Fave 10 Games of 2015
It’s 2016 so it’s time to list my top 10 games that were published in 2015. (According to Board Game Geek)
Here are the rules…
- Games filtered by 2015 on BGG (With two exceptions :))
- Games I have played more than once
- Games, not expansions
From the Top 10 of 2014 I still own 9 and still play them too! I even continue to play the one I don’t own any more (Splendor) on iOS. Will this year be as good? Hopefully!
Here we go…
10 – Broom Service
This is a great game of delivering potions around a magical world using cards. The cards you play have two options, Cowardly or Brave.
Play the cowardly option and you’re guaranteed to get a little something.
But, play the Brave option and you get an amazing ability… but only maybe. If someone else also plays Brave option after you, you get NOTHING.
It’s a nice game of risk vs reward with a pretty board and a nice little theme.
It’s just a nice game and ended up being my favourite of the 3 Kennerspiel Des Jahres nominations and a deserved winner.
9 – Argent: The Consortium
A very fun themed worker placement game where you’d trying to influence voters of a Magical University in order to become the new Chancellor.
Your workers have abilities as you place them, each room you place workers in has different abilities (and rooms can be different each game) and the spells and items you have to pick from each game will be different too.
Also, the voters you’re trying to influence will be different… So this is a very varied game BUT it isn’t so random that you can’t make any kind of long term plan.
The components are nice and pretty with plastic minis for your workers, or Mages as they are, plastic coins and sparkling gems to represent mana.
The expansion adds more stuff including scenarios and a 6th colour of magic and I haven’t even had the chance to play that yet so I’m looking forward to that…
A very good worker placement game, one of my favourites.
8 – Love Letter: Batman
A re-theme of Love Letter in the Batman universe, but a VERY good re-theme.
Instead of getting a Love Letter to the Princess, you’re trying to become the highest ranked Villain. If you have a villain card in your hand this is your rank so at the end of the round, the highest ranked baddie wins a point…
But the ‘Guard’ card is Batman…. If you use Batman to knock a player out and they have a Villain, you have ‘captured’ them and you score a point. So unlike other versions of Love Letter (so far) you score points during a round as well as at the end of one.
This is now my favourite version of Love Letter now due to this simple rules change, plus the addition of Harley Quinn as the Countess. 🙂
7 – Codenames
A fun party game where two ‘Spy-masters’ give clues to pick out their words from a grid of 25 before the opposing team can.
The clues must be one word and one number. The word will try and group codewords in the grid together and the number is how many codewords in the grid relate to the clue word.
It’s easier than I make it sound 🙂
Not only can you accidentally guess an opponents words, giving them a step towards victory… But you can guess an innocent bystander ending your turn or pick the single ‘Assassin’ word, automatically losing the game.
It’s a fun game anyone can play as long as the Spy-masters keep the game ticking along. A slow Spy-master can kill this game which is why there is an egg timer in the box. I haven’t had to use it… yet. Been very close a few times though…
6 – Samurai
Technically from 1998 but this version came out this year.
This is a very simple tile placement game that looks really pretty and calming but really isn’t!
You place tiles on a map of Japan to surround ‘Castes’ that are Buddahs, Rice and Pagodas. The tiles you play also have influence of various values relating to these 3 things and some are Samurai that influence everything.
When a Caste is fully surrounded whoever has the most influence of that type keeps it behind their screen and you’re trying to secure the most of each type if possible. In true Knizia style ties at the end of the game are broken by whoever has the more of their second most…
So, diversity is key.
It’s VERY simple, VERY easy to play but every tile you place helps your opponents out a little too. It’s frustrating sometimes and you can easily punch the table when someone goes where you wanted to go. Or if they use their special tile to switch two Castes around… argh!
Still, an easy experience, a fun experience.
5 – One Night Ultimate Vampire
The sequel of sorts to One Night Ultimate Werewolf but with tokens as well as your role…
While the roles work the same as the other games, you have a ‘Dusk’ phase before Night where you assign tokens, or ‘Marks’ based on your role. These are similar to the tokens distributed by the Curator in One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak but they add a lot more.
Most are ‘Clarity’ that have no effect but some will be as extreme as turning you into a Vampire.
They add to the game overall and give that bit extra that Werewolf needed to stay fresh.
But, mixing them both together for an epic battle between Villagers, Werewolves and Vampires (and the Tanner!) is where this game really shines.
So, good game, not so much an alternative to Werewolf, but a great addition to it
4 – Nevermore
A quite nasty drafting game where you use your hand of 5 cards to activate various abilities. These abilities let you deal damage, gain life, score points etc
There are only 5 ‘suits’ of cards and all have the same very basic art which usually would count against a game I think but this time it just adds to the ease of play. You can sort your hand and draft very quickly.
As you only have 5 cards and you draft 3 then 2 then 1 it’s hard to get a Perfect, or even very good hand so when you do it feels awesome 🙂
There are ‘negative’ cards that are Ravens that cancel out other cards in your hand but a full hand of 5 Ravens is one of the best hands in the game…
For me, this is more of a game than Sushi Go and easier to explain the Fairy Tale. While it doesn’t reach the level set by 7 Wonders, it’s still a VERY good drafting game that’s more than a filler but not quite a full game.
3 – Roll for the Galaxy
A very quick tableau building game where you use dice as actions to use but also to pick which of the 5 roles that activate in a round. The roles each player picks activates for everyone you have to keep a look out to try and guess which roles other players will pick to maximise your actions.
It’s a shorter, quicker and in my opinion better version of the card game Race for the Galaxy which is also pretty good.
The dice and components are bright and good quality, the rules are simple and it’s very streamlined. One everyone know what they’re doing rounds take less than 30 seconds as they’re played simultaneously.
The expansions adds to the game but for me it’s still TOO short and you don’t get long enough to build your engine and use it.
But overall I really enjoying playing it as a game and it’s another that fits right between a full game and a filler.
2 – The Grizzled
A co-op game about surviving in the trenches during the Great War and to hopefully surviving as a group until peace time.
A simple game where you take turns playing cards with symbols on without collectively playing too many of one symbol. This despite not communicating about which cards are in your hand.
The symbols represent things people in trenches should be worried about such as Snow, Rain, Night, Missiles, Bullets and Gas Attacks.
Some cards (mostly mental anxieties) force you play cards if you don’t want to and can force players to lose. See, you’ll want to withdraw from the round to not play cards if it means losing the round but sometimes you can’t.
The game has a great system where you the more cards you play the closer to victory you get… but lose a round or play too few cards and the game gets harder and harder…
It’s VERY simple to play but VERY hard to win.
1 – T.I.M.E Stories
First Play Review (Spoiler Free)
This is a story driven co-op game where you play a team of people in the future who are sent back in time to inhabit the bodies of people to control them and prevent something happening. (Or possibly cause something, you never know :))
It’s pretty much a choose your own adventure type game with the box that comes with very good quality basic bits… tokens, dice, board etc that’s mostly white, VERY white. There is also a bunch of cards for a story and you can buy extra stories to ‘plug in’ to the game.
The story included is called “The Asylum” and is pretty horrific 🙂 Future expansions are based around an early 90’s murder, a fantasy adventure etc So VERY varied so something will appeal to someone.
I have the 90’s murder one ready to go and one will be released every 3 months so I look forward to trying all these different stories.
I can’t say much about the actual story included in the box because, you know, spoilers… But game play is based around Time Units and you spend them to change locations and perform actions as you explore your area. Run out and you get sent back to the present to go again with a bit of knowledge.
It’s a fantastic experience that I look forward to playing every 3 months 🙂