Top 10 “Unplayed” Games of 2020

Top 10 “Unplayed” Games of 2020

This is the first time I’ve ever put together a top 10 “unplayed” games list, but I feel it is absolutely necessary. I mentioned in my top 10 “played” games list, this year has not been entirely friendly towards gamers. As such, I didn’t have the opportunity to play nearly as many new releases this year as I would have liked. This didn’t stop me from keeping an eye out for reviews, purchasing as many as possible, and familiarizing myself with their respective rulebooks. And while I haven’t been able to get any of these to the table, I am fairly confident these are titles that I will enjoy and have a chance of finding a permanent home in my collection. 


I keep telling myself I want to find and love a Stefan Feld point salad game. Maybe Bonfire will be the one. This is apparently one of his crunchier designs, but comes with a fairly original theme. Players are gnomes going about lighting magical fires, which if you ask me, is a definite step up in graphic design and theme when compared to Castles of Burgundy or Trajan. 

9-Honey Buzz

I’m a sucker for a good economic game. This one is about bees producing and selling honey. The game uses a worker placement mechanic to collect tiles that when placed will provide players with the various actions needed to win the game. I should also mention that the production value of the game is very impressive. 

8-Undaunted: North Africa

As I mentioned last week, deckbuilding is not really a favorite mechanic of mine. But I’m intrigued at the idea of my dec representing my troops in a tactical war game. Its predecessor, Undaunted: Normandy, got a lot of buzz but seemed a little simplistic. The fact that this only plays two players keeps it lower on my list, but still a game that I am excited to try.

7-Lost Ruins of Arnak

This game has gotten a lot of attention as being another excellent worker placement and deck building game, much like Dune Imperium. I like the Indiana Jones theme and the artwork is fantastic. I hear that each card you purchased is used only once or twice, which really appeals to me since I’m not a huge fan banking on certain card combos showing up.

6-Whistle Mountain

I love the idea of creating your own worker placement board, and that is essentially what you are doing in this one. Players will work together placing scaffolding and machines in to receive points, but also to create useful locations to play your flying machines. I wish they had called it something different since this shares no connection to the publisher’s previous title, Whistle Stop. 

5-Praga Caput Regni

I don’t know why I am so drawn to this game, maybe it’s the art style, or perhaps the theme. Players get the chance to help build up medieval Prague, basically my dream come true. To top it off this game has a fun action selection wheel, something that really appeals to me and my constant obsession for action efficiency. 

4-Beyond the Sun

Many have called this “tech tree” the game. Players will collectively build out a tech tree as the game goes on, providing each other with new and exciting actions. There is also a heavy focus on area majority as player colonize planets and race toward communal goals. I just wish the artwork and graphic design was maybe a little more eye catching, but I’m going to give the publisher the benefit of the doubt by guessing it is a matter of usability.


Man, Ian O’Toole has a real gift. I never knew a game about a middle eastern trade destination could look so appealing. The game uses a central grid for selecting actions and receiving resources. As the game progresses Mongols will attack and players may lose their placements if they don’t properly set up their defenses. My two minor concerns are replayability and scalability, but I’ll just have to give the game a try and see.


I’ll give you 3 words. Uwe. Big Box. Those are my reasons for being so excited about this one. I love how simplistic, yet agonizing the decisions are in his games. Hallertau is much more card focused than his previous games, which really excites me as I’m a big fan of hand management and card combos. As you’d probably already guessed, the game is a farming simulator and I’m hoping this slots in nicely between my copies of Agricola and Feast for Odin.

1-Dwellings of Eldervale

I’m currently looking at this on my game shelf and am dying to give this a go. This is a highly repayable worker placement game when players will be constantly battling for control of Eldervale. The game features GameTrayz, screen printed maples, wooden resources, and giant plastic monsters. This was either going to be a hot mess or a huge success, and according to early reviews it appears to be the latter.

I’m still hopeful that I’ll get a few of these to the table soon. If I do, maybe I will do a definitive ‘best of 2020’ list. My biggest worry is that I only have a couple months before the 2021 titles start rolling in. Thanks a lot COVID. 

Board games