Monday, December 08, 2008

Best and Worst of 2008

Yes, its about that time of year. No, not Christmas or Bowl Games (both good things), but rather that time of year when the end of the year Geeklists start coming out. Being that I'm that kinda guy here are my best and worsts of 2008.

Best New Game Played in 2008

I played a number of new games this year, but I think my favorite game that I played that I had never played before would have to be Indonesia. This is a sweet Splotter economic game that is shaped by the choices of all the players. Its a little fiddly, but I have enjoyed it every time I play and each time its been pretty different. I think its actually better with five players than four, decreasing the playing time rather than lengthening the game.

Worst New Game Played in 2008

Ok, I admit it was probably just the fact that the game I played in had a weird streak of stupid randomness, but I really didn't care for Manila. And of course, this was the game that I ended up winning (and subsequently giving away) at the Geekway 2008. It should have been a game I liked, but man did I think it stunk. I would have to be pretty desperate to be talked into another playing of this.

Most Played Game in 2008

Samurai tops my list of most played games, mostly due to the number of games I played on MaBiWeb. Thanks to MaBiWeb, I played a lot more of In the Year of the Dragon too! Samurai has been one of the few games I play that I really enjoy the more I play it. It is such a different experience playing 2-3-4 players (and live vs web). This one just is fun to me.

Best Trade of 2008

I made a lot of trades in 2008. Most were of the sort where I got rid of something I didn't want for something I really did. A few were probably trade ups for the other person, but none are ones I'd take back. The one I can say I'm plenty happy with is the one where I traded Container for Galaxy Trucker. I had not played Container and it was looking more and more like I wouldn't. Galaxy Trucker however will get played around here and by my family. Its silly fun and I really am glad its in my collection.

Biggest Disappointment in 2008

Wow. That's hard to say. I'm not terribly disappointed in the games I've played this year. I was looking forward to Chicago Express (yes, I'll call it by its new name), Agricola and Dominion. They all lived up to the hype as far as I'm concerned. Chinatown was close, though I can't say I was that hyped about it anyway. Jambo was definitely one I thought would be much better than it was. Word of mouth on the 'Geek is still good on this, but I just don't see much to the game.

Surprise of 2008

Micro Mutants: Evolution is the hands down winner here. I had never even heard of this game. Then Jay Little pulled it off the Play-to-Win table at the Geekway and surprised us. This dexterity game has a fun theme, actually takes some skill, and is a blast to play. And I can play it with my son, who is much better at it than I thought he'd be. This one showed up for $10 on FFG's Holiday Sale, which is a little sad given how surprisingly good this game is.

Game I wished I had played in 2008

UPDATEDue to a change in plans, looks like I'm going to get to play A Game of Thrones. Now, since that is going to happen (knock on wood), I had to go back and look at my list and think about this one a little more (picking AGoT was easy). Maybe its my current mood or whatever, but I kind of want to pull Conquest of the Empire out. I played the original a lot as a kid in junior high. When the new release came out, I was only so so about actually getting it. Then I played the game with the revised rules and saw a cool game. I keep being told its Struggle of Empires lite, but since I've never played that game, what do I care - this is a cool game.


Jaybird said...

Interesting reading, Charles.

Manila is one of those games that can get out of hand. If a player has a double payout on the pirate spot, that can pretty much kill the game for everybody else--which is what happened in our game, I think.

But it is also one of those games that I have played close to ten times since we played that has been well-liked by everybody I have played it with. It usually ends up the noisiest game by far.

But man, those pirates can really kill the game, especially if a guy gets a double payout all to himself. Since our game, I just cannot stay away from the pirates....

Jaybird said...

As for the rest of the list, I will chime in with Jambo. I had high hopes, but is just such a stale game. Right there with it (for me) is Attika.

Container is a pretty good game. Not as fun as Galaxy Trucker, and with a much smaller appeal, but it is a very good market/economy game. Great trade though.

I have to give Glory to Rome my top spot. I know its not for everybody, but after 30 plays, I still could play it any time and love it.

Jason Maxwell said...

I agree on Jambo in the 2-3 games I've played. Very dry. I disagree about Manila. A little long for what it is, but still fun.