A few favorite “A” games

I thought it would be fun to take an alphabetical look at my game collection and chose a few favorites for each letter (when I have enough of a letter to do that). Let’s jump in with A.


Altiplano is a bag-building game where players are moving around to different locations to collect resources, build houses and boats, and strategically store things in their warehouse.

Player action board for Altiplano. Along the left, top and right of the board are extensions with additional actions. To the far right is part of the player's warehouse with several rows having stone, ore and corn.

The first time I played Altiplano, I thought it overstayed its welcome by a couple of rounds, but I still wanted to play it again. Now that we get the flow of the game, it moves much faster, and I just enjoy the experience. I love pulling resources from my bag and figuring out how to using whatever comes out that turn. I also like agonizing over the right time to start storing items in the warehouse, because it can be a lot of points at the end of the game, but it hurts to get rid of things that are helping to get more resources. I’d be lying if I said that the cute alpaca on the cover and start player marker didn’t play into my opinion of the game.

The Ancient World

The Ancient World is a worker placement game where players are building up a thriving town while building up armies to keep the town safe from attacking titans.

The Ancient World at the end of the game. The shared board is in the center of the table and depicts a landscape with a sea on the left and mountains on the right. At the bottom of the photo is a player board with a titan card and 5 worker tokens. To the left of the player board are two fanned-out stacks of army cards, and to the right are a number of building and defeated titan cards.

We picked up the second edition of this game in part because we are fans of Ryan Laukat’s games, and while this has a much different feel from games with strong campaigns like Near and Far, we still really enjoy it. I like building up my town, looking for buildings and locations that give me the right banner colors (which can be huge in the end-game scoring) but also that give good rewards, like money or resources during the income phase, or additional weapons for my armies.

Ark Nova

Ark Nova is zoo-building game where players are constructing enclosures on their player board, populating them with animals, seeking out sponsorships for special bonuses, and participating in conservation projects.

Taking up most of the image is a player's zoo map board with a stack of cards with various animals on the right of that map. At the top of the image is the main board w ith cards, and beyond that is a second player's board and cards.

I love zoo-themed games, so I was instantly drawn to Ark Nova. This is much heavier than the usual family-weight zoo game, which makes it feel different. There is so much going on between building up your zoo map and creating combos with sponsor cards. This game feels like it was made just for me.

What are your favorite games that start with the letter “A”? Or is there one of my games that you’d like to try out? Let me know in the comments!

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