2017 was a stellar year for the tabletop hobby. Dozens of excellent new games arrived on our tables, from intriguing abstract strategy games to sprawling legacy adventures that could last hundreds of hours. Our Top Tabletop Games of 2017 is a good place to start if you’re looking for something to try out with your friends and family. Now, we turn our attention to what’s coming next, as 2018 promises to be another banner year for the hobby.
Here are 10 of the most anticipated games targeting release in 2018. Entries span a variety of genres and game styles, and are listed alphabetically.
Batman: Gotham City Chronicles
Publisher: Monolith Edition
The Dark Knight is returning to tabletops once again, this time in a design strongly inspired by Monolith’s previous Conan board game, which won accolades back in 2016, including a slot on our 2016 Best Tabletop Games list. The new Batman game casts one player as a supervillain in a distinct story-based scenario, while the other players take on the role of Batman and his allies, working to subvert the dastardly plan. Monolith has already shown off some of the intricate miniatures that players can expect to find in the game, but the real excitement comes from the return of this amazing combat system, which puts tremendous flexibility into the hands of players to attack, defend, and maneuver in interesting ways.
Publisher: Avalon Hill
The original Betrayal at House on the Hill is a perennial favorite for many gaming groups, in which the players explore a haunted mansion of their own creation, all the while knowing that someone in the group is a traitor who is pursuing the downfall of everyone else. That core concept is being translated into the legacy format for this new game, in which a narrative unfolds over many decades and multiple generations of the same families as time and again they make the mistake of visiting the foreboding estate. Like all legacy games, the story carries over from one session to the next, with aspects of the rules and included items changing over time, keeping each session fresh and unexpected.
Detective: City of Angels
Publisher: Van Ryder Games
This fascinating game of deduction and bluffing transports players to 1940s Los Angeles, where most of the players control detectives doing what they must to solve a series of crimes, while one player takes on the task of subverting and stalling the other players, leading them on wild goose chases, and generally throwing obstacles in the march toward justice. It all works together since each case is a unique narrative, with guidance on moving the story forward provided to both the investigators and their criminal competitor. The game also features an intriguing interrogation system in which the bluffing player can mislead the detectives; call him/her on their lies, and you can get the real answer, but accidentally call them on the truth, and the criminal gains leverage over you. Detective: City of Angels is certainly one of the more unusual projects on the way in 2018, and it’s that very innovation that may attract players hungry for something new.
Next Page: A return to the amazing universe of Gloomhaven, and a whole new approach to role-playing games