Game Criteria

This page describes a set of recommended games, but not just any games. The games presented must strongly pass our set of criteria to be considered for recommendation.

Here's what it takes to make the cut:


  • Novel Game Mechanics
  • Easy to teach — no one wants to listen to pages of text
  • Easy to learn — jump in and the rules are self-evident
  • Social & Engaging — no one reaches for a phone
  • High Replayability
  • Well balanced
  • Skill and strategy
  • An element of minor luck
  • Cooperative games that take work to win
  • Coopeartive
  • Backstabbing
  • Dynamic Rules
  • Games where players aren't eliminated — waiting a new game to start sucks
  • Fast rounds — minimize in-game waiting


  • Driven entirely by luck — Life, Candy Land
  • Memorizing resources for the win — Trivial Persuit
  • Dorky party games of forced interaction — Pictionary
  • Pointless flavor text
  • Mistaking adjectives and events as narrative
  • Relying on twitch-based skill and prior practice
  • Poorly written directions, especially forward references and rules in footnotes
  • Not play tested
  • Too decorative impact readability and comprehension

Board Games

  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Small World

Social Games

  • Werewolf
  • Mafia
  • Secret Hitler
  • Captain Sonar


  • Roll for the Galaxy

Cooperative Team

  • Pandemic
  • T.I.M.E Stories


  • Dominion