Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Machi Koro 2 Game in Play Feature

Our Favourite Board Games Discovered in 2022

We have tried a lot of great games this year and each of us has our favourites. In this post we each share our favourite games that we tried for the first time this year and why they resonated for us.

What you will find in Our Favourite Board Games Discovered in 2022 article:

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Kids Favourite Board Games of 2022

Youngest Daughter (8)

Here are my youngest daughters picks. She has a pretty broad taste in games and this year she had a very clear top three.


Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Draftosaurus Box

Play Time: 15 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ we think 6+ / Publisher: Ankama Games / Designer: Anotoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc & Théo Rivière

Draftosaurus is probably my daughter’s favourite game at the moment. There’s a lot to like about this quick, simple drafting game. Each round consists of players receiving six random coloured dino meeples, they secretly selecting one and then pass the rest to the next player. Players then place their selected dino in one of the pens on their player board. Each pen has special scoring rules and restrictions you must follow to maximise your points. Games run quickly at around 15 minutes each, so you can play just about any time.

My daughter loved this game instantly, but the parents like this one too. The coloured dinosaur meeples are very cool and she just loves the way they look on the board. The yellow dino in particular is her favourite. For such a simple game there is actually a lot of fun to be had here and some challenging decisions about which pens to target to maximise your points. It’s quite common for my daughter to want to play multiple games in a row. She also loves alternating between the summer and winter boards, which each have different pens and scoring objectives.

Check out our full Draftosaurus review.

Ticket to Ride Europe

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Ticket to Ride Europe Box

Play Time: 30-60 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Days of Wonder / Designer: Alan R Moon

Ticket to Ride Europe has been around since 2005 and we have had our copy for years. My son never really warmed to Ticket to Ride and so it took us a while to introduce this game to our daughters. My youngest daughter tried it for the first time this year and she warmed to it quickly. In Ticket to Ride Europe, you will draft train cards and use them to establish train lines between cities with the aim of completing secret personal objectives. Essentially card drafting and route building are the key mechanics in the game. The Europe edition adds tunnels and train stations which spice things up a little but don’t add much in the way of complexity. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

I love watching my daughter plan her train routes diligently for maximum efficiency. This game really appeals to her logical thinking, and it provides some great learning opportunities as a result. She gets so excited every time she completes one of her personal objectives. I would have thought the game would be a little long to hold her attention for the whole time, but I can see that she is constantly checking her routes, the cards available and adjusting her plans as needed. She definitely prefers this as a two-player game, as it’s shorter with two and there is less competition for routes.

Check out our full Ticket to Ride Europe review.

Century Spice Road

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Century Spice Road Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Plan B Games / Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi

My daughter wasn’t a fan of Century Spice Road when she first tried it. Balancing deck building while competing for point cards was a bit much for her and it felt a little too cutthroat. After she tried this a few times it clicked for her and now it’s one of her favourite games to play. In Century Spice Road players will acquire merchant cards that enable them to generate and trade four different types of spice. Specific spice combinations are then used to purchase points cards. The player with the most points when the end game is triggered wins.

The great thing about this game is the way kids can experiment with different card combinations to build an efficient spice generating engine. The components are also well done, with nice wooden coloured spice cubes and chunky coins. My daughter loves targeting the cards that earn her gold coins and likes to accumulate as many as she can before the game ends.

Check out our full Century Spice Road review.

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Oldest Daughter (11)

Here are my oldest daughters picks. She struggled a bit to pick just three games, she couldn’t pick between the two Azul games she tried this year so she included both.


Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Fort Box

Play Time: 20-40 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Medium / Age: 10+ / Publisher: Leder Games / Designer: Grant Rodiek

In Fort, players are reliving their childhood by inviting friends around, building forts and accumulating pizza and toys. A large part of the gameplay involves deckbuilding with cards that represent your gang of friends. There is a lot of interaction in this game as cards you don’t use are fair game to be stolen by your opponents. My daughter just loves the artwork on this one, it’s funny and fits so well with the theme.

Fort has kind of become a special game for my daughter and I. We are the only ones in the family that really like it, but we’re ok with that as it’s nice to have a game that feels like our special game to play. She just loves the light-hearted theme in this game and building her gang of kids. The whole package just makes her laugh. In her opinion the Cats & Dogs expansion elevates this to a whole new level.

