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board games, card games

Top 25 Games: #25 – #21

 

25. The Resistance

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Indie Boards and Cards, 2009
Don Eskridge
Bluffing, negotiation, deduction

The Resistance was the fourth game I bought, off of a recommendation from an online reviewer. I tend to go for more strategic style games rather than social deduction games, but I really wanted one that I could play with a large group of friends and one I could easily teach and introduce to non-gamers. I took this to my small group meeting on Sunday and WOW it was an instant hit. After bumbling through the first game, our group of friends unleashed our true lying, deceiving, manipulative play style. The Resistance is a staple for any collection. This game provides a rich experience of group interaction without the burden of a time commitment. Great for an after dinner party activity – just make sure the group you are playing with is okay with lying, deception, and back-stabbing!! You may ruin some friendships 😉

24. Tessen

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Van Ryder Games, 2013
Chris and Suzanne Zinsli
Real-time, speed, set collection

I won this game from the Jack Vasel Memorial Auction in 2014 without knowing anything about the game. In fact, I bid on this item (and the classic art version) because of the artwork and the theme. When I got the game, opened it up, and read the rules, I honestly was a little put off that it was a speed game. I am terrible at the old card game speed and in general not a fan of games requiring me to be fast. But once we played it, Tessen quickly became and energizing filler! The goal of Tessen is to capture sets of animals while fending off attackers from the opposing samurai clan! I would definitely recommend this one for those of you who are fans of the classic Speed.

23. Tokaido

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Funforge, Passport Games Studio, 2012
Antoine Bauza
Set collection, “One way street”

I saw this one when I was walking around a Toys R Us and fell in love with the artwork and the theme. In Tokaido, players are traveling across the East sea road of Japan collecting experiences (which translate into points for the end of the game). Players have a myriad of choices on their journey to eat different foods, take lovely panoramic pictures, meet friendly strangers, visit the temples, or buy souvenirs. The interesting mechanism in this game is the “one way street” mechanism. The player in last on the road is the active player and the player may move as far along the path as they want, but they may never backtrack. This provides an interesting tension with choices in the game – do I move further down the road and take a space I really really want, skipping over many other spaces? Or do I slowly make my way up the road, potentially getting blocked out of the space I really want? As serene and scenic this game seems, it can be very cutthroat with players blocking each other out of spaces they need to complete their objectives. A great family weight game with amazing artwork!

22. Brew Crafters

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Dice Hate Me / Greater Than Games, 2013
Ben Rosset
Worker placement, resource management

Agricola with beer. Kind of.
Brew Crafters is an unforgiving, tight worker placement game about making and producing beer. The unique aspect of this game comes with how each turn works and how each round is delineated. Each turn is broken up into two parts – first is the market phase where players can collect resources and hire workers which may give players special abilities. The second is the production phase where players can produce beer or upgrade their personal brewery. The game is played over three rounds (years) consisting of four turns each (seasons). At the end of each round, players must pay their workers and upkeep on their brewery. The player with the most prestige is the winner. When I first player this game, I realized how brutally tight in money and resources this game is. To start a player has two workers for the market phase and only one worker for the production phase. It is crucial to get your brewery going in order to hire more works and gain enough money to pay for everything… but those upgrades are awesome! AND those special workers come with special abilities. Basically, there is so much a player can do but players cannot do everything. There are a lot of tough choices and tension throughout the game. i would like to get this to the table a bit more and see if it has staying power.

21. Red7

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Asmadi Games, 2014
Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik
Hand management

Such a simple premise with a lot of depth and replayability. There are 49 cards total, 7 different colors numbered 1-7. On a players turn they may play a card in front of them – adding to their color pallet, play a card to the center – changing the rules of the game, or taking both actions. The goal for the player is to be wining the game by the end of their turn or they are out of the game. The last player left in the game is the winner! For example, one rule is “highest card.” The player on their turn must play a card which is the highest or change the rule, maybe to “most cards under 4” to ensure they were winning. If the player could not, they would be eliminated from the game. Usually I do not like player elimination games, but this one is so fast, I do not mind. The advanced rules are the best way to play, adding a new component of drawing new cards at the end of the turn if the player met certain requirements. Great game, low price point, highly recommended.

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