The end of the year is almost upon us. It’s a time to reflect, on life, the year that has passed and more importantly on what my top 6 games are. Not just games from this year, but for all the games I’ve played. I won’t rank them individually, because I think they are all awesome games. Below you’ll also find a couple of runner ups.
This game just has everything for me. Great art, awesome mechanics, and multiple unique factions. It’s a game that evolves along with your understanding of it. It’s simple to teach and easy to play, but the more you play it and the more you know each factions strength and weakness, the more efficient you will be. It also has enough expansions now to make “deck building” a real possibility. You can check out my full review of the game here: Review: Imperial Settlers
For me this is the game I’ve had the most fun with out of all the games I ever played. You have to be into the theme and like a little bit of randomness. But if you do then I’m sure you’ll love this one like me. The art is also fantastic. Trying to find the right balance between gold and flair while doing a little “deck building” is just part of what makes this game one of best games I own. This is the second game to get a six out six rating. Check out the review here: Review: Epic Resort
I admit it, I like Race for the Galaxy, but it has some problems (main ones being that it has so many weird symbols you need to know the meaning of, and so many cards you have to read each turn). Roll for the Galaxy fixes all of these problems and adds a fantastic dice system (and loads of custom dice). The game is different each time you play it, and while planets, technologies, and the roll of the dice will make you more efficient at some accepts of the game you never feel “forced” to do something and you can’t be hurt by “bad rolls”. I can’t get enough of this game, and the expansions adds even more.
This is a great game. Area control with actions selection. Both done in a very clean way. And the sci-fi / steampunk theme is just awesome. A nice new shiny Fantasy Flight Games version (with minor but great changes) recently got released. For me this is the best gameBruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti ever made, and that is saying a lot since they both made lots of really good games. I know I’m a sucker for art, but I still liked the game in the “old” version where the art didn’t do much for me. But now it is gorgeous. A perfect game for me.
This is the little unknown (at the time) gem I found at Essen SPIEL 2014. I was in love with it just by looking at the art, and after playing it I couldn’t get enough. It is a light game, so don’t expect a big deep strategic experience going in. But as a filler or a game for new players I can not recommend it enough. It’s basically a drafting game with modular boards so you can change things up from game to game, with lots of different scoring options for each one. Original published by Blue Cocker Game, but now also being published by IELLO (another indication of just how good it is).
While this shares the area control and dice rolling aspect of Mission: Red Planet, the game is a complete different one. It’s retro sci-fi theme might not appeal to everyone, but the dice rolling and allocation is such a great mechanic. Point are very tight, one point often decides who wins and it’s very public how many points you have (most of the time), that creates a wonderful tension. It also includes lots of expansions that makes this great game even better.
Among the Stars
For me this beats 7 Wonders by a long shot. I love the drafting in it and combined with the spacial element of building a space station, it’s just awesome. It also has loads of expansions that just makes a great game even better.
Above and Below
Ryan Laukat from Red Raven Games is one of my favourite designers (and a great illustrator and publisher too). His latest game has blown my mind (in a good way). Merging story telling and resource gathering seamlessly into one beautiful game. On their own either of these would make a great game.
The Voyages of Marco Polo
Another dice rolling and allocation game. With an awesome worker placement aspect and great theme and art. What really makes this game great is the very powerful character cards that change the game dramatically.