It’s that time of year again, when we take a look back and do lots of Top game lists, but this year’s end is a bit special, it’s the end of the decade. A decade that started with 7 Wonders, Hanabi & Forbidden Island, and is ending with the likes of Die Crew, Wingspan & Res Arcana. There were lots of hits, even more misses and a lot of games over the decade that got lost in the continuous shuffle. So while a lot of outlets are going to give you their favorites of each year of the decade, we thought it may be a fun idea/experiment to take a look at some titles that have held the interest of folks here in The Opinionated Gamers. So for the next few weeks we’re going to take a look at these games and share our love of some of these off the radar titles. Feel free to participate in the comments and share your thoughts on games that we’ve overlooked.
It’s that time of year again, when we take a look back and do lots of Top game lists, but this year’s end is a bit special, it’s the end of a decade. A decade that started with 7 Wonders, Hanabi & Forbidden Island, and is ending with the likes of Die Crew, Wingspan & Res Arcana. There were lots of hits, even more misses and a lot of games over the decade that got lost in the continuous shuffle. So while a lot of outlets are going to give you their favorites of each year of the decade, we thought it may be a fun idea/experiment to take a look at some titles that have held the interest of folks here in The Opinionated Gamers. So for the next three weeks we’re going to take a look at these games and share our love of some of these off the radar titles. Feel free to participate in the comments and share your thoughts on games that we’ve overlooked.
Another year has passed, so it is time for our annual list of “best of” games from the previous year. Each writer was given space to put in their personal list. If you missed it, a few days ago we published an article on 10 Great Games from the 2010s.
Several games made the lists of various writers, but Die Crew was the top game on 5 people’s list!
Publisher: Hans im Glück, Z-Man Games(Gen Con Release)
We originally looked at this game back on July 22, 2019 – right before Gen Con 2019. Since then, the game has been a critical success going through a reprint and an all new cover art on that new edition. Hans im Gluck has a pretty good track record in sensing what the market wants as far as cover art – back in 2009, they changed the cover art to Dominion, and they change worked out pretty well for them… (and everyone else involved!) – DPY
Designer: Nomas Kurnia, Arif Prima Artist: Nomas Kurnia Publisher: Tematis Co. Players: 2-4 Ages: 13+ Times Played: 2 on my demo copy
This will be a different sort of post, as this game isn’t available…yet. Along with two other games I’ll tell you about once I have a chance to play them a bit, this is one of the titles that was being demoed at the Indonesian booth at Spiel 2019. I was told that for Cine Write and Trade, it is in negotiation with a German publisher, but that for licensing purposes, it is pretty open. There are a few copies of this one around, if you find yourself at a PAX convention, for instance, there is a copy in their “First Look” area for now, and I imagine it will move to their library after that.
Cine Write and Trade is nominally a game about screen writing, and I’ll likely drift in and out of using the theme to explain the game. Mechanically, you’d classify it as a word game. Not the kind where you have to provide specific words, such as Scrabble or Boggle, but more the kind where you are providing clues, such as Codenames or Decrypto. The twist here, is that rather than providing clues to help others guess your words, you are writing clues that you hope will be helpful for other players, such that they purchase your clues and assign them to certain words of theirs that you need to guess!
The 2010s were a monumental time period in tabletop gaming. The industry and hobby grew exponentially, with tens of thousands of new games hitting the market and hundreds of thousands of new players entering the fold. It was a decade marked by the rise of Kickstarter, and also one marked by industry consolidation and a continued internationalization of the hobby.
New classics were born. But what were those shining games among gamers?
Today’s article is part of our “10 Great” series that features 10 great games in a given subcategory. I pick a mechanic, theme, publisher, etc. In this case, I picked a recently passed decade. We here at the Opinionated Gamers then all vote behind the scenes to create a list of 10 great games that meet the criteria. We’re aiming for an article a month, and I’d love your suggestions about future lists.
When I re-discovered boardgaming in 1999, I immediately knew I wanted to play anything and everything, just to “know” – know what was out there, know what I liked, know how to play well, know enough to recommend good games for others, know enough to be trusted by others. With the passage of enough time, last week I reached 3000 ratings and comments on boardgamegeek. There’s certainly a sense of satisfaction at having reached that kind of number, not only of being some kind of sign of how far I’ve progressed in my search for knowledge, but also of how much I’ve been able to give back to the hobby. Even if they are just one guy’s opinions in a sea of opinionated gamers!
Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!
Times played: 1, with review copy provided by iDventure
(This review is meant to be spoiler free. There are pictures of the game components in the review below, but they are either taken from the publisher’s website or are introductory material which includes no spoiling information)
Times played: 5, with preview copy provided by Asmodee NA
Res Arcana was, without a doubt, one of my favorite games of 2019. If I were king (or at least a jury member), it would have been my vote for Spiel des Jahres. As it was, it was my vote for the International Gamers Awards. My review on that was posted earlier last year, and you can review it here. In short, Res Arcana provides me with a quick game with constant twists/turns due to the interactions between the different cards. The game is quick playing, and it demands that players make the most of every turn as the race to the finish line is so fast.