Top 5 Thursdays – Tile Laying Games

I promised everyone a bit of a geek-tastic Wednesday and Thursday this week and I aim to deliver. As many of you know, I am a game player. Board, card, video, roleplaying – if it’s a game, I’ll at give it a go at least once. But board games tend to be a favorite since they require little to no prep time yet are a social activity.

I’ll probably look at several different types of games over the next several weeks, but this week I wanted to take a look at a fairly common mechanic in games – tile laying. A tile laying game, according to is “This game mechanic implies playing a tile in a strategic location, respecting rules to expand the playing area or score points.”

So, without further ado…


5) Zooloretto – Like many games, I have my buddy Tim to thank for showing this game to us. The goal of this one is simple enough: make the most attractive zoo by having the best exhibits. This one is simple enough for the youngest to play but still interesting for the grownups to play, Zooleretto is a fantastic family game.


4) Wasabi! – A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I really like sushi. So what happens when you take one of my favorite hobbies and give it a theme of one of my favorite foods? You get Wasabi! This game involves laying tiles that represent various sushi ingredients to complete orders. The harder the order, the more points you earn to win the game. Again, this is one that we all can play (and Joey is exceptionally good at). The only drawback is that I get way too hungry when playing this game, but it is still a ton of fun!


3) Alhambra – When I used to manage a game store, the owner sent me a copy of this game to try out. I responded with two options for her to get the demo copy back. Either she could pry it from my cold, dead fingers or she could stock it so I could buy my own copy. Since production problems kept us from stocking it, I still have that demo copy. The one is a little more involved with paying for the tiles to build your Arabian town, but it plays exceptionally well with just two players – just beware of “Matt” the “dummy” third hand that is dealt in the game. Matt has beaten Julie or I when we’ve played in the past!


2) Carcassone – I bet you figured this would be number one, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I still love this game that is partly responsible for getting me into the whole Eurogame scene. Simply put, this game is a victim of it’s own success with far too many expansions. All that said, give me the base game with just maybe the Inns and Cathedrals expansion and I’m set to once again explore the cities of that medieval French countryside. As with most games on this list, Carc is also easy enough to teach to a game newbie, especially if you don’t play with the farmers.


1) Acquire – What? That’s your number one tile laying game? You bet! For the unacquainted, Acquire is a game where you simulate the stock market (or hotels in earlier versions) by laying tiles that when they join, they form corporations. The bigger the chain of tiles the more valuable your stock is worth. When two chains join, then a merger happens and the bigger company gobbles up the little company, regardless of value. This is a fantastic game with two players and plays completely different with three or more. Hats off to the classic game designer, Sid Sackson, for this classic game that has been around longer than I have.

So, do you have a favorite tile laying game that I missed? Give it a shout out below – just remember the rules (keep it clean, keep it friendly and keep it fun!).

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One comment on “Top 5 Thursdays – Tile Laying Games
  1. GeekInsight says:

    Tikal is also a fun tile layer. I’ve only played it once, but I enjoyed it.

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