Last Updated on June 22, 2022
Dystopian fiction is often a theme that brings books, movies, and board games together. Will humanity and morale fall or will survivors ban together? The numerous possibilities of what a dystopian world could look like are what fascinates science-fiction fanatics and what makes this list of board games so diverse.
While humanity hangs by a thread, what will be your strategy? Create a brighter future or will you turn to the dark side of human nature? Battle through the adventures with your friends and recreate the ultimate utopia or perhaps a dreadful dystopia…
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Dystopian Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek at the best dystopian board games before you go.
Best Social Deduction
Best Worker Placement
#1. Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
A dystopian cityscape awaits your leadership.
Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia is a worker placement game set in a dystopian world. Using a die as your workers, you’ll have to keep the worker masses ignorant but happy. Wouldn’t want an uprising on your hands.
Your path to victory will be paved by the strength of your alliances, the areas of the world you can infiltrate, and the determination of your workers.
Because there are many different strategies to play, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia is an exceptional board game to play out dystopian tactics. With markets and recruits changing every time you play, the game has high replayability.
Will you be a part of the dystopian elite? What are you willing to sacrifice to build a better dystopia?
#2. Dune: Imperium
Control the Spice. Control the Universe.
In the wasteland that lies before you, the Great Houses of the Landsraad ready their armies and spies. In this dystopian world, a tyrannical Emperor rules with the help of the Spacing Guild, Fremen of the Deep Desert, and a secretive Bene Gesserit. Seek political allies or rely upon a full-blown war. The cards are dealt and the choice is yours.
Frank Herbert’s iconic universe comes alive in the board game Dune: Imperium. Whether you are a fan of the novels or not, this strategy game combines additional cards that’ll completely change your deck. With conflicts arising at the end of each round surprises keep players vigilant.
An added bonus to Dune: Imperium is that it can be played solo which can be fairly unique in this category.
Your decisions will alter the fate of the empire. Make Frank Herbet proud and sharpen your wits, as well as your blade.
#3. Arctic Scavengers
It’s the year 2097, a cataclysmic climate shift engulfed the Earth into an ice age. Only 10% of the world’s population survives. Tribes separate these survivors into factions, pitted against each other. Could your tribe become the ultimate Arctic Scavengers?
Arctic Scavengers has each player leading a tribe. Sourcing tools, resources, and medicine are key to the survival of your tribe. These resources are all in scarce supply, so players must build up their tribe, battle each other, and even bluff to become the largest tribe.
Arctic Scavengers base game is a fantastic addition to a gamer’s shelf. But the beauty of this game is its HQ and Recon expansion, both bringing conflicts that face an evolving society and adding new ways to make your opponents feel pain. Enjoy.Arctic Scavengers
#4. The Resistance
Playing time: 30 mins
The empire must fall, by any means necessary.
In the dystopian universe, secret identities, deduction, and deception are crucial to overthrowing those in power. Spies have infiltrated your team and are trying to sabotage your plans to overthrow a corrupted government. Suspicion and suspense are lurking in the dark.
In The Resistance, everyone plays right to the end, not for the faint-hearted or slow-minded if you’re to reveal the liars and win. With no player elimination, this is a great social deduction party game. Making informed decisions as a group intensifies player interaction as they set out on their mission to unmask the spies… or die trying.
Will you shatter imperial repression and liberate the people?
Playing time: 30mins
Who doesn’t enjoy a classic dystopian Mafia theme?
Grifters brings you to the fringes of a dystopian world where crime bosses run rampant. A government controlling every aspect of society leads gangs to turn to crime, profiting from the chaos caused by the resistance. In this Mafia-esque theme, Once you’re in, your in. There’s no getting out.
Each player takes on the role of a powerful crime boss, carefully constructing their criminal organizations by hand-building, giving total control over their strategies. Carefully recruit new operatives that’ll “take care” of your villainous needs. But swindle your opponents unsuccessfully, and you’ll find yourself swimming with the fishes.
