Tag Archives: Tile laying

Top 10 Games – Update

Top10

Last year I did a podcast that listed my top ten games. Since then I’ve played a good many more games and have had chance to re-evaluate some of the games on the list. It’s been very interesting seeing how my tastes have evolved over the past year and I decided January was the time to rework my top ten games list.
As a reminder for those who didn’t hear the podcast, my top ten games last year were:

  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition
  • Zombicide
  • Galaxy Trucker
  • Discworld Ankh Morpork
  • Shadows Over Camelot
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse
  • Carcassonne
  • Summoner Wars

This year my list has seen quite a drastic upheaval, 6 new entries, one upwards movement, two “down but not outs” and a single stationary entry. So without further ado, here’s my top ten games after 2013.

10 – In position ten, down six places, we have Zombicide from Cool Mini Or Not. A collaborative, zombie-survival, game that has a variety of weird and wonderful characters fighting it out with the Zombie horde.

09 – In position nine, for a second year running, we have Carcassonne. This brilliant little tile laying game is fast to learn, fast to play, and I really love it. Over the past year I’ve managed to get hold of all of the expansions and mini expansions, apart from the tunnels, and they add so much cool stuff to an already great game.

08 – In position eight, and the first of the new entries, we have Escape: The Curse of the Temple. A fantastic, frantic, and fun, run for your life game. Played over a ten minute period, you have to roll dice as fast as you can and navigate the cursed temple. If you don’t make it out within the time limit you’re trapped in the temple forever. This is a very good game and well deserves its place on this list.

07 – In position seven, the second of the new entries, Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island. A really great game, with plenty of theme. This one is the genius work of designer Ignacy Trzewiczek of Stronghold fame. Robinson Crusoe is a very difficult game that chews you up and spits you out before you even know what’s hit you. Despite the difficulty level, it’s a brilliant cooperative game with a whole bunch of mechanics that make a lot of thematic sense.

06 – In position six, the third of the new entries, Eldritch Horror. This new Fantasy Flight Games title is the sister game to their extremely successful Arkham Horror. Where Arkham Horror played out across an evil-filled city, Eldritch Horror takes it to a whole new level. This time you play the part of investigators tasked with traversing the globe in an effort to defeat one of the great old ones. From San Francisco to Tokyo this worldwide battle plays out in a faster, more streamlined manner than its older sister. If you like Arkham Horror then you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

05 – In position five, the fourth of the new entries, Exodus: Proxima Centauri. This is an awesome game that has been touted as a Twilight Imperium Lite. I love the way this plays, it’s everything I wanted from Eclipse and then some! The original edition had a variety of problems with component quality, but I got my hands on the revised edition and I have to say the components are gorgeous! If you’re looking for a fast space-combat and diplomacy game, then Exodus: Proxima Centauri is a must for your collection.

04 – In position four, the fifth of the new entries, Mice and Mystics! This is my favourite co-operative game of all time. I’ve praised this game since the first time I ever played it, and wrote a post that explained exactly what makes this game so great. Since then, I’ve played The Heart of Glorm Expansion and play-tested some of the amazing chapters that are coming in the next great expansion The Downwood Tales. Mice and Mystics is fun for gamers of all ages and it has a place in any gamer’s collection.

03 – In position three, knocked from its number one spot, we have Battlestar Galactica. An awesome game with a great traitor mechanic. This is a massively thematic game that is a must have for all Battlestar fans out there. Over the past year Fantasy Flight Games has released Daybreak, the third and final expansion. With all of the modular elements included in the three expansions, this is a game with legs and a lot of fun times to be had.

02 – In position two, and the final new entry to the list, Duel of Ages II. A game with hidden depth that won me over on my first ever play. The components aren’t the greatest quality but the sheer amount of game in both the base game and master set is quite astounding. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about the game when you first start to play, however, give it time and you’ll soon realise that it’s the stories that make you want to come back to this one time and again. During my first play, at Firestorm Games over in Cardiff, my base was attacked by an angry Unicorn and my only defence was a suited and booted bouncer who walked up and punched that Unicorn in its interfering nose. During this little scuffle, a space-slug slowly worked its way towards a target that it never reached, and a ninja space cat attacked a seemingly weak opponent with a laser weapon that did absolutely no damage. This game provides an engine into which the players pour their imagination and generate fantastical battles with creatures from all across time, space and fiction. I love this game!

01 – In position one, and up two places, we have Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). This is an epic space game that does everything you’d expect to see in any great quality space sci-fi TV show. I’m not going to go into any great detail here about the game, or how it plays, because I’m going to write a complete review of it over the next few weeks. All I will say is that if you do not have this game and love big, long, games that contain a healthy amount of combat and backstabbery; then this is the game for you!

Well there you have it, my top ten favourite games as of the end of 2013. Over the coming year I’ll be playing a load more games and writing a ton more reviews. So stay tuned to find out what I get up to and read about some of the games that you could see in my top ten at the end of 2014.

First Podcast – Top Ten Games

Galaxy Trucker

OK here it is, my first ever attempt at podcasting.

The audio quality isn’t the greatest and it goes a little strange at times but hey I recorded this on my iPhone I can’t afford dedicated equipment and I’m doing this for fun so go easy on me please.

The icon I’ve used for the podcast isn’t great either, but if anyone graphical feels like designing me a cool podcast icon I’d love to see it.

Anyway, any feedback anyone has is greatly appreciated but, like I said, please be kind :)

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Once, not so long ago, I was a massive Monopoly fan. I know, I know, give me a break, I was young and knew no better!

Anyway, it’d be safe to say that I loved the game, the interaction, the social aspects of that Scarlet-boxed temptress. Everything was good between Monopoly and I, we spent many fun hours together… Until! One day, a good friend of mine introduced me to a blue-boxed mystery.

To the untrained eye this newcomer appeared simple, no frills, no money to get in the way, you might even describe it as plain. BUT! Beneath that plain, almost drab, exterior hid true beauty! A beauty that, without an introduction, you would walk away from in blissful ignorance of what you’d just missed.

It was on that day that I fell head over heals in love with this delightful blue stranger. The more time I spent with it, the deeper in love I fell. My relationship with Monopoly was left in tatters as I came to realise what true beauty really was. I eventually left Monopoly and its controlling temperament behind and have never looked back. My blue-boxed beauty, or Carcassonne as you may know it, has changed my perception of games, and what makes one good. It’s simple, well-balanced and can be taught in a matter of minutes.

Right, let’s set the drippy love story aside and look at the game itself!

Carcassonne, is a tile-placement and area control game all in one. It’s designed for 2-5 players, but you can add a sixth player, and may even like to look up the solo variant on BoardGameGeek. There are very few rules to follow and it can be taught in a relatively short space of time. This game is what I’d describe as a true gateway game. A game that people of all ages can understand and enjoy.

“But if it’s so simple, won’t I get bored with it really quickly?” I hear you ask.

The quick answer… I doubt it! The tile placement mechanism provides a massive amount of variety, and for those who are looking for something a little deeper or complex, you can throw in an expansion or twelve! Only yesterday I received a parcel containing, not one, not two, but seven!!! Mini expansions. That’s not to mention the plethora of large and mini expansions that are already out there! This game may just be close to perfection!

“Nothing’s perfect, there’s got to be something wrong with it somewhere.” you say?

Yes! There is something wrong with it, that’s why I said “Close to perfection”! The problem for me is the theme! If you’ve read any of my other posts you may have realised that I like to imagine myself in the heart of the action. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got a theme, it’s just not a particularly engaging one. Imagining myself stood on a road, laid in a field or strolling city streets just doesn’t do anything for me. I love The gameplay, the way it can bring people together and the strategy behind it. But! If I want to give my imagination a spin, I’m afraid I won’t be knocking on Carcassonne’s door.

So in summary, buy Carcassonne, buy it for yourself or buy it for your non-gamer friends. If they can get past the theme, they may just convert!

Score: 8/10