Welcome back to the 2019 Tabletop Challenge!

Throughout this year, my partner and I have challenged ourselves to play two games each week without ever repeating a game. With a growing game collection and limited time to just be friends (separate from being employed adults, parents, etc.), we were seeking a way to play together more and thus was born…104 games in 52 weeks. Welcome to the table! Here’s what we played in July!

Cover for the board game Mice & Mystics, showing mice wearing armor, carrying buttons as shield and needles as swords.

Via Board Game Geek

66. Mice & Mystics

  • Player count: 1-4
  • Run time: 60-90 min
  • Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
  • Mechanics: Area movement, cooperative play, dice rolling, role playing, storytelling, variable player powers

Mice & Mystics is a cooperative dungeon crawl, in which a storybook will guide your small band of mice through a series of adventures, each part of the quest its own chapter in the book. Once human in form, the prince, the smith, a wizard, and the healer, have realized their king is being controlled and threatened by an enchantress. To escape today and fight tomorrow, the group has used magic to become mice – small, insignificant creatures that will slip through the castle unnoticed (just kidding, they totally get noticed). Be prepared to treat M&M like a D&D campaign, setting aside a few hours to play and perhaps scheduling out multiple evenings because chances are you will not complete your goal in the first go and, if you fail, you have to start back at the beginning of the story. Also, from a purely scientific point of view, I would love to see a Venn diagram of fans of Mice & Mystics and people who grew up reading Redwall.


Player pieces for the board game KiWeTin, 3 small white forest spirits, genderless sprites, are holding leaves over their heads.

Via Board Game Geek

67. KiWeTin

  • Player Count: 2-6
  • Run Time: 5-20 min
  • Publisher: Flyos Games
  • Mechanics: Take that

This game is adorable and reminiscent of a Miyazaki film in all the right ways. The forest spirits, Ki, We, and Tin, are racing to the top of the tree to reach the sacred flower. Using leaves to catch the gusts, the spirits drift and float, each spirit moving in its own way. Other forces at play might upset this balancing act on the branches. Because this game’s tiles are randomly placed, each game is unique and it is easy to have multiple rematches in a single sitting.


A pulpy board game cover for Campy Creatures in shades of green and neon yellow. Various monsters from creature features surround the title.

Via Board Game Geek

68. Campy Creatures and Expansion I (2019)

  • Player Count: 2-5
  • Run Time: 20-30 min
  • Publisher: Keymaster Games

Practice your evil villain laugh because in Campy Creatures YOU, dear player, are a mad scientist. In need of mere mortals for your fiendish experiments, you have three nights in which to collect new victims. But why do it yourself when you have a stable of monstrous creations to do your bidding? Each creature has its strength and is sure to win out over the mortals but you must bluff, deceive, and overpower your competition’s monsters first!

Favorite of the Month!

Art has compelling powers over me and this game’s gothic pulp flair makes my heart flutter. It takes the crown this month because over and above its aesthetic, Campy Creatures is an engaging game that doesn’t trigger my analysis paralysis and was easy to grasp. It has JUST enough social deduction to make my INFJ powers of perception feel like a superpower.


Board game cover art for the game Troyes, depicting three men, a Bishop, a Knight, and a Merchant in medieval garb in the style of 14th or 15th century art.

Via Board Game Geek

69. Troyes

  • Player Count: 1-4
  • Run Time: 90 min
  • Publisher: Asmodee, Pearl Games, Rebel
  • Mechanics: Area control, dice rolling

No, this game is not a sequel to the Iliad. The name is actually pronounced “Twa” and is named for a city in the Champagne region of France. As prominent families of Troyes, players will reenact four centuries of late medieval history, attempting to construct the cathedral, defending the city from attack, and building up the economy.


Cover art for the board game Hotshots, showing wildfire fighters spraying water at a blaze. In the background a helicopter drops water on distant trees.

Via Board Game Geek

70. Hotshots

  • Player Count: 1-4
  • Run Time: 60 min
  • Publisher: Fireside Games
  • Mechanics: Cooperative play, dice rolling, modular board, press your luck

We played this cooperative game during the time when wildfires were raging, quite literally, in the state of California in the U.S. It hit a little closer to home, as such. Players make up a team of wildfire fighters, each with a unique ability that will help them quench an expanding forest fire. Dice rolls will determine their effectiveness at protecting the tiles or reducing the flames but pushing the rolls too far will cause the fire to spread more rapidly. THis game was fast and challenging but fun…in a depressing, oh-this-happens-in-real-life sort of way.


Board game cover art for the game Element. A celtic style circle knot has four interior circles, each with an elemental symbol emblazoned on it (Wind, Fire, Earth, Air)

Via Board Game Geek

71. Element

  • Player Count: 2-4
  • Run Time: 30-60 min
  • Publisher: Rather Dashing Games
  • Mechanics: Area control, area enclosure, grid movement, tile placement

The wise sages of this game draw on the power of the four elements – fire, water, earth, and air – to entrap enemy sages. Walls of fire, winding rivers, and insurmountable ranges of stone may be used to encircle opponents and gusts of wind aid a sage in escaping a possible entrapment by jumping. This abstract game has a celtic feel to it with easily memorized rules and beautiful components.


Cover art for the Wicked to the Core expansion of Disney Villainous. A purple background and in deeper plum shades, a silhouette of the Evil Queen from Snow White holding an apple.

Via Board Game Geek

72. Disney Villainous (2018), Wicked to the Core expansion (2019), and Evil Comes Prepared expansion (2019)

  • Player Count: 2-6
  • Run Time: 40-60 min
  • Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag, Wonder Forge
  • Mechanics: Hand management, take that, variable player powers

Villainous has been a family favorite since its release in 2018; we commonly bring it to family functions. In this game, each player takes on the role of an infamous Disney villain. In the base game players may choose from the sea-witch Ursula, Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar, Prince John, or the Queen of Hearts. Each character has their own victory conditions and, while attempting to complete their own, must strive to keep their opponents from achieving their objectives. This year’s expansions include the Wicked to the Core box which introduces the Evil Queen from Snow White, Hades, and Dr. Facilier and the Evil Comes Prepared box which includes Scar, Yzma, and Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. It’s never felt so good to be bad!


Cover art for the game Pandemic: Fall of Rome. Two Roman citizens, a woman and a centurion stare into the distance in the foreground. Behind them is countryside and ports and an aqueduct.

Via Board Game Geek

73. Pandemic: Fall of Rome

  • Player Count: 1-5
  • Run Time: 45-60 min
  • Publisher: Asmodee, Z-Man Games

Mechanics: Action Point Allowance System, Cooperative Play, Hand Management, Point to Point Movement, Set Collection, Variable Player Powers

This is a variant of the cooperative board game Pandemic. In this version, the Roman Empire has stretched over 200 square miles of territory. A strained economy and weakened military has left the empire vulnerable to attack from outside invaders. Players must come together to shore up military strongholds, recruit new forces, and forge alliances to stave off attacks. The card matching element of this game reminded me a titch of Ticket to Ride but is only a small part of the larger mechanics.

What game are you most interested in this month? Did you know you can follow the #104Gamesin52 on Instagram to see what we’re playing in real time?

Our August games are on their way soon!