Cerebria

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

Another week, another batch of Kickstarters worth a second look.

First up is a game designed specifically for the visually impaired in mind, and that is Megateh.  This Japanese designed game is essentially a tactile version of the classic game Quarto, where you need to get 4 in a row of all the same shape, all the same height, or in a descending height.  Players are blindfolded when playing the game so you will have to feel for the pieces, which consist of solid disks and discs with a hole in the middle, in order to place them.  But you also have to feel for where to place them, figuring out where the other pieces have been placed already and trying to set yourself up to win, while not setting up your opponent to win.  First person to get four in a row as described above wins!  There are several pledge levels to get different versions of the game that range from a mini ceramic $18 model, up to a fully customized $88 wood model.  So if this kind of game interests you, or want to support games designed for visually impaired players, then check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is the latest game from the Nickelodeon and IDW Games partnership, and that is Legend of Korra: Pro Bending Arena.  This is a two player arena game where each player controls a pro bending team like the Fire Ferrets, White Falls Wolfbats, or the Red Sands Rabaroos.  Each team has their own unique set of minis, team ability, and technique cards that will be used in the game.  But before you start the game you have the option of creating your custom strategy deck, which is the deck of technique cards you will be pulling from during the game to play against your opponents.  However, the deck doesn’t have to be static, as during the game you will have the ability to purchase more technique cards from your supply with chi that you have built up.  Your players also will come equipped with trick card that give them powerful special abilities, but some of which cause you to roll the referee die, risking the possibility of your team member being ejected from the game.  In the end it’s last man standing as you fight to knock the opposing team out of the ring, whoever is left is the winner.  So if this sounds like an interesting game to you, check out the Kickstarter page.

After that is another arena combat game called Zero Gravity, that utilizes a unique gimmick in it’s gameplay.  On it’s surface, Zero Gravity looks to be your normal arena battle game with each player controlling a team of combatants.  You are racing to get thirty points which is done through taking out your opponents troops, capturing objectives, or completing achievements.  First person to 30 points will be the winner.  Now as for what makes this game unique, that comes in the board that you play on, a 3D board which has playing surfaces on every interior surface.  Also each miniature comes equipped with a magnet, allowing them to stick to the walls and ceiling, bringing a typically 2D game into the 3rd dimension.  This mean that sight and range lines are no longer just drawn on the board, now you will be drawing them in the area to see if your troop on the floor can hit the troop on the wall.  Overall it looks to be an interesting game, and if you find it interesting to then head on over to the Kickstarter page.

For this project we have the ubiquitous Cards Against Humanity clone, but this time done by well known game company Steve Jackson Games.  Conspiracy Theory is you typical draw a black card to get your prompt, and play white cards to complete the phrase in the most hilarious way possible.  One major difference is that this game is all about conspiracy theories, like the title suggests, and so the cards being played are well withing the PG-13 realm.  So if you are looking for a party, card game that isn’t so offensive, and has the typical Steve Jackson flair, check out it’s Kickstarter page.

Next is another party game called News@11, where you try to come up with the best news segment that you can.  During the game you will have a producer, a lead anchor, and news anchors.  The lead anchor will be the one who hands out the segment cards, telling you what kind of news report you will be giving.  The different options include things like sports, weather, health & beauty, traffic and more.  Each news anchor will have three of these segment cards for their morning, afternoon, and evening news segments.  To populate these segments you will draw cue cards that have you fill in a word mad lib style, and you will use one cue for your morning segment, then add a second for afternoon, and finally a third for the evening.  It’s these crazy combinations of words and segments that will generate a lot of the laughter in the game, and the best news caster will be selected as the winner.  As for the producer, they will be handing out producer cards that keep things moving, but can also cause some chaos.  So if you are looking for a new party game with a news feel to it, check out the Kickstarter page.

Following that we have another board game based on a television IP, and that is Warehouse 13 the Board Game.  In Warehouse 13 the game you are playing as agents to either help or hurt the warehouse and to collect the artifacts that have been scattered around the world.  In there game you will have several agents and one traitor, with the agents working to capture three artifacts, and the traitor working to have three artifacts lost, and then win the finale.  Gameplay is a mix of dice and card play with dice being rolled to set the difficulty of retrieving the artifact, or used to pass attribute tests that have been placed on different locations.  The cards are what you will be playing to acquire clues and eventually acquire the artifact.  However, the traitor has many ways to affect these endeavors, and if any of several conditions are met, then the artifact is lost to the Adversary and they move one step closer to winning.  Each game is called an episode and if the villains get three artifacts, the finale happens where has the agents trying to foil his final plan before he wins.  Each character is pulled straight from the show and each has their own special abilities that can be used once an episode or season, or is always available.  So if you enjoy these puzzle type games with a traitor, or are looking for a Warehouse 13 themed game, check out this Kickstarter.

And finally we have the latest from Mindclash Games, makers of Anachrony and Trickerion, a new area control style game called Cerebria.  In Cerebria you are playing the role of either Bliss or Gloom, trying to spread your influence to all the denizens of the town.  You will does this through various area control aspects such as allies in different locations, a scoring tower in the middle of the board, and your allies presence.  After you pick a side you will play the game by carrying out actions on your spirit board.  You have many actions to choose from and you will be playing cards from your hand as well to move around the board, affect emotions on the board, put out new emotions, and other actions.  As you do these things you will begin to use up resources from different spheres on the board, when one is empty there is a scoring round where you check to see if you achieved varying aspirations.  Achieving these aspirations gets you pieces of a tower placed in the center, of which their height and facing affect different actions on the board.  At the end, whoever has more of their color in the tower at the end is the winner of the game.  This is just a brief overview and there is much more to the game, so if you want to find out more then head on over to the Kickstarter page.