Tom Chick's top ten games of 2021

Remember, developers, 3D globes are never a good idea. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

So good at posting top 10’s Tom!

I really thought you were done with it, given how the forum playthrough rather abruptly ended (just as my character was about to assume ultimate power, no less). Very much looking forward to it.

OK, I’d never even heard of A-Train. But I’m certainly checking it out.

For what it’s worth, some of the best A-Train evangelism I’ve ever read is from @Malkael in this thread:

And here’s the intro from the All Aboard Tourism manual that explains the principles behind the series that set it apart from stuff like Transport Tycoon, Railway Empires, and so forth:


This is the very best outcome from a top 10 list. I get to dive into something new that was absolutely not on my radar.

Nice to see Midnight Protocol get some love. I picked it up during the Steam sale and was really getting into it when a bug just stopped me cold from making any progress.

I sent the save game and log to the developer earlier this week, but have yet to hear back. It’s a small team, so I sure hope they can get it working agan

Words to live by.

The goofy excesses of Outirders

Outirders → Outriders

Nope, Outirders is its actual name.

Great top 10 and so happy Old World made the top as it has been conspicuously absent in many others even that focused on strategy games. Tom, your lists are always different and have unexpected surprises and they never disappoint.

Now, to finally start Wildermyth. :)


As someone who really dug Outriders but totally understands why some people didn’t care for it, I’m tempted to leave that typo. :)


Man, if I had to do a non-space game list, Old World would likely be at the top of my list too. What a delight it is.

This is a really great read, as always. And as usual it’s brought a couple of things to my attention I’d otherwise have missed - A-Train looks like something I’d really enjoy and I was totally oblivious to its existence.

I can only agree with the praise for Wildermyth and wish it was a bit higher.

I have Slipways and need to find the time to really dig into it, I do love a good logistics puzzle.

Old World and Beast Breaker are both of interest and I look forward to playing them next year when they become available to me.

Remnants of the Precursors mostly makes me wish that someone would give Ascendancy the same treatment, for all that I sadly know it’ll never happen.

Wow, clicking the link, the transition to that picture… A work of art, Tom ;)

Tom wrote

[A-Train: All Aboard Tourism is] easily the most soothing game I played all year.

It’s the perfect summary of my own experience with the most money-focused strategy game I played. What a strange game, about a strange country’s strange trains!

I also meant to ask, how difficult is it to get into Midnight Protocol, when you are challenged with learning about any board game?
The comparison to Netrunner is making me very curious, as it’s one game I always wished I could experience some day.
Maybe @Nightgaunt will be able to answer, given the frame game’s spooky coincidence :O

It’s not at all difficult to learn. It does the usual videogame thing of starting out simple and gradually layering in different challenges and tools while you get comfortable with the games rules. Also, it wants to let you “fail forward” through the plot, if it comes to that. It also constantly gives you practice servers where you can mess around to test how things work before taking them into servers that actually count (i.e. servers with no reloading, retrying, or takebacks).



One of these days I’ll find time to check out Wildermyth (it’s also not been on any sort of meaningful discount so far, which is generally an important criterion for me to buy a game, but mostly it’s the time). I am so skeptical of the buzz around its emergent storytelling, because to me, stories don’t happen. They are written. “Emergent stories” are anecdotes, and comparing them to actual authored narrative is like, I dunno, comparing the day old burger McDonald’s is chucking out in the trash to filet mignon served at the best steakhouse in the world.

(I mean, obviously, most game stories are no great shakes, but still. There’s some there there.)