I would put my top five as ...
- Dragonland, by Reiner Knizia, is my favorite game; somewhat of a sleeper. But, if you haven't tried it, you should. It really plays on two levels, and is very deep if you consider all the strategies. However, children can pick it up and play and enjoy it as well without understanding the deeper strategies. Some people say it was designed as a children's game, but it really doesn't play like one at all. It does use dice to control movement, but it is not roll and move. There are many options with each roll of the dice, and the fun comes in when you decide which option is best. Also it is one of the most pretty games we own.
- Princes of Florence
- Tiki Topple: This was probably my favorite new game this month, just edging out Bananagrams. My son really enjoys it too. The bits are fabulous and it teaches quickly. It is by Gamewright available at Barnes and Nobles ($15.00), along with Bananagrams. It is a very easy line ordering/card game, with excellent bits. Easy to teach, plays quickly and fun. Good for kids who read and adults alike.
- Twilight Struggle – Area control, historical flavor, shifting situations, can be played using PBEM
- Dominion – Card management with good player interaction, quick playing, expandability
- ASL Starter Kit Volume 1 and 2 – Historical conflict simulation, many scenarios, manageable rules set
- Agricola – Worker placement game, economic engine building, need to adjust to cards provided
- Carcassonne Series – Tile Placement game, quick to long play, nice mix of variants
- 18XX series (Steam over Holland is current favorite) – Mix of tile building, stock management, and group think.
Here's a "10" I thought no one else would pick:
- Reef Encounter – My reaction after my first game was “Wow.” First, the components are absolutely gorgeous. There is a real “under the sea” feel to the game. The game reminds me of Tigris and Euphrates, but Reef Encounter builds on those basic mechanics and the game is taken to a higher, more refined and complex level. The flipping and locking down of the coral strength tiles is brilliant. Reef Encounter is a deep thinker’s game that retains the “fun factor. Best of all, it plays beautifully with two players, which is important to me.
Next, Part 4!