The days are getting shorter, the temperature’s dropping, so it’s time again for me to share my favourite games with you. Last year I published my Top 50 Favourite Games. This year I feel it’s time for my Top 100 Favourite Games. Once a week I’ll post one set of ten games, until the week before Christmas. It’s like a gaming advent calendar. A countdown to the happiest time of the year.
Like I said, last year I did a top 50. I am going to compare the position on the new list with that of last year’s, but it’s going to be a bit weird. The list doubled in size, so more than half of the games weren’t on last year’s top 50. Three games from that top 50 aren’t even on the top 100! More on that later. I made this list in September 2016, so you probably will not find any very new games (read Essen releases) on the list.
Now let’s kick the list off with the first ten games of the top 100.
100: Wildlife Adventure (new)
Or Expedition, or Expedition: Famous Explorers, or Expedition: Abenteurer, Entdecker, Mythen as the latest implementation that is released this year is called, is designed by the the Kramers. It’s a family game where you try to collect animals that are spread around the world by expanding the routes of three different expeditions. It’s basically a route building game where you all build on the same routes, but you all want to go to different destinations. Interactive, simple and just very fun.
99: Las Vegas (new)
Again a family style game. It’s Las Vegas from Rüdiger Dorn. It’s about casinos. You roll eight dice, there are six casinos and every round money is placed at every casino. After you’ve rolled you place all your dice of one number at the corresponding casino. At the end of the round, the player with most dice at a casino gets some money. The fun thing is that if two or more players have the same amount of dice at a casino they are removed from that casino. So, suddenly the player with only one die beats the two players who had four. Easy and quick, a perfect family game.
98: Abluxxen (new)
Abluxxen (Linko!) is a cool and quick card game from Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer. You need to get rid of all your numbered cards. You do that by playing sets of cards with same number. The interesting element in this game is that when you play the same amount of cards as another player, but with a higher number, you can take that lower set in your hand or that player has to take that set back in his hands or he has to discard them and then draw that amount of new cards. The cards you’ve played are positive points, the cards in your hand are worth negative points in the end.
Again a simple game, but it has clever mechanisms. You need to get the right cards in your hand, create big sets, create difficult to steal sets. Then you might win.
97: Fungi (new)
Ah, Fungi, or Morels as it is also called, is a two-player set collection game. You travel deep into the forest to get tasty mushrooms and you cook them in your pan. You can only play one set of every type and not every type has the same amount of cards in the deck. The rarer they are the more points they are worth, and if your sets are big enough you can add nice ingredients that give you even more points for that set of mushrooms. Play the right cards at the right time, always keep an eye on your opponent to see if you collect the same types of mushrooms.
96: Spyrium (new)
I don’t have this game in my collection any more, a friend has it now, but I still think it’s a very good game. The main mechanism is the worker placement mechanism where you place a worker between two cards. You need these workers to acquire these cards, they give you points, minerals or powers, but they also drive up the price of the cards around it. The more workers around a card, the more expensive it gets. It’s a Euro game, but it has loads of interaction because of this mechanism. It got some attention when it came out, but nowadays I never see it played. Too bad, it’s a fun game.
95: MammuZ (new)
MammuZ is a bluffing game in card form. It ’s Liar’s Dice-ish, so if you like that game, you might like this one too. You have several suits and on your turn you play a couple of face-down cards and say what you’ve played, or what you want the other player to think you have played. The next player can either play cards from the same suit (or just claim that she does), or she can challenge that player and look at one of the cards the previous player has played. If it is a cards he said he played, she has to take all cards in her hand, if it isn’t the challenged player has to take all in hand. There are also special cards, dinosaurs, and if a (challenging) player looks at that cards the special action is executed. The player who gets rid of his cards the quickest, wins the game.
MammuZ looks cute and is just that; a cute, quick bluffing game. However it’s got an interesting twist and is just very fun when played with the right crowd.
94: Takenoko (new)
I haven’t played this in a while, but I do enjoy it. It’s Takenoko. First of all, the game looks great and the components are very good too, which is important in the family game category. It’s basically a very simple worker placement game where you try to influence how a Japanese garden looks. Get a right combination of terrain types, grow bamboo and let the panda, yes there’s a cute panda miniature, eat the right types of bamboo. Why? Because every player has these goal cards and these will give you points.
93: Concept (new)
It’s a party game, but also not a party game. Concept is a more serious party game, because it’s sometimes quite hard. You need portray a word, tittle or sentence by cleverly placing cubes or pawns on a big board with loads or icons. And that’s harder than you might think.
I’ve never played it for points. I just like to play it, one round after the other until someone says he has enough.
92: Lascaux (new)
This is like No Thanks!, also fun, but better. Better looking to begin with, and better components too. Love the pebbles. The goal is to get the most of certain animal cards by betting on a colour. Every animal card has two colours. Before a round begins you decide, there are animal cards open on the table, which cards you like to have, which colour you like to bet on. Turn after turn you either spend money or take the money that has been spend. The player who’s last in a round can take the cards with his colour first.
I’m not very fond of betting games in general, read I’m not good at them, but I do like the ‘No Thanks mechanism’ of either spending more money or leave and take all the money that was spend, so you can use that to get better cards. I do think Lascaux has a little more to it than No Thanks! itself, so that’s why it’s here and No Thanks! is not.
91: Wits & Wagers (new)
Another party game in this segment. A trivia game for people who do not like, or are not very good at, trivia games. And for people who do like trivia games as well. A question is read aloud. The answer is always a number. You write an answer down and everyone places their answer in the middle of the table. You then bet on what you think is the answer that is closest to the real answer, but not over. And you get points if you are correct, or if you betted on the ‘winning’ answer. So, in this game you can win, without giving a single right answer. That’s a great trivia game in my book.