It’s been a relatively quiet year for new board game releases, thanks to a variety of factors. Global shipping has gone frankly insane, manufacturing costs are through the roof, and various pipeline delays have led to major, blockbuster board games slipping into 2023 and beyond. But as we head towards the end of 2022, these bottlenecks are slowly clearing – paving the way for a raft of excellent releases.
While it’s never wise to hold your breath for upcoming board games – they’re always subject to major months-long or years-long delays – the future is looking bright for many upcoming projects. Some have been in the works for several years, others are recent Kickstarter hits. Some are set for 2022, and others will require a bit more patience.
With that in mind, here are nine hand-picked board games that should make a major splash over the coming months and years. These are all the most exciting projects you should keep your eye (and wallet) on in future:
- Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Adventure Game
- RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg
- The Witcher: Old World
- The Dark Quarter
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters
RoboMon is an upcoming adventure board game that takes direct inspiration from the Pokemon franchise – its aesthetics, gameplay, and creature-collecting mechanics. You and up to one other player can tackle the game’s narrative together, using a story book to trample through various locales, all illustrated in a gorgeous pixel art style.
The game is described as ‘open world’ as you can explore map spots freely, leading to chance encounters, battles, puzzles, and other surprises. Developer Gabe Barrett has promised around 30 hours of gameplay in this tabletop journey, about the same length as your average Pokemon romp. Between its gorgeous art style and cutesy creatures, there’s so much to love about RoboMon.
It’s currently in the early stages of its Gamefound campaign, and is planned to launch in August 2023, subject to change.
Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City
Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City is a collaboration between prolific board game publisher CMON (Zombicide, Marvel United) and game developer CD Projekt Red. It ties directly into the events of the video game, and allows you to take control of the many gangs wandering the streets of Night City. You can play competitively against your friends, or against the game’s AI, making deep decisions about what your gang will seek to accomplish, and where the night will take them.
The action takes place on a neon game board that reflects the map of the video game, and features deployable units that can be placed to initiate district fights, discover city secrets, or scout for opportunities, with each location yielding a new surprise to tackle. Those who enjoyed the video game will find many familiar faces in this adventure, including Johnny Silverhand, Rogue, Lizzy Wizzy, Misty, and V.
The game has completed its Kickstarter campaign, and is targeting a July 2023 launch.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Adventure Game
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Adventure Game attempts the impossible: translating the world of Skyrim directly into the world of board games. But, based on early looks at the game, it does appear to have achieved this. The action of this adventure is quest-based, with players embodying a token hero who can move around the mountainous map board, exploring new locales and working through one of two massive, multi-chapter campaigns.
The game is described as free roam, which essentially means you can tackle this game exactly like Skyrim. Set up your hero, choose your gear, and set off into the wilderness to uncover quests, and work through each phase of the story in turn. If you choose to bring companions with you, you’ll be able to tackle fights together.
The publisher is now accepting late pledges on Gamefound, and with the game set to launch over the next few months (shipping is now underway) it’s unlikely you’ll have to wait long to get your hands on this game.
Verdant is the antithesis of many of the games on this list. If you’re tired of adventuring and questing, it’s the perfect board game to kick up your feet and relax with. In Verdant, you’re tasked with taking care of a range of house plants, using special tokens to help care for them, and building out the cosiest space possible. To complete your goals, you’ll need to create the best light conditions for your plants, nurture them, and ensure they’re in the right position for the best rewards.
This game is created by the team behind Calico and Cascadia, which should give you a good idea of the wholesome, good vibes you can expect from this game. With easy-to-learn mechanics and simple, turn-based gameplay (for solo play, or with friends) it looks like a spot of relief in the often dense world of board games.
You can now late pledge for Verdant, which is set to launch in September 2022.
RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg
RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is an epic adventure board game that takes place in the world of Gielinor, a realm that will be very familiar to players who grew up playing the classic online MMORPG, RuneScape. This upcoming board game will take a lot of inspiration from classic RuneScape gameplay to guide players on an epic quest to fight back the forces of evil, and save medieval fantasy lands from war.
