Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Great Games of the Last Year or So

Well, great games which came out in the last year or so - as filtered through the brain of Mark "Fluff Daddy" Jackson. The list is ordered by the number of times I've played the game.
  • Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm - I've played this both face-to-face & some 140 solitaire games & it still fascinates me. It's hard to believe that you can pack this much oomph into a 30 minute card game. For you real die-hard fans, you can check out my solitaire spreadsheet. (For the record, I like the goals & can't wait for more of them when Rebel vs. Imperium comes out later this year.)
  • Memoir '44 Campaign Book (Volume 1) - Takes a light wargame I already love & creates a new way to string scenarios together into a coherent story. Braeden & I have played through the Normandy campaign and I'm hoping to talk Richard into doing the Russian campaign with me... not to mention trying to figure out how to get someone to do the mini D-Day campaign (available as a download on the Geek) next week around D-Day.
  • Sorry! Sliders - Poor man's Crokinole... I've taught it a number of times, always to great delight by everyone playing. The multiple board configurations (Braeden really likes the L-shaped board for two players) make for great replay value.
  • Roll Through The Ages - The game Settlers Dice should have been. Jeff Myers (he of the Secret Underground Lair) & I even discovered that it's not a bad car game if both players know it pretty well.
  • Cheese Snatching (Kaseklau) - Stupid American name should NOT keep you from trying this... it's Can't Stop for kids... and anybody else who enjoys pushing their luck. Highly portable & relatively inexpensive in the Haba small box format.
  • Sushizock im Gockelwock - Cousin to Heckmeck im Brautweck (which is STILL a much better name than Pickomino)... less math-y & easier to teach & quicker to play. Possibly not as good as HiB but more likely to hit the table.
  • Mow - Cute limited release "better than Uno" card game of cows & flies. I think it's being reprinted, which is a good thing.
  • Timber Tom - I'm suspicious that the game is fooling me with the incredible beauty of the bits... but I'm still having a lot of fun with this gorgeous racing game. (Seriously, check out the pictures on the Timber Tom website... possibly the prettiest game I own.)
  • Die Kullerbande - More Haba brilliance... a dexterity game that uses the box bottom as the board with small magnetic animal "wickets." A complete hoot to play, esp. late at night. (The video of me playing this is at the bottom of this post.)
  • Sylla - Possibly my favorite Ystari game... I love the way the theme (Rome post-Julius Caesar) helps clarify the mechanics.

And yes, Dominion is notably absent from this list, even though I've played it 50+ times. My reasoning? While I adore the game when played on BSW (an online gaming site), it's way too fiddly with the actual cards. (Still, congrats to Dale & Valerie & the crew on the SdJ nomination.)


Jeff Myers said...

I agree with all of these picks, although I still haven't played Sylla. Sushizock has been a big hit with everyone who has tried it, and Sorry! Sliders is the first game my kids ask to play when we have some game time.

Dominion is okay. I was very surprised by the SdJ nomination, but hey, a whole lot of folks like it a lot more than I do. Last week at KublaCon, you would look out at the open gaming and see a lot of Small World being played, but if you looked in the nooks and corners you saw Dominion even more often.

SusanRoz said...

What?? No Pandemic?! That's probably near the top of my list.

I still need to try Roll Through the Ages. The Memoir book is on its way now as part of a small game order for our anniversary gifts. This will be a big treat as we haven't been buying games because Ed has been unemployed for the past 5 months. I'm looking forward to trying a campaign.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I really, really like Pandemic (and better yet, so does Shari!)... but it somehow slipped my mind.

Of course, my Holy Grail game finally appeared: copies of Dungeonquest: Catacombs & Dungeonquest: Heroes that I'd foolishly traded away 15 years ago... so that's taking some of the luster off the new stuff.

And I'm looking forward to Tales of the Arabian Nights - but a bit worried that it's not "elementary school kid friendly" and so doesn't need to be in the game room.