Caution Adults at Play

This year began with so many plans to attend Gen Con, grow my existing rpg campaign, run a new rpg campaign, play all kinds of new games, and try some game writing. THEN…a pandemic began and looks to continue into 2021 quite a ways. Even with that disruption, I have managed to fit in some fun games that have really stood out for me. What can we say about 2021 and my hobbies? They were sporadic. The pandemic had a huge impact on my hobbies in 2020 and decided to continue messing with them in 2021 then we mix in a few major life events (daughters graduating college, house buying for a daughter, moving a daughter to graduate school, starting a new job, and ) to shake them up even more.

This is not a top 10 list of new games this year, nor my all-time favorite games list. These are games that impacted me personally in 2021, no matter when they were originally published. Why did these games impact me and thus stand out for the year? As I share about my standout games of 2021, I hope you will gain some insights into why I am so passionate about gaming.

Board Game Arena

Board Game Arena logo

Early in the year, the pandemic was still keeping my gaming group apart so we moved to various online gaming options. We played games on Steam and some online games, but found Board Game Arena was one of our favorites. Three games have really stood out on that platform for us including Sushi Go (I cannot win this game for some reason), Automobiles (liked it so much I found a used copy to order as it is out of print), and King of Tokyo (always love this game in person or online). We still play on the Arena when we are unable to gather because of weather or illnesses keeping us apart.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Diablo III cover

My daughter, Emily, and I needed an outlet during the pandemic and while she was living at home trying to purchase a house. Diablo III became our game of choice to blow off steam by smashing evil at the end of the day. First off it was her Barbarian and my Wizard playing through the campaign. Then we started playing Seasons with various characters. Now that she has moved to her new home, Diablo III is on hold until she is home for an extended time or she gets a PS4 of her own so we can play online.

Betrayal Legacy


It was so exciting when my gaming groups could finally get back together in person for game nights. While online gaming was enjoyable, I was so happy to be sitting around a table again with my friends and family. And that also meant we could get back to Betrayal Legacy! We finished it this year and it was just as dark and fun as before. The ending was wild. Next up for us, Pandemic Legacy: Season 0.

D&D 5e

D&D 5e books

With the pandemic restrictions relaxing, my monthly gaming group resumed our D&D 5e campaign (homebrew set in Greyhawk). I have some fascinating ideas for the campaign going forward that I cannot wait to reveal to my players. We have even now moved to meeting twice a month so we can play some board games as well. D&D 5e keeps showing up in my stand out games periodically because it brings me happiness and provides me a great creative outlet to experience with friends and family.

Marvel United

One of my weekly game group members backed Marvel United: X-Men and brought it to game night once it arrived. I love co-operative games AND superhero games AND miniatures, so this was right in my sweet spot. Not surprising, we got stomped our first game as we didn’t know how to work as a team nor know the game mechanics well. We did much better our second time and really enjoy playing it. I can’t wait to try it again as the expansions arrive with more heroes and villains. I also really want to paint these minis, so I have picked up a single mini from the set through Ebay so I can practice painting them.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 and For The King

Divinity: Original Sin 2 cover
For the King cover

My two brothers-in-law and I were looking for a way to spend time together during the pandemic while we were separated. We decided on co-op games on PS4 and we have continued that even though we are no longer in lockdown or separated as we found it quite fun. This year we finished Divinity: Original Sin 2 and have begun playing For The King. The ending of DOS2 disappointed us but we enjoyed our time together. These games give us a dedicated time each week for spending time together. While the games are fun, I just realy enjoy spending time with and getting to know my brother-in-laws better.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Marrying Mr. Darcy cover

Most recently, we got to play Marrying Mr. Darcy and that just might be my hidden gem of the year. I had heard of the game before but overlooked it. Then I saw a stream of it being played at LTNCon and was intrigued. My daughter and wife both loved the idea so we ordered it. We were not disappointed at all on our first play. The game is a riot if you are willing to get into the theme. Yeah, it is a very random game with tons of luck involved, but thematically it works if you know the Jane Austin books. Even if not, it is a fun and light card game with some interesting strategies and take-that elements along with the luck. I really want to get the Undead Expansion so I can play a game like the book/movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Unplayed Games

Because of the pandemic and life events limiting my gaming time, I still have a huge pile of unplayed games I picked up this year or were given as gifts that I am eager to get to the table over an extended Christmas break and in the coming months with my gaming groups. Hopefully many of them will appear in My Standout Games of 2022 list.

What games stood out for you in 2021, and what made them stand out? I am curious what makes a game special to you.

My Standout Games of 2021

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.