The 10×10 Challenge – Part 2

Hanabi Spiral

Earlier in the week, I went through my motivation (or lack of it initially!) for taking part in the 10×10 challenge this year and how much I’ve been enjoying it.  It’s been particularly fun doing it with a bunch of other people.

Each week we get together and have our usual “What shall we play tonight?” discussion, but what typically happens now is someone says, “Ooh, let’s check the 10×10 lists and see what people need to get ticked off.  It’s an easy way of seeing the games that people really want to play.

So without further ado, here are the 10 games that I wanted to play 10 times this year…


This was an automatic first pick for me.  Hanabi is my all-time favourite game and a very straightforward game to put on my 10×10 list as each game doesn’t take very long.  I’m also planning to do a video series on this one so I know it’s going to get lots of play this year.

It’s essentially a co-operative card game where you’re trying to play a set number of cards, in order, to the table.  The trick is that you’re not allowed to see your own cards; you hold them so everyone else can see them.  You have to give clues (and the rules for allowable clues are strict!) to the other players about which cards they’re holding.

The levels of strategy run pretty deep in this and having played it a lot, I still can’t get enough of it.

Gaia ProjectGaia Project

I knew I wanted a heavy Euro on there somewhere and after much consideration Gaia Project was the one for me.  It’s already seen loads of play at the café and there are so many different factions to play that I knew working through them all would retain my interest.

Gaia Project is the sequel to Terra Mystica and improves on an already fantastic game in my opinion.  There are lots of options, lots of different strategies that you can take and you have to vary what you do each game to take account of the variable setup (not to mention what the other players do!).  It ticks all the boxes for me.

Codenames: DuetCodenames: Duet

I wanted one other lighter game on my list (most of my other picks are pretty big games!) and I’ve really enjoyed my few plays of Codenames: Duet, the two-player co-operative version of Codenames.

Much like the original, you are trying to give clues for the other player to guess particular words out of a much larger selection on the table.  The co-op element means that you’re always either guessing or giving clues, which substantially reduces the downtime from the original.

I was also intrigued by the campaign element that has been added.  Essentially, you work your way through a series of levels – or challenges – that gradually increase the difficulty in various ways.  I’ve yet to start the campaign, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Too Many BonesToo Many Bones

This was another automatic entry for me, despite taking anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to play!  It’s my second favourite game of all time and one that I play a lot with my son, Noah.  On the face of it, it’s a fairly standard adventure game: pick a character, fight some monsters, grab some treasure, level up and face off against a big boss at the end.

The way it does everything is so engaging though, and it feels so fresh.  Dice are used for almost everything.  The combat is very puzzley (similar to Mage Knight in its depth), but co-operation and teamwork are really important to success, which I love.  The levelling system (which allows your character to acquire more dice) is so diverse and so satisfying.  For an adventure game, you can’t beat it.

The 7th Continent

The 7th Continent

This is the epic, card-based, exploration game that took Kickstarter by storm.  It’s huge.  I have no idea how I’m going to count my 10 plays of this, as each game is a sprawling adventure that you really want to leave setup and takes hours and hours to complete.  But I don’t care.  It’s so much fun.

You spend your time turning over cards that represent sections of the unexplored 7th continent and taking actions on them.  It’s very free-form though, and the action system is tense and interesting.  To succeed at an action, you need to draw cards and gain enough successes, but the deck of cards represents your life so the more cards you draw, the weaker you become.  It’s very clever and very thematic.


It seems I was a little optimistic thinking I could get through all 10 today!  We’ll continue with the final 5 next week.  Which game would be your first pick for a 10×10 challenge?

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Jonathan Hicks

Jonathan is the director of Maven Games. He blogs and records podcast episodes several times a week. Whenever he isn't doing anything else, he designs games.

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