An Independent Guide to the "Bestest" Kid-Tested Toys

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.

Cha-Cha Chihuahua

Gamewright (4+)

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.

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Igloo Mania

Outset Media Corp. (5+)

A great action game, especially for kids that love when things come crashing down.

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Tumble Tree

Blue Orange Games (6+)

A super engaging game that inspires both cheers and groans. Probably the most exciting new game this year.

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Go Nuts For Donuts!

Gamewright (8+)

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.

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Vortex

Tactrics (8+)

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.

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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.

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Kingdomino

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.

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WordSpiel

Set Enterprises, Inc. (8+)

A great new word game where players build a word starting with the last letter(s) from the previous word.

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Photosynthesis

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.

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Dreams

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.

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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.

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Raise Your Goblets

CMON (14+)

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.

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THE NOISE ON TOYS

The Noise on Toys play testing program is unique, both in giving voice to the kids' perspective on the toys as well as offering readers easy access to the original feedback posted by each family - parent and child comments. TNOT is privately funded to ensure complete editorial independence: manufacturers pay neither an administration fee to participate, nor licensing fees to use earned award logos.

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