Game of the Year 2017

I was able to play a lot of games in 2017. Because I’m prone to enjoy beer & pretzel games more, most of my top games might look completely different than that of the other contributors of Epic Slant. While filler games are what I’m usually accustomed to, I’ve also played a variety of other games that can be found on all ends of the tabletop board gaming spectrum.

To prove this point, I’ll provide a list of my top three games published in 2017 along with an honorable mention.

Without further ado, here is the list of my top games (in no particular order) that I deemed worthy of mention from this past year:

  • Bears vs. Babies
  • Michael Strogoff
  • The Chameleon
  • Brew Dice

A lot of these games were researched and played in the last quarter of this year, making 2017 particularly difficult to judge.

First let’s discuss my pick for honorable mention:

Honorable Mention – Brew Dice

Brew Dice, a very simple filler game, received a 2017 honorable mention!

Brew Dice is a streamlined filler game for you to bring to your local pub or to keep at home the next time you have friends over. Designed by Andy Geremia, it’s an extremely simple game from two to four players (ages 21+, of course, though that’s just due to the alcohol theme). Players race to see how quickly they can roll their dice in order to match the card in play for that round. Each card has a coaster shape, bar food item, and beer container that must be matched by the dice. First to match all three dice to the card and pick up the card wins that round! It is such a simple game and is small enough to be carried in your pocket or purse! This is a game to keep by the door or even in your car for when you go out.

Now on to my top three games published 2017!

#3 – The Chameleon

The Chameleon, taking the number three spot, is a new go-to party game that can be relied on for almost any get together.

The Chameleon is the latest party game by Big Potato. It’s built for 3-8 players, can play in as quickly as 10 minutes, and is for ages 14+. The primary mechanic used in this game is bluffing/deduction. Each player (except the Chameleon) gives a one-word description related to keyword on a topic card. The Chameleon has to deduce what the word is and give an appropriate description on their turn, because after the round is over everyone votes on who they think is the Chameleon! I really enjoyed how quickly this game was to learn and master for beginners. It’s a social deduction game, so the strategy can be simple or robust depending on each individual player; and because the game comes with a customizable topic card, the replay-ability is through the roof! It is definitely a game to keep out for whenever you have friends or family over.

#2 – Michael Strogoff

Michael Strogoff, taking the number two spot on my list, will be reviewed and fully analyzed in the coming month!

Michael Strogoff is a traditional tabletop board game that takes roughly an hour. One to five players ages 12+ can take place in this game based on the old Jules Verne novel. Essentially, you’re trying to reach the Russian Czar’s brother before a traitor reaches and assassinates him first. Each turn you can decide to move forward, rest and heal yourself, or take time to resolve issues that arise on the journey. Don’t take too much time though, as the traitor is also traveling to the same destination to not only assassinate part of the royal family, but also to send the revolution forces to overthrow your government!

This game takes a while to get the hang of it, but after the initial investment it’s a very solid game. Theme ties to the mechanics well, and you actually get the feeling that you’re on a journey. Though you are technically playing against the other players, you all are really gunning to beat the traitor to the Czar’s brother. This game can also be played in single player mode with very few modifications.

#1 – Bears vs Babies

Bears vs Babies took my number one spot for games published in 2017!

Bears vs Babies is a 15-20-minute filler game for 2-5 players ages 7+. What I really like most about this game is the wide audience it caters to in addition to its VERY high replay value. You are tasked with building up three armies (land, sky, and sea) with different monsters (and/or bears). These armies have numerous possibilities of add on cards that can contribute to their monster tally. You’re building up your army in order to defeat the baby armies that are also being built throughout the game. Your ultimate goal is to have stronger armies than that of the babies and the other players. Each time a baby army is provoked, the player with the best army (assuming it can defeat the baby army) is awarded with the babies defeated in that round. Once the draw pile runs out and the final round is played, whoever has accumulated the most babies wins!

Here is just one example of a monster being used to build up a player’s Sky Army.

Like I said before, the wide appeal of this game is what put it at the top of my list. Though the theme is very bizarre, it seems to actually draw more people to the game. The low player age is also a bonus, as this is an easy game to pick up for most children. Add all this with a game box made of fur and you get a solid filler game that can be played almost endlessly.

Wrap up:

While it has a bizarre theme, I chose Bears v. Babies as my pick for 2017 Reviewer’s Choice because of its wide appeal, easy to learn rules and interesting and varied gameplay.

That about does it for my top games published in 2017! What do y’all think? If you have any new games you played this year that were of note, be sure to comment below. We’d love to hear about them!

Until next time,

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