The best abstract♟ board, card & dice games 2023

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 2023.

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 2023

This list was last updated on January 25, 2023. We compared 3549 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Cascadia

    All details for the board game Cascadia and similar games

    Nominated for 12 awards and won 6.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2022

    🔥 Deal: 7% cheaper than the best Geizhals deal, likely for a short time only!

    More details for Cascadia
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    🔥 Great price!25€ atAmazon.de
  2. 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
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!32€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Azul

    • YouTube Review for the game "Azul" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  3. Patchwork

    All details for the board game Patchwork and similar games

    Nominated for 11 awards and won 3.

    More details for Patchwork
    • 2 Players
    • 15 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Patchwork

    • YouTube Review for the game "Patchwork" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Patchwork" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  4. Ohanami

    All details for the board game Ohanami and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  5. Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game

    All details for the board game Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game and similar games
    • 1 Players
    • 5 - 10 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  6. Project L

    All details for the board game Project L and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Project L
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 20 - 40 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    🔥 Great price!23€ atAmazon.de
  7. Santorini

    All details for the board game Santorini and similar games

    Nominated for 7 awards.

    More details for Santorini
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  8. Onitama

    All details for the board game Onitama and similar games

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 1.

    More details for Onitama
    • 2 Players
    • 15 - 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!24€ atAmazon.de
  9. Azul: Summer Pavilion

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

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 3.

    More details for Azul: Summer Pavilion
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!36€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Azul: Summer Pavilion

    • YouTube Review for the game "Azul: Summer Pavilion" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Azul: Summer Pavilion" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  10. Sagrada

    All details for the board game Sagrada and similar games

    Nominated for 10 awards.

    More details for Sagrada
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  11. Mandala

    All details for the board game Mandala and similar games

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 1.

    More details for Mandala
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Mandala

    • YouTube Review for the game "Mandala" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  12. War Chest

    All details for the board game War Chest and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for War Chest
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for War Chest

    • YouTube Review for the game "War Chest" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "War Chest" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  13. Calico

    All details for the board game Calico and similar games

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 2.

    More details for Calico
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  14. NMBR 9

    All details for the board game NMBR 9 and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards.

    More details for NMBR 9
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
    👍 Good price!19€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for NMBR 9

    • YouTube Review for the game "NMBR 9" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  15. Botanik

    All details for the board game Botanik and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Botanik
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  16. Nova Luna

    All details for the board game Nova Luna and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2020

    More details for Nova Luna
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!15€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Nova Luna

    • YouTube Review for the game "Nova Luna" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  17. Tsuro

    All details for the board game Tsuro and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    🔥 Deal: 22% cheaper than the best Geizhals deal, likely for a short time only!

    More details for Tsuro
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 15 - 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
    🔥 Great price!62€ atAmazon.de
  18. Noctiluca

    All details for the board game Noctiluca and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Noctiluca
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  19. Cabo

    All details for the board game Cabo and similar games
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  20. Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

    All details for the board game Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

    • YouTube Review for the game "Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  21. SHŌBU

    All details for the board game SHŌBU and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards.

    More details for SHŌBU
    • 2 Players
    • 15 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  22. Agropolis

    All details for the board game Agropolis and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Agropolis
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 15 - 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  23. 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
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!26€ atAmazon.de
  24. Spirits of the Forest

    All details for the board game Spirits of the Forest and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Spirits of the Forest

    • YouTube Review for the game "Spirits of the Forest" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Spirits of the Forest" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  25. 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!
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Hey, That's My Fish!

    • YouTube Review for the game "Hey, That's My Fish!" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  26. Reef

    All details for the board game Reef and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    🔥 Deal: 20% cheaper than the best Geizhals deal, likely for a short time only!

    More details for Reef
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    🔥 Great price!20€ atAmazon.de
  27. Cribbage

    All details for the board game Cribbage and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  28. 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
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 6+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  29. Hive

    All details for the board game Hive and similar games

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 2.

    More details for Hive
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Easy to learn
    👍 Good price!29€ atAmazon.de
  30. 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
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable

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