Updated on 17 January 2023
The editorial team’s recommendations
Our Choice The must-have Hunting a serial killer Textile art for the mind For budding detectives Imhotep: the duel Unbox Now: 7 Wonders Mr. Jack Patchwork Code Names Duo This new version of the famous Imhotep game offers a return to the past of glorious ancient Egypt. In this game where dirty tricks are present, you play as Nefertiti or Akhnaton. If its strategy is directly inherited from the famous 7 Wonders, this version is different thanks to its new mechanics: simultaneous actions are replaced by turn by turn and the counting of points is simplified. This asymmetrical strategy game offers you the possibility to play as Jack the Ripper or as a murder investigator. Between escape and investigation, your objectives are different depending on your character. Although the Patchwork topic may seem simple, this game is perfect for stimulating neurons and encouraging thinking. And the best part? It's suitable for beginners and advanced players alike. In this version of Code Names, imagination and fun are still present, but now the strategy is replaced by cooperation. The games are 1 vs 1 and will not be easy to win.
This strategy game offers exciting, fast-paced, twist-rich games that have earned it a place among the most popular titles. Playable only in a couple, it seemed accessible to us and we think that it is possible to play it from the age of 10. It is based on short but intense games (20 to 30 minutes) that make you want to play again and again. In this game, “low blows” are strongly encouraged and the aim is to score as many victory points as possible. We liked the fact that it is possible to apply various tactics and combine different sources of victory points to win. On the other hand, the rules can be quite scary, but a short video on YouTube is enough to understand them quickly.
Although 7 Wonders is a worldwide bestseller, the “duel” version of this civilisation game is no slouch. We quickly realised that it can rely on a clever, strategic mechanic that offers great replayability. In our opinion, it is more accessible than the original version, especially when it comes to keeping score. Aimed at an audience of 10 years and older, the games last between 20 and 30 minutes. There are three ways to win: by scientific or military supremacy, and by having the highest score at the end of the game. In short, this makes it an essential board game for amateurs and experts alike.
This game is first and foremost asymmetrical. What does this mean? It means that each player pursues a different objective. It can be played from the age of 9, but we recommend it from the age of 11-12 to fully enjoy it. Only two players play: one plays the investigator and the other Jack the Ripper. While the investigator’s goal is to discover the identity under which the Ripper is hiding, the Ripper must figure out how to escape the clutches of his pursuer or leave the neighbourhood in the middle of the night. Although the games are supposed to last 30 minutes, this was not the case for us, as the vast majority of the games were over in around 20 minutes. The only flaw we can find is in its replayability, which is a little less than the other two games mentioned above.
This award-winning puzzle game has an original theme. The art of patchwork stimulates concentration and offers families a fun time. Designed for two players only, the game lasts a maximum of 30 minutes and is suitable for ages 8+. The aim is to create the most beautiful patchwork, choosing the best pieces of fabric and combining them on your grid to create a real work of art. We appreciate the game’s progression system, which is much more original than a simple dice and allows you to rely more on strategy than luck.
Just like its original version, this game has become a must-have in recent years, thanks to its “spy” theme and its simple but always challenging mechanics. If the original box already allowed 2 players, the Duo version changes the mechanics to make the game more cooperative and less asymmetrical. Indeed, you must now guess together the 15 hidden words – 3 of which are common – in only 9 moves. But be careful, because if you run into one of the assassins, the game will be over in no time. Thanks to this, we found it much more fluid and fun to play with two people than the basic game. However, as soon as there are more than 2 players, it is better to go back to the original.
How have we made the selection?
To help you choose the best board games, we have taken into account some of the biggest names in the gaming world. We have also based our results on the knowledge and opinions of a wide audience (such as the reviews of BoardGameGeek, among others).
We have also analysed renowned publishers and were able to test most of the games mentioned in the editorial office and at home with family and friends.
Another board game we recommend
Bubble Stories (£6.52 upon publication): an entertaining alternative for children. Winner of the Golden Ace for children at Cannes in 2022, this game contains three adventures and a tutorial for children aged 4 and up. Although it can be played alone, we recommend playing it with your little one, so that you can act out the stories, question them and bring the different tales to life. Although the game does not require reading skills, its play value and interactions with the child will make it quite captivating. The adventures are quite short, about 10 minutes, but children of this age never tire of playing them over and over again.
Translated by Ramsés El Hajje