Meeple Mountain Year in Review – 2023

We just celebrated our 8th birthday! Can you believe we started all the way back in 2015? 2023 was a great year for us, so come along as we celebrate all the things we accomplished in the past 12 months!

Since our very first post, we’ve been laser focused on publishing high-quality board game related content: whether it’s written or video. We craft and discuss, parenthesize, spellcheck, and edit until we’re happy with it. And this year we had our biggest published year ever, with 544 published pieces; that’s crazy for an all-volunteer team like ours.

Join me as I reminisce on the past 12 months!

410 Written Reviews

Last year we made it to the top 5 results in searches for “board game reviews”, but now at the end of the year we’re in a solid 3rd place. That’s incredible when you consider that we’re beating out The New York Times, Kotaku, Reddit, Good Housekeeping, and hundreds and thousands of other outlets who cover tabletop games.

We actually reviewed even more games this year than we did last year: 410 compared to 387. And almost 170 of those games were released this year!

By traffic, our biggest game review hits of 2023 were part of our One Shot Mysteries series: Unsolved Case Files Avery & Zoe Gardner and Unsolved Case Files | Jamie Banks. The new release in the Everdell line, Everdell Farshore, also garnered loads of traffic. Unsurprisingly our review of Heat: Pedal to the Metal zoomed to the top of our hit list, as did our review of Avatar Legends: the RPG.

51 Videos

Our video work has slowed down somewhat as our primary video reviewer, Brody Sheard, has left to focus on his own channel (best of luck Brody!). We’re still releasing them, just more slowly. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in doing your own video reviews, let me know!

The upside is that we did have a new team member join us this year, Collin Hancock, who put out his first review of Robot Quest Arena. Welcome aboard Collin!

For the year we had 160,845 total views in 2023, which was great for us, and we ended 2022 with a net positive 431 subscribers. Our best performing video of the year was Brody’s review of PARKS, and Gary’s tutorial on How to Use Tabletop Simulator!.

Please make sure to check those out…then “make sure to like and subscribe!”

58 Articles & Interviews

Our editorial coverage has slowed down somewhat, but we’re still publishing great articles. Justin’s 5 part series Into the Voidfall was an exhaustive coverage of the massive game Voidfall from Mindclash Games. We pulled a fast one and changed our First Take Fridays series to Quick Peaks, which is a great way for us to feature games we play for the first time.

But just like in year’s past our coverage of board game conventions continues to drive traffic. This includes talking about the games beforehand, and relishing the time spent at the end afterwards. Take our Most Anticipated Games of Essen SPIEL 2023; a number one search result before the event. And then Andrew Lynch and Justin Bell followed that up with their recap of Essen SPIEL 2023.

But we also lamented the fact that there might just be too many board games, talked about the essential board games in Phil Walker-Harding’s collection, challenged ourselves with a “single card board game design challenge”, took a beginner’s deep dive into the sometimes baffling world of 18XX train games, and had a number of RPG related articles from new team member Ammar.

But perhaps the saddest moment of 2023 came when we lost Klaus Teuber, the legendary designer of Settlers of Catan (now called Catan), in early April of 2023.

Ruhe in Frieden, Klaus, und vielen Dank.

10 Top 6 Lists

While we only did 10 of our well-received Top 6 lists, this year they were doozies including a discussion about AI tools and game design. We also released a strategy guide for Everdell and a strategy guide for Wingspan.

New Feature Development

I’m a professional software engineer by trade, and WordPress development (the platform used by Meeple Mountain) is part of my core skill set. This means that if I decide I want to add a new element to the site, I can implement it myself, and make it awesome. In 2023 I continued the development of features for the Meeple Mountain site.

Star Ratings

Ratings are a controversial subject with any creative media: movies, music, art, etc. And board games are no different. In fact, the Meeple Mountain team discussed and debated whether we wanted to add ratings for almost 2 full years. I finally decided to add them to the site. In the end it came down to search results–by adding ratings to our reviews, we have a better chance of someone clicking on our link, simply because we’re showing our rating.

Now that we have ratings, you should see the rating showing up on the site anywhere we show a thumbnail of the review. And people are taking notice. We’ve already had publishers show off our ratings for their games on social media.