Check out our full Fort review.

Machi Koro 2

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Machi Koro 2 Box

Play Time: 45 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 7+ / Publisher: Pandasaurus Games / Designer: Masao Suganuma

In Machi Koro 2 you are creating a city full of buildings that will generate the money you need to build prestigious landmarks. The first player to construct three landmarks in their city wins! As you add bakeries, cafes, shopping centres and other buildings to expand your city you will be able to gain income from the relevant dice rolls. Each building will trigger on a certain dice roll and grant you a benefit, sometimes this means taking money from your opponent, sometimes from the bank. The strategy here is all about deciding which numbers you want to target and using building synergies effectively. The game play is refined and improved from Machi Koro making it the version to get if you’re keen to get a copy.

This game has been a real hit in our household, we all enjoy it, so much so that it made it to our list of best family games. My daughter just loves building up her city with her favourite cards and seeing them pay off. She has a bit of a reputation for winning the close games and so is often someone we watch out for when we all play. The great thing about Machi Koro 2 is that there is very little down time as a lot of buildings can be triggered by an opponent’s dice role.

Check out our full Machi Koro 2 review.

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Azul Stained Glass of Sintra Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Next Move Games / Designer: Michael Kiesling

My daughter really isn’t a fan of the original Azul, but loves the next two games in the series, so much so that she couldn’t pick between them for this list, so we included both.

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra is a little more complicated than the original Azul and adds some additional layers. This time there is a glazier to consider that adds additional constraints, there are also bonus points each round for completing patterns of certain colours.

For some reason although the original Azul didn’t resonate for my daughter, this version was one that she instantly liked. She got to grips with the glazier fairly quickly and really enjoyed the additional challenge in planning to optimise the glazier’s movements. She also loved the sense of achievement of completing each pattern strip.

Check out our full Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra review.

Azul: Summer Pavilion

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Azul Summer Pavilion Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Next Move Games / Designer: Michael Kiesling

This is another instalment in the Azul series that my daughter just loves. Azul: Summer Pavilion uses similar tile drafting to the original Azul but adds some other fun elements. For starters there is now an ability to earn bonus tiles if you plan out your tile placement carefully. There is also a lot less sabotage in this game than the original Azul, which makes it a good option for more sensitive players. The tiles you place create beautiful star shaped patterns on player boards which look great as the game progresses.

My daughter loves targeting the high value colours in his game and the satisfaction of achieving bonus tiles to extend her placement phase just a little longer. This is a game that my youngest daughter, wife and I really enjoy as well. It’s great that this game is a little less cutthroat than the previous two games as it feels quite different and so it sets itself apart a bit from the prior two games.

Check out our full Azul: Summer Pavilion review.

Teen’s Favourite Board Games of 2022

My son’s picks are heavily influenced by our visit to the awesome Wellycon 2022. We tried some fantastic games this year and all three of his picks are games he tried for the first time during the event.

Project L

Our Favourite Games Discovered in 2022 - Project L box

Play Time: 20-40 Min / Players: 1-4  / Complexity: Low  / Age: 8+  / Publisher: Boardcubator    / Designer: Michal Ikes, Jan Soukal, Adam Spanel   

In Project L players are competing to complete puzzle templates with polyomino shaped tiles to earn points. The player with the most points by the end of the game wins. Players can perform up to three actions out of the following options: they can claim one of the puzzle cards in the centre of the table, place a tile in a card, collect one of the smallest size tiles from the pool or upgrade a tile to the next size up. There is also a master action which can be used only once per turn to place tiles on more than one puzzle. Once a tile puzzle is completed players can claim it along with the pictured bonus tile and any points that go with it.

The cool thing about Project L is that every time you complete a tile you not only gain an additional bonus tile, but you can recycle the tiles you used to complete that puzzle. It has this really nice snowball effect which makes every few turns seem like you are able to do more and more. My son loved how simple this game was given the depth and fun factor. It is so satisfying watching your array of tiles expand over the course of the game and consequently your ability to complete more puzzle cards.

Check out our full Project L review.

