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The best board game of 2017 is a wildly entertaining romantic comedy generator (vox.com)
101 points by smacktoward 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments

Actually, the best board game of 2017 was Kingdomino.[0] It's a good lightweight euro, easy to learn but decent strategy for those who want it.

Arranging dominos in a 5x5 grid is harder than it should be, when you're trying to maximize points one domino at a time. I start off with a great plan, but by the end: d'oh, last one won't fit!

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiel_des_Jahres#2017_awards

This is a far better authority on tabletop gaming than Vox in the OP.

Also not super impressed with: > Fog of Love is available exclusively from Walmart for some reason

It should still be taken with a grain of salt. E.g Istanbul beat Concordia. I have both games. Istanbul is good. But Concordia is a modern classic.

Not all of the good games in 2017 necessarily even qualify for the Spiel des Jahres or the Kennerspiel des Jahres. E.g. Gloomhaven, 7th Continent.

Right. I enjoy Istanbul, but for the most part, it seems like you just pick one or two economic engines as soon as you see the board layout, and then work on the one that has the least competitors on a given turn. The strategy changes enough between turns to make it fun, but not enough to make it one of the greats.

SdJ isn't always right, but still a better choice for best game of the year than J. Random Blogger's pick.

Agreed. When I started out getting a gaming collection, I read about the winners and recommends of SdJ, and picked among those. Ended up with 7 Wonders, Codenames, Dixit and Spyfall. Got to say it gives you some perspective on Risk and Monopoly.

Yep what I thought after reading the article was, best board game of v2017 voted on by a panel of authorities in the field, or the best board game according to a random writer?

The more interesting question is why should you value the opinion of a panel more than an individual? Is the writer not entitled to an opinion on the best board game of 2017 just because a group chose something else?

Also, one should consider group dynamics. Who's to say if everyone on that panel valued the game that won equally? Perhaps they all had their personal favourites, but chose a different game as it was the least contentious. All you can really say about a decision made by a panel is that it was the best decision they could make on aggregate, not that it was a true reflection of individual preferences.

All that aside, "best game of 2017" is really just "best game I played in 2017". I honestly don't know when we're collectively going to grow past handling subjective comments in an objective way, but I hope its soon.

Nitpick: While Kingdomino is a great game, and was awarded Spiel des Jares 2017 it is from 2016. Spiel des Jares (obviously) awards games from the previous year.

Not being pedantic but my understanding is that Spiel des Jares rules are for games that become available in Germany in the past 12 months. It is used as a global best game award now but it started as an award for the best new games in available Germany.

It is 'Spiel des Jahres' (not 'Jares'). Translation is 'game of the year'.

He said he wasn't being pedantic, and now look what you've done. :)

Spiel des Jahres is a prize for Germany in the same way the Nobel Prize is for Sweden.

For the past number of years they have split the awards into another category. Kingdomino won the category best described as family game and Exit - The Game won the category for complex game.

Also for consideration: Gloomhaven - https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame

Now the top ranked board game on BGG.

Yup, I don't think anyone can argue against Gloomhaven being the game of 2017. It totally dominated the BGG hotness rankings and the BGG geek rankings for the entire year. It was also on almost every reviewer's game of the year lists.

It’s a legacy game. I don’t like my board games to permanently change :)

It does have permanent world state changes, but it's nowhere near as extreme about it as capital L Legacy games.

It doesn't throw in rule changes the way the actual Legacy games do. Also, anecdotally, there's about 200 hours worth of play time in a single party running through the campaign, so the chances of anyone actually exhausting the game are slim. There's also a replay mechanic and a random dungeon mechanic, so you're not totally locked in.

I had the same reservation, so I bought the reusable stickers.

In hindsight, I’ve found those to be completely unnecessary. The game is so vast that I’m sure I’ll be tired of it before I run out of content.

Thanks, this looks great.

For anyone else reading - doesn't look like it'll be available for purchase easily for another few months, though.

It hits retail in one week (Jan. 19 in the US), so you should be able to get a copy quite soon.

Any recs for cooperative games suitable for kids? Have just started playing Forbidden Island with the kids, and they love it, but Burgle Bros is a bit too complicated for them.

How about Hanabi? Quite easy to learn, but tricky to be good at.


