Top 5 Hollywood Themed Board Games of 2020

The hottest thing in gaming right now is classic low-tech tabletop experiences. Here’s our line-up of the Top 5 Hollywood themed board games for this year.

1. Hellboy: The Board Game

The cult classic comic gets a great game packed with comic-style art, great miniatures and lots of storytelling. The more-expensive collector’s edition ups the number of minis past 100, and includes a great idea I’d love to see more often: A random mission generator for endless mix-and-match scenarios.

2. Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth

It’s time to get the fellowship back together. This German-style board game is a great game for joining up with four other players (or just as a solo player) to go tromping across Middle-Earth by moving cool-looking sculpted miniatures around map tiles. There’s a free, but mandatory, app available on iOS, Android and via Steam, which tells you how to lay out the map tiles and which monsters to fight. It also provides for a certain amount of randomization to challenge even the most thought-through strategies and skills. Built from the ground up as an app-based board game, it makes it easy to get set up and learn the ropes. 

3. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

The best Star Wars game I’ve played in years isn’t a video game — it’s this fun and challenging tabletop strategy game, where rebel heroes fight through various skirmishes with Imperial forces. There’s a fantastic companion app that not only teaches you how to play, but handles the storytelling and enemy placement, too, so you don’t have to guess. The miniatures are fantastic, and include a giant AT-S. Add-ons and expansions are on sale separately and can add dozens of new figures. Fun fact — this is actually a remixed version of a game called Descent: Journeys in the Dark, so check that out if you’d love a a game that plays like Imperial Assault, but with a Dungeons & Dragons or Game of Thrones-style fantasy theme. 

4. Jaws

Get those “gonna need a bigger boat” jokes out of your system now. This clever new two-part strategy game is asymmetrical, which means one player is the overpowered super shark, and the other players are hapless humans, who need to combine their strategic thinking, skills and resources with the goal to survive and win. It’s a great family game for the 12+ crowd. The best feature is the game board, which flips from the beaches of Amity Island in the first half, to Quint’s boat in the second half. (It gradually gets eaten by the shark.)

5. Resident Evil 2

As a long-time Resident Evil fan, I had to snatch this up immediately. Like many big box board games, it started as a Kickstarter campaign, but is now available from Amazon and other retailers. Unlike arcade-y zombie games like Zombicide, the vibe here is much closer to the survival horror feel of the Resident Evil video games. If you have a 3D printer, there are a ton of accessories, including 3D walls, doors and typewriters, which you can download and print for ways to replace the cardboard tokens that come with the game.