Galaxy Trucker

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Galaxy Trucker Box

Play Time: 60 Min  / Players: 2-4  / Complexity: Medium  / Age: 10+   / Publisher: Czech Games Edition / Designer: Vlaada Chvatil      

In Galaxy Trucker, as the title suggests you are a Galaxy Trucker, you will put together a rag tag ship with odd parts and then use it to fly freight through the galaxy in the hopes that you can make your fortune. The trucker who makes the most money wins. The catch is that as you fly your makeshift ship across the galaxy any manner of misfortune can strike, you could be attacked by pirates, or struck by a meteor shower. You could also encounter planets offering juicy cargo which can make you rich. Before you start you don’t know what you will encounter so you kind of have to be prepared for anything.

My son just loves this game! The thrill of snapping up his favourite parts to build and customise his ship, coupled with the randomised events to keep things interesting was a winning combination for him. It’s also great that you can complete one round if you’re short on time or string together three rounds of increasing length for a sort of campaign style game when you’re in the mood for it.

Check out our full Galaxy Trucker review.

That Time You Killed Me

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - That Time You Killed Me Box

Play Time: 15-30 Min    / Players: 2  / Complexity: Medium  / Age: 10+  / Publisher: Pandasaurus Games    / Designer:  Peter C Hayward  

That Time You Killed Me is a two-player game that is played across three boards representing three different timeframes, the past, the present and the future. Each player starts with one player piece on each of the boards and must essentially squish their opponent onto a wall, another copy of themselves or an object to kill them. If you can eliminate your opponent across two of the three boards, you win. My son describes it as chess but with one heck of a twist and I think that is a fair call.

My son found this game to be quite different to anything else he’s tried before. The concept of different timeframes and the way actions in the past impact future instances of the board was something he really liked.  The story woven around the scenarios is also a high point for him. He loves simple games that have a lot of strategy and depth, That Time You Killed Me fits that mould nicely. There are also some nice surprises as you play through the different scenarios that introduce new objects you can use and strategies to explore.

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Mum’s Favourite Board Games of 2022

My wife’s list shares most of my oldest daughters picks and unsurprisingly Azul games are in the mix. The original Azul is probably my wife’s all-time favourite game, and so it’s not surprising that two Azul variations she tried this year made her list.


Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Draftosaurus Box

Play Time: 15 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ we think 6+ / Publisher: Ankama Games / Designer: Anotoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc & Théo Rivière

I won’t explain how Draftosaurus works again since I did that in the kid’s section. My wife enjoyed this game when she first played it but wasn’t mad about it. The more she played the more it grew on her and it has become one of her favourite games.

She loves how quick it plays and the puzzly feel of maximising scoring opportunities by careful dino placement. It’s great when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands and want a fun game with some interesting decisions. She has a nice running competition going with my youngest daughter to see who can break the scoring record for the household. 

Machi Koro 2

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Machi Koro 2 Box

Play Time: 45 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 7+ / Publisher: Pandasaurus Games / Designer: Masao Suganuma

Another game that has featured earlier in this article. Machi Koro 2 is a family favourite for us. My wife really enjoys the fast-paced gameplay and high level of interaction here. There isn’t really any down time and there’s a lot of satisfaction in watching your buildings pay off large when combos you have established are triggered.

The great thing here is that with the variable market you are forced to adapt each game to the cards on offer which keeps things fresh and allows for some great replay value.

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Azul Stained Glass of Sintra Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Next Move Games / Designer: Michael Kiesling

Much like my oldest daughter my wife couldn’t decide between Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and Summer Pavilion and so included both in her list. This isn’t much of a surprise, the original Azul, as I mentioned earlier is one of her favourite games and she loved these subsequent iterations.

My wife got her head around the gameplay and strategy in Stained Glass of Sintra fairly quickly and was very competitive almost immediately. Drafting and tile placement games seem to be games she excels at, and she regularly beats me when it comes to the Azul games. She especially liked the way the board is split into pattern strips that can be completed strategically in order to maximise end game scoring bonuses.

Azul: Summer Pavilion

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Azul Summer Pavilion Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ / Publisher: Next Move Games / Designer: Michael Kiesling

As I mentioned earlier, Summer Pavilion is well liked in our household, the only exception being my son who didn’t warm to it. This is a less cutthroat iteration in the Azul series and feels like it plays quite differently to the other Azul games we have tried.

