Friday, February 17, 2017

The Top 200 Games: #190 - #181

#190: Animal Upon Animal (2005)

I own 4 different versions of this game... and enjoy all of them. It's possibly the best balancing/dexterity game for non-gamer families out there. My review of Animal Upon Animal: Balancing Bridge is here; my review of Animal Upon Animal: The Duel is here.

#189: The Secret Door (1991)

Speaking of family games, this may have weak production but the memory/cooperative gameplay is very, very good. My entry for my Kid Games 100 is here.

 #188: Lotus (2016)

A stunningly beautiful card game that manages to subvert the "don't help the guy on your left" problem by giving you an incentive to help him when it helps you.

#187: Smash Up (2012)

Sometimes the "take that" nature of the game gets under my skin, but the splicing together of factions and the card combos that ensue can make it a lot of fun. I do not recommend playing with 4 players - the downtime is too much for the weight of the game.

#186: FITS (2009)

Tetris as a board game... and since I like Tetris, this works for me.

#185: Kayanak (1999)

I'm not sure it's a great game - but I have a great time playing it. The ice-fishing mechanic(ism) at the heart of the game is just cool. My entry for my Kid Games 100 is here.

#184: Zoff im Hühnerhof (2006)

Another great dexterity game from HABA... silly but fun. And there's nothing quite like it - thematically (flinging chicken feed) or structurally. My entry for my Kid Games 100 is here.

#183: Patchwork (2014)

It’s clever, it’s pretty to look at, and the subtle interaction between players is flat out delicious. I'm reminded of another shared favorite – Flowerpower… not so much because they are the same game mechanically but the feeling you get when playing it and building your tableau.

#182: Klunker (1999)

Uwe Rosenberg creates yet another "wacky use of cards" card game. It doesn't hit the table often, but it's still a brain-twister when it does. My Game Central Station article on the game is here; my 2010 Top 100 entry is here.

#181: Small World (2009)

This has fallen a long way - I still like it better than Vinci, but I'm not playing it very often. It remains an excellent bridge game to take non-gamers into gamer territory. My review of some expansions is here; my 2014 Top 100 entry is here.

A trio of editorial notes:

  • The BoardGameGeek entry for the game is linked through the date of publication.
  • When appropriate, I've linked to content I've written about the game. 
  • For #200-#101, I'm only going to post pictures of the highest ranked game in each set.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Top 200 Games: #200 - #191

#200: Impulse (2013)

One more weird (and enjoyable) Carl Chudyk game where the cards do multiple things - this time in space.

#199: Dastardly Dirigibles (2016)

A pleasant set-collecting game that's easy to introduce to non-gamers... with a nicely realized steampunk theme. My review is here.

 #198: Epic PVP: Fantasy (2015)

The boys & I enjoy this one enough that we've bought both the expansions to increase the variety of combinations. Balancing your hand size and ability to play cards is tricky.

#197: Olympia 2000 (v. Chr.) (1994)

A nearly 25 year old classic game from Stefan Dorra... it's a light simultaneous selection game with a cute theme.

#196: Tiny Epic Kingdoms (2014)

The first game of what has become a Kickstarter juggernaut... I like the small footprint of the game. I think it's a decent game with just the base game that is improved by the addition of the expansion. My preview of the KS is here.

#195: Machi Koro (2012)

It's bloated with both expansions in... but the base game is a good little city-building dice game with some nice twists.

#194: Batik (1997)

I'm not sure whether to call it a dexterity game or an abstract game - but it's the game I keep on my desk at work. (It was a gift from Stephen Glenn...)

#193: Mole in the Hole (1995)

A Ravensburger game that was marketed to kids but actually has some nifty tactical considerations and an innovative multiple level board.

#192: Blöder Sack (2014)

It's "use dice to claim cards" - but the way you place dice to win majorities and the ability to push out someone else's dice makes it fun. The drawstring bag makes it portable.

#191: Im Reich der Jadegöttin (2007)

The first of a planned trio of Entdecker-based games... sadly, only two of the three were published. This is the more family-friendly of the pair that saw the light of day.

A trio of editorial notes:

  • The BoardGameGeek entry for the game is linked through the date of publication.
  • When appropriate, I've linked to content I've written about the game. 
  • For #200-#101, I'm only going to post pictures of the highest ranked game in each set.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mark's Top 200 Games 2017... Twenty by Ten

Later this week, I'll start posting my top 200 games in sets of ten (thus, the 20 by 10 reference in the title.) I chose to do 200 rather than 100 because

a) I'm a glutton for punishment.
b) I was curious.
c) I like a lot of games and wanted to make sure more of them got some recognition.

I'm using the same basic process I used to make my 2014 top 100 list.
  • Since I rate pretty every game/expansion I play on BGG (here's a link to my collection), I chose to download all of those games I rated 7 or better. That gave me a list of over 1000 games & expansions.
  • After removing all of the expansions, I was left with 665 games.
  • I "shuffled" the games and began pitting one game against another...
    • "Which of these games do I want to play more?"
  • That created two piles:
    • like
    • not as much
  • I then shuffled the 'not as much' pile and pitted those games against each other, putting the positive response games into the 'like' pile and creating a new 'not so much' pile.
  • When finished, I once again shuffled the 'not so much' pile and ran the process one final time.
  • The games that ended up in the final 'not so much' are dropped from the system...
  • And then it starts all over again...
Here are the parameters:
  • Unlike previous top 100 lists, this DID include what I lovingly call "kid games". (If you're interested in kid games, my Kid Games 100 would be some great reading material.)
  • The list was actually compiled in November of 2016 - when we get to the end, I'll do a post about the games I've played since then that I think would probably have made it on here.
  • It's not the "best games ever made" - it's my list of the two hundred games I most enjoy playing right now.
  • With that said, there's a lot of flex in the list. Don't invest too much in any individual ranking - if I'd sorted the list on a different day, many of them could be in a different order.
You are welcome - no, encouraged! - to comment, kibitz and/or vehemently disagree... that's part of the fun! The first set will show up very soon!