Thanks to all of you who have commented and checked in to have a read here at Boardgames in Blighty. Thanks for all the support from my fellow boardgame geeks and a special heartfelt thanks to those board game companies who have been kind enough to provide me with review copies of their games so that I could play them and write reviews. It goes without saying that I certainly couldn’t afford to buy every game I’d like to review so your generous support is very appreciated!
Well yes this is kind of another award announcements thingy but hopefully with a difference…
Heck, I’m not in a position to tell you what the best or worst games are for the year are nor should I really. It’s just my opinion after all and its all very subjective. I know what I like and when I’ve had a great gaming experience. I can honestly say that I have had the pleasure of playing a lot of very fun new games this year. I have lots more to look forward to in 2011 including a stack of games I am working on to provide more reviews for you. What I will now share with you are some of the COOL Gaming experiences I’ve had this year which I guess on a certain level, are recommendations but are certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just a flavor of what I thought were cool times!
Please feel free to add your comments as to your COOLest times in 2010!
Most Played new gateway game – Forbidden Island
Matt Leacock, in my humble opinion, has come up with an absolutely brilliant gateway game. Where Pandemic may seem a bit daunting to some non-gamers, this game hits the sweet spot completely. Each and every time I have played Forbidden Island with non-gamers the reactions have been the same. Curiosity at the idea of a cooperative group against the island, followed by growing panic and urgency as the players feel the pressure of collecting the artifacts as you choose which parts of the island to save as it continues to sink under your feet! Then if you manage to escape, the palpable sense of relief followed by comments around the table of “that’s a great game!” and Let’s play again!”
This is NOT, I repeat NOT a game just for children and anyone who actually says so I would put down to snobbery. This is a great family game but provides an equal amount of fun for an adult group.
Laughs a plenty – The Adventurers
A game group evening where everyone brought their sense of fun to the table was very special. The pulp adventure/Indiana Jones theme works so well anyway but when one of the female characters seemed to remind us of a Thailand Ladyboy costume, and was re-named “Dave”… Well, hilarity ensued as the group raced through the Temple of Chac, grabbing treasures, trying to avoid the boulder… Very surreal, very very funny! Guess you had to be there…
Mind Blowing experience – 1-day road trip to Essen
For the 2nd year running, I hit the road for a 1-day there and back trip to Essen. A bit of a long hall from southern England but sooooo worth it. Essen is simply as big and mind blowing as it gets. Running around ( well, crawling through the huge crowds… ), meeting game company people and designers in a mad frenzy… grabbing new releases (and there were quite a few which bodes well for the hobby!)… meeting BGG people… All utterly fantastic and far to much to take in. Hopefully next year I will go for longer.
Discovering an exciting new game designer – Filip Milunski
I have been banging the drum about Filip recently, and have nominated him for this week’s Geek of the Week on Boardgamegeek.com. I just simply love his designs of Mali Powstancy and Na Grunwald and look forward to playing his future designs. I believe he deserves a wider audience and I call on the larger game companies to distribute his excellent games globally!
Good things come in small packages
I was delighted to play a couple of games from Victory Point Games recently and rediscover the real truth that a good game doesn’t have to have a huge box, 50,000 plastic minis, 500 illustrated cards, and take up the whole table. You can actually produce, small affordable games with nice card components, simple rules that are fun to play. More power to the elbows of those, especially self-publishers, who give this entry route a try!
Playing in Public!
We joined the UK Play in Public day on December 5th and had a great time!
UK Gaming Media Network started
It was great to be part of forming the UK Gaming Media Network which now has 43 members! We will be invoved in supporting the 2011 UK Games expo as a team which will be awesome.
Cooperative gaming in a strategic fantasy game!
Oh yes… taking the Pandemic thing into a strategic fantasy setting for Defenders of the Realm was genius
What a great 1-day event in London! Gaming, discussion groups where the embryo of the UK Gaming Media Network was started, and all topped off with a game design contest where we placed 2nd!