Tabletop gaming has seen a real renaissance over the past two decades, with a new generation's interest in Dungeons & Dragons (thanks, Stranger Things) and a constant stream of Kickstarter-backed and traditionally produced board games, from Gloomhaven to Settlers of Catan.is entering its second day, and many of these games are seeing huge discounts -- on , and at competitors like and . Hurry, though, because some of the best deals we've seen have either expired or sold out.
Here are the best deals we've found so far. We'll be updating this list with new deals, and noting expired ones to help you keep track.
Settlers of Catan isn't the oldest board game around, but it's the one that brought German-style board games to the United States in the '90s. Even in 2021, Catan still stands up as an accessible, balanced and strategically compelling game, even if the road-building, town-constructing and resource trading components have been done a million times since. For any board game fan, Catan is one you should have in your library.
A roleplaying investigation game torn straight from the pages of HP Lovecraft's cosmic horror. Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a fantastic, cooperative experience for weekly game nights with a group of friends. You can buy more campaigns as you progress, which bring new characters and stories to experience -- but this starter pack comes with the base game, tokens and a super fun three-episode campaign.
Pandemic is one of the most famous cooperative board games around -- and after last year, we should all be ready to learn more about fighting global diseases. That's exactly what you do in this game: Each player takes the role of a different official battling a spreading virus, taking turns traveling to cities around the world and performing actions to stop the spread or work toward a cure.
The original game is on sale, but the more recent Pandemic Legacy Season 1 -- an excellent update that gives you a campaign to play over multiple sessions -- is also seeing a big discount right now.
Scythe was one of the most successful board game Kickstarters in recent years, and put designer Jamey Stegmaier on the map (literally). The game takes place in an alternative history (think WWI with mechs). It brings heavy strategy, with elements of conquest, economy-building and (if you get some of the expansions) narrative. The art is beautiful and the game is infinitely replayable, thanks to the clever asymmetry of the various warring nations and economy types.
Gloomhaven is one of our favorite board games at CNET -- and despite the intimidating price tag, it's a pretty incredible value. For the usual price of $140, you get over a hundred hours of campaign materials, dozens of playable characters with their own unique decks, hundreds of unique items and events, and a wonderfully realized, unique fantasy world to play in. Although this isn't the best discount we've ever seen on the game, it's still hefty enough to merit a look if you haven't tried this behemoth before.
The smaller, more accessible version of Gloomhaven is a fantastic game in its own right. If you pick this up and you also have a 3D printer, here's a link to the file for my custom-made character box, which replaces the cardboard ones included with the game.
Ticket to Ride is a great introduction to the world of train games (there's more than you'd think), and it's a solid game in its own right. Players take turns drawing cards and laying down train tracks to create the best routes across Europe. It's quick and simple, but belies a surprising level of depth.
Carcassonne is a classic tile-laying game, and often one of the first tabletop board games newcomers try out once they've been introduced to Settlers of Catan. There's a reason: The game is easy to learn, difficult to master and incredibly addictive. Take turns laying fields, roads and cities, trying to rack up the most points and block your competitors from doing the same.
Jaws is a super fun and simple little game: one player is the shark; the others take on the roles of the men hunting it. The game follows the basic structure of the movie, and it's pretty light on strategy -- but fans of the film and casual gamers will have a blast playing it.
7 Wonders: Duel is one of our favorite two-player games. It's quick to play, but cutthroat and clever. Players take turns drawing cards and performing various actions to build their civilizations across three "eras." This isn't a huge discount, but the box isn't too pricey to begin with -- and it's a great game at full price.
Expired and out of stock deals
These deals are no longer available, but keep your eye on them -- they often come back.
If you're looking for a heavy strategy game, it doesn't get much more intense than Twilight Imperium, the epic sci-fi conquest game. Games can take all day, and can look totally different. Sometimes, a slow-burning cold war ratchets up for the duration of the game; sometimes all-out war erupts and players see their factions decimated. Regardless, it's a blast to play.