REEF

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

Welcome To… by Deep Water Games Named the Best Casual Game of 2018 by Casual Game RevolutionWelcome To… beat out finalist The Mind and Decrypto in both judges’ and public vote to win the second annual Best Casual Game of the Year award.  Other nominees included Reef, Cryptid, Drop It, Gizmos, Just One, Space Base, and Ticket to Ride: New York.

Congratulations to Deep Water Games and designer Benoit Turpin!

Fantastic news for anyone lucky enough to attend the Essen Spiel Game Convention in Germany at the end of the month – Board game publisher Pegasus Spiele is once again hosting a fantastic game night, this year taking place Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26, from 7pm – 1am. The event will include a library of over 50 games for lend, including such hits as Azul, Reef, Sagrada, and many more. Additionally, new and notable games from associated publishers Plan B Games, Eggertspiele, Frosted Games and Portal Games will be available to play, such as Blackout: Hong Kong, Camel Up 2nd edition, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, Monolith Arena, Detective, Men at Work, and several others. Guests of honor this year include 2018 Spiel des Jahres winner Michael Kiesling (Azul), Roberto Fraga (Captain SonarDr. Eureka), and Yohan Lemonnier (Captain Sonar). For more information and schedule of events, check out Pegasus’ announcement here.

Plan B Games, the publisher that brought us the crazy popular Century: Spice Road, it’s much anticipated sequel, and the excellent Azul, has announced a new publishing branch they have titled Next Move Games. Next Move Games, much like Plan B, is focused on creating short, punchy, and high quality games that focus on elegantly simple rules and exemplary table aesthetic but feature incredible strategic depth, so the program doesn’t seem to have changed much. The only noticeable difference is that each game from Next Move will only have 4 letters in the title in order to drive home the point of their design and publishing goals, which leads us to their first of such titles – