Top thirty. We’re already this far? Wow. This is my top 100 Favourite Games. Once a week, I’ve posted one set of ten games and I will do that until the week before Christmas. We now continue with number 30 to 21.
30: Valley of the Kings (+15)
An excellent deck builder in a tiny box. One thing I like about this game is the card market, or, more accurately, the card pyramid. You buy your cards from the bottom of the pyramid and it crumbles down afterwards. Pretty nice. The other very fun thing is the way you score points. It’s by collecting sets of cards. Well, that doesn’t sounds very interesting, you might think. However, the cards you collect are initially part of your deck and they are only worth any points if you remove them from your deck and take them with you into the afterlife. A deck building and deck de-constructing game, Valley of the Kings.
29: Archaeology: The Card Game (+12)
A couple of games in this segment of the list have risen in the rankings. Valley of the Kings is one, Archaeology is another. This is an awesome little card game from Phill Warker Harding. His games are simple in mechanisms, but still are very engaging. Archaeology the card game combines set collection, you collect different sets of artefacts, with trading, you can trade your hand cards with market cards, with push your luck, you can keep as much cards in your hand as you want, but a sandstorm will make you lose half of them before you can cash in. A lovely game that just got a second edition.
28: Murano (new)
This is a game where you have to select your action by moving a boat around a big track around the outside of the board. You try to build different types of buildings on the islands of Murano. You do that because these buildings allow you to score points in different ways, plus you may have to fulfil objectives that tell you that there has to be a specific configuration of buildings on a certain island. Really fun game,: Murano.
27: Splendor (new)
Splendor was popular with the masses before I started to like it. The game has grown on me and so much that it settled on twenty-eight. It’s a great game. The more I played it the more I liked it. Like Archaeology, Splendor is a simple game. It’s just exchanging tokens for cards. The tokens are jewels you have to spend. The cards can be bought and might give you points and a jewel you don’t have to discard when you buy a card with it. You can also take noble tiles in addition to buying a card or taking tokens if you have the right amount and type of jewels in card form, these give you a lot of points. The game doesn’t look that interesting in my opinion, it doesn’t sound that interesting, but it is very, very fun, and addicting too, I assure you.
26: Council of Four (+13)
Council of Four is a wonderful, I would say, medium level Euro game from Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini. You have to build routes through different cities. Nothing special there, but every city gives you a bonus and while you are building a continuous route, every time you build in a city, you trigger all the bonuses of the all the cities along your route. Building in different types of cities, or in different areas gives you bonuses, and combining that with the need to build a continuous route is challenging. You do all your actions by playing coloured cards, these cards have to match the colour of the councilmen in the area you want to execute your action in or otherwise you have to pay a lot of money. It’s a really clever game and a lot of fun.
25: 7 Wonders: Duel (-1)
7 Wonders’ little brother ended up on about the same spot as last year. It feels a bit different from 7 Wonders itself in a way that Duel is more tense. It’s a two-player fight over the cards in the card pyramid. You can win normally by collecting cool cards and scoring loads of points, or by crushing your opponent in military victory, don’t worry you just slide a token more towards the other player on a track, or you can win the game by gaining a lot of knowledge.
I have played the expansion twice know and, although I have not reviewed it yet, I must say that it doesn’t make the game any better. It’s fun, but I can easily do without.
24: Aladdin’s Dragons (+3)
Like 7 Wonders Duel, Aladdin’s Dragons ended up on about the same spot as it was last year. When you come across this game you probably will not immediately turn you head. The cover looks a bit boring, a bit old-fashioned, and it is, in fact, an older game. However, it’s still a fun family game with pretty nice components, at least the plastic treasures are nice. You have blind bidding, playing crazy magic cards to mess up the board and you have to collect valuable artifacts in the palace of the sultan. I like this game a lot, it is in several of my top tens, and I think they may have to reprint it with a more present day theme or look.
23: San Juan (new)
Ah, San Juan, a game that waited a long time for me, but once I played it I was hooked. I got the new version with the expansion cards in it, which is great. San Juan is Puerto Rico the card game, but if you don’t know Puerto Rico that won’t tell you anything. Players select a role in their turn and then everybody can execute the action of that role, although the player who chose it has a slightly better action. She can build a building a little cheaper for instance. I love this game. I have to say that I also binge played this game on the iPad during many evenings. A great family style card game. San Juan, my number twenty-three.
22: Scythe (new)
This game came out this year. It had a more than wonderful Kickstarter campaign and it delivered when it finally was published. There was no doubt that I had to put into my top twenty-five favourite games list, it’s really that good. It has cool miniatures, different player powers, combat, stunning art and a nice back-story, but at its core lies a straight up Euro game of producing resources, area control and manipulating cubes on your player board. My style of game. It wouldn’t be surprise to me that this game will rise to the top segment of this list. The sad thing is that I don’t own it, so I can’t play it more often. Luckily a friend owns it and I hope to play it many more times with the game group.
21: Targi (-8)
This is the best two player game, or two player only game out there. For now. I have bought the expansion, but I haven’t played it yet. I talked about the base game on quite a few lists, so this is going to be a short one. You have to trust me on this. Targi is a tense two-player game that looks a bit boring, I agree, but is actually loads of fun. I report back to you when I finally played Targi: Die Erweiterung from KOSMOS.