The best abstract♟ board, card & dice games 2021

Looking for a really good party game where the game experience and the game mechanics are the most important things? Then we have just the thing: A list of the 30 best abstract♟ games 2021.

What are abstract games?

In an abstract board, card or dice game, the theme or scenario is not important. So in abstract games, the focus is on the game experience itself.

Many classics are abstract games

Many of the classic board games around the world, including Chess, Go, Checkers, Xiangqi (Chinese chess), Shogi (Japanese chess), Backgammon, Reversi (marketed as "Othello") fit into the category of abstract games.

Some in addition also "combinatorial".

Many abstract games also happen to be "combinatorial", meaning there is no hidden information, no non-deterministic elements (such as shuffled cards or dice rolls), no simultaneous or hidden movement or set-up, and (usually) two players or teams take a finite number of alternating turns.

Abstract is more likely to be understood as "theme-less"

The term "abstract" here should be understood as a synonym for "theme-less" or "theoretical". An abstract game thus does not contain a theme and setting. Abstract games are primarily about the game experience and the game mechanics - not about the scenario in which it is set.

List of the best abstract♟ board games 2021

This list was last updated on September 1, 2021. We compared 1010 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Azul

    All details for the board game Azul and similar games

    Nominated for 29 awards and won 19.

    Spiel des Jahres 2018

    More details for Azul
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    👍 Good price!30€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Azul

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"Sprache
  2. Patchwork

    All details for the board game Patchwork and similar games

    Nominated for 11 awards and won 3.

    More details for Patchwork
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime15 - 30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for Patchwork

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Patchwork" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Patchwork" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Patchwork" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Patchwork" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  3. Santorini

    All details for the board game Santorini and similar games

    Nominated for 6 awards.

    More details for Santorini
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    👍 Good price!17€ atAmazon.de
  4. Azul: Summer Pavilion

    All details for the board game Azul: Summer Pavilion and similar games

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 1.

    More details for Azul: Summer Pavilion
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    👍 Good price!36€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Azul: Summer Pavilion

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul: Summer Pavilion" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul: Summer Pavilion" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"Sprache
    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul: Summer Pavilion" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Azul: Summer Pavilion" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  5. Ohanami

    All details for the board game Ohanami and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
  6. Onitama

    All details for the board game Onitama and similar games

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 1.

    More details for Onitama
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime15 - 20 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    👍 Good price!12€ atAmazon.de
  7. Sagrada

    All details for the board game Sagrada and similar games

    Nominated for 10 awards.

    More details for Sagrada
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    👍 Good price!26€ atAmazon.de
  8. Calico

    All details for the board game Calico and similar games

    Nominated for 6 awards.

    More details for Calico
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  9. Mandala

    All details for the board game Mandala and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Mandala
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for Mandala

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Mandala" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Mandala" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  10. NMBR 9

    All details for the board game NMBR 9 and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards.

    More details for NMBR 9
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy

    Video reviews for NMBR 9

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "NMBR 9" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "NMBR 9" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  11. War Chest

    All details for the board game War Chest and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for War Chest
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for War Chest

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "War Chest" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "War Chest" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "War Chest" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "War Chest" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  12. Nova Luna

    All details for the board game Nova Luna and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2020

    More details for Nova Luna
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 60 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for Nova Luna

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Nova Luna" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Nova Luna" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  13. Noctiluca

    All details for the board game Noctiluca and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Noctiluca
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
  14. Cabo

    All details for the board game Cabo and similar games
    • Players2 - 5 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
  15. Ingenious

    All details for the board game Ingenious and similar games

    Nominated for 14 awards and won 7.

    Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2004

    More details for Ingenious
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime45 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  16. Spirits of the Forest

    All details for the board game Spirits of the Forest and similar games
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy

    Video reviews for Spirits of the Forest

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Spirits of the Forest" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Spirits of the Forest" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Spirits of the Forest" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Spirits of the Forest" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  17. Hey, That's My Fish!

    All details for the board game Hey, That's My Fish! and similar games

    Nominated for 8 awards and won 1.

    More details for Hey, That's My Fish!
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
    🔥 Great price!13€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Hey, That's My Fish!

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Hey, That's My Fish!" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Hey, That's My Fish!" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  18. Reef

    All details for the board game Reef and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Reef
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  19. Dragon Castle

    All details for the board game Dragon Castle and similar games

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for Dragon Castle
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for Dragon Castle

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Dragon Castle" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Dragon Castle" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  20. Qwirkle

    All details for the board game Qwirkle and similar games

    Nominated for 12 awards and won 2.

    Spiel des Jahres 2011

    Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2011

    Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2011

    More details for Qwirkle
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime45 Minutes
    • Age6+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  21. Indigo

    All details for the board game Indigo and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 1.

    Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2012

    More details for Indigo
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
    🔥 Great price!40€ atAmazon.de
  22. Hive

    All details for the board game Hive and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 2.

    More details for Hive
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime20 Minutes
    • Age9+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  23. Cribbage

    All details for the board game Cribbage and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  24. Ubongo

    All details for the board game Ubongo and similar games

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 6.

    Kinderspiel des Jahres 2005

    More details for Ubongo
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime25 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  25. SHŌBU

    All details for the board game SHŌBU and similar games

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for SHŌBU
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime15 - 30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  26. Glüx

    All details for the board game Glüx and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime30 - 45 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
    🔥 Great price!35€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Glüx

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Glüx" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Glüx" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  27. YINSH

    All details for the board game YINSH and similar games

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    More details for YINSH
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime30 - 60 Minutes
    • Age9+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
    👍 Good price!30€ atAmazon.de
  28. Seikatsu

    All details for the board game Seikatsu and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Seikatsu
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime15 - 30 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  29. Okiya

    All details for the board game Okiya and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 1.

    More details for Okiya
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime10 Minutes
    • Age7+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: very easy
  30. Paris: La Cité de la Lumière

    All details for the board game Paris: La Cité de la Lumière and similar games
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime30 Minutes
    • Age8+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

Didn't find the game you were looking for?

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