Trending Board Games

Because we regularly review games before they’re released, we’re fortunate enough to be a part of the hype surrounding popular games. This year I decided to take advantage of that by creating the Meeple Mountain Trending Board Games list, retrieving “The Hotness” (a list of the current most popular board games on BoardGameGeek), and mashing it up with our own content. The result speaks for itself…a showcase of just how much coverage we’re able to give to trending games.

Crowdfunding Roundup

While the Meeple Mountain Crowdfunding Roundup was created in 2022, 2023 was the year it really started to shine. To date we’ve had over 700 games included in our Roundup, and it makes me really proud to help promote these titles to our readers. If you’re a designer or publisher, you can even add your own crowdfunding campaign for free!

In 2023 we also expanded the Crowdfunding Roundup to allow for promoted listings. This is an inexpensive way for publishers and designers to showcase their campaigns, while helping to support Meeple Mountain and continue to keep it ad-free.

Website Traffic & Social Media

In 2023 we hit some really great milestones on social media.

In 2023 our website had a total of 1.37M pageviews, which is a 22% increase from last year’s traffic of 1.07M. Note, the charts here are different because in September Google phased out Google Analytics Universal in favor of Google Analytics 4.

Here’s some site statistics, for you data nerds.

Only time will tell if these numbers continue, but it’s certainly looking promising.

Board Gaming in Nashville

In somewhat sad news, 2023 was the last year that Meeple Mountain will be solely managing Nashville Game Night. This has been our baby (my baby) since 2014, in fact before Meeple Mountain existed. But other groups in town are doing a better job of running events and engaging attendees. So with a bit of sadness, we’ll be passing the torch on Nashville Game Night to Gleeful Meeple.

We will still be running Nashville Tabletop Day though, never fear. And 2023 saw us again returning to Trevecca Nazarene University’s Boone Convocation Center where we hosted almost 500 gamers. We also rolled our own custom QR-code based event management and notification system. This allowed us to track games and notify attendees throughout the event. And it worked amazingly well.

Here’s some relevant numbers from the event.

  • 433 attendees
  • 56 sponsors
  • 175 play to win titles
  • 36 door prizes
  • 2,189 entries for play to win games
  • 103% satisfaction!

Nashville Tabletop Day 2024 is already locked in for Saturday, April 20, once again at Trevecca University. So if you’re in the area, make sure to join us!

What Does 2024 Have in Store for Meeple Mountain?

I thought we were in a great position last year, but I think 2023 was even better for Meeple Mountain than 2022. We’re finally earning revenue, and while we’re still not “making money”, at least we’re closer to operating in the black than we were before. This is great because it means we can continue to offer the same great content you’ve come to expect from our team.

So how about some concrete goals?

Meeple Mountain’s primary source of traffic is “organic”; which in our case means someone performs a search for a game review or topic, and our name comes up. You know how Google searches work. This works particularly well for us because we have LOTS of content. But that type of traffic also relies on people going out and searching for things we cover. It also relies on Google or Bing ranking us high enough that you see our name before someone else.

This year I want us to really start working on our mailing list. This is a chance for us to be proactive and reach out to our readers to tell them about things we’ve done. Not only does this give us a much better chance of return visitors, but it’s also something we can use to do giveaways, or other nice things only available to readers of our mailing list. So sign up if you haven’t already.

I’d still love to do a website redesign, but that’s a pretty tall order. Maybe 2024 will be the year we do it? At the very least I’d like to do some spring cleaning and speed up the performance of the site—which would make Google happy…and me too. I’d also like to work on some internal tooling to make our writing team happier. So I guess what I’m saying is that I want 2024 to be the year that we’re all happier.

I’d be amazingly remiss if I didn’t explicitly thank everyone on the Meeple Mountain team for their hard work, passion, and commitment. Without all of you, there would be no Meeple Mountain. Thank you for helping me make this website and it’s content the best in the industry.

Andy Matthews
Meeple Mountain
Founder / Editor in Chief

About the author

Andy Matthews

Founder of Meeple Mountain, editor in chief of, and software engineer. Father of 4, husband to 1, lover of games, books, and movies, and all around nice guy. I run Nashville Game Night, and Nashville Tabletop Day.

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