Décorum Receives CGI's Best Casual Game of 2022 Award | Casual Game Revolution

Décorum Receives CGI's Best Casual Game of 2022 Award

Décorum Best of 2022 Award

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When reflecting on the year 2022, it's easy to remember a lot of the negative things going on in the world: war, economic uncertainty, and political clashes, to name a few. But we would rather reminisce on the many positive experiences we had playing tons of great games with friends and family throughout the year.

We always love discovering and playing new casual games that are hot off the press. With COVID largely in the rear-view mirror, many board game publishers kicked into high gear delivering up a multitude of great games. From trick-taking to hidden role games, and party games to abstract games, we spent the year poring through a large backlog in search of hidden treasures for casual gamers.

To determine which of all the games would become the winner of our 6th annual Best Casual Game award, each member of our editorial team independently selected their top five games of the year. With so many fun games entering our radar, this was not an easy process! Once each of us finally decided on the list, we compared the results to see what we had in common. With no further ado, these were the final nominees (in alphabetical order):

The Nominees


boop. (Smirk & Laughter Games) – In this two-player duel, kittens become cats as they vie for control of the bed and battle it out with 'boops.' The game is played on a soft fabric quilt board. Each player starts with eight kitten meeples, with a goal of placing three or more of their own color in a row. When this happens, kittens are discarded from the board and the player receives cat meeples in their place. When a player manages to either place three cats in a row or add all of their cats to the board, they win the game. What makes this game very challenging is the fact that when you place a meeple, it 'boops' any adjacent meeples of the same size or smaller one space away. So, you can't just place your meeples side-by-side in a row for an easy win — instead, you have to maneuver them into place over a series of strategic turns, all while dealing with an opponent who is also trying to 'boop' your meeples off the board.

What we love about this game: It’s difficult to make an abstract game that feels fresh, yet Smirk & Laughter Games managed to do it while also taking their time on the theme and components. It’s just so darn cute with the kitten and cat meeples and squishy quilt board. The gameplay is also so much fun — very easy to learn, but you need to think ahead a few steps and be ready to change up your strategy when you get 'booped' out of the way. This game can be played very casually, but it can also be a brain burner for players who prefer an all-out battle of wits. We, of course, prefer the casual approach, and this game fits the bill nicely.

Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition

Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition (Bezier Games) – A fascinating twist on a well-known and well-loved genre, Cat in the Box brings a new dimension to trick-taking. In this game, there are four different suits, but the suit each card belongs to is not determined until it is played. The player who plays the card chooses the desired suit and places a marker on the board representing the number and suit. This number and suit combination is no longer available for the rest of the round. Players continue to play, trying to win the number of tricks they predicted at the beginning of the round. If you're stuck with no way to play a card legally, you cause a paradox and lose points for the round.

What we love about this game: Cat in the Box has such a unique mixture of mechanics. It’s easy to learn how to play but the choices you are presented with are so engaging and require a lot of thought. From the area control elements for the points you win from a successful prediction, to actually getting to just announce what color each card is, this is such an interesting spin on the genre and forces you to think along new lines. There are a lot of trick-taking games out there, but none of them are like Cat in the Box.


Décorum (Floodgate Games) – Who knew decorating a house could be so complicated! But it certainly can be when multiple people have very definite views on how everything should look, and no one is saying exactly what those views are. In this game, players take on the role of roommates who have very different viewpoints about what types, styles, and colors of decorative items belong in their shared house. Every room has a space for one lamp, one curio, and one wall hanging, plus a wall color. For each scenario, players are given individual conditions that must be met in order to feel fulfilled — however, they cannot communicate these rules to the other players. Each player must try to arrange the different items the way they would like to see them, then ask how the other players feel about it. This feedback provides the only clue as to what conditions the other players have. If all players feel fulfilled by the end of the 30th round, they all win together.

What we love about this game: Décorum is a truly exceptional cooperative game for fans of logic puzzles. The puzzles are so well thought out, and the back-and-forth interaction is really engaging — it forces you to analyze other players’ actions and choices, to try and deduce why they are doing something, and when it’s necessary to steer them towards another path that will meet both your requirements, as well as considering how you might be able to do that. It shines the brightest with the 2-player campaigns, but it's also enjoyable with 3-4 players, as well.

And the winner is...

These are all great nominees, but in the end only one game can win our award each year. With high praise from our team, a game rating of a whopping 9.5 out of 10, and as the clear favorite of our awesome game reviewer, Naomi, Décorum was unanimously selected as the winner of our Best Casual Game of 2022 award!

We would like to congratulate Floodgate Games, designers Charlie Mackin, Harry Mackin, and Drew Tenenbaum, and the artist, Michael Mateyko, for a job well done. We hope you will give this game a try soon, and also the other nominees — all of which are well-deserving of your time and hard-earned money.

Décorum Best Casual Game of 2021

Honorable Mention


We couldn't let the opportunity pass to also mention the #1 favorite this year of our editor, Justin, who has the opportunity to discover and play new games while covering Gen Con and interviewing many different publishers. This year, we tip our hats to Evergreen, published by Horrible Guild. Evergreen is a game in which players are taking actions to plant and grow trees across a multitude of ecosystems, in an effort to create a giant forest while also accounting for which direction the sun shines during the game’s four rounds to maximize points for mature trees. It may seem a bit complicated at first, but with a small amount of effort, you will find that it is a great puzzle game to unwind with, either in a group or solo. The artwork is also eye-catching and relaxing. This game has earned our Recommended award — you can read the full review here.