When I posted this year’s Top Twelve list to Facebook, a Euro-fan friend of mine noted that our two lists of favorites had now totally diverged. It’s true too. I started out as a fresh-faced fan of Eurogames, and then cynicism and darkness crept into my soul until only the deep embrace of dice could soothe my fevered brow. Continue reading
He’ll probably read this and ask me to change the picture. I’d just be flattered to hear from him.
One of my strongest influences in board gaming came from noted French designer Bruno Faidutti. Aside from his many designs over the past 15 years, at one point he maintained one of best board gaming sites on the internet, his Ideal Game Library. This was a valuable resource to me as a new gamer, because it showed me two very important things: that gaming had a rich and eclectic history, and that I did not need to like every popular game. Of course, Bruno is best known for his games, which are numerous and varied. I’ve gone all over the places on his games. Mission Red Planet is an underrated game that synthesizes bluff and area control to great effect. A couple, like Red November and Mystery of the Abbey, are compelling misses for me. At least one or two others, like Letters of Marque, didn’t work for me at all. But his contribution to gaming can be best summed up in what I call his Triple Play, a run of three little games he released between 2000 and 2001. These games, Dragon’s Gold, Castle, and Citadels, are three designs that continually impress me with their simplicity and their terrific interaction. They’re all pretty different from each other mechanically, and my mental grouping of them is mostly arbitrary. But they have always felt of a piece to me, and I think they’re exactly what light games should be. Continue reading
There are few things as cliche as a Top X number of games, at least as far as I can see. Still, there is some value in seeing what games someone enjoys. The truth is, there are few ways more effective to learn about a gamer than seeing their top games, assuming you have some reasoning behind what they chose. So here are my Top 12 games, with some logic behind why they are on the list. Why Top 12? Becuase 12 is the new 10.