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January 3, 2015 / Jett

Cool Stuff Inc. and The Dice Tower Release Their List of the Best Selling Board Games in 2014

With video games in North America, we get to see how well the top 10 video games each month are selling thanks to the NPD reports. Board games don’t get that level of tracking, at least publicly. Thanks to Cool Stuff Inc. and the Dice Tower though, Cool Stuff Inc. has released their list of the top 20 selling games of 2014. Sure, there are a few caveats to consider when analyzing this data, such as the fact that the consumer base is primarily of the hardcore board gamer variety, but it’s still a great glimpse into how well certain games are selling. Definitely watch the video above, and check out my thoughts on the games in the top 20 below!

20. Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Buy Castles of Mad King Ludwig Now From

19. Marvel Legendary: Paint the Town Red Expansion

The Paint the Town Red expansion directly addresses one of the biggest holes in Marvel Legendary, which was the distinct lack of Spider-Man content. In the box, you get a number of Spider-friends, such as Black Cat, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight and Scarlet Spider. You get Spider-Man in the black symbiote costume. You also get two great villains in Carnage and Mysterio. In particular, Mysterio steals the show, as his ability to fake you out when you thought you’d hurt him fits perfectly with the character while being a huge challenge to fight. I wish that the Marvel Legendary series would get back to releasing more big box expansions like Dark City, as the value proposition of that was way better than their small box expansions like Paint the Town Red, though this should keep Spider-Man fans happy for now.

Buy Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Paint The Town Red Expansion Now From

18. Cash’N Guns (Second Edition)

Steff received this one as a Christmas gift from my brother. Since then, it’s been a monster hit with pretty much anyone we play it with. For a game about killing your friends of a money dispute, it’s actually wildly hilarious and fun for pretty much anyone. My formal review is on the way, but I can confidently say right now that you need this game in your life.

Buy Cash’N Guns Second Edition Now from

17. Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore

Buy Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore Expansion Now From

16. Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary Edition

There’s no questioning the fact that Ticket to Ride is an amazing game. In fact, I’d still go out on a limb and say that it’s my all-time favourite board game. However, it is kind of surprising to me to see the 10th anniversary edition of the game sell so well. One, it’s a old and very popular game that a lot of people already have in some form. Two, this package is really expensive, relative to buying the equivalent level of content through the base game and 1910 Expansion.

Neither of those things stopped Steff and I from buying this one as soon as we could. It’s a game that we both love to bits, and we appreciate the benefits that come with this deluxe package, such as the extra large board, custom trains and larger cards, even if the larger cards are somewhat less functional due to aesthetic changes that make them a bit harder to read.

Buy Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary Edition Now From

15. Coup

The thing I remember most about Coup was the arduous task of trying to buy it. Steff and I first played it on Valentine’s Day, but didn’t actually see it in a store until many months later. This ended up being a theme across many games we wanted to get this year, though I’m glad that we do have it now. It doesn’t make it much to the table these days, though it’s always a good time when it does.

Buy Coup Card Game Now From

14. Hanabi
I have been seeing and receiving recommendations to play this game for almost as long as I’ve been playing board games. At only $10, I have no real reason for ducking it. Maybe next time I go to the store I’ll just do it!

Buy Hanabi Now From

13. One Night Ultimate Werewolf

As the name would imply, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a variation of the classic Werewolf game that takes place over one night, or one turn in real-life speak. Having never played the original, I don’t think I fully appreciate what this game does to refresh the original. Haven’t played this one much since Steff got it, though I’m fairly certain that it’ll make a return eventually.

Buy One Night Ultimate Werewolf Now From

12. Star Realms

Buy Star Realms Now From

11. Sushi Go!

This is a light and charming card game that has been a hit during our holiday break. In it, players are trying to create the best set of sushi by playing cards in front of them. The trick here is that after you play a card, you pass your hand to the person beside you and add to your collection with what’s left from their hand. I don’t think it’s a game that’s going to set the world on fire, but it’s easy to justify owning due to its low price point, extremely low barrier to entry and how fun it is in short bursts. Full review on the way!

Buy Sushi Go! Now From

10. King of New York

I keep flip-flopping on this one. On one hand, I love King of Tokyo and think that a more complex version would be great. On the other hand, I also think that making a more complex King of Tokyo would ruin what made the game great in the first place. I’ve held this box in my hands many and added it to my online shopping cart many times before ultimately letting it go. Before throwing down my hard-earned money on this, I think I’ll wait to play it at Snakes and Lattes first.

Buy King of New York Now From

9. Suburbia

Buy Suburbia Now From

8. Forbidden Desert

Made by the same guy who created Pandemic, Forbidden Desert probably got a bit of a sales lift due to that connection. However, it also stands alone as a great co-operative adventure in its own right. I think we’d play this one more if it wasn’t so hard, as we usually get destroyed every time we play. Then again, the one time we actually did win against seemingly insurmountable odds was one of my single favourite board game memories of all-time. Glad to see this one doing so well!

Buy Forbidden Desert Now From

7. Lewis and Clark

Buy Lewis and Clark Now From

6. Caverna

Buy Caverna: The Cave Farmers Now From

5. Bang! The Dice Game

Never played the original, but Bang! The Dice Game is awesome. In it, players are caught in the midst of a wild west shootout, and it’s not evidently clear which side everyone is on. That mix of light dice-based combat and hidden roles make for a game that’s really fun and fast to play. Even though Steff’s sister owns this one and we play with her all the time, I still heavily debate getting my own copy just to have it handy whenever the mood strikes us. Very impressed to see it sell this well!

Buy Bang!: The Dice Game Now From

4. Robinson Crusoe

Buy Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island Now From

3. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

This game had only been out for two weeks in 2014 and still managed to be the third best-selling game of the year. Crazy! I didn’t help that cause, though I certainly want to. The thought of playing an extended Star Wars adventure in board game form sounds incredible to me, though its steep price and an uncertainty that my board gaming group would want to play it with me. One can dream, I guess.

Buy Star Wars: Imperial Assault Now From

2. Machi Koro

This one piqued my interest quite a bit when it started popping up on best of 2014 lists. To me, it sounds like The Simpsons: Tapped Out in board game form. Haven’t played this one yet, but I get the sense that I’ll crack and pick it up sooner or later.

Buy Machi Koro Now From

1. Splendor

Splendor‘s bolted-on jewel dealer theme wasn’t enough to keep this game from being the biggest seller in 2014. Having played it, I can totally see why. This light-to-medium-weight strategy game is very easy to learn, fun to play and one that should stay fun after many plays. Because of how strong the gameplay is, I think it overcomes its stupid story that attempts to justify why you’re using chips to buy cards. I don’t own this one yet, but I’m trying hard to fix that!

Buy Splendor Now From

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