So it’s July of 2019. Why am I coming out with an article listing my favorite 2018 titles at this late date?
Well, first of all, it takes a while to try enough games from a calendar year to make such a list be accurate. The ever increasing number of interesting games released each year, combined with the reduced amount of gaming I’m able to get in these days, means that I’m well into the next year before I have a good feel for what my favorites truly are. Still, I was getting ready to write this article during April when a mishap led to a torn tendon in my knee. That made it hard to get to my computer and life basically got put on hold. Then, last month, came the Meeples Choice Awards, which I run every year, and I was devoting my time to that. So this is coming out later than I’d planned, but hopefully most of you will still find it of interest.
Here are my top 12 games from last year, my Dirty Dozen, if you will. Overall, I found 2018 very much to my liking. I discovered five games that I’d categorize as “great”, which is quite a healthy total, particularly given the lower number of games that I was able to sample, when compared to other years. Each of these games are ones that I’d happily play and suggest. Here’s hoping to an equally good crop of titles during 2019!
For each game, I’ve provided a brief description, my reasons for liking them, and my OG rating for each one. They’re given in order of preference, beginning with my Game of the Year:
1. Blackout: Hong Kong – Alexander Pfister and eggertspiele continue to be an unbeatable combination. You’re tasked with doing the best job of restoring Hong Kong, following a catastrophic power failure. Every turn, you allocate three of your cards to gather resources or carry out actions. Then, you try to meet objectives on cards you acquired earlier (to allow you to put those cards in your hand or gain their abilities) and scout unrestored areas of the city (which yields resources and points). There are a lot of different paths to victory and we continue to discover new ones. Playing cards to different slots seems a lot like Pfister’s earlier Mombasa, but I find the decisions harder here and a good deal of enjoyable planning is required to get it right. On the downside, the production isn’t up to eggert’s usual standards and the game occasionally runs long. Still, it never drags and downtime isn’t an issue; with experience, we’ve been able to get this down to 2 hours, which is perfect for a game of this weight. In a strong year, this is unquestionably the highlight and I’m always ready to play it again. Rating: I love it! Continue reading