Forbidden Desert has similar game mechanics but is sufficiently different from Forbidden Island to be worth getting as well.

My family has found that Forbidden Island is far more fun than Forbidden Desert. (Obv, ymmv). We just don't feel the need to have both of them, so one has been relocated to the grandparents house.

I have both, I liked Forbidden Island more, and my GF and her son both like Forbidden Desert more. I think the main difference is Desert involves a lot more luck, you can't really plan ahead much because the game could change considerably on one play. So Island would appeal to people that like to plan ahead, and Desert would appeal more to people who like chaos and drama.

I found the opposite to be true.

Castle Panic is pretty fun for a kids cooperative game.

All of you are defending the castle from an onslaught of baddies coming in from the forest. Everyone gets cards each round to spend/trade that can damage/kill/repair with various restrictions. As with a lot of cooperative games, it starts easyish, and then things get harder.

And for a non-cooperative game, Munchkin. It's all fun and games till someone tries to win, and then everyone gangs up on them. The monsters are really silly, some of them are internet jokes, e.g. the one of the monsters is a Dread Gazebo.

Mysterium is great for a family with 8+ year olds. Varying the difficulty or length I bet you could enjoy it with 5-7 year olds too.


Have a look at Stuffed Fables [1] being released really soon (February 1st, I think).

[1]: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/233312/stuffed-fables

really depends on age, my 5/8 year olds love 5 minute dungeon, very simple and quite fun. hanabi is a bit too tricky for them. codenames pictures 2 players is cooperative cause you play against "the computer" and is quite fun.

What's this codenames variant you mention? The two player mode described in the booklet?

We recently picked up Codenames Duet - which has some small but effective mechanic changes for two people. There is also a 'campaign' mode for repeatability.

That said, to play with kids - we found Codenames Pictures to be much more acceasible. Kids didn't have the vocabulary to play the word-based version without slowing down/needing help regularly. The pictures versions solved that.

Thanks for the Codenames Duet tip, that looks great for two people! I do prefer Pictures myself too, as I think it lets you be more imaginative.

I second the Castle Panic recommendation.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I have discovered the 7th Continent thanks to last year discussion on HN. I ended up buying it (but I have not received or played it yet). This is a kind of remix of "Choose Your Own Adventure" in board game set in a early twentieth century with some fantastic elements (inspired by Lovecraft, Poe, Verne, etc) that can be played solo or in group.

If you were interested by the game, the 15th of January, so in less than 24 hours is the last day to pre-order it (and at this stage it probably won't be released by any other channel, so the last chance to get the game)


While that sounds fun, buying something that can only be pre-ordered is crazy (especially for fifty quid). What incentive is there for the seller to ensure it's not crap? Even pre-orders for something that will be on general sale is fairly suspect in my opinion.

It's fairly common in the boardgame industry, especially for boutique games like 7th Continent, Gloomhaven, or Kingdom Death: Monster.

These games don't fit well into the general mass production/sell in your local game store/keep stock on hand long term and sell online models. Too heavy, too many specially cards, too weird of a form factor, etc.

The 2017 Kickstarter campaigns for all 3 of these games were actually their second runs - previous KS had run and generated a lot of hype for the games, and were massive hits the first time around.

A lot of the time you are betting on a designer with a past track record. Other times you get drawn in by a concept that sounds interesting. But for these second production runs, it's more just pre-ordering a known quantity that doesn't lend itself to constant general availability.

You are not wrong.

In this case, the authors are two guys who have already produced some niche game. This is actually their second kickstarter campaign, and they delivered for the first campaign so I am pretty optimistic to get something. But I agree that it requires some blind faith.

Really? I Player this back when it was first sent out, and honestly the only thing it’s got going for it is the premis. It’s not fun to play, it isn’t an interesting game and not one of the people I played with wanted to ever play it again.

Sounds like just about every romcom i have ever endured...

“Fun to play” ans “interesting game” aren't objective categories and your personal acquaintances are neither the whole market not particularly likely to be representative of it.

So, yeah, some people have tastes different than yours, and sometimes they publish them.

For anyone wondering: It's also available for purchase on walmart.com (seemingly with free shipping)

I believe it's the first in Wal-Mart's exclusive board game line (so you can _only_ buy it there, for now at least).

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