Can you pull off daring heists while robbing corporations blind, or will your recruits turn on you? Expressed disbelief. Fingers pinched in the air, “And all this, on the day of my daughter’s wedding?”Grifters
Playing time: 180 mins
The world has changed, crime has not.
Android is a highly competitive detective game in which you have just two weeks to figure out conspiracy theories as well as solve a murder case. The co-developer of Arkham Horror was a part of the development of Android, a good reference attached to the game. So you can be sure intrigue, conflict, and inner demons are ever-present.
Set in a dystopian future, detectives travel between a city New Angeles, and a moon colony, trying to uncover a sinister conspiracy. Balancing the pursuit to right wrongs against your inner demons enriches Android. Possible redemption arcs can happen to tormented characters such as a crooked cop tormented by loss and guilt. Or a psychic clone struggling with her identity and sanity.
The clock is ticking, murder and conspiracies await you in this complex dystopian society.Android
#7. Android: Netrunner (Revised)
Playing time: 45 mins
As you struggle to maintain your sanity, man and machine live side by side in sprawling cyberpunk megacities. Megacorporations and Runners take you into the high-stakes world of cybercrime.
Android: Netrunner is a two-player card game in which players are pitted against megacorps, all in the struggle to capture valuable data. With plenty of expansion packs, the game stays fresh with high replayability.
The moon has been colonized, artificial intelligence has become lifelike, but has this dystopian cyber world gone too far?
#8. The Manhattan Project
Playing time: 120 mins
Which nation will become the superpower and dominate the world?
The Manhattan Project makes each player the leader of the top greatest nation’s atomic weapons program. The race to build bigger and better bombs becomes dangerous, even deadly. With many different tasks to complete, such as expanding the military, building bombs, or sending spies into foreign territories, it’s hard work as the global power struggle begins!
This game is an economic engine-building board game set in a dystopian world. Strategizing and prioritizing are key skills in this arms race. The game has easy-to-learn rules but its in-depth tasks to balance make it a challenge to master.
When all is said and done, this game is the bomb!
#9. Imperial 2030
Playing time: 120-180 mins
Take on the role of a powerful international investor and decide the fate of the world.
Imperial 2030 is a game that begins in a similar world to ours. A couple of wrong investments could lead to a new dominant superpower or the end of society as we know it.
What makes Imperial 2030 a unique strategy game is that players can not rely on cards or dice for a bit of luck. Economic analysis must be combined with the art of war to threaten the old Imperial powers, the United States, Russia, and Europe. China, India, and Brazil start a global race for power and influence. Will this treacherous game lead to a full-blown dystopian world?
Be ruthless, and control the greatest superpower in the world!Imperial 2030
#10. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Playing time: 120-180
The Cylons have returned. Humanity is on the brink of extinction.
The extremely popular franchise Battlestar Galactica immerses us into the world of nuclear annihilation, cyclons, and spaceships. The board game gives you the chance to take control of Colonial and Cylon spaceships in epic battles and daring missions.
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a cooperative game with hidden roles, being the secret Cylon traitors. The game itself comes with miniatures and a rotating miniature base keeping players engaged in a unique gaming experience.
The Dystopia is already here in Barrage. In this aqueduct building game players fight for control of the river’s power. Players need to control the flow of the river using aqueducts and dams to power their projects, but everyone is using the same river. All your hard-earned work can be wiped out if someone manages to build further upstream and diverts the flow away from you.
There are a lot of interesting mechanics in Barrage including an extremely innovative wheel system that ties up resources until the wheel makes a complete turn. It’s incredibly cool and reminds me of the real-world dystopian events in Los Angeles and the Owens River.Barrage
Will our society become a desolate dystopia? Could our downfall be Big Brother watching us, atomic weapons, or maybe a good ol’ zombie apocalypse? We hope you enjoyed our picks for the best dystopian board games! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!