While I own several board games, I don't often get many chances to play them. Rather than post yet another "best of the year" list, here are the 10 games I wished I had gotten a chance to play in 2016.
NOTE: Most of these games on this list are still sitting on my shelf in shrink wrap. So, these are my ill-informed impressions of what may or may not be the best games of 2016.
10. Star Wars Clue
I don't care how hokey the original game is, I still really like Clue. I have a few versions of it (still need to get the Dungeons and Dragons version) and when I took one look at that 3D model of the Death Star I had to have it! I mean, look at this thing!
9. Star Trek Panic
2016 is going to go down in my book as the "year of the rad cardboard 3D models in board games" (see other entries below). I have always loved the "toyetic" nature of games and that is what drew me to Star Trek Panic. I had played the original Castle Panic (meh but my son likes it) I resisted buying this at Gen-Con because I was already lugging enough games back to California as it was. So I waited until to buy it when came out in stores. Now I am waiting to actually play this game with someone.
7. Above and Below
I wanted to check this one out because I had been working on a design about a village that lived above a dungeon and heard "Above and Below" was essentially the same idea.I wouldn't know if it is any good however, because I haven't played it yet. One day. One day...
6. Zombie Tower 3D
Look at this thing! It is a thing of beauty! Who cares if it is yet another Zombie game? It has a 3D building!! And this is what I was thinking when I backed Zombie Tower 3D when it was on Kickstarter Right after I backed it, I just missed demoing the game at Strategicon (they were packing it up as I got there) but once again, I am a sucker for a 3D board. It might have something to do with playing Voice of the Mummy as a kid.
5. Orcs Must Die the board game
Orcs Must Die the game that "I wish I made." The video game plays like "Tecmo's Deception" and the main character even looks a bit like Maximo. This is another game I backed on Kickstarter and it took FOREVER to arrive. I had actually forgotten that I had backed it when it showed up at my door late this year.
4. Vast - the Crystal Caverns
This was another game I backed on Kickstarter - twice. Once for the game and a second time for really cool miniatures that the game didn't intially come with. The art on this game is stellar and the concept - a dungeon crawl (again love) where you can either play the knight, the goblin horde, the thief, a dragon or... the cave itself!! So great.
Now I've heard the game itself is a little arcane. I tried to figure out the rules to no avail - but that might have been because I was trying to read them at 2 am after a full day of attending Gen-Con. Maybe I'll get a chance to play the game before Gen-Con 2017.
3. Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space
I have heard that Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space is the "scariest board game ever" and the concept sounds like something straight out of the original Alien film. In it, players attempt to reach the airlock of a space ship (or space station) while being stalked by a horrible alien which will take over take them and turn them into aliens as well.
2. Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Guess who has two thumbs and still hasn't played the "best game of 2015"? I don't know much about Pandemic Legacy since I didn't want to spoil the game for myself. All I know about it that it plays like Pandemic, it is really good, it finally bumped Twilight Struggle out of the #1 spot on BGG and has some huge plot twists in it. Oh, and that there is no difference between the red box and the blue box. I heard that one straight from the designers themselves.
Risk Legacy, then I probably won't be playing Pandemic Legacy until 2018.
1. Star Wars Rebellion - Fantasy Flight Games
"Star Wars in a box" Considering that we have already gotten Star Wars in a box several times over, this seems like a pretty bold claim. What Rebellion appears to be is a galaxy-spanning strategy game that features all of the heroes and villains of the original trilogy (sans Rogue One - perhaps in an update?) and lots of gorgeous and tiny miniatures of stormtroopers and rebel troopers and x-wings and TIE fighters.
UPDATE: Just as I wrote this entry, I was invited over to a friend's to play Rebellion. However, I had other obligations and had to decline. I can't wait for this year to be over.