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Amparo Bertram

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05:45 pm: Top Games of 2016
These lists are to sum up my thoughts on the best new board game releases of the year. One caveat is that I still haven't gotten to play all of my new games. Items excluded due to this include Agility, Allegiance: A Realm Divided, Colony, and Kanagawa, among others.


10. Roll Player - In this dice game, players try to construct the stats of a character for a role playing game. It's an interesting puzzle trying to use the random numbers and colors of the dice to fill out the stats to get the most points, while also buying gear and weapons to equip. While fun, it's a bit too random to be one of my favorites.

9. Aeon's End - This cooperative fantasy deckbuilder has the unique mechanic in that players don't shuffle their discard piles before turning them over to become the draw deck. The order the cards are discarded are the order they are drawn next time. It gives the player a lot to think about while trying to fight off the monsters threatening to destroy the last survivors of humanity.

8. Bird of Happiness - This simple push-your-luck deckbuilder from the Tokyo Game Market is a great filler that is easy to teach and quick to play.

7. Yokohama - This Euro by popular Japanese designer Hayashi Hisashi was one of the hits of the Tokyo Game Market. A campaign to create a deluxe English edition was funded on Kickstarter, and it will be released next year.

6. A Feast for Odin - The latest resource-management strategy game from Uwe Rosenberg, this includes the Tetris-like mechanic that inspired Patchwork and Cottage Garden. It's possible that this could move higher up my list if I played it more.

5. Explorers of the North Sea - The third installment in the North Sea series of games is a light tile-laying puzzle that gives players a variety of ways to earn points, but not enough time to do everything, so strategy is key.

4. Quadropolis - In this game, players select tiles from a grid and place them on another grid to build a city. As is true in life, the secret to success in this game is location, location, location.

3. Pandemic Iberia - This spin-off of the popular cooperative game pits players against diseases on the Iberian peninsula...but this time it is set in the 1800s, so they must travel by train rather than airplane.

2. Cottage Garden Players in this game plant flower gardens with odd-shaped pieces similar to Tetris. Napping kitties are often essential to victory.

1. Valeria: Card Kingdoms - This dice-rolling fantasy game builds on Machi Koro and adds more choices for the players.


5. Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Aufruhr - This expansion to the press-your-luck tableau-building card game adds solo rules and a campaign of progression to follow.

4. Codenames: Pictures - This sequel to the massively popular party game Codenames substitutes bizarre picture cards for the original words.

3. Valley of the Kings: Last Rites - This expansion to the Egyptian-themed deckbuilder adds new starting cards as well as new action cards.

2. Imperial Settlers: Aztecs - This latest faction for the resource-management civilization game introduces a new "pray" mechanic as well as a "blessing" resource token.

1. Dominion: Empires - The newest addition to the Dominion family introduces a debt mechanic, allowing players to buy cards but not pay for them until a later turn.

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