The best boardgames of 2016

The annual boardgame “Spiel des Jahres” (Game of the Year) award nominees have been announced in Germany, highlighting the best boardgames available in 2016.

The awards are typically broken down into two categories, the “Spiel des Jahres” which focuses on family-friendly games and “Kennerspiel” which are games that are still family-friendly but also offer a more cerebral challenge.

You can check out the full list of the nominees below:


Spiel des Jahres

Imhotep

In Imhotep, the players become builders in Egypt who want to emulate the first and best-known architect there, namely Imhotep.

Over six rounds, they move wooden stones by boat to create five seminal monuments, and on a turn, a player chooses one of four actions: Procure new stones, load stones on a boat, bring a boat to a monument, or play an action card. While this sounds easy, naturally the other players constantly thwart your building plans by carrying out plans of their own

Imhotep

Karuba

This is a tile-laying race game with players starting with boards that are identical, and one player drawing tiles that they all will use. They race to get their explorers to temples first and earn points. Along the way they can collect additional points by collecting items off the paths they create.

Karuba

Agent Undercover (aka Spyfall)

Spyfall is played over several rounds, and at the start of each round all players receive cards showing the same location — a casino, a traveling circus, a pirate ship, or even a space station — except that one player receives a card that says “Spy” instead of the location.

Players then start asking each other questions — “Why are you dressed so strangely?” or “When was the last time we got a payday?” or anything else you can come up with — trying to guess who among them is the spy. The spy doesn’t know where he is, so he has to listen carefully. When it’s his time to answer, he’d better create a good story!

Spyfall

Animals on Board

This accessible and clever game features a two-tiered cardboard ark that will hold each player’s animal tiles.

Animals on board

Die fiesen 7

Players play a card in front of them showing one or two gangsters. They have to say the current number, i.e: The first is one, the second two up until 7 and then it goes backwards (after 7 comes 6).
If there are two gangsters the player has to name both numbers and the next player is skipped.
If the gangster is looking into a gun you don’t say anything.
If the gangster is holding a mobile you have to clear your throat instead.
If you make a mistake you have to take the pile of cards.
Goal is to get rid of the cards first.

Die fiesen 7

Krazy Wordz

A party game in which you make up fictitious answers from available letters and must then guess which of the words might be meant to be a name for a newly discovered planet.

The secret task of each player is to invent a new creative word by use of several different letter-tiles (vowels and consonants). Then all players have to guess which of the created words will fit to which of the tasks.

Finally, the best guesser and word-creator will win the game.

Krazy Wordz

 

Qwinto

Players in Qwinto all play at the same time, with everyone trying to fill the rows on their scoresheets with numbers as quickly — and as highly — as possible in order to score the most points.

Qwinto


Kennerspiel

Pandemic Legacy – Season 1

Pandemic Legacy is a co-operative campaign game, with an overarching story-arc played through 12-24 sessions, depending on how well your group does at the game. At the beginning, the game starts very similar to basic Pandemic, in which your team of disease-fighting specialists races against the clock to travel around the world, treating disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

During the campaign, new rules and components will be introduced. These will sometimes require you to permanently alter the components of the game; this includes writing on cards, ripping up cards, and placing permanent stickers on components.

Pandemic

T.I.M.E Stories

The T.I.M.E Agency protects humanity by preventing temporal faults and paradoxes from threatening the fabric of our universe. As temporal agents, you and your team will be sent into the bodies of beings from different worlds or realities to successfully complete the missions given to you. Failure is impossible, as you will be able to go back in time as many times as required.

T.I.M.E Stories is a narrative game, a game of “decksploration”. Each player is free to give their character as deep a “role” as they want, in order to live through a story, as much in the game as around the table. But it’s also a board game with rules which allow for reflection and optimization.

TIME stories

7 Wonders: Duel

In many ways 7 Wonders: Duel resembles its parent game 7 Wonders as over three ages players acquire cards that provide resources or advance their military or scientific development in order to develop a civilization and complete wonders.

What’s different about 7 Wonders: Duel is that, as the title suggests, the game is solely for two players, with the players not drafting card simultaneously from hands of cards, but from a display of face-down and face-up cards arranged at the start of a round.

7 Wonders

Blood Rage

In Blood Rage, each player controls their own Viking clan’s warriors, leader, and ship. Ragnarök has come, and it’s the end of the world! It’s the Vikings’ last chance to go down in a blaze of glory and secure their place in Valhalla at Odin’s side! For a Viking there are many pathways to glory. You can invade and pillage the land for its rewards, crush your opponents in epic battles, fulfill quests, increase your clan’s stats, or even die gloriously either in battle or from Ragnarök, the ultimate inescapable doom.

Blood Rage

Mombasa

In Mombasa, players acquire shares of chartered companies based in Mombasa, Cape Town, Saint-Louis, and Cairo and propagate trading posts of these companies throughout the African continent in order to earn the most money.

Mombasa features a unique, rotating-display hand-mechanism that drives game play. Each round players choose action cards from their hand, then reveal them simultaneously and carry out the actions. These cards are then placed in a discard pile, and the previously played cards recovered for the subsequent round.

Mombasa


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