Without further ado, the games!
#30 Can't Stop Down 15
Can't Stop is a great push your luck dice game. It fell on my list because I haven't played it in over a year. I don't own it, so it's not really under my control. The design is simple and straight forward, but I love the anticipation that each die roll brings.
#29 Kingsburg Up 6
Kingsburg moves up due to more experience with the expansion. The game really offers a lot of choice, even with limited dice rolls. Yes, you can get messed over by terrible dice rolls all game long, but for the most part, you'll be able to do something on each turn. The more I play Kingsburg, the more I realize the depth in the game, and the different paths to victory.
#28 Fleet Down 12
Fleet is still a really really good game, but I need to expansion to keep it fresh. The game has become a bit samey to me. I don't think there's necessarily one dominant path to victory, but there are several key things that you need to do in order to succeed, and once you get those things together, you're really hard to stop. I know that the expansion is going to change a lot of things, or at least add a lot of options, which will prevent some of those main paths. I enjoy Fleet, especially with new players, but in order for the game to stay up here again, I need the expansion to be excellent.
#27 Takenoko New
I received Takenoko from my BGG Secret Santa, meaning I haven't had it long. The first time I played the game, I really enjoyed it. Every time I've played it subsequent to that, I've enjoyed it. That level of enjoyment demands a place on this list. I'm not sure where Takenoko will settle, but this seemed like a good place to start. Takenoko is a very approachable game that starts off simple and gets more complex as you go along. There are 5 options on any given turn, and you get to do 2, so you're not overwhelmed with choice, but you're also not too limited. I really enjoy how everyone has to interact on the board, but everyone has their own goals.
#26 Eight-Minute Empire New
If you read my review of Eight-Minute Empire you'd know that I enjoy the game, even though the title is a bit of a misnomer. This game is more like 15-20 minute empire. Still, it's a very well designed game, and it works well in a short amount of time. The game has two ways to score points, but they're directly related. On your turn, you purchase a card that has a symbol on it, and then you do the action listed on the card. At the end of the game you get points for sets of symbols, as well as points for areas controlled on the board. It's a really tight game with several key decisions, but it's also over quickly, so one bad move doesn't leave you losing for hours.
#25 Forbidden Desert New
Spoiler alert, Forbidden Island is gone, and Forbidden Desert has taken over. Forbidden Desert isn't the most challenging co-op game, but is by no means easy. The player powers are easy to understand, but making the best use of the combination in any given game is a true challenge. Make no mistake, Forbidden Desert is a lot more difficult than Forbidden Island. Sun beating down on the players will account for a lot of lost games.
#24 Small World Down 6
Small World is still a very enjoyable game for me. I enjoy the variety of races and powers. I also enjoy the player politicking that goes on to try to cut down the leader. The only reason it dropped a bit was due to newer games taking higher spots. Small World is a great game for Risk players looking for something a little shorter and something with a lot more variety.
#23 Dixit Down 11
Moving down due to lack of plays and a lack of desire to play. Don't get me wrong, Dixit is still an excellent party game, and my go to game for a very creative group. The problem is that I don't have the creative mix of people that I had in college. Dixit truly takes a group of diverse thinkers to make it work as well as it can. That's one of the things that makes it a great party game. It serves as a way to get to know someone, but more importantly, learn how they think, and also discover some of the random connections that people have.
#22 Roll Through the Ages Down 11
#21 Pandemic Down 8
Pandemic is an enjoyable game for me, but it moved down because the newest expansion essentially requires the new version of the game, and I'm really opposed to that. Now, I still enjoy what I have, and I will happily play Pandemic with what I have. The game is fine, but it gets a bit samey after awhile. My plays of it have drastically decreased over the last couple of years. It can suffer from one player telling others what to do. Fortunately, in my group, there are two of us who offer opinions and then leave the final choice up to the player. That system has worked well for us, though it's not perfect by any means.