2017 Board Games: The Best & Newest of the Year
The patio chairs are packed away and evening fun has moved indoors. So, grab a game and cozy up to the kitchen table. Here are a few our new favourites this year.
A great little colour matching game with enough extra twists to make it fun for older preschoolers. We love that the game keeps kids active by encouraging them to do a happy dance every time they add a pup to their dance floor.
Outset Media Corp. (5+)
A great action game, especially for kids that love when things come crashing down.
Blue Orange Games (6+)
A super engaging game that inspires both cheers and groans. Probably the most exciting new game this year.
Go Nuts For Donuts!
Game play involves secretly bidding to win one of the face up cards. If no one else bids on that card, it's yours. We love the strategic ramifications of other players seeing the hand each player is building as play progresses from round to round.
A superbly designed game that introduces a whole new way to move game pieces. Rules are straight forward, with a quick start guide to introduce the first Chinese Checkers style game. A second booklet introduces variations for more advanced play, keeping this game strategically interesting for a long time.
5 - Minute Dungeon
Spin Master Ltd (8+)
Our play testers loved the quick playing time and cooperative aspect of this game, saying it's a great game for a mix of adults and kids to play together. Like many cooperative games you're playing against time, but instead of an orderly turn-taking game, this one is a free-for-all of simultaneous play, which adds a communication challenge to the cooperative effort.
Blue Orange Games (8+)
Our play testers loved the map building aspect to this domino-like game. Also popular was the equalizing mechanic that ensures a player receiving the least powerful card gets first choice of the next round of dominoes.
Set Enterprises, Inc. (8+)
A great new word game where players build a word starting with the last letter(s) from the previous word.
Blue Orange Games (8+)
A very original game concept where players grow their trees taller to bask in precious sunlight, as well as, spreading seeds towards richer soil. We love how the sun circles the board, changing the game dynamics from one turn to the next.
Czech Games (10+)
Played in teams, a game consists of 25 words laid out in a 5 x 5 grid, each a codename for a spy or the assassin. The Spymaster for each team is tasked with offering one-word clues to help team mates guess which words reveal their own spies, while not guessing the other team’s agents - or worse, the assassin. The Pictures version uses images, rather than words for the grid clues. We particularly love the newest release, Duet, which is designed as a two-player version, that also works as a cooperative game.
Zoch Verlag/Lion Rampant (10+)
The premise for this delightfully abstract game is imagining picture cards as constellations while trying to guess the identity of the player who doesn't know which picture is being depicted.
Truck Off: The Food Truck Frenzy
Adam's Apple Games, LLC (13+)
A great game with interesting mechanics, enhanced by the fact that game play works so well to reflect the food truck theme. A worthy addition to any game shelf.
Raise Your Goblets
Players secretly add wine, poison or an antidote to ever-shifting goblets, hoping to end up with a goblet that won't kill them during the final toast.