Mountains are fascinating. The way to the summit is always a challenge. So they are a good setting for board games. Here you climb the mountains, defy the dangers and sometimes just have to survive them. One game even takes the players to the mountain. The five games offer solo, cooperative or competitive fun.  

Climbing a mountain requires good planning, the right resources and, if necessary, good coordination in the team. Playing a board game with the aim of winning requires good planning, the right resources and, if necessary, good team coordination. Not surprisingly, mountains are used as a theme in board games. From quick solo play to extensive connoisseur play, there is something for every taste on this list.

Mountains of Madness - The party game for connoisseurs

The best board games mountains 1

Mount of Madness has appeared over Iello. Image: Iello

It starts with the literature “verspielung” from HP Lovecraft's horror story of the same name, which, like many board games, is linked to the Cthulhu myth. In this cooperative party game, the players embody the participants of the expedition that experiences the terror of the mountains in Antarctica. Together they must escape the mountain. However, since they are on a scientific expedition, they must also find enough relics so that their mission doesn't become a failure.

Each round, the team flies to a new location. Certain pieces of equipment are required there. In just 30 seconds, the team has to coordinate and collect the required number of items. It becomes difficult when madness spreads in the group. There are always new restrictions for the individual team members in the short communication phase. At the same time, the tasks are becoming increasingly difficult. Failure to collect the necessary items in sufficient numbers will have a bad effect on the group. Injuries, confusion or madness become constant companions of the team. 

If they make it to the last escape tile together and complete the task there, the game is scored. If more Relics can be collected than Injury Cards, the team wins. How good they were is determined by the difference between the two card types.

Mountains of Madness is a more complex, connoisseur-level party game. In the right group, the madness in the encounter phase where the items are collected makes for a lot of fun. Sometimes you wonder what you did wrong when comparing the dropped items to the requested ones. Collecting enough relics without going completely insane is no easy task. The trip up the mountain is all the more fun. 

The game for 3-5 people is recommended for ages 12 and up. The playing time is between 60 and 90 minutes.

Preview Product Rating Price
iello 514326 Mountains of Madness game iello 514326 Mountains of Madness Game * 45,99 EUR

Summit: Ascent to icy heights - solo, together or in competition

The best board games mountains 2

Summit - English: Summit - is a German language available at Gravity. Image: Gravity Publishers

The game, published in German by Schwerkraft-Verlag, presents the players with the task of climbing a dangerous mountain. The game offers three different game modes. You can play it solo, cooperatively and competitively. The rules recommend starting with a cooperative game to get everyone on the same page. So here are the basics of gameplay in brief.

At least one climber must survive the ascent and descent of the mountain. Otherwise, the expedition has failed. All take on the role of a character, each with slightly different requirements. In addition, each character has two personal items. In addition to the items of equipment, the provisions are also marked on the character board.

The player whose turn it is can move and must play as many tiles from his hand as are required for the chosen route. Alternatively, moving can be skipped in order to exchange hand tiles, get rid of cards or items from the character tableau or to exchange supplies with the personal Sherpa. If one of the four alternatives mentioned has been selected, the event and weather dice must now be rolled and resolved, and new tiles must be drawn.

On their way up, climbers can be slowed down by ice or thin air. The weather is unpredictable and the events present additional challenges. If at least one team member reaches the summit and returns home safely, it counts as a team success. The biggest difference between competitive and cooperative play is the lack of Sherpas and the inclusion of karma cards that show how “well” you interact with other climbers. In both game variants and people can be eliminated and in both variants they can still win.

Summit is a connoisseur game for 1-6 players aged 12 and over. Climbing the mountain takes between 30 and 180 minutes.

Preview Product Rating Price
Schwerkraft-Verlag Summit - ascent to icy heights Schwerkraft-Verlag Summit - ascent to icy heights * 78,89 EUR

In the hall of the mountain king

The best board games mountains 3

In the Hall of the Mountain King there are over Skellig Games in this country. Image: Skellig

From the dangerous and icy heights of the mountain, we can take shelter inside the mountain in this game from Skellig Games. The players here embody trolls who can take possession of their mountain again after a long time. The prehistory too In the hall of the mountain king will be in the novelty soon to be released by Skellig Games as well The Fall of the Mountain King illuminated. Gnomes overran the trolls and drove them out of their mountain. Now that the mountain has buried most of the gnomes under it and driven the rest to flee, the trolls can finally return to their ancient homes.

