This is the second part of my Top 100 list. Here’s the first part with more explanations. Looks like here I’m starting to move to games rated 8+, the previous list was mostly games rated 7.
Timeline — Very simple idea; other games do the same thing, with more complications. This simple version works quite well, especially with the new cards I’ve created with Finnish history and board game history.
Attribute — I haven’t played this since 2006, but it’s a very nice word game. Party games and word games never get played, but if they would, this would be great.
Animal upon Animal — Very nice dexterity game. A small delight; would be better if the game worked better with just two players.
Las Vegas — Nice filler, particularly good as a family game. I don’t usually bother with this as a gamer’s game, it’s perhaps a tad long for it, but as a family game, it’s a delight. The neutral dice variant is a must!
Tobago — A nice family game. Not for gamers, really, but I tried this two-player with my son, who liked it, so I expect we’ll see more of this.
Flix Mix — A small gem of a game. A simple, slow-paced speed test game: place cards so that coloured dots overlap. Try not to make mistakes. A small pack of cards, but quite a bit of game in there.
Nile DeLuxor — An entertaining card game. The basic version (just Nile) is good, too, but if available, DeLuxor is better. Takes 2–6 players, but is best with two or three.
Subdivision — A sister game of Suburbia (which is much higher on this list), basically Take It Easy -style game play mixed with Suburbia themes. A family game for me, I play this with my son.
King of Tokyo — An entertaining Yahtzee-type game. The cards are funny enough and the game is usually over quick enough. The expansion adds a nice touch.
Parade — A new find for me this year. Nice filler card game; I’ve heard lots of good talk about this, but hadn’t tried the game before. Now I did, and then I went and bought the rather spiffy-looking Z-Man version of the game (well, at least the box is all sorts of wonderful).
Geschenkt — This game is probably better known with some other title, but for me it’s Geschenkt. This was the best filler of the 2004 Essen and after 2005 it has seen less play, but it still gets played every now and then. That’s pretty good for a small filler.
Coconuts — This has been a big hit in our house. No wonder, because the game is an absolute delight. If the popularity remains, this should rank higher next year. I recommend you give Coconuts a go, if silliness is required.
Puerto Rico — The old war horse. At some point, it would’ve made top 10. These days, not so much. I think I got a bit locked into a particular strategy and found the game boring. Well, I did play more than 50 plays and still occasionally play the game on iPad, so that’s not a bad record by any means.
Qwirkle — Simple and elegant, a good family game.
Marrakech — A very good children’s game, with a really good amount of luck and skill involved. Well, I suppose the skill is mostly about assessing risk, but anyway, this is fun to play, the kids love it and the components are charming. This is one of my staples when someone asks for recommendations on good children’s games.
The Ark of the Covenant — I recently got this Carcassonne variant, and found it quite good. I like many of the things in here: the Ark, the simplified field scoring, the interesting tiles… Very nice.
Stone Age — The next Bernd Brunnhofer game on the list (St. Petersburg appeared on the previous list). Not the last though. I’m not a huge fan of the worker placement genre, but here it works quite well.
Villa Paletti — A dexterity game staple that has hung around for quite a while. It’s basically a fancy version of Jenga, and indeed quite a bit more interesting implementation of the same basic idea.
The Magic Labyrinth — I’ve always thought this is a quality game for children – an interesting memory game. My daughter has started to ask this a lot, and I’m always happy to comply. We use a small variant, though: instead of rolling the dice for the movement, we always move three steps.
SNCF aka Paris Connection — I had both editions until recently, when I sold Paris Connection, keeping the original Winsome version. This is one of the games I like quite a bit, but nobody else seems to care for. The game even won a Finnish game of the year award, but has made a very small splash. Shame, I think it’s a clever game.
Race for the Galaxy — This fell out of fashion for me, for some reason. It’s not a bad game and I’d play, given a chance, but from the family I prefer San Juan and The City.
Sunda to Sahul — It’s already six years from my last play. I should give this a go at some point, because this is a fun game. However, the best way to play is the speed game, which is not fun against newbies. That has made Sunda to Sahul an excellent game I can’t really play with anybody…
New England Railways — Like I said in the previous installment, logically this should be ranked the same as Lancashire Railways, which is the same game with just a different map. Both are fun versions of the Age of Steam idea.
Schildkrötenrennen — One of the better childrens’ games. Works as a filler for adults, as well. Simple and elegant, with a good dose of luck involved.
Pantheon — This is the highest-ranking Bernd Brunnhofer title on my list, beating St. Petersburg and Stone Age. Is it a better game than the two, especially Stone Age? I’m not sure (the difference between Stone Age and Pantheon was just three points, so it’s not a big difference), but I’ve been playing this recently and enjoying the game: it works quite well with just two players. There are cool timing schemes in the game, and the final rounds in particular can be brutally fast: so fast that in a three-player game the third player won’t necessarily even get a move. Better time the previous round right! Clever game, if a bit unknown, and I kind of understand why – but I like it.
London — A Martin Wallace city-building game. Pretty neat, but I’m not sure this has serious lasting power. I don’t know; I had a long break and didn’t really feel like getting back to the game, but when I did, this was certainly a fun game to play. I have a feeling I’ll get a bit stuck on the strategies, reducing the long-term interest in the game.