We’re getting down to it, getting close to the Top 10 games, only a few more of these lists. It’s been a blast as always putting these out and I’m glad that people are enjoying them. I’d be very curious to know what your top …
One game that I’ve been waiting quite a while for it to come out has been Deranged. This is one that I got to demo at GenCon last year, and it finally became available for pre-order. So I tried to get it ordered through my FLGS but when they weren’t able to, I ended up ordering it online, and to get free shipping I decided to order up to the $100 total. So let’s see what’ll be coming when that pre-order is ready to ship.
So Deranged is the biggest one, this is a great free for all sort of game where you’re in a village and you are cursed. You have three days to escape the village or everyone loses, however, there can only be one winner. So you need to get rid of your curses. However, that can be easier said than done because there are monsters roaming the town, and they can get you, and if they do, they don’t knock you out of the game, but you will be cursed again. And then every night you have a chance of becoming deranged, a monster in your own right, and the only way to break that bigger curse is to try kill another human. The game is kind of a take that type of game because you are attacking the other players to get them more curses if they manage to get rid of theirs also while you’re trying to lift the curses on you and then race for the exit. The game was a ton of fun at GenCon, and I have just kind of described the theme, the game actually uses what I’d call a brilliant card mechanic where you can use the card to take actions, but if you spend a good card for that, you won’t then have that good card to play to defend if a monster or another player is going to attack you, so it offers a lot of interesting challenges, and then when you’re deranged you still use the cards, just in a slightly different way. This has a feel of something like a Betrayal at House on the Hill theme, but very different in terms of mechanics, almost has some of the vibe of the haunt, just everyone is the traitor.
Now, if you’ve read my Codenames review, you’ll know that I don’t like that game. I think that the one with words is pretty dull and while you can get creative and massive clues to work once in a while most of the time you’re giving a clue that ties maybe two words together or at most three. In Codenames: Pictures, you can use much more creativity when coming up with your clue. I’ve said “Flight, 6” and it worked, and in fact I could have said “Flight, 7” and that would have worked as well. So having those bigger clues to give is just great. Codenames: Pictures also is less language or knowledge dependent because it’s just a picture that’s a mash-up of two things. Whereas for regular Codenames, people need to know what the word means, and while the words aren’t the most out there, it is from CGE (Czech Games Edition), so not all of the words are the most common. But this will work well as another one of those bigger group games for a board game night where you don’t feel like splitting up, and one that I can play with family easily as well.
Welcome To… New Vegas
Welcome To… is my favorite roll/flip and write game, so when they came out with a new version of it, where you’re building up the Vegas strip, I was interested. When I found out that it was more complex, I wasn’t sure how interested I was going to be, because Welcome To… is a medium weight flip and write game. However, when I saw it played on Game Night by Board Game Geek (BGG), it looked like a lot of fun. It looks like it gives you a ton of choices, and I can see how it would build upon what people know from Welcome To… in a really good way. Plus, I’ve really been digging roll and write and flip and write style games because you can play some of them via streaming without much issue. This one might be too complex for streaming, but will work well in person. Again it’s a game that can handle a big group, which is a lot of fun to have games like that in the collection for when you don’t want to split up at a game night.
This game was so hot last year. And I can see why, it’s been one that’s been on my radar for a while. Cool Stuff Inc. has it for less than the standard MSRP, so I decided it was time to grab it. In this game you are building up a little town, to do that, you’re putting resources in a grid, going for certain patterns that then allow you to build a farm, tavern or other buildings and you score points depending where the buildings are built. There are a few interesting things about the game. First, when you build, you have to build in one of the spots that you removed one of the cubes from. So you have to plan your buildings well, because you don’t want to create pockets that are too small to build in. The other thing is that you pick the color you want to build on your turn. So you might want a red cube, that means everyone else has to put down a red cube somewhere on their grid as well. But it might not be useful for them, so you can balance really helping yourself or hurting another player, just don’t hurt yourself at the same time. That means, that only when you are it are you guaranteed of getting what you want. I like that, because it doesn’t mean you can plan it out perfectly, which means you need to adjust and adapt on the fly. The game seems simple but thinky.
