Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gamethyme's Game of the Year - Currently Eligible Games

A few months back, I mentioned that I would give out my own personal "Gamethyme's Game of the Year" post during GenCon this year.

To be eligible, a game must be new to me since the start of the previous year's GenCon. That's the only requirement. I promised no "short list of eligible nominees" - this is a complete list (to date).

Now, this isn't necessarily the final list of eligible games, but here is the current list and a few thoughts on some of the games contained therein:

Win, Lose, or Banana - This game takes as long to explain as it does to play.  I'd heard about it before GenCon, and wanted to check it out.  At $1, I bought a bunch of them. We played it a lot, and the game nearly always left us in stitches. I call it $1 well spent.

GoSu - As I wrote about earlier this year, I like this one.  It's a solid game, and I wish it had broader exposure. The expansion is due in September, according to Moonster's latest update.

Water Lily - Another gift from Asmodee. It was a hit with my group for a while - and I still like it a great deal.  I've just played it to death.

7 Wonders - Since I wrote about it a few weeks back, it's been nominated for several significant gaming awards (and has won a few others).  The expansion is in process of hitting (and I hope to have it before GenCon ... )

Mr. Jack Pocket - It's the easiest to carry of the Mr. Jack games. I don't play two-player games that often, but I haul this one with me to game night because I can break it out for a quick game while we wait for more players.  I don't play it much, but it keeps a bunch of other folks busy.

Sobek - a fast-playing Egyptian-themed game with commonality with Cleopatra and the Society of Architects?  Sign me up! Cleopatra left me a bit cold - it was too gimmicky for my tastes, and seemed to take too long for what it was. Sobek, on the other hand, I quite enjoy.

Hex Hex XL - Curt Covert makes fun games. Smirk & Dagger games are fun. This is a Curt Covert game. I'll let you do the math.

Revolution - I'm automatically skeptical of any game which says "Steve Jackson Games" on the box - there have been too many let-downs and mediocre games. I know that they make huge piles of money off of Munchkin, but I just don't get why. Regardless, I'm very glad I looked past the publisher and gave Revolution a shot.  It's a lot of fun, and the expansion doesn't seem to hurt the game at all (which is, as I'm sure you know, all too common with expansions). It's also worth mentioning that the designer of Revolution has another game on Kickstarter right now.

Tichu. Yes, I know.  I'm late to the party. I finally decided to check this one out a few weeks ago. And I found that I like it. A lot. It scratches a similar itch as Rook, but has more strategic depth.

Those are the games which (so far) have a shot.  Here are games which are technically eligible, but are (at best) long shots:

10 Days in the USA- Yes, I'd somehow missed out on the 10 Days series. It was fun, but lighter than I tend to enjoy.

Call of Cthulhu - the FFG Living Card Game.  It failed to make an impact on me - I'll play it, but it's not one I would actively seek out.

Tikal II: The Lost Temple - It's not a bad game. It has a lot of negative reviews on BGG, but most of those reviews don't review the game for itself - they review it by comparing it to the original Tikal, where it does fall short in several respects. I'd like to get it to the table more often, but my group also compared it to the original.  It's not the original. It's a different game with a similar theme. I think that, had this been released as The Lost Temple, it would have done better. The reason it's a long shot this year is because I've had so much trouble getting it back to the table.


  1. I just tried Olympus this past weekend -- the new offering from the designers of Kingsburg. I think the learning curve is a little big, but it's a great game and I'm looking forward to playing it again. Unlike Kingsburg, there are no dice, so they are billing it as a luck-free game.

    Give it a try if you have a chance -- it's about as Euro as this American gamer will get. :)


  2. I'm really hoping to try the Call of Cthulhu game at Origins next week. Game of Thrones was my first LCG and I enjoyed it but the theme and two player nature of CoC is more appealing.

    Have you gotten to try Thunderstone yet?

  3. I'd like to try Olympus.

    I demoed Thunderstone before GenCon of last year, so it's not eligible.

  4. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Did play Earth Reborn this year it shoud at least make the cut if you have!

  5. Somehow, I missed Earth Reborn on the list! Yes, I did play it. I liked it a great deal - I'm a fan of Christophe Boelinger's games in general (Dungeon Twister is my all-time favorite game).

  6. After Origins I'm predicting Quarriors will be on a handful of lists for GotY. It will come out at GenCon but they were demoing it at Origins. Wizkids is producing it and it is basically a dice game using deck building mechanics. I loved it. It takes all the fun of the deck building genre and distills it to something playable in 20-30 minutes. Really fun.