You’ll face off with a range of bosses in your quest, including villains like Count Draynor and TzTok-Jad, with each battle helping you to level up, and continue your long and harrowing journey. When you’re not fighting villains in this adventure, you’ll be able to level up your gear, meet NPCs, and jump into numerous tongue-in-cheek sidequests.
The game’s Kickstarter campaign is now over, with the game set to launch in November 2023.
Frosthaven, the long-awaited sequel to fantasy epic Gloomhaven, is finally set to launch at the end of 2022. While this timeline still has the potential to be pushed out, it’s as close to the final release as it’s ever been – which should excite fantasy RPG fans. Whether you’re finished with Gloomhaven or you’re a newbie to dungeon crawling board games, Frosthaven should certainly be on your radar.
This sequel will expand on the events of the original game, with players journeying to the harsh northern regions of a mysterious world plagued by war. By taking on a heroic role in this grand adventure, you’ll be able to take on brand new villains, and explore a story campaign filled with danger. While the game is set in the same world as Gloomhaven, it is standalone, and will likely ease newer players in. You will need to devote a significant amount of time to learning and playing this game, but the rewards of victory are certainly worth the dedication.
Per the last Kickstarter update, Frosthaven is currently in the late production phases, with the publishers planning to deliver it by Christmas 2022.
The Witcher: Old World
The Witcher: Old World is yet another epic fantasy adventure board game – but this one is cool and different because it’s set in the world of CD Projekt Red’s Witcher video game franchise. Up to five players can join this adventure board game, which allows players to embody a Witcher hero, and take on both quests and monster-slaying. In each phase of the game, you’ll be able to make unique choices, and chart your path across a board, battling deadly creatures as you come across them.
Each move on the game’s gorgeous, detailed map will reveal new shocks, with many of them requiring a nasty sword or spells to conquer. Characters in the game can level with each fight, obtaining new gear and abilities that should make the tougher monster go down much, much quicker. If you’re a fan of fantasy RPGs, or just a Witcher nut, Old World is certainly a spin-off you should keep an eye out for.
The Witcher: Old World has completed its Kickstarter campaign, with games currently set to arrive later in 2022, pending production difficulties.
The Dark Quarter
The Dark Quarter is a curious fantasy RPG board game that comes from the makers of Chronicles of Crime, Lucky Duck Games. Like its past creations, The Dark Quarter is heavily narrative focussed, although it seems to be far more sprawling than its predecessors. In the game, you play as a detective from the magical Beaumont Agency, which works to control the streets of New Orleans even as supernatural beings and magical forces gather. You’ll need to strengthen your hero in this adventure, and use their unique skills to corral the magic of the French Quarter back to where it belongs.
Anyone who loves a good urban fantasy story will likely be enthralled by this set-up. It has shades of DC’s Hellblazer, and every other good supernatural-fantasy story – with a hint of playfulness, and stylish originality to boot. In the game, you’ll be travelling around a beautifully-designed map, investigating clues, taking down monsters, and working to solve deep crimes. You’ll also be able to control the action with a companion app that helps to set the mood of the game, and record your choices.
Late pledges for The Dark Quarter are now available on Kickstarter, with the game set to launch in October 2023.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters
Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters is an absolutely massive board game that translates the gothic world of Vampire: The Masquerade into a sprawling, tile-based narrative adventure with plenty of choices along the way. There are a whopping 40 different, branching scenarios in this game, with each sending you on a grim and harrowing quest through dense, vampire-filled streets. You can play the adventure solo and get by just fine, or you can also invite a few of your friends along with you to explore the game’s narrow pathways and bloody fights.
In the box, you’ll find a dense story book that guides the action, as well as unique dialogue booklets, event and mystery cards to explore, cards and standees for over 100 individual characters – who all play a role in the story – as well as scenario tiles and items that’ll help illustrate your journey as a fledgling vampire caught in a horrifying new world. In terms of size, Chapters looks to be as big as Gloomhaven – so expect to spend hours learning how to play, and hours more mastering every mechanic.
The game’s Kickstarter campaign is currently shut, with production expected to finalise in the coming months. It’s unlikely shipping will occur in 2022, but early 2023 feels like a safe bet for this monster.
If you’re looking for more of the best board games out there, check out the rest of the GamesHub favourites: