Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Game of the Year: The Early Contenders

We're now half-way to GenCon. Already.

As I've done for the last few years, I'm going to award Gamethyme's Game Of The Year while I'm at the show.

As we're half-way there, I figured I'd better list the candidates and highlight a few frontrunners.

Today, I'm going to do it in reverse order of times played.

Zombicide - I played this at a friend's house.  I honestly wasn't too upset at having missed the Kickstarter until I played it.  We purchased it less than a week later, but I've still only logged one play.

Shave a Sheep - it'a long shot at best.  My nephews really enjoyed this, but it's a bit too random for me to enjoy playing a lot of this one.

Panic on Wall Street - This game will play with smaller crowds, but it really starts to shine a bit once the crowd gets closer to the eleven it'll handle.  It reminds me of Pit, because there aren't "turns" - once the game is on, it's on, with all players simultaneously trying to negotiate with all other players.

Tsuro of the Seas - Another Kickstarted game that I didn't Kickstart.  I will eventually pick this one up - it's different enough from basic Tsuro that I see the value in owning it.

River Dragons - on further checking, it's not really eligible this year, because I played Dragon Delta in 2007.  But it really should be.  The new edition is amazing.

Mythic Battles - I got my contributor copy of this one at GenCon.  I really like it, and it makes me wish I played more two-player games these days.  The only problem I have with the game is that when you play at the 100 point level, each player looks at their options and chooses the one or two units not to use.  It's not the most difficult of choices.  There is an expansion coming this year which will alleviate most of the problem. And add some new cool things to the game.

Kemet - I like this game.  A lot.  Enough that I was willing to write an article for Game Trade Magazine for it.  It's the only wargame I know of where turtling is almost never a good idea.  The closest you should get is coiling like a snake - getting ready to strike. And the components are exceptional.

Fame Us - Another fun filler game.  I'll admit that, had I been spending money, I wouldn't have bought into the pink box with a glittery cover. But with the right group, this is a total riot.  The hidden teams aspect of the game keeps  the voting fair and unbiased.  This one is surprisingly entertaining.  Note: The box pictured on Amazon doesn't match my box, so they may have changed it.

Seasons - A big GenCon release.  It was actually several months before I got my copy, which I immediately played a bunch of.  It's seeing less play, now, but it's still in the car.  And there is an expansion coming.  I really like this game - in large part because I'm not playing Magic: the Gathering anymore and this scratches that itch without a $3k investment necessary on my part.

Gentlemen Thieves - A hidden role shift-alliances game.  The more I play this one, the more I appreciate it. Once the game is explained (which takes about five minutes), the game is on.  Usually the players have been able to figure out who is who by the end, but not always.  This game needs more love, because it's really good.

City of Horror - This one continues to be a favorite.  I think I raved about it in October or November.

Mutant Meeples - This is the only game on the list I Kickstarted.  And it was delayed and delayed and delayed.  And, now that it's here, I don't mind the wait.  It's a ton of fun, and we've been playing it a ton.  In fact, this is my most-played game since GenCon.

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