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Our Favorite Games of 2023

Video Games

Chants of Sennaar Chants of Sennaar is a puzzle-driven adventure game that draws inspiration from the Tower of Babel. With a vibrant yet simple design, this game is a joy for both language nerds and puzzle enthusiasts alike. Read our full review here.


A video game graphic from Chants of Sennaar depicting an open book with pencil sketches of a draped figure in various poses on the left page, and a single profile sketch on the right page. A collection of pictorial symbols are in the background on the right.
Image via Steam

In The Case of the Golden Idol, you're the detective in a richly layered mystery, unfolding in an engaging narrative that teaches you the game’s mechanics while gradually ramping up the complexity – a captivating play from start to finish. Read our full review here.


A pixel art scene from The Case of the Golden Idol with characters in a courtyard, including a panicking person by fire, two talking individuals, and one by a door with 'Hints' and an 'Exploring to Thinking' dialogue bar.


The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Tears of the Kingdom takes the core of Breath of the Wild and introduces a telekinesis mechanic, providing players with an expanded world full of impressive physics and endless interaction possibilities. A must-play for fans of open-world games. Read our full review here.


In-game screenshot from Tears of the Kingdom Video Game, showing a character with a shield on their back looking out over a mystical landscape of floating islands above the clouds.


Board Games

First Ascent First Ascent is a strategy game about rock climbing that features expertly balanced gameplay, humorous player interactions, and tiny ropes for every player(!) Climbers will especially appreciate the silly lingo, but as long as you aren’t put off by a little jargon, this game offers a surprising amount of strategic depth without bogging you down with overly complicated rules.

A game of First Ascent in progress on the table with hexagonal tiles, colorful meeples, and cards, highlighting resource management and strategy elements, with a card labeled "Personal Objective"


Junk Drawer is a polyomino game in which players compete to strategically organize household objects to earn the most points. Simple to teach but hard to master, this clever game takes just ten minutes to play, but we rarely tend to stop at just one round.

A vibrant board game spread with a "Junk Drawer" rulebook, colorful game pieces, and cards resembling a cluttered drawer filled with various household items, offering a playful and organized chaos on the gaming table.

Played in two teams, Phantom Ink is a word-guessing game that quickly became a favorite due to its unique mechanic. Easy to teach to non-gamers, this is a twist on a party game that can be enjoyed by a wide audience.


Phantom Ink, a tabletop game, setup with black cards featuring various white text fields filled in with handwritten words laid out on a wooden surface.
Tabletop Puzzle Games

On Circus Grounds: The Final Act by Studio Stamp This game is a compact yet complete mystery, offering a seamless continuation of On Circus Grounds. The materials look and feel authentic, the hint system is comprehensive, and the puzzles are well-designed and intuitive. Read our full review here.


An assortment of game elements from On Circus Grounds: The Final Act, a tabletop puzzle game, including vintage-style cards with text like "Mendoza's Mystical Medicine," a portrait of a gentleman, and various letters and documents.


Lost in the Shuffle by Spencer is Puzzling Despite its small size, Lost in the Shuffle delivers big on content, featuring over 50 puzzles and silly video segments, all in a non-linear format that allows players the freedom to jump from puzzle to puzzle. Read our full review here.


Scattered playing cards and puzzle sheets around a box titled "Lost in the Shuffle - Brain Boosting Puzzle Game by Spencer Beebe"


Ruff Bluff: A Furlock Holmes Mystery - Trapped! Puzzle Rooms With its dog-themed puns and whimsical story, Ruff Bluff is an amusing puzzle game that cleverly develops its narrative and characters over four chapters, offering a delightful mix of humor, mystery, and canine shenanigans. Read our full review here.


Components of the tabletop game Ruff Bluff, including a jigsaw puzzle with dogs dressed in regal and whimsical attire, overlaid by a mock "New Bork Times" newspaper headline punningly titled "PETROPOLITAN MISPLACES ART"

What were your favorite games of 2023?

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