Those are the ones that I’m picking up in this order. Which one sounds the most interesting to you?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
Board games, I love them a lot, so much so that I did a top 100 board games (you can find that here). That was just over a month ago that I wrapped that up, so will things have changed that much? Have I played new games during that time?
I have played new games, and will things have changed much, you’ll have to see… but the answer is NO! So if you want to see my top 100 games of all time, check out that link above, and now onto this list, where I’m going to go with 5 games from 2019. This is a bit different than normal lists where anything goes, but I just did my top 100 games, so I thought, to make this more interesting, I should just go with 2019 games.
5 – Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
A fun roll and write game that I really enjoyed this year. The scoring is a lot of fun as you score for A & B first, then B & C, C & D and finally D & A. And, it does something else that’s unique for a roll and write (flip and write) game that when a monster shows up to be placed onto the sheets, you pass your sheet to another player and they can put it into the worst position for them, while someone else does that for you. It’s a bit more interactive than a lot of roll and write games. The game plays fast, and while I wish the map making theme was more of a part of the game, it is lightly there, and the rest of the game is fun.
4 – Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl
Now, this game I only got to play a chunk of at GenCon an while it is a 2019 release, I expect it to get more of a release in 2020. But it was a blast to try out, and the mechanics of the game were interesting. A game where you’re exploring the irradiated lands around Chernobyl, but not in some grim way, but there is a secret in the heart of Chernobyl and you’re exploring ruins, fighting against mutant monsters and scavenging food. And you might be magical. The experience of playing this was great and the game seems to have some nice theme while engaging mechanics. I also like that it’s a competitive game, but it’s possible that the game will just beat everyone.
3 – Letter Jam – While Zona was a massive game, Letter Jam is a much smaller package as you are trying to figure out a word that is in front of you. However, you can’t see your letters, and the only way you can figure them out is if your letter is used in a clue where you can see the other letters of the word being formed. And, it’s a cooperative game, so you need to be helping people guess their letters and words while you are getting clues as well. This game scales up well and is a lot of fun, even with a rocky first experience playing it, I’ve had a lot of fun with it since then. The puzzle level of the game is good, and the fact that no one knows their letters means that if you have a larger vocabulary it doesn’t help you.
2 – Hats – An Alice in Wonderland themed abstract game, I really like Hats. In it you’re trying to collect the best collection of hats at the Mad Hatter’s tea party that is determined by what you have in front of you, but also by what is on the table at the end of the game. So it’s a push and pull game of playing down cards onto the table, trying to make it so that your opponent doesn’t score well, at the same time protecting where you are scoring so that they can’t screw you over. The game has a cute cookie in it as well. Now, that seems pretty cutthroat, and it can be, but the game is fast, and it is less direct in terms of feel of the conflict. It’s a well done game that forces you to think about how you play your cards in a different way than you’d normally do for scoring.
1 – Deranged – While the last two games have been small, this game is a big game that is coming to the US in 2020 from Ultra Pro, but it came out in 2019 technically in other places. I got a chance to play this at GenCon, and it was amazing. It’s a horror themed game where you go to a cursed town, end up cursed and you need to break your curse before time runs out. But along with that, you have other players who are trying to do that, and if they escape before you, you still lose. And, then, there is a chance that you’ll become deranged, which means you turn into a monster, and then you have to kill someone else to get your humanity back. The damage being done by cards that have multiple uses is great, and how everything works is done really well. I’m really waiting for this to come to the US so that I can pick up a copy, it scratches the same itch as Betrayal at House on the Hill, just in a tighter package, but with less story.
Now for some honorable mentions, I might have had one or two of them in my top 5 had I played it earlier because it’s a ton of fun. But the games above were all on the list from the top 100.
The Grimm Masquerade
Are there any cool games that you’ve played from 2019 that you think I should check out. I’ve played more new games, and I have Tainted Grail sitting there ready to be played, I just haven’t found a time to play it yet. Let me know in the comments below.
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
Normally, this would be another Halloween article, because I’ve been doing those every Wednesday, tomorrow, since it is actually Halloween will be my Halloween themed article. Instead, you are getting more of my top 100 board games, which will wrap up on Friday. ***Disclaimer***These rankings …