If there is one thing that is constant, it’s change. Last time I started the walk through the current top ten games as ranked by Boardgamegeek, and now it’s time to continue, starting with the sixth position.
As I am writing these words, the two games have swapped their positions: the once ruling classic of bordgaming moved two positions down, while its successor went exactly two positions up. Although, to be completely honest, both of them managed to move around a little more during those two years.
Puerto Rico is a true veteran, and a game that remained in top ten for an impressively long time. It shouldn’t surprise anybody: it’s solid, it’s from a previously mention Alea/Ravensburger combination of publishers, and it’s a game that is being kept alive first by some expansions, and now by newer versions. While it will one day finally leave the top ten list, it seems that this day will not come very soon.
Terra Mystica is a different kind of an animal. With tight but often highly scripted gameplay, and impressive component quality (and quantity), it has been a smash hit since its launch at Spiel in 2012. Just like Puerto Rico it moved around the top ten a bit, and there was even a time when some thought it would reach the very top. Before that could happen, more strong contenders appeared, making Terra Mystica lose its momentum.
Netrunner had it all. Being a resurrected legendary classic, updated with more balanced mechanisms, and superb art and graphic design, it sprung up almost immediately after it hit the shelves. In fact, in 2012 it was selling so well, that those who did not pay attention had to buy their core games only when it was reprinted, as the first batch disappeared from the shelves impressively fast.
So, why did it fall from grace (not too far, as the 19th spot is not bad by any standards)? Well, Fantasy Flight itself kept offering interesting alternatives, with new Living Card Games, as well as new editions of older ones, and other publishers tried to follow suit. Plus, after all, there is always Magic, the unconquered king many would like to see succeeded, but still far from losing its grip on gamers everywhere.
Taking Android’s spot, Caverna did exactly what everyone expected it to do: fired Agricola in many gaming households around the world. Easier to do well from the first game, ridiculously rich in high-quality components, it offered what many (but by far not all) considered an even more polished experience than that offered by its spiritual ancestor. That, plus the fact that Agricola as it appears on the list is no more makes it a strong contender for the position Agricola once had, although only in gamers’ hearts, as it seems to have lost steam when it comes to climbing higher in the top ten.
Everything I could say about this swap I have already said. Terra Mystica is where Puerto Rico used to be, but after losing its momentum it can only hope to keep its current position, as it will not climb up.
Not with the competition I will be talking about next time…