2016 Top 25 15-11 (Brandon Kempf)
#15 Okey Dokey Designed by Hisashi Hiyashi
Last Played 8/21/17
A wonderful cooperative card game from Hisashi Hiyashi themed around an animal music festival where you are trying to put cards of color in the right order without missing a beat, or a card.
Each row has to be a different color, but each round a card must be played into each row before moving on to the next column, and the cards need to be in order from lowest to highest. There are ways to buck the system, you can reset the row by playing a zero(reset card) and start with a lower number after that, there are also equals cards that you can put in play, adjusting the difficulty by adding more or fewer of them. It really is a simple premise, but it's a challenging one to complete. I think we have won this one once.
#14 World's Fair 1893 Designed by J. Alex Kevern
Last Played 9/26/15
Oof, I desperately need to remedy that last played mark there. We played it leading up to the Kickstarter and it appears that we did not play it after? There is something seriously wrong with me.
This is just an absolutely wonderfully themed and executed entry into the Area Control/Set Collection genre with one of the coolest boards around that plays in about 45 minutes or so, within those 45 minutes or so you are playing, there are lots of little strategies and tactical moves that can come into play based on what is going on around the board. Sure it sounds easy enough, play one cube, pick up some cards, replenish, move on but if you play it like that, you probably won’t win.
#13 Fuji Flush Designed by Friedeman Friese
Last Played 6/19/17
It kind of seems that Stronghold went a little crazy in 2016, this being the 3rd in the Top 25 so far, with one title just missing out. Fuji Flush is a simple to learn, sometimes difficult to grasp, but fun and fast paced shedding game from the Great Double F. Play is simple, play a card, if someone plays higher than you before play gets back to you, your card gets flushed and you have to draw another, but if it makes it back to you, that card is gone forever from your hand and you are one step closer to victory. Coolest thing about Fuji Flush is the team work that will sometimes happen, you see if you play a 4, and then your neighbor plays a 4, now that counts as a 8 so folks will have to go over 8 to make you all flush those cards, it can be a lot of fun and it can lead to some really exciting moments. Pretty good for a 90 card game that plays in about 15 minutes. Well worth keeping a copy around to play at a moment's notice.
#12 Ice Cool Designed by Brian Gomez
2 Plays (it's more than that, I just tend to not log dex games)
Last played 8/20/16 (we've played it far more recently, see above)
We met up with Liga at Gen Con in 2015 and we talked to her about Ice Cool, then we tried Ice Cool and then we saw how professionals play Ice Cool and then we walked away with 2 copies of Ice Cool. It's really a wonderful little dexterity game that had the novel idea of using the box as the playing area, and to top it all off, it was a nesting box! In Ice Cool you are penguins in high school trying to run through the school without getting caught. The penguins that you flick around are like the old weeble wobbles,really weighted on the bottom so when you flick them, they will always be upright, but the cool thing about them is the way you flick them can really allow for some fun "trick" shots. Want to jump a wall? Flick the head down and watch the penguin fly. Put a bit of spin on it and watch it turn a corner. When done correctly, it creates some really dramatic and fun moments.
#11 Quadropolis Designed by Francois Gandon
Last played 3/18/17
It's amazing that a design house like Days of Wonder continues to pump out quality games, bu then again, maybe it shouldn't be since they only give us one a year. In 2016, that one was the wonderful Quadropolis.
Quadropolis is a city building game, but not one that isn't accessible, this is a wonderfully elegant design, meant for that Days of Wonder crowd. Over four rounds players are going to be tasked with building their city by drafting tiles that grant their city different bonuses and score differently at the end of the game:
- Residential buildings score depending on their height
- Shops score depending on how many customers they have
- Public services score depending on the number of districts in your city that have them
- Parks score depending on the number of residential buildings next to them
- Harbors score based on the longest row or column of activated harbors in the city
- Factories score based on the number of adjacent shops and harbors
The drafting is interesting, each player has 4 architect tiles in the base game numbered 1-4. On your turn you choose one of those architects and place it on a row or column of the public offering and take the tile that is in that numbered position. But be careful, you cannot choose the row or column that has the City Planner in it and he moves based on the tile chosen by the previous player. You then take the tile and place it in your city according to the number on your Architect. Absolutely wonderful game with lots of little things going on in an easy to digest rule set.