My wife loves the ability to earn bonus tiles in the game by strategically prioritising certain parts of her player board for completion. The inclusion of different colours of ‘wild’ tiles each turn also adds an interesting twist.

Dad’s Favourite Board Games of 2022

I feel like I have tried so many fantastic games this year. It was tough to pick the stand outs. In the end I went with games that not only were exceptional multi-player games but also had amazing solo modes. A good solo mode is something I have increasingly looked for in games, especially in heavier games I am interested in. I like to have the option of playing whenever I feel like it rather than needing to get a certain player count organised, especially given our experiences with lock downs during the pandemic.


Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Cascadia Box

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 1-4 / Complexity: Low / Age: 10+ we think 7+ / Publisher: AEG and Flatout Games / Designer: Randy Flynn

In Cascadia your goal is to build a beautiful slice of nature complete with wildlife and habitats. You will be drafting pairs of habitat tiles and wildlife tokens which you must place in your ecosystem to suit the unique scoring objectives for each animal. Cascadia has a relaxed vibe about it, there isn’t a lot of interaction here but building your own slice of nature and placing wildlife harmoniously in the perfect spots to maximise points is so satisfying. There are multiple scoring objectives for each animal which can be swapped out each game to keep the game fresh.

I also love the solo mode in Cascadia. When you don’t have a lot of time it can be set up quickly and it still feels like a full and satisfying game, complete with scenarios and goals to achieve. This is the sort of game I crave when I have had a busy day and just want to chill.

Check out our full Cascadia review.

Paladins of the West Kingdom

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Paladins of the West Kingdom Box

Play Time: 90-120 Min  / Players: 1-4 / Complexity: High / Age: 12+ we think 14+ / Publisher: Garphill Games / Designer: S J Macdonald and Shem Phillips

When I have a decent amount of time on my hands, Paladins of the West Kingdom is a game I reach for. Paladins is a worker placement game where you are charged with protecting one of the kings far flung townships. Your goal is develop it’s defences, spread influence and defend it from unsavoury barbarians that would plunder it.

There are so many interesting and viable strategies to explore in this game and just about everything you do feels like it provides some sort of bonus. I love how this game develops as you build your engine of townsfolk to suit your chosen strategy. Some really satisfying combos are available in the mid to late game and there are some interesting and challenging decisions on offer here. Due to the length of the game, I think it’s better at 2 player or solo, but I would happily play Paladins of the West Kingdom at any player count.  

Check out our full Paladins of the West Kingdom review.

Dune: Imperium

Our Favourite Games of 2022 - Dune Imperium Box

Play Time: 60-120 Min / Players: 1-4 / Complexity: Medium / Age: 13+ / Publisher: Dire Wolf / Designer: Paul Dennon

I am a huge fan of the Dune books and Dune: Imperium was on the top of my Christmas list last Christmas. Technically I snuck in my first play after Christmas 2021, but I feel like I didn’t really get to explore Dune: Imperium properly until this year, so I have included it in my list.

In Dune Imperium you are tasked with leading one of the great houses to glory and victory over your rivals. The objective is to gather the most points before the end game is triggered, this is either through one of the players reaching 10 points or the conflict deck running out. Points can be gathered in so many interesting ways, through combat, gaining specific cards or earning alliances. Each game I have played feels like it comes down to the wire and is so tense.

The main mechanics of Dune: Imperium centre around deck building and worker placement which are weaved together seamlessly. One of my favourite things about this game is how well it plays at every player count. There is a fantastic and streamlined AI that makes for an exceptional solo mode, but the AI also makes an appearance at two players as well, adding some additional competition into the game. The result is that even at lower player counts you still feel like there is some decent competition for board spaces. This is currently one of my all-time favourite board games.

Check out our full Dune Imperium review.

We hope you enjoyed our list of Favourite Games we Discovered in 2022. If you have any questions or just want to make a comment, please use the comment section below or get in touch through our contact us page.

About the Authors

We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time. If you enjoy our content and want to support us you can do that through our Ko-fi page by clicking on the button below.

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