The Best Games of 2013

wild party

Why did I eat so much paper last night?

Every end-of-the-year board game article I read makes a general assessment over the entire year, something I’ve never felt qualified to do. For starters, there are a lot of big releases that I still haven’t played. If I don’t get a review copy of something, I have to catch the wave of popularity every new release gets before my gaming friends have moved on. When that doesn’t happen, it becomes less likely that I’ll get around to something without trading for it. That’s why a couple of major releases like Pathfinder and Kemet passed by without comment from me. They haven’t made a lot of impact in my immediate circles, though they have been very well-regarded online. Besides that, the end of the year is when Essen releases are just beginning to trickle to the US. Some promising games are about to be inserted into my rotation (like Tash-Kalar and Steam Park) that would normally be considered 2013 releases. Let’s just assume those will be eligible for the 2014 list, especially a couple of games below are in that shadowy realm between 2012 and 2013. Continue reading

Hey Yugai! – City of Remnants Review

City of Remnants box cover

We’ll need guns. Lots of guns.

In Kansas City there’s a restaurant called Swagger, where you can order a sandwich called the “Dead Texan.” This is a burger with bacon, lettuce, mayo, all of the usual suspects. But wait, there’s more! It comes with a fried egg on it, evidently on the assumption that it really needed some more protein. And then, as a sort of practical joke, all of these things are put between not a bun, but two grilled cheese sandwiches. I tell you about this gastronomic monstrosity because this same “more is better” mindset was clearly at work with City of Remnants, the new game from Plaid Hat. The difference is that all of those disparate pieces fit together so smoothly and intuitively that you look back at the end and marvel at how effortless everything was. Trust me, not at all like the Dead Texan. Continue reading