We were on our way to the city's main station to board the bullet train to Kyoto. Travelling on the Asakusa underground line towards Ikebukuro, we had just passed through Kasumigaseki and arrived at Ginza station. We were nearly there. It was Next Station: Tokyo by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange.
Announcing the annual Top Table Award is always a pleasure and an honour at the same time. Choosing and deciding the order of the top 5 games I reviewed in 2023 is never easy. There usually isn't much between the games and they are all great for their own reasons. So, irrespective of which one won the coveted award, all of the games are worth a closer look. Here goes...
London's ageing underground network is creaking and groaning. It can no longer keep up with the exponentially increasing demand of daily commuters and rising tourist numbers to the UK's capital. It's time to scrap it all and start anew and Transport for London has hired you to redesign everything. It won't be easy to optimize the interchanges for a better flow, provide stops to as many tourist sites as possible and take advantage of the tunnels passing underneath the Thames. The first station has been built and now it's up to you to create the Next Station: London by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange Games.
You have been tasked with building the sustainable energy network of the future. Your goal is to connect wind farms, hydro-energy plants and other green power sources to each other, as well as different cities. You have to decide which part of the network needs attention first and what can wait until later. Take care though and make sure you don't spread your workforce too thinly, but also avoid putting all of your light bulbs into one circuit. You want to end up making the best use of each and every Powerline by Dirk Henn from Queen Games.
It was a beautiful day. The sea was calm and the sun was shining. The water was crystal clear and even while you were sitting on the side of the boat, in your full diving gear, you could see the corals and wonderful sea creatures in the water. You knew it was going to be a long day and you would probably split it into two or three dives. You did one last check of your gear and then you leant back and dropped into the Aquamarine by Matthew Dunstan and Rory Muldoon from Postmark Games.
The genre of roll-and-something or something-and-write or whatever else there is these days has really grown in the last few years. To start with, there was a deluge of Yahtzee-style games, but soon the genre added themes and settings to try and draw people in and make them feel like they were exploring a map or fighting monsters. In this article, I want to talk about my experiences with roll-and-write games, as I will call them from here on in for the purpose of simplicity.
It was going to be great. We were going to visit most of the USA and play to millions of people over a few months. It was going to be fun, but also a lot of hard work and the planning was the most difficult. In the end, we decided to roll the dice to decide what states we were going to visit in what order, but rather than making it completely random, we turned it into a little game. It would let us build an almost circular route, so we could finally go On Tour by BoardGameTables.com.
In open, or perfect, information games, everything is there for everyone to see. Nothing is hidden. The whole state of the game is right there in front of you. Chess is probably the most famous perfect information game - and the most classic one. However, just because all the information about the game state is available to you, doesn't mean you actually know everything. In this article, I want to look at what information you need to work out for yourself in these games and what game experience that creates.
Games change when played with different numbers of players. I think many of us will have found that games that are said to work for two or more players often are quite a different experience when played with two versus more players. Some games are said to work with a larger number of players, but really work best with a specific number. Games, where you form teams, are often like that, working best with an even number of people, even though they're said to also work with odd numbers. I discussed many of these points in my article Group mentality, so this time I want to focus on some specific issues.
Since the days of Yahtzee, roll-and-writes, as these games are now known, have made a huge comeback: Roll through the Ages by Matt Leacock, Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama by Indie Boards and Cards, Harvest Dice by Grey Fox Games and the recent Railroad Ink by CMON are some of the many games in the genre.