As i play lots of new games during the year (not necessary released in 2016, just the games i have first time played this year), i thought it would be interesting to make a list of such games and rank them.
10. Smash Up – i’ve seen a number of reviews of this game and its expansions, also saw others playing it live. It’s concept looked interesting. Granted, i have only tried a few decks on Steam, so maybe overall impression would be different after trying more decks. But after playing it, it become clear that it’s not so good. Many cards in your hand are just useless trash and situation with bases is chaotic and ever changing.
9. Automobiles – another game with an interesting mechanism. I’ve played a number of various deck building games, but this was my first bag (or pool) building game. In theory it’s very interesting. But in practice it seemed to chaotic and luck driven. One turn you barely move, next turn you jump half of the track ahead. It’s also annoying to constantly having to check what color does what on the cards as they change in every game and it is not so easy to remember them all.
8. Las Vegas – very simple, maybe even overly simple, game. You jusy roll the dice and select what money spot to put them on. I suspect it should be more fun playing it live. But it is also a nice time filler playing online.
7. The Witcher Adventure Game – again, played it only on PC against AI. but i think it is enough to see that this is not an Adventure at all and more a “collect x of this tokens to turn into points” type of game. It still has some of the Witcher flavor and is an ok game, but can become repetitive and boring very fast.
6. The Voyages of Marco Polo – this game gives me the most headache to rate it. By all means it should be fighting to take a spot in my Top 10 of all time. It is a great euro game with an interesting dice allocating mechanism and variable players powers. And i love contracts fulfilling part of it. BUT. The travelling part throws me off. It is just too complicated and time consuming and takes too much time off the main part of collecting resources and fulfilling the contacts. You can’t do both, so you have to choose which one to do or just not do travelling at all. And the game is over too quickly to manage to travel even for one of your tickets. So, i love one part of this game and hate the other one. Maybe i will have to play it live to see how exactly other players manage those parts to make it a pleasant game.
5. Brick Party – one of a few Renegade Games Studios games i have bought back to back in one week. I haven’t rated or reviewd it yet, as i have only played it once. But the first impression is good. It was harder than it seemed. It is a fun team based game, which should help improving cooperation between team members.
4. Sushi Go! – i’ve been wanting to get this game for a while, but i have never seen it in any local store. It’s a perfect gateway weight game, useful to bring new peiple to the hobby or to introduce people to drafting mechanism. A very simple, fast drafting game with a cute artwork.
3. FUSE – another one put out by Renegade Games. A fun cooperative dice rolling and allcating game, which always lasts 10 minutes. It also has a nice mobile app helping to time a game and keeps scores (and also annoying you with a fun voiceover). It also can be played solo. And i haven’t yet won a single time (although i was very close once). And this lowers my impression of it a bit. After playing so mnay times (solo, with 3 or 4 players) i was expecting to win at least once on a standard difficulty. Maybe, someday 🙂 But it seems my colleagues are liking it more than i do 🙂
2. Camel Up – a bit unexpected to be so high on the list. But it helped a lot, when i had to find a game for 7 players. It also worked great with 5. It is very simple bidding game with ltos of luck. But the emotions and cheering happening around the table during this game elevates it in my eyes.
1. Imperial Settlers – i’ve just received this game as a Christmas gift. But i wasn’t able to tryi it out normally before the end of the year (i have only played it a few times solo). So it didn’t make my Top 10 Best games list. But it sure has all the chances to make it next year. Because i’m liking it so far. Not very complex, rather quick, great production. It can be brain burning experience when you are trying to evaluate all the options and pick an optimal move. And it even seems it is a bit too short, as it ends just when you are starting to like your little points engine you have built before you. On the other hand, if it would last longer, it might give you a headache 🙂
Some games didn’t make this top 10. Kashgar: Händler der Seidenstraße – interesting mechanism of a number of deck building games happening at once, but rather boring game. Packet Row – another euro game, with a bland look and boring (and very long) gameplay. Essentially collecting a lot of various types of cards to covert them into money and then buy cards with points. Too convoluted and the “i split, you choose” variant doesn’t seem very good in this one. Kahuna – Kosmos two player classic. I hated it 🙂 Too luck driven and too swingy. And i have also recently tried Guildhall, but have only played it twice with two players so far. Can’t tell whether i like the constant swapping of cards between the players that much.