses. It plays equally well with 3-7 people (8 with an expansion), has almost no downtime, teaches easily, and stays interesting for years.

Players2-7
Playing Time30 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#3 – Mysterium
#3 – Mysterium

An asymmetrical cooperative game. One player tries help their friends reveal a murderer using only a series of acid trip drawings. Fun and accessible, we've played this game with all manner of people, and it's never gone wrong.

Players2-7
Playing Time42 Minutes (?!)
ComplexityLow
#4 – Tokaido
#4 – Tokaido

A streamlined point-to-point movement game where players see who can take the most pleasant walk. Tokaido is an excellent example of theme, art and mechanics coming together perfectly. A game that's more about mood than competition.

Players2-5
Playing Time45 Minutes
ComplexityLow
#5 – Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure
#5 – Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure

Sneak into an angry dragon's mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow. Be quick and be quiet. One false-step and -- CLANK! Each carel [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time30-60 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#6 – Castles of Mad King Ludwig
#6 – Castles of Mad King Ludwig

In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria...one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle th [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time90 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#7 – Valeria: Card Kingdoms
#7 – Valeria: Card Kingdoms

Valeria: Card Kingdoms is a tableau-building game for 1-5 players and will feel familiar to deck-building fans. The cards you buy can work for you on your turn and on all the other player turns, as well. On your turn, roll two dice and activat [...]

Players2-5
Playing Time30-45
ComplexityLow
#8 – Dead of Winter
#8 – Dead of Winter

Crossroads is a series from Plaid Hat Games that tests a group of survivors' ability to work together and stay alive while facing crises and challenges from both outside and inside. Dead of Winter is the first game in this series, designed by [...]

Players2-5
Playing Time45-180 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#9 – Dice Forge
#9 – Dice Forge

Dice Forge is a board game from Libellud that challenges you to harness your powers and challenge up to three other players in a battle for dominance. During the game, your dice provide the resources you need, but throughout the game, you’ll c [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time40 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#10 – EXIT (series)
#10 – EXIT (series)

EXIT is a series of games where players work as a team to solve puzzles, and escape a series of horror movie scenarios. It's hard to go wrong with any game from the series, though EXIT: The Abandoned Cabin is a Drafthouse favorite, and great s [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time45-90 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#11 – Spyfall
#11 – Spyfall

SPYFALL is an easy-to-learn card game of bluffing, probing questions, clever answers, and suspicion. At the start of each round, players receive a secret card informing them of the group's location – a casino, space station, pirate ship, circu [...]

Players3-8
Playing Time15 Minutes
ComplexityLow
#12 – Deep Sea Adventure
#12 – Deep Sea Adventure

A group of adventurers got together on a submarine to try and gather the treasures that sleep at the bottom of the sea. Everyone geared up in diver suits, but having a very old submarine means sharing the same oxygen tank. If one of them dives [...]

Players2-6 People
Playing Time30 Minutes
ComplexityLow
#13 – Scythe
#13 – Scythe

In Scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead their faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activa [...]

Players2-5
Playing Time90-120
ComplexityHigh
#14 – Puerto Rico
#14 – Puerto Rico

Prospector, captain, mayor, trader, settler, craftsman, or builder? Which roles will you play in the new world? Will you own the most prosperous plantations? Will you build the most valuable buildings? You have but one goal: achieve the greate [...]

Players2-5
Playing Time90-150 Minutes
ComplexityHigh
#15 – Ethnos
#15 – Ethnos

Ethnos is a mythical realm filled with creatures big and small. As the last Age ended, war and revolt left the inhabitants without someone to lead them into their future. Giants, Dwarves, Elves, and Centaurs have not traditionally gotten along [...]

Players2-6
Playing Time60 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#16 – Trains
#16 – Trains

The railways of today are amazing things and bullet trains, freight trains and more keep entire countries running. From transporting the populace to carrying essential materials, trains play an integral part in a nation’s power and economic de [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time45-60 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#17 – Imperial Settlers
#17 – Imperial Settlers

Settlers from four major powers of the world have discovered new lands, with new resources and opportunities. Romans, Barbarians, Egyptians and Japanese all at once move there to expand the boundaries of their empires. They build new buildings [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time60-90 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#18 – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
#18 – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

Settlers from four major powers of the world have discovered new lands, with new resources and opportunities. Romans, Barbarians, Egyptians and Japanese all at once move there to expand the boundaries of their empires. They build new buildings [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time30-60 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#19 – Arctic Scavengers
#19 – Arctic Scavengers

In the year 2097, the entire earth was enveloped in a cataclysmic climate shift plunging the globe into another ice age. Over 90% of the world’s population was eliminated, driving the survivors to band together into loose communities and tribe [...]

Players2-5
Playing Time60 Minutes
ComplexityMedium
#20 – Qwirkle
#20 – Qwirkle

Players of this addictive game score points by building rows and columns of brightly-colored tiles that are either all the same color or all the same shape, without creating duplicates. Look for opportunities to score big by placing a tile tha [...]

Players2-4
Playing Time30-60 Minutes
ComplexityLow