To help wrap up 2017 (and bring in 2018 right) we took a moment to look back at our favourite games that came out last year. This is our greatest hits list for 2017, if you missed any of them then it might be time to catch up 🙂
Disclaimer: We may have made up some categories just so we could include our favourite games on the list 😛
If there are any games you think we’ve missed let us know in the comments!
Best co-op game
Hotshots is a cooperative firefighting game with elements of Pandemic mixed with … Yahtzee. Yeah, we said it. Yahtzee. But it’s still really fun 🙂 Work together with up to four players to save the forest from the blaze. Make sure you communicate, work together and don’t push your luck, or you could make things much worse. Full disclosure: My inattention during reading the rules before our first game led to the great forest fire of September 2017.
Rhino Hero: Super Battle
Best kids game
Now we’ve included Super Battle as a kids game, but with the knowledge that we’ve played it more with 25 – 30 year olds than anyone else. Rhino Hero was a great game to begin with, but bringing in more players, more heroes, and more complex structures and balancing has really bumped it up a notch. Great for kids to work on their coordination and motor skills, and great for adults to just have a damn fun game to play.
Best language game
Debatable is one of our favourite games to come out of Kickstarter in 2017. In the spirit of Superfight, Debatable pits you against your friends in arguments on a range of silly (and sometimes serious) topics. You get assigned a topic, and a position (Yea or Nay) and have to argue your point until the vote. The difference with Debatable is that in addition to a position you also get assigned a quirk or eccentricity, such as not understanding the question, talking extremely fast or quoting Hitler. If you don’t fulfill your strategy goal then you’re disqualified, which adds an extra level of difficulty to each round. Great as a party game with people that can think on their feet.
Best nature game
Photosynthesis is a really unique game. In Photosynthesis you compete against other players by taking trees through their complete life-cycle (from seed to fully grown and ultimately death). Each round you gain action points based on how many of your trees are in direct sunlight (based on a sun mechanic that rotates around the board). The ultimate goal is to plant your seedlings in the richest soil, because the richer the soil when your tree fulfills its lifespan the more points you get. Throughout the game you are building up a forest with the beautiful tree tokens, making this the best nature game, and also one of the best looking games of 2017.
Best shameless cash in
While Codenames Disney is nearly exactly the same as the other games in the Codenames series, it is definitely fun playing with Disney content. Generally it doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the movie featured on the card, because there are still other things in each one you can base clues off of. This is a great thinking game for kids, and the Disney content doesn’t preclude adults from getting in on the fun too. As usual, you can always mix the Disney (and Marvel) cards in with the other versions when playing.
As far as licensed versions of games goes, this one is pretty good 🙂
Bears vs Babies
Best party game
Bears vs Babies is the latest game from Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal comics and the Exploding Kittens game. Bears vs Babies may look a little complicated at first, but once you get into it (and with the help of the instructional video and tutorial rounds) it is a fairly simple game to get your head around. While the goal is to build your monster army to take down the evil babies, most times we’ve played everyone has been way more invested in creating the weirdest and most eccentric monsters then in the actual battling.
Best monster smashing a city game
Kaiju Crush is a fun game that pits you and up to three other people against each other as you battle over control of a city. Sharing themes with King of Tokyo, Kaiju Crush is another game that might look a bit complex at first (the set up takes a while) but is really easy to play once you get the hang of it. There’s definitely enough in there to make for a fun light-strategy game. Not content with just destroying the city, one of the best parts of the game is battling other monsters by essentially playing advanced rock – paper – scissors 🙂
Best All Round Game of 2017
What can one say about Magic Maze, other than “sweet baby pumpkins this game is awesome!”
The premise is simple enough. 4 typical fantasy characters (an elf, a dwarf, a warrior and a mage) lose their weapons and all their treasure. What are they to do? They can’t get more treasure without weapons, and they can’t buy weapons without treasure. So they come to the logical conclusion of shoplifting new weapons from the Magic Maze Shopping Mall. Through the game, you need to get the four tokens to their respective weapons, at which point the alarm goes off and they need to hightail it out there.
The twist? Every player controls all four tokens. Each player gets a card that gives tells them what abilities they have. They might be able to move the tokens in a certain direction, open up new areas on the map, use escalators, or use portals to teleport the tokens around. The issue is that no one player with have all of the abilities, teamwork between players is a must, as even just walking from one tile to another might need two or more players.
The bigger twist? The game must be played in almost complete silence. No telling Benji that you’re waiting for him to move the dwarf up the escalator. Aside from an initial strategy phase and a brief moment when getting to certain parts of the map, there is to be no verbal of non-verbal communication allowed, save the use of a single red token that essentially tells a player “I’m waiting for you to do something but I can’t tell you what”.
Another cool tidbit: While it doesn’t affect the gameplay at all, my favourite part of the game is the accessibility focus. To help players with colour blindness, the designers made sure that every time the tokens colours are used, the corresponding icons are used as well. Tokens even come with little stickers so you can clearly mark that the yellow token is looking for the sword. That’s a really nice touch.
This is a great game to play if you and your friends like being challenged. There’s definitely a different skill set required to get through the nearly 20 scenarios the game comes with. You will need to learn to plan, communicate, and execute as efficiently as you can. Each new scenario also adds new rules, making each scenario slightly more difficult than the last. Because of the unique gameplay, Magic Maze can also be played individually, or with up to 8 people.
What do you think?
Is there anything you think we’ve missed? Any games we’ve listed that you’ve been hanging out to try? Let us know in the comments. We want to know what you favourite games of 2017 were!