Saturday, March 08, 2008

My top 6 Games from '07

My first column for The Boise Weekly was a year ago and covered my favorite six games of the 2006. That makes this the second annual year's best games list, this time for 2007. Games are listed alphabetically and for the purposes of this column I'm using the North American release dates.

Designed By: Carlo A. Rossi
Published By: Mayfair Games
This is a very interesting game which is, in theory, about making magic potions but is in reality a very interesting market game about making and selling different colored cubes. Creating a game about buying and selling with a viable market can be a tricky task, and Alchemist takes a clever and novel approach that makes for a very nice game.

Designed By: RĂ¼diger Dorn
Published By: Rio Grande Games
This is my favorite game of 2007. Players place buildings and surround those with workers that collect colored coins when the building is completed. This allows the player to adjust the market. The coins are worth how many you have to sell multiplied by how many of that color are visible in the central market.

Can't Stop
Designed By: Sid Sackson
Published By: Face 2 Face Games
Can't Stop is a classic dice game that was out of print for too long. This is a great game of pushing your luck, maybe the best of these type games. Can't Stop is a great game for kids and adults. Players roll four dice until they have three numbers they must roll each time. Progress from previous rolls is saved ... if you stop. Can you? There's a great online version called Roll or Don't available at

Notre Dame
Designed By: Stefan Feld
Published By: Rio Grande Games
A novel game where each player tries to improve their section of Paris, support the building of Notre Dame and keep the plague-riddled rats at bay. It uses a great card-drafting system that originated in Magic the Gathering tournaments but has not been applied much to other games. Players take three cards, keep one and pass the other two to the player on your left. Then pick one of the two cards that have been passed to you and pass the other card. And keep the third card, so you end up with three cards from three players. Two of these will be played.

Portobello Market
Designed By: Thomas Odenhoven
Published By: Playroom Entertainment
A favorite type of game for me is a shortish game with tough decisions, a "meaty filler" as I call them, and even though there are no mushrooms in Portobello Market (it is a famous market in Britain) this is still an appetizing game. Players are building stalls in the market, trying to build in the most profitable locations. You can only build near where the bobby stands, but for money he will move wherever you want him to.

Designed By: Michael Schacht
Published By: Rio Grande Games
This was named the Game of the Year in Germany and it is easy to see why. Players each have a zoo. Players fill trucks with up to three animal tiles and players select from these trucks. If there is room for the animal in your zoo that's great, but once you run out of space, animals are placed in the barn where they count negative points at the end of the game. This is a nice set-collection game with a theme that gives it universal appeal.