Tile Placement Games: What Are They & Which are Best?

Zack Downes
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Tile placement games are an easy type of family game to start with. Like the word placement implies, they require players to strategically place discs on the board, while also depleting other tiles that the game removes from play in each round. The goal of a tile placement game is to fit together groups of tiles and score points based on your rack at the end of the game.

Here is the list of the best tile placement games.

The goal of this game is to take out tiles on the board by placing your discs on top of a specified pattern on the board. The board is always changing over and over, where you have to keep moving your discs or be left behind on the board.

This game can get really hard at times, but it is fun to play when you’re tired of all the other games this summer season.

NameCategoryProduct
Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board GameBest OverallBlue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game
Quadropolis: Public ServicesBudget PickQuadropolis: Public Services
Ravensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board GameUpgrade PickRavensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board Game

1. Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game

Our rating: 10 / 10

Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game

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Pros:

  • Graphics are cute, colorful and appealing
  • Playable for a range of ages
  • Hard game to win, so you don’t get bored

Awards: Honors, TOTY Awards 2017 Best Family Game, Toy of the Year Awards 2017, Games Magazine Top Family Board Games 2017, International Gamers Award 2017 Winner Non-Collectable Card Games, Ludoteca Ideale top 10 of 2016, Monde Selection 2017

In this award-winning game, it is your mission to become the greatest ruler in the land. You will need to use strategy so that you can score high on the kingdom and domain cards, which have the greatest points per spot on them.

This game is very easy to learn but has a wide variety of strategy that is involved during gameplay. It is a game of shrewd choices with lots of interesting options that will win you points. Players become attached to the cute pieces and happily play for a long period of time.

2. Calliope Tsuro

Our rating: 9 / 10

Calliope Tsuro

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Pros:

  • Excellent for all ages
  • Great for geometry lessons and challenging problem solving skills
  • Five different colors offer variety
  • Made of full-color, silk-screened tiles
  • Works great for 2,3, or 4 players
  • Exciting and fun
  • Great solo game where you race a path
  • Durable
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • Difficult to travel with
  • Short in length
  • Inconsistent tile quality

3. Arraial

Our rating: 9 / 10

Arraial

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Pros:

  • Arraial do Cabo is an amazing tropical island resort village only 30 minutes from the city center of Rio de Janeiro
  • Getaway has a large pool, bars, a restaurant, private beaches, and water sports
  • Incredible views, natural settings, excellent swim-up option at the pool
  • Most popular trip length is 2 nights

Cons:

  • Only rooms in the South Village have balconies. The ones in the North Village all have great views, with some of them looking out onto the inlet where the dolphins hang out
  • The restaurants will close early if they run out of food
  • Weather can be quite unpredictable in late November
  • Part of the resort is located on the mainland, so you have to take a shuttle to get to it

Although Arraial do Cabo is a large resort, it is incredibly intimate and cozy. There's an old village that feels like it hasn't changed much in decades. The water is crystal clear and the coral in the bay is beautiful for snorkeling.

4. Isle of Skye

Our rating: 9 / 10

Isle of Skye

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Pros:

  • Beautiful visuals and interesting mechanics
  • Fun and simple to play
  • Unusually compelling tile laying game
  • Great for family or friends
  • A nice price point

Cons:

  • The theme is a little dry and hard to relate to
  • Possible to get accidental combos

For families and friends looking for an inexpensive but engaging tile laying game, Isle of Skye is one of the best tile placement games for you.

In Isle of Skye, you buy tiles to complete tracks of different lengths, earning you points and victory points in the process. It's a relatively simple concept, but one that's very effective.

This is the kind of game that is good for playing over the course of an afternoon with a large group of friends and family members. The nice thing about Isle of Skye is that setting up is simple and wrapping the game up is easy.

5. Blue Orange Games Planet Board Game

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Orange Games Planet Board Game

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This is a fun strategy game for the age group of eight years and above. It is a favorite among the kids, the adults and even children as young as eight years can learn to play it. The rating for this game is two stars. It is a well-established game that is widely accepted by all age groups.

BONUS GAME: For a broad overview, check out Brain Games – Junior Edition. This is a great game for the younger bunch.

The tiles can be used in a lot of different ways. The user will get access to a lot of different activities with this. The user can have fun playing any of 50 different puzzles that are included in the application. The user can also play three different types of game with this application. It is possible to have a puzzle drag and drop game, a solve the puzzle and an isometric 3D game with tile placement. These activities make this an educational addition to any library. Kids will love using this to develop new skills.

6. Queen Games Copenhagen Board Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Queen Games Copenhagen Board Game

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Pros:

  • Uses the same mechanics as a game of Scrabble
  • Suitable for all ages and can have 2-4 players
  • The board is made from beautiful wood and has Swedish tiles
  • Completely portable

Cons:

  • The game is not ideal for travel as it needs to be set up at all times and tends to take up space.

This is one of the most innovative tile placement games that you will come across. If you have ever played a game of Scrabble then you will feel right at home with this game. The tiles are made from real Swedish tiles and are very durable. The board itself is made from some of the finest wood and can easily be transported between locations.

Players in the game take turns placing their tiles on the board to try and make words. The game starts off simple but as you continue, things get interesting and start to get challenging. Players can earn extra points by placing tiles in squares that are surrounded by other tiles.

The player with the most points at the end of the game will become the winner. This is one of the best board games on the market and offers you a great blend of fun and strategy.

7. Ravensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ravensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board Game

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This game involves strategy, intellect and luck. The object is to have the most victory points by the end of the game. The player with the highest score will win the game.

The board consists of six areas, each with its own layout. At the start of the game, each player will get up to five castles and players must get one castle into each region on the board outside of the region where they start. Tiles must be placed adjacent to a vacant space and must be placed in ascending order.

Each tile is assigned to one of five colors. Any melds that include at least 1 tile of that color will score at the end of the game. At the end, you will score 1 point for every turn that you completed and you will score 2 points for every complete set of tiles that you managed to acquire.

8. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Our rating: 8 / 10

Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig

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Pros:

  • Tiles are nearly indestructible
  • Easy to teach and play
  • Encourages strategic thinking
  • Lots of replayability
  • Excellent game components (tiles, cards, etc.)
  • Can be played almost anywhere

If you’re looking for tile placement games for adults, or tile games for kids, board games for 2-3 players, or tile placement family games, this one is a great choice. It’s also an excellent game for 3-4 year olds.

The concept behind Between Two Castles is to build the best palaces on the board. You collect tiles to build these palaces, and you get to plan where you want to add them to get the most points. Each location has different colored cubes that have varying scoring values.

You win more points for having your tiles surrounded by more of these colored cubes.

9. Stronghold Games Cottage Garden Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stronghold Games Cottage Garden Game

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Pros:

  • Easy to learn: This tile placement game is easy to learn, play and complete
  • Quick game: The game takes less than an hour to play
  • Easy to setup: The game comes with instructions that make setup easy
  • Multiple player game: It is a fast-paced game that plays with 2 to 4 players

Cons:

  • The game is very similar to other tile-placement games, making it predictable
  • The game is also easy to win, making it less engaging
  • The game follows an easy mathematical pattern, making it predictable

This tile placement game has players placing their tiles onto the board in an effort to claim space through out the land. However, players take turns placing their tiles, so an unlucky tile placement can impact you and your tile placement in the future.

When players place their tiles they will earn points as they control more land. This scoring system does move at a faster pace than some of the other tile placement games. The game has a 2 player version and a multiple player version; both of these options provide the same main game play.

There are additional task cards that can be included within the game if you want to increase the level of difficulty. Players can choose to play without the card or play with them included.

10. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

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Pros:

  • Great for groups or families
  • Easy set up and tear down
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Bright
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Quite a few bad reviews
  • Some people describe them as a hassle to set up
  • Doesn’t fit everyone’s budget
  • Relatively expensive (but they are sturdy!)

Hard to beat for the money – great stocking stuffers!

11. Cacao

Our rating: 8 / 10

Cacao

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There are so many board games out there, it’s no surprise that designers keep coming up with new ones. But the tile placement games are gaining in popularity as more and more people are finding them a fun and great way to spend their time together with family, friends or even a date. Most of these games are simply put in the family game category and always involve placing tiles on a board. What differentiates them is how the tiles are placed and the type of play that follows once the tiles are placed.

Tile placement games also have different styles of play. Some can be like that of chess; where you have to think several moves ahead and anticipate your opponents’ moves. Others are much simpler and can be played with younger players and children. There is also a version of this game that has recently become very popular and that is placement games involving just one person. Here you simply build your own landscape to create a beautiful garden or incredible landscape from natural objects. With tile placement games, there are so many different aspects to the game that it appeals to just about everyone. So here are just a few examples of the top tile placement games of today.

12. Stonemaier Games Between Two Cities Board Game

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stonemaier Games Between Two Cities Board Game

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Pros:

  • Fun and challenging tile placement game
  • Teaches planning and strategy
  • 4 to 8 players can enjoy this game
  • Easy to learn concept which is good for children
  • No language barrier issues
  • Colorful and fun pieces
  • Plays quickly without much down time
  • Reviews are very positive for this one

Stonemaier Games makes some unique and interesting games. They are so good, they have won the 2015 Golden Geek for best game art and also the PAX 2015 Indie Megabooth Editors Choice Award. So we have to give them props as a company that offers incredible games at budget prices. Not only do they put out award-winning games, but they also offer a lesser known, but equally good, game called Between Two Cities. So what is Between Two Cities? It is a game that has you placing tiles to determine where city growth will occur. You will need to factor in how far one tile will affect another tile and how that will affect your overall score. Again, this game is recommended for children and friends who want a quick and simple game to challenge their minds. It is also a great game to start out with when you have house guests who might not be familiar with board games.

13. Quadropolis: Public Services

Our rating: 8 / 10

Quadropolis: Public Services

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Pros:

  • Excellent for strategic-thinking and planning skills
  • Promotes visual recognition
  • Exceptional instructions
  • Sharp tactile components

Cons:

  • Not a lot of pieces for the price
  • No scoring marker
  • Too small to use in a classroom setting

If you’re teaching children the rules of citywide planning and keeping them entertained while doing so, then Quadropolis is the game for you.

It plays like a cross between “Risk” and “Settlers of Catan.” Your objective is to build districts, which are represented by the buildings, and upgrade service buildings in your city, which each serve a specific purpose.

Depending on what services you build, your city will attract a different kind of resident. Accumulating the most points is the goal. You win points by building districts and upgrading service buildings.

14. Patchwork

Our rating: 7 / 10

Patchwork

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Pros:

  • A very simple game that will only take a few minutes to learn
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Strategy grows as the game progresses

The objective in Patchwork is to clear all the tiles from the board. You do this by drawing numbers from a bag and placing them on the board to form complete rows. As you add more tiles, these rows will grow horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Play at first can be slow but as you begin to understand the strategy behind selecting tiles, your scores will increase.

This is a great game to practice concentration. You will also need to exercise your spatial awareness.

15. Barenpark

Our rating: 7 / 10

Barenpark

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Pros:

  • Are you struggling with how to keep kids busy for extended periods?
  • Why not also ask them to provide tile placement games for each other and help you deal with this pottymouth? You can then get the kiddos to play these games as a way of having fun with each other around the house as well as working on improving their skills and coordination.

One of the best tile placement games to try is called Barenpark. It is a tile placing game which is just about placing the tiles on the board to make each given pattern, with the black tiles being the most important.

It is very much like Uno in that sense, except that Uno is a card game, while Barenpark is a tile game. The cards are simply blank tiles. What is special about the Barenpark tile game it is that it calls for use of the spin wheel which is mounted to the box, to pull the tiles from it.

The tiles are then placed on the board in the order of the numbers which they bear. Once you have used all the tiles it is time to calculate scores, and the player with the highest score wins.

16. Suburbia

Our rating: 6 / 10

Suburbia

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Turns a game of luck into a game of strategy
  • Plays similarly to Settlers of Catan
  • Add-ons are available if you want more variety
  • No tweaking needed after setup
  • Can get a 2-player game started in minutes
  • Sturdy game board
  • Tiles and tokens are upgraded from the original version

Cons:

  • Tokens occasionally feel flimsy
  • Some feel that luck plays a bigger role than strategy
  • Hard to play solo, even if you have the add-on

Vegas tile placement games usually involve rolling a die or spinning a wheel to choose which tile you can place. However, if you want a game where true strategy is more important than luck, consider Suburbia.

In Suburbia, up to four players build an expanding area of the city, choosing where to build residential, commercial or industrial buildings. You hope to attract wealthy residents to your neighborhoods and industries to your commercial areas. However, your opponents can place an apartment building in your industrial zone or a dump in your trophy park area.

Conclusion

If you buy a Tile, you can keep tabs on your keys or anything else you want to keep track of, in real time. It’s the easiest way to find your phone or something that you’ve misplaced.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board GameBest OverallBlue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game
Quadropolis: Public ServicesBudget PickQuadropolis: Public Services
Ravensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board GameUpgrade PickRavensburger The Castles of Burgundy Board Game