Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gamethyme's Game of the Year 2011

It's that time, isn't it? When I tell you who won?

This was not easy. There were a lot of really good games (and expansions) released in the last year.

There were even some very good late entries - Tichu and Haggis, for example, are both really good games - and I almost gave it to Tichu, because of how well my usual group has taken to it.

But there is one game to which I have returned over and over all year long. And it was new this year, not just new to me. It wasn't the best game released last year, but it is the game I enjoyed the most.

That game is Gosu.

I spent a lot of time working on this. Reviewing my notes, looking through my games played, and replaying games I had liked earlier in the year to see if they'd held their fun, or if they'd grown stale. It's amazing how many games go stale as soon as you figure out the trick to the game.

While working through this, I stumbled across, and had a chance to play Gosu online, as well. It reminded me of just how solid this game is.

When I first glanced at the Prototype at GenCon 2010, I didn't think the game looked that great. The rulebook was exceptional, and the art was amazing - but the game itself looked flat. I dragged my feet before bringing it to Game Night, because I was afraid it'd be one of those rare Asmodee-gifted flops.

After reading it a few more times, I finally brought it to my group. The reception was initially mixed, until I realized who it was that I should be playing with.

See, like most large groups, we have a few established "tables" - they're not factions or cliques, as anyone can (and will) play with anyone, but players with similar preferences tend to group up.

So I grabbed my copy of Gosu, and wandered over to see the Magic and Pokemon players. A few minutes later, I'd recruited my friend Ian and a couple of others and we fumbled through our first game. "I kinda think I like this," was the initial reaction from them. After a few more games, that spark had grown into a full-grown flame.

And, somewhere in about the third game, I moved from liking the game to really liking the game. And that verve helped me get some non-Magic and Pokemon players excited about it.

Like most of the games I enjoy, Gosu isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. I suspect that it's impossible to make a game that everyone will like, but there's no way to prove that.

Was it the best game I've played since the last GenCon? I honestly don't know. I do know that I keep coming back to it. More than any other new-to-me game of the last few years (with the possible exception of Cyclades).

For me, it was the obvious choice for Gamethyme's Game of the Year.


  1. Dave Horn8:37 AM

    Gosu is a great choice.

  2. Anonymous2:06 PM

    How do you like the translation ? Hope there is not to many mistakes :-)

  3. I like the translation a great deal. I love that it's written both in the vernacular AND has a fair amount of sarcasm included.