Here it is, the second part of the As a Board Gamer Top 50 Games of ‘All Time’ or as I like to call it: my Top 50 Favourite Games. Fifty games that I love, divided into five chunks, with the last piece, the top 10, coming to you around the weekend before Christmas. Have fun reading it. Here is number forty to thirty-one.
This is a wonderful deduction game where a ghost player has to give clues to the other player about his murderer, the location and the murder weapon. Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s like Clue, but better. The ghost cannot talk, but has to give cards with beautiful, but strange, pictures on them to the players. They look at these cards, interpreted them and try to guess the right location, weapon and murderer card on the table. Mysterium is very well done and very fun. You do need a group who likes to discuss or otherwise it’s going to be too silent.
39: Council of Four
Council of Four is a new game, fresh from Essen 2015, but it’s a game I really enjoy. You have to manage your hand of coloured cards and manipulate different councils to build profitable trade routes and to get rewards from the king. The building reward mechanism is really clever. You have to check my review for a more in-depth view, but I promise you that this game is worth a try.
This game is very fun, however it’s also a bit quirky and I’m aware of the fact that, because of its quirkyness, not everybody will like it. However, I enjoyed it a lot. There’s this mystery that needs to be solved, a murder took place for instance, and every player gets a booklet with one clue that can help to answer a couple of question about the mystery. You must read it and then during four round you whisper all you know about the case to you neighbour or another neighbour whispers something in your ear. In the end, you try to answer a couple of questions and see if you where good detectives. You need to have a great memory and you must have solid detective skills. Witness is a unique and very fun game.
With ZhanGuo we go back into the realm of heavy euro’s. The most fun thing about this game are the multiple purpose cards.You can play them to do a certain action, plus a bonus when you discard a card with the right number, or you can slide them underneath your playerboard and get even more bonuses when you do an action in the future. And then there are cubes to manage, territories to control and walls to build. There’s a lot to think about and that’s what makes this euro game fun.
Orléans is a very clever bag builder. You need to ‘hire’ different types of workers and let them, if they work together in certain combinations, do actions on your player board. Every worker you acquire goes into your bag and at the start of the round you draw some worker tokens and place them on your board. So, you do not exactly know what you are going to get and you cannot blindly acquire as much workers as you can or otherwise you’ll end up with a lot of guys who cannot perform actions. A lot of fun and one of the best games of last year.
Both Orléans and Patchwork did not make it onto the top 10 list of 2014, both were honourable mentions, but they did crept past a couple of games that were on that list when I made this list. More plays, more time to let it all sink in? I don’t exactly know. What I do know is that Patchwork is an excellent two-player game. A great combination of a puzzle and money and time management; spatial planning and economics. It has simple rules, but still offers a lot.
Another two-player game, but this one is just a simple trading game. Exchange goods on the market with goods in your hand, collect sets of goods and discard them for points. Easy, accessible, but exciting and therefore very suitable for a gateway, two-player game. I also talked about it in my Top ten two-player games, so you can read about it there.
33: Broom Service
A Spiel des Jahres winner! Well deserved, I would say. Broom Service is a game about delivering magic potions to witches and wizards. You select actions with role cards. Every card has a safe, but weaker action, and a strong one, but that action can be taken away by other players. You have to make some tough choices in this game and you always have to think about what other players might be planning, or you will end up doing nothing in your turn. The tension is high, the rules are relatively simple and that means loads of fun, maybe even for not so experienced gamers.
Another game from my Top ten two-player only games. This one is a brain burner and a combination of tile laying, market manipulation and pick up and deliver. Trade goods to get money to eventually buy treasure maps and discover ancient temples. A great game that offer a lot and looks good too.
Codenames did not take long to convince me that it’s one of the better party games around and therefore it deserves a spot in my Top 50. The spymaster has to give clues about words, written on cards on the table, that belong to his team. A clue must be a word and a the amount of cards it’s about. The game is a fun collection of clever wordplay and unexpected misconceptions that make sure you will have a lot of fun and some good laughs.
See you next week for my top 30 to 21!