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Top 10 Abstract Board Games

Abstract games typically do not contain any hidden information or luck-based mechanics in the gameplay. Resulting in unique gameplay that allows players to have an even matchup where they can show their strategic and forward-thinking. Traditional abstract strategy games such as Chess are popular for competitive play. Abstract board games even date all the way back to ancient Egypt with the world’s old board game “Senet”.

In this article, we count down our top 10 abstract board games. Let’s jump in with Reef at number 10:

In the game Reef, players take on the role of the reef itself, alternating turns in which they carefully select the colors and patterns in which to grow and expand — the more beautiful the reef, the more points they score!

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2 – 4 Players
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Ages 8+
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3-in-1 Magnetic Chess Checkers & Backgammon Board Game

9. 3-In-1: Chess, Checkers & Backgammon

Three games in one! Play chess, checkers, and backgammon on the move with our foldable wooden and magnetic sets.

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2 Players
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Medium Complexity
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Ages 6+
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Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game! Plant and shape the ever-changing forest as you cultivate your seeds and your strategy. Take your trees through their life-cycle, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth, and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays. Carefully pick where you sow and when you grow, as tees in the shadows are blocked from light, and from points. This game features realistic gameplay and beautiful graphics.

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2 – 4 Players
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Ages 10+
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Calico is a puzzly tile-laying game of quilts and cats!

In Calico, players compete to sew the coziest quilt as they collect and place patches of different colours and patterns. Each quilt has a particular pattern that must be followed, and players are also trying to create colour and pattern combinations that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also able to attract the cuddliest cats!

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1 – 4 Players
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Ages 13+
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In Onitama, players will vie to capture their opponent’s Master, or, traverse their Master across the board to their opponent’s Master’s starting position to win the game. With only a handful of moves, can you outwit, out maneuver and outlast your opponent without giving them the move necessary to defeat you?

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2 Players
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Ages 8+
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Hive is a boardless game that builds strategy skills. Hive is a fun game to play, because of its simple rules, yet challenging for its depth.

Each of the tactile resin (Bakelite) tiles has a unique way of moving, similar to chess, and resembles the movement of the insect depicted on the tile. Choose the best tactics to place the right piece wisely and be the first to block the Queen Bee in the Hive.

Hive enhances each player’s skills of strategic planning, tactical thinking and spatial vision. To win, you must play both the offense (surround your opponent’s bee) and the defence (to protect your queen bee).

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2 Players
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Ages 9+
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In Azul: Summer Pavilion, players return to Portugal to accomplish the task that never began. As a master artisan, you must use the finest materials to create the summer pavilion while carefully avoiding wasting supplies. Only the best will rise to the challenge to honor the Portuguese royal family.

Azul: Summer Pavilion lasts six rounds, and in each round players draft tiles, then place them on their individual player board to score points. Each of the six colors of tiles is wild during one of the rounds.

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2 – 4 Players
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Ages 8+
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Draft dice and use the tools-of-the-trade in Sagrada to carefully construct your stained glass window masterpiece.

In more detail, each player builds a stained glass window by building up a grid of dice on their player board. Each board has some restrictions on which color or shade (value) of die can be placed there. Dice of the same shade or color may never be placed next to each other. Dice are drafted in player order, with the start player rotating each round, snaking back around after the last player drafts two dice. Scoring is variable per game based on achieving various patterns and varieties of placement…as well as bonus points for dark shades of a particular hidden goal color.

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1 – 4 Players
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Ages 14+
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Patchwork is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. In the past, it was a way to make use of leftover pieces of cloth to create clothing and quilts. Today, patchwork is a form of art, in which the designers use precious fabrics to create beautiful textiles. The use of uneven pieces of fabric in particular can result in real masterpieces and is therefore being practiced by a large number of textile artists.

To create a beautiful quilt, however, requires effort and time, but the available patches just do not want to fit together. So choose your patches carefully and keep a healthy supply of buttons to not only finish your quilt, but to make it better and more beautiful than your opponent‘s.

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2 Players
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Very Low Complexity
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Ages 8+
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In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player’s score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

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2 – 4 Players
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Ages 8+
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How did you find our list of top 10 abstract board games? Let us know what games are in your top 10 abstract board games list in the comments below.

Want to browse more Abstract Games? Click here to view our full range of abstract board games

Luke

Luke

Avid Board Game player and Pokémon card collector

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