Top 10 Immersive Games - A Theme Where You're Truly Invested - cutlassboardgame.com

Top 10 Immersive Games – A Theme Where You’re Truly Invested

The Broken Meeple
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Top 10 Immersive Games – A Theme Where You’re Truly Invested

Thematic is one thing, but which games do I truly find myself immersed in the world setting or story or theme while still enjoying the game to its full?

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Who Am I?

One single batchelor from the UK talking about his passion for board games and the people who play them! I support small content creators, board game cafes and go against the status quo when it comes to the board game industry. I give my honest opinions without bias towards any publishers or designers and will not hold back if I don’t like a game.

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I look forward to engaging with you, the community on my live streams or in the comments on my videos!

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00:00 – Introduction and NEW SPONSOR (Shirts & Merch Studios)
01:36 – Background and Basic Overview
04:39 – No 10
07:13 – No 9
09:34 – No 8
12:36 – No 7
15:26 – No 6
17:58 – No 5
20:46 – No 4
23:26 – No 3
26:40 – No 2
29:56 – No 1
33:45 – Honorable Mentions
41:39 – Please Share and Support The Show

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84 Comments

  1. Great list! Have you tried Vindication? I think it is a great Euro game with thematic immersion as I like the characters that join me and to see if I can get vindicated along my journey towards victory!

  2. Reasonable picks. My list would include Legacy of Dragonholt (probably the only game that has made me almost cry), Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (and other similar mystery-solving games), and Vanished Planet (an old sci-fi co-op). Oh, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

  3. A very superb video! I have four comments:
    1) About the Star Wars struggle… I agree that either game would be fitting for the list. But why did SWR take a ding for being 2-player? For some inexplicable reason, many in our community thumb their noses at 2-player games, and after 20 years of being very active in the hobby in many different group settings, I still don't get why. Anyway, it can't be argued that by definition, it's easier to get two players together for as game than it is three or four.

    2) About 'Nemesis' being the "best 'Alien" game out there"… I'd instead say it's the best "Aliens" game. Because the best "Alien" game is 'Lifeform', by Hall or Nothing Productions. Now, THIS game ('Lifeform') is DEFINITELY IMMERSIVE! Especially as it does NOT have player elimination, despite that during the 1st act, the Alien can't be defeated and it will kill many characters. But still, players stay in the game. How that happens is for a separate, longer conversation, but is one of the MANY things that makes 'Lifeform' a great "Alien" game.

    3) You asked for other immersive Euros… how about 'Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein'? Or just about any game from Mindclash?

    4) 'City of the Great Machine': Anyway, I'm not much of a Euro fan as I am an Ameritrasher. So, from that perspective, here's a new game with a foot in both categories and is DEFINITELY worth checking out for immersive games: 'The City of the Great Machine'. It's in the same vein as Star Wars Rebellion, except it's set in a Steam-punky universe where revolutionaries are trying to stop an AI overlord ("The Great Machine") from removing all humanity as it finalizes its "Master Plan". Think the revolutionaries in the game as the Rebellion, and the Great Machine as the Empire, and you'll get how the game plays. It can play as either one vs many, or one vs one, or co-op, or solo. Despite it being a hidden movement game, its solo variant is SUPERB and one of the most well integrated solo variants I've ever played.

  4. I also love Tainted Grail. I played all three campaigns plus Red Death. You should give Red Death a go. Red Death is amazing and it has this wonderful and esoteric vibe. You get really cool skills in Red Death and the story is very atmospheric.

  5. Personally mansions of madness just pales against the original version. Provide you have a person willing to play as the baddies having an actual intellect behind the bad stuff happening is so so much more tense and exciting. I found 2nd edition could almost just be played on the app and it left me cold.

  6. Darkest Doom? Unfathomable? Project Elite?
    Euro – Raiders of Scythia

  7. I am happy to find "Hegemony" in your list as I KS it and did not get a chance to play it yet.

  8. Interesting list Luke. Some of the games I would pick would be Folklore: The Affliction, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Obsession.

  9. Hey Luke thanks again for the vid! Any chance you putting these top 10 lists on the podcast feed?

  10. From my collection (just checking the shelves without a ranking):

    – Outer Rim
    – Fallout
    – Arkham Horror LCG
    – Dead of Winter
    – Burgle Bros 2
    – Legendary Alien Deckbuilding Game
    – Dune Imperium
    – Feast for Odin
    – Viticulture
    – Quest for El Dorado
    – Aleph Null
    – Mythos Tales
    – Mortum
    – Aventuria Adventure Card Game
    – This War of Mine
    – Dawn of the Zeds
    – Hostage Negotiator (with career exp)

    To me the best sign is, when the tension while playing that game is so high that you can dive into the theme and/or story or in general what you do and feel while playing. You seem to ignore whats going on around you.

    Eurogame do have a harder challenge to achieve that because you need to start not thinking about the abstract mechanisms themselves but what they "in reality" mean. So what you do and what you get needs to make sense.
    A lot of eurogames just give you arbitrary ressources for doing arbitrary things or your move markers on arbitrary bars.
    That is when people start calling them dry vanilla euros.
    Some people seem to prefer that and dont want to play games with a story or a specific theme….maybe because when it comes to irreal themes (fantasy, scifi) you not to be a nerd…at least a little bit. 😉

  11. This was a great list. A good point with the difference with a game having a well implemented theme and it being immersive.

    Some games that come to mind:
    – Space Hulk: Death Angel
    – Heat: Pedal to the Metal
    – Dungeon Petz
    – Captain Sonar
    – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

  12. On This War of Mine and your discussion. The immersion happened while painting the figures. Nice call on that one. Frostpunk I have played, and yes it is very good at projecting the theme. I remember when the ice age was going to return. That was in the 70's. Wonder how they made the mistake on that one?

  13. Eldritch horror is pretty immersive imo. I haven’t played the lcg or mansions. I was expecting to see detective in the list.

  14. recently, I found Nemo's War quite immersive, I had a real blast playing it multiple times (playing different roles for Nemo).. 🙂 I am also very immersed into Terraforming Mars, just played two solo games of it, still love it! and, I also love Who Goes There?, really want to play it again, at 5 or 6 players hopefully!

  15. I also may add that Hungry-Hungry Hippos do make me feel very immersed since the hippos do look extremely hungry when they gobble up those tiny balls. It's insulting that is not in the list.

  16. Great list! I bought Sentinels of the Multiverse DE based on your enthusiasm for it and was blown away by how well the powers of the different heroes are captured by their decks and how different it feels fighting different enemies and in different environments. I'm also eagerly awaiting the Room City Renegades expansion becoming available on retail. I've also preordered the big box all-in Pursuit of Happiness so looking forward to getting that to the table too.

  17. Agree on your #2 pick, TWoM drags you in and it's gritty.

  18. Thanks for a great video!
    Was sure TWOM will be #1 as remembering your frustration from TG, so I was surprised:)
    Currently waiting for the update TG pack from KOR KS to restart the campaign

  19. Diplomacy and Game of Thrones the board game are very immersive games. They are just games, but the betrayals that take place in these games feel quite real; and the effects of these can live on long after the game has finished 😊

  20. Did you only play Hegemony twice at Baycon??

  21. I sold TG after a few plays. That is not a game I enjoyed, at all. As a book it would be great, but that is not a way I want to spend my time.
    I am more invested when playing Firefly, Trickerion, Call to Adventure. Outer Rims is my next buy, that is for sure though.
    Cheers for a very interesting pov video!

  22. Uboot: the Board Game is another very immersive game that everyone should give a go if they have the opportunity.

  23. Random pick from me: Camel Up 😊 I am yet to play a game where people don't cheer as the camel they bet on makes a great surprise move to take the lead!

  24. im surprised Hegemony is in the list.
    damn, now im hyped. I hope it really feels thematic, wanna play it soon when it arrives.

  25. Viticulture inmersion always go out when you see that you can store your crushed grapes and AGE them and they get BETTER, instead of just moldy 😛

  26. Wow man.. a little harsh on the miniatures of Mansions of Madness. The minis are good (not great but good). The problem are the bases unfortunately, but the minis are good and help to get a thematic experience.

    This War of Mine is a fantastic dark stories game. Most game should learn how to write short and strong stories.

    Another one I love is Oathsworn. It gives a great story and thematic experience (specially the story).

    But I agree that we should have less campaign games and more single story/scenario driver games.

  27. The impact of Star Wars was that its next generation of special effects made it possible for space movies to accomplish what Star Trek started on TV: to fire westerns in the grand theme of exploring frontiers. I like map games with frontier exploration, but have a hard time playing, say, Catan Settlers of America, because it ignores the genocide and the wilderness destruction. I will play and love (yay rail building) exploration and terraforming themes on the moon and on Mars and in pretend worlds.

    Looking forward to your Earth Day list. In my game collection, the only thematic things I can bring to our group that day are wingspan and so clover.

  28. Although I whole-heartedly supported TG as your #1, but no ATO love? That game is dripping in theme…….

  29. Great video! I would mention Pax Pamir 2nd edition as a very immersive game.

  30. Can’t believe Robison Crusoe isn’t on the list, you literally are thinking when you play that game “should I build a snare or should I reinforce my shelter?”

  31. Interesting list! For me I think War of The Ring and Final Girl are my most immersive games. I was surprised Robinson Crusoe was not mentioned in the 'also rans' list.

  32. If you want me to continue to stay subscribed….. You have to at least watch Tombstone

  33. Also War of the Ring fits to this theme, Nemesis as well…

  34. Wow!…How is Thebes not on this list or at the very least an honourable mention? Without doubt, the most thematic game I have ever played. Every mechanism makes sense, the time travel, digging, researching the site, nothing wedged in to make the game work. If you haven't played it yet Luke, check it out and amend your list accordingly 😉

  35. 10 – probably my only space game on the list + 9 – star wars = probably dislike

  36. Great list Luke. There are plenty of shorter scenarios for MoM in the fan made Valkyrie app. Really good quality too.

  37. 21:45 I ain’t no American but do yourself a favour and watch “Once Upon a Time in the West”. Cinematically the first scene will build you up to love Western Legends even more.

  38. Your/Paul's distinction between thematic and immersive makes tons of sense and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated this video. Freedom: the Underground Railroad is a very strong title in the immersive category.

  39. My go-to for immersive game is Merchants and Marauders, you really do feel like a captain of a ship in the Caribbean

  40. I'm enjoying My Father's Work as well, with the mechanic of each round you are taking on your father's mantle and experiments. The app driven story helps as well.

  41. Western Legends!! My #1 game of all-time!

  42. Come stateside, fly into JFK, and I’ll drive you to All Aboard Gamer con in October 🙂

  43. Man, I prefer the videogame version of both Frostpunk and This War of Mine. I'd change one of them for Fallout with both expansions.

  44. haven't tried Arkham yet…worried that once I started FF games I'll be broke 😅

  45. Immersion isn’t really what I go for in games, but top two for me in that regard are probably Aeon’s End and Heat

  46. I know you always go to great lengths to give your honest opinions about a game – that's why I love your channel. But in light of recent events in the board game world, I have to ask: have you ever been paid to make a review?

  47. I highly recommend „Scarface 1920“ or „The Great Wall“ as some of the most immersive Euro style / worker placement games with amazing themes. Their amazing miniatures help a lot…

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