Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has so many games, that sometimes even I forget everything that’s by them! I have found a lot of great games thanks to them, and so I wanted to put my favorites all together in one list and share them with the world! They have a bunch of variety, so there’s something for everyone. Even if you don’t find it on this list, there might be something of theirs for you too! (Note – I know not everything is still published by them, but my list looks at any games they’ve ever published). Let’s get started!
10. Santa Monica
Mechanisms – Open drafting, tile placement, tableau building, set collection/chaining
Overview – Players take turns drafting beach and boardwalk cards to place in their display, trying to create the most appealing neighborhood at the beach!
Why I Like It – This game has a super chill vibe, which really fits the beach for me (even though you are creating quite a bustling area!). You always have varied options, but even with a few choice available, turns move quickly and the game plays super smoothly.
Mechanisms – Open drafting, pattern building/set collection, tile placement in a limited grid
Overview – This game has players laying colored/patterned tiles to create a quilt fit to cuddle all the kittens! They’ll need to create groups of certain colors and/or patterns to score cats, buttons, and end-game bonuses.
Why I Like It – This made my list mainly for the solo mode, because I love how puzzley it is trying to fit thing onto your quilt board in just the way you want/need in order to optimize your score. I like the multi-player game too, but there’s just something so good about the solo, so I rate it a little higher.
8. Point Salad
Mechanisms – Open drafting, set collection
Overview – Players take turns drafting either veggie cards or a point scoring card. Players need to collect the veggies on their point cards in order to score at the end of the game, but they also need to balance that with taking more point cards so that they have a way to score!
Why I Like It – This game has a super small rule set, so it is super accessible to lots of people, which I love. It plays quickly since turns are short, and works well at various player counts.
7. Mystic Vale
Mechanisms – Card construction, deck building, push your luck
Overview – Unlike most deck builders, players don’t buy new cards (their deck stays the same size all game) but they buy upgrades to insert into their cards to improve them. Players have to push their luck a little bit in order to get enough resources to get new cards, and busting will mean a wasted turn.
Why I Like It – It’s the only game I’ve found with this “card crafting” mechanism that I really like. And even though I’ve played a few, I still find it really unique beyond the fact that this game does it really well. I like that my deck doesn’t get bigger, so I know it’s never too long before I see certain cards again. I like the push your luck element too, because you never lose out on a turn with your first flip, so it’s never just completely out of your hands.
6. Meeples & Monsters
Mechanisms – Worker placement, bag building
Overview – Players are trying to fill their bag with the best combination of meeples (warriors, mages et cetera) and send them out to the board to upgrade meeples, recruit new meeples, and fight monsters. Players will also have quests in hand to complete during the game for points, such as defeating certain monsters, or having certain meeples.
Why I Like It – The game has a good balance of collecting the right colored pieces for your strategy, and then actually getting to send them out to do things. I always feel like I have plenty of good options on my turn, even when I don’t draw the best hand of meeples from my bag.
5. Love Letter – Adventure Time
Mechanisms – Hand management, player elimination
Overview – Players are trying to be the last one standing in a round by using the abilities on their cards to eliminate other players. This will earn them points, and the 1st player to a certain number of points (based on player count) wins! They might guess another player’s card to get them out, force them to discard Princess Bubblegum, and more. This version also has unique win conditions from the original, giving players more ways to earn points.
Why I Like It – It’s one of my favorite themes for the Love Letter games, so it had to make the list! I also think it has a great look all around, beyond the great Adventure Time art. I also like the addition of the new win condition/way to earn extra points as it changes things up.
4. Whirling Witchcraft
Mechanisms – Closed drafting, simultaneous action selection, tableau building
Overview – Players are trying to activate the best recipes to stick their opponents with more ingredients than they can handle. If your workbench overflows, the player that gave you the ingredients gains the excess as points, and you only need 5 points to win!
Why I Like It – I think that the theme really shines, and the look of this game is great across the board. The turns are quick, because the game is very simultaneous, but the flow of the game is very solid. I also think that even though it can be on the shorter side, you can really feel your engine ramp up with each new recipe you play.
Mechanisms – Grid movement, pick-up and deliver, worker placement/management
Overview – Players move their assistant pieces around the board in order to take actions, and need to manage their workers as they have to leave them behind or pick them up in order to take actions. They are trying to collect resources to deliver certain places in order to earn money and, eventually, rubies, which is how they can win the game.
Why I Like It – I like the rush to the finish, trying to be the first one to get 5 rubies. You can always try to gauge what people are going to do, and how close they are to getting their next ruby, but it’s always a fun twist when someone does something unexpected. I also like that the game has a variable set up so it’s a little bit different every time.
Mechanisms – Open drafting, pattern building/set collection, personal board, tile placement
Overview – Players take turns drafting combinations of landscape and animal tiles to place into their personal grids. They are working to build their grid, and will earn points for connecting the same landscapes, and having their animals be in certain configurations with each other.
Why I Like It – There is a lot of variety with the different scoring cards for the animals, and I like that you aren’t limited by the landscapes (you don’t have to place the same type next to one another, but you may get more points for doing so later). I think the game is very approachable and great for a wide range of players!
1. Space Base
Mechanisms – Dice rolling, tableau building, production on opponents’ turns
Overview – Players roll dice to see which of their ships will produce resources on their turn. If someone on either side of them is rolling, they can activate the production of their “deployed” ships. Players are trying to be the first one to reach 40 points.
Why I Like It – There are so many strategies you can take in this game by buying different types of cards, or choosing to focus on certain sectors on your board. I really like it at a low player count (2-3) because it means I have a chance to activate ships on every turn. I also think it’s a great looking game!