5 Standout Board Games from 2020 - boardgamerblues.com

5 Standout Board Games from 2020

Views: 16957
Like: 786
I review five board games from 2020 that did something different and deserve some attention.
Support independent reviews:
Links to buy:

1. Pan Am –
2. Santa Monica –
3. The Search for Planet X –
4. Thrive –
5. Remember Our Trip –

– Make a one-off donation to the channel:

Board Game Geek:

Thank you for watching! And thank you for all your comments, I love making videos for you all!

If you’re new to Actualol, my name is Jon Purkis. My two passions are writing comedy and playing board games, so I decided to combine the two in this YouTube channel.

I make all my videos on my own, in my flat in London, UK, with the help of a diverse selection of wigs.

Actualol is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


  1. I expected at YouTube i-Card linking to the Tony's opener parody to show up when Jon said "She'll realize board games aren't just for geeks".

  2. Appreciate the distinct framing of these games as not your faves but innovative contributions. Great vid!

  3. Very cool list. In the deduction area, we are going to try Cryptid.

  4. Just started watching your channel to find some new board games to pick up for the holidays and have really enjoyed your content. Your skits are pretty jokes and the amount of effort you put in your videos shows! Happy holidays from Canada :)!

  5. Pan Am sounds like Mario Party at the end.

  6. What did you swing against your thumb to get that black spot? Haha. Great video as always!

  7. Fantastic review Jon! I love that you are a reviewer telling us the good and the bad and refused to be compromised by sponsors! As always the games you talk about are interesting and your jokes are always appreciated.

  8. Also… If these aren't necessarily YOUR favorites of 2020, what are? Will you tell us in another video?

  9. Always enjoy your content! Your enthusiasm is contagious!

  10. This has been far more interesting than all of the shared Top 10 GOTY vids coming out.

  11. Hm Search For Planet X has been on the top of my desired board game list since I heard about it. The idea of searching for the mystical planet while also scoring for incremental discoveries sounds rewarding. I enjoy deduction games but haven't actually played that many. I've wanted to try Alchemists and Cryptid but haven't had the chance. I recently got Letter Jam though which has a bit of deduction and has been a hit with my parents and GF. Anyway, I still think I'll end up getting Planet X once it's reprinted and hope the deduction doesn't feel as uncomfortably slow for my group :). Did the people you play it with seem to enjoy it? Appreciate the video, happy new year!

  12. Hmm for that PANAM game..would the experience be better if you just took those specific bonus cards out. It would be more balanced then? Also thanks for being bluntly honest, I like hearing the good and bad as sometimes the bad is actually good for some people!

  13. Ok, I've heard plenty of reviews of Santa Monica, but yours is the first that makes me want to go buy it!

  14. Some really interesting new games there, thanks for the vid!

  15. anyway we can get a best of card games ? i mostly play card games

  16. Hey, I did some development work on Planet X (or Planet 9 as it was called before) and tried to increase player interaction by introducing actions taking certain amounts of time in light of the bonuses to people who publish correct "theories" first. At its heart, Planet X is a logic puzzle race and I understand that's not for everyone, but direct interaction just didn't fit well with the hard deduction. Thanks for mentioning the game in your video, as the designers created a wonderful logic puzzle that never got old even throughout all of the playtesting. Cheers.

  17. That was an impressive list of deduction games tried! But Cryptid wasn't on it. Have you tried that? It's light and quick – and all the information players share is entirely & permanently public. (I love the visual nature of the puzzle in this game.) I feel like these qualities help the game avoid some of the pitfalls you mentioned with Planet X and others. I often feel like I want to discover a meatier deduction game, but the reality is I probably don't. (I played Awkward Guests three times before selling it. Cryptid is a keeper for me.)

  18. Dune imperium, best game of 2020 with the great mix of deck building and worker placement.

  19. This is a great video! Thanks for taking the time to analyze these games in a different way! Always looking forward to your reviews!

  20. Props to Pluto mention 👍 Always a planet in my book.

  21. We LOVE Thrive! It took a while to finally get it into our hands, (thanks 2020), but once it did… oh boy, what a bunch of fun. We even make it a bit longer/slower by only adding a single peg at a time to see just how tricky it will be.

  22. I made resolution several years ago to only buy one game per year. Black Friday is an exception ~10 Hex & counter wargames for $120. But I'm going to have to break my rule for Pan Am. Damn you! Nobody else mentioned Pan Am!

  23. Shame Pan Am is unavailable in the UK…

  24. I'm still waiting for Pan am to come to europe. If it even will

  25. very special video, thank you!

  26. The production value and delivery for your recent content is excellent. Your hard work is paying off!

  27. Best review of 2020 I have seen so far. Thank you!

  28. Hey Jon! Have you heard of a boardgame reviewer named Tabletop Tolson? You two need to have a wig-off.

  29. OMG! I playtested Thrive two years ago, but I couldn't find it on BGG because I thought it was called Lotus! Thank you for reviewing it!

  30. nice to have this fresh viiew for fresh BG approaches… too bad we could not play in 2020 and for perhaps the first part of 2021…
    But still EVERY BG is still based on one or more iterations of the capitalistic system and it keeps our minds conditioned in it and closed for any other option or innovative system…
    But hey it would not sell.. it's the saddest part of it at the same time…

  31. Finally, someone who reviews games that my family will actually play … and I'll be able to explain to them. Great reviews!

  32. I'm usually up on the new games news, but totally missed thrive and it sounds right up my alley! Thanks a ton for highlighting these less-mentioned games!!

  33. I love this list and it's fresh look at releases.
    And I am ALWAYS here for your wit and word play.

  34. I always appreciate when you recommend alternatives, as you did with "Sleuth" in your "Planet X" review. Any recommended alternatives for "Pan Am" or "Santa Monica"? As always, keep up the great work!

  35. Please, review Abstratus. It's an award winning brazilian board game that happens to be really awesome. I promise you it will enter your top favorite board games list.

  36. I love " Awkward Guests" for deduction, have you tried that?

  37. As someone who lives in Santa Monica…I wish it still looked like this

  38. Santa monica is a wouderful boardgame i am looking forward to buy such a great game

  39. Great video as usual. On first thought re Pan Am is to modify rules(get rid of cards) to mitigate luck swings.

  40. "You will lose all of your pegging progress"…

Leave a Reply

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