All players take on the role of a leader and in the end try to be the most successful in rebuilding to be crowned the mountain king. The game is a perfect example of how relatively simple rules can lead to immense depth. At the beginning of the turn, workshops and spells can be used. In the main action you have two options to choose from. Either you recruit (possibly with bribery) a troll, which you place in your troll pyramid and thus receive new resources, or you build new tunnels with one of the three minerals. The number of points awarded for building a tunnel depends on the mineral used. 

You can then spend mine carts to move statues to more lucrative locations and, if your tunnel network is in the right shape, build a Great Hall. If the second person places the tenth troll in their own troll pyramid (you start with four trolls), the game ends. Whoever collects the most points from Statues, Tunnels, Great Halls, and Coronation and Pedestal Tokens wins the game.

Resources are very scarce in this game and it requires very good planning to be able to implement your plans. The high demands that the game places on the players does not come from a flood of rules, but from the game mechanics themselves, which open up many possibilities.

In the hall of the mountain king is a game for 2-5 trolls aged 12+. The playing time is around 90 minutes. There is also a team variant for four people.

Trek 12: Himalayas

The best board games mountains 4

The mountain board game Trek 12: Himalaya is distributed by Asmodee. Image: Asmodee

The next title on the list is a Roll&Write that was on the Game of the Year 2022 recommendation list. Trek 12: Himalayas offers three different game modes: fast ascension, expedition and solo. Fast ascension is the entry point into the game. The aim of the game is to cleverly use the available dice to draw rope routes and climbing zones. 

In addition to the playing block and the two dice, only a pen is required. At the beginning of a round, both dice are rolled. Then everyone chooses a number at the same time. This can be the number shown on a dice or the sum, difference or product of both dice. Rope routes are created when consecutive numbers are next to each other and climbing zones are created by adjacent identical numbers.

Once all 19 circles on the ascent plan have been filled, the evaluation begins. As usual, the person with the most points through rope routes, climbing zones, bonuses and penalties at the end wins. In Expeditions mode, new equipment and companions will gradually come into play over several ascents.

Trek 12: Himalayas is a game with practically unlimited number of players. Asmodee gives 1-50 individuals. With a playing time of about 15 minutes, the simple Roll&Write is played quickly. The recommended age is 8 years.

Preview Product Rating Price
Lumberjack's Studio Trek 12 - Himalayas Lumberjacks Studio Trek 12 - Himalayas * Currently no reviews 25,99 EUR

Unsurmountable

The best board games mountains 5

Unsurmountable is a small solo game by Scott Almes. Image: Button Shy

By far the smallest title on this list is Unsurmountable from the Simply Solo range by Button Shy. You don't need more than 18 cards for this simple solo game. From the base camp, which consists of five maps, the ascent begins. The first card can be added to the mountain. All other base camp cards can be used for their abilities. 

At the end, the mountain consists of 10 cards that are arranged in a pyramid shape. Each turn, either the first base camp card can be attached to the mountain, or one of the other four cards can be discarded for its ability. Then the cards remaining in the base camp are moved to the left and a new card is added. 

The game is won once you have created a complete mountain with a continuous path from the base of the mountain to its summit. If there are no more maps available in the base camp, you lose. There are four variants to increase the difficulty. In addition, there are a total of four extensions that are currently available via the Kickstarter project Fishing Lessons Are available. The title may also appear in German soon. In the last Frosted Games newsletter, there was an opportunity to vote on which of the three Button Shy solo titles should receive a German localization next.

Preview Product Rating Price
SD Games – Claim, Color (SDGCLAIM001) SD Games – Claim, Color (SDGCLAIM001) * Currently no reviews 11,84 EUR

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series The best board games

Last updated on 25.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API