And to wrap up this recommendations series, a brief list of games I loved this year:
- BattleLore, by Richard Borg: A fantastic 2-player medium-strategy game, and probably the best boardgame I’ve found. Flexible, deep, and with gorgeous components.
- Thebes, by Peter Prinz: Archaeological digging in Indiana Jones’ times. It’s got some really interesting game mechanics packed up in an elegant, smooth, and relatively quick game.
- Antiquity, by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga: A hard and unforgiving civilization-building game. You’re more likely to lose choked by your own pollution and lack of planning than by the actions of your opponents. Quite a workout.
- Werewolf, by Dimitry Davidoff: My current favourite party game. The werewolves slaughter villagers at night; the villagers try to discover (and lynch!) the werewolves during the day. Deduction, bluffing, and face reading. Scales well to more than 20 people too!
And although I’m not much of a videogamer anymore, three excellent games for the XBOX 360 that I found are:
- Dead Rising: If you’ve always wanted to be one of a few human survivors trapped in a mall overrun with zombies (and who hasn’t?) this is the perfect game for you. I’ve spent hours just snapping pictures and trying out outfits in the (obviously unattended) stores.
- Table Tennis: It’s Pong for the 360, and 360 times more difficult.
- Bioshock: Gripping exploration of a crumbling attempt at an Ayn Rand utopia, strangely full of moral dilemmas.
And that’s it for the year. Happy 2008!