IP-based board games often get a bad reputation, with most acting just a skin for a well known game, but some titles break the mold, offering engaging gameplay and a strong connection to their source material. Here are 20 IP board games that are actually worth your time.

1. Star Wars: Rebellion (2016)

BGG Rating: 8.4
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: An epic strategy game where players control either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance. The Empire's goal is to locate and destroy the Rebel base, while the Rebels aim to gain enough support to incite a full-scale uprising. Players undertake missions, manage resources, and command fleets and heroes in large-scale battles across the galaxy.

2. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle (2016)

BGG Rating: 7.5
Publisher: USAopoly
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: A cooperative deck-building game where players take on the roles of Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville to defend Hogwarts from dark forces. The game progresses through seven increasingly difficult scenarios that align with the book series, with players building their decks of spells, items, and allies to defeat villains and secure the school.

3. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth (2019)

BGG Rating: 8.1
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 1-5
Gameplay Overview: An app-assisted adventure game where players explore Middle-earth, completing quests and battling enemies. The game features a campaign mode with branching storylines and evolving characters who gain new skills and equipment. Decisions made during the game impact the narrative, creating a rich and immersive experience.

4. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (2008)

BGG Rating: 7.9
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 3-6
Gameplay Overview: A semi-cooperative game where players work together to survive, but some may be secret Cylons working against the group. Players must manage resources, complete missions, and maintain morale while trying to identify the traitors in their midst. The game captures the show's high tension and paranoia.

5. Marvel Champions: The Card Game (2019)

BGG Rating: 8.2
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 1-4
Gameplay Overview: A living card game where players become Marvel superheroes, each with a unique deck. Players team up to thwart the plans of infamous villains through strategic card play. The game features modular scenarios and ongoing support with new heroes and villains released regularly.

6. Disney Villainous (2018)

BGG Rating: 7.1
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2-6
Gameplay Overview: Players assume the roles of iconic Disney villains, each with unique objectives and abilities. The game involves careful strategy and player interaction as villains use their powers to achieve their nefarious goals while hindering their opponents. The beautifully crafted components and deep gameplay appeal to both Disney fans and board gamers.

7. Firefly: The Game (2013)

BGG Rating: 7.3
Publisher: Gale Force Nine
Players: 1-5
Gameplay Overview: Based on the cult TV series, players captain their own Firefly-class ship, assemble a crew, and complete jobs to earn credits. The game emphasizes exploration, resource management, and player interaction, capturing the spirit of the show as players navigate the 'Verse and face various challenges.

8. Star Trek: Ascendancy (2016)

BGG Rating: 7.4
Publisher: Gale Force Nine
Players: 3-5
Gameplay Overview: A space exploration and conquest game where players control major factions from the Star Trek universe, such as the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. The game involves building fleets, exploring new worlds, and engaging in diplomacy or conflict. Rich thematic elements and strategic depth make it appealing to Trekkies and strategy enthusiasts alike.

9. Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) (2011)

BGG Rating: 7.6
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 3-6
Gameplay Overview: A strategy game of diplomacy, betrayal, and warfare based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Players vie for control of the Iron Throne through alliances, strategic battles, and treachery. The game mechanics and theme capture the complex political intrigue of the series, offering deep and immersive gameplay.

10. Dune: Imperium (2020)

BGG Rating: 8.4
Publisher: Dire Wolf Digital
Players: 1-4
Gameplay Overview: Inspired by both the classic Frank Herbert novel and the recent film adaptation, Dune: Imperium combines deck-building and worker placement mechanics. Players compete for control of the desert planet Arrakis, balancing political intrigue, military might, and resource management to achieve victory.

11. Jurassic Park: Danger! Adventure Strategy Game (2018)

BGG Rating: 6.6
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2-5
Gameplay Overview: Players take on roles of iconic characters from the Jurassic Park movie, either as humans trying to escape the island or as dinosaurs hunting them down. The game features asymmetric gameplay and strategic decision-making, capturing the tension and excitement of the movie.

12. Jaws: The Board Game (2019)

BGG Rating: 7.1
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: This game is played in two acts. In the first act, one player controls the shark while the others control the crew of the Orca, trying to locate and tag the shark. In the second act, the game shifts to a battle as the crew attempts to defeat the shark. The game captures the movie's tension and excitement.

13. Villainous: Marvel Edition (2020)

BGG Rating: 7.2
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: Expanding on the popular Disney Villainous game, this edition features Marvel villains such as Thanos, Hela, and Ultron. Each villain has unique abilities and goals, adding variety and replayability. The game mechanics are similar to the original but with a Marvel twist, making it a must-have for superhero fans.

14. Rear Window: The Game (2022)

BGG Rating: 7.1
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 3-5
Gameplay Overview: Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, Rear Window: The Game is a deduction game where one player takes on the role of the Director, who knows the solution to the mystery, while the others play as Observers, trying to deduce what the Director knows. The game captures the suspense and intrigue of the movie, with players piecing together clues to solve the puzzle.

15. Horrified: American Monsters (2021)

BGG Rating: 7.6
Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 1-5
Gameplay Overview: Horrified: American Monsters is a standalone sequel to the original Horrified game, featuring classic American cryptids like Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and the Mothman. Players work cooperatively to defeat these monsters and protect the town. The game blends strategy and thematic elements, providing a thrilling cooperative experience.

16. Funkoverse Strategy Game (2019)

BGG Rating: 7.1
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: The Funkoverse Strategy Game features characters from various popular franchises, such as Harry Potter, DC Comics, The Golden Girls, and more, in a tactical skirmish game. Players use unique character abilities and items to achieve objectives on modular game boards. The mix-and-match nature of the characters adds a lot of replayability and customization.

17. Back to the Future: Back in Time (2020)

BGG Rating: 7.4
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: In this cooperative game, players work together as Marty McFly, Doc Brown, Jennifer Parker, and Einstein to repair the DeLorean, gather all the parts, and ensure that George and Lorraine fall in love. Set in 1955, the game captures the essence of the classic movie with engaging mechanics and thematic gameplay.

18. Disney: The Haunted Mansion ÔÇô Call of the Spirits Game (2020)

BGG Rating: 7.0
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 2-6
Gameplay Overview: Based on the iconic Disney theme park attraction, The Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits Game has players exploring the haunted mansion to collect sets of ghost cards while avoiding the hitchhiking ghosts. The game features beautiful artwork and components, creating a spooky yet fun experience.

19. Pan Am (2020)

BGG Rating: 7.5
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: Pan Am is a game of airline expansion where players manage their own airlines and compete against the titular Pan Am. They must bid for landing rights, purchase planes, and expand their routes to maximize their profits. The game offers strategic depth and historical flavor, making it a hit for fans of economic and strategy games.

20. Godzilla: Tokyo Clash (2020)

BGG Rating: 7.1
Publisher: Funko Games
Players: 2-4
Gameplay Overview: In Godzilla: Tokyo Clash, players take on the roles of iconic kaiju like Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, battling it out in the cityscape of Tokyo. The game involves strategic movement, special abilities, and environmental destruction, perfectly capturing the chaotic and fun nature of classic kaiju battles.

These board games prove that licensed games can offer rich, engaging experiences that resonate with fans. Whether you're a Star Wars aficionado, a Marvel fanatic, or a lover of classic films, there's something here for every geek.

Stay connected and discover more about the vibrant world of geeky board games at Land of Geek, your ultimate source for everything geek culture.

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Posted 
Jul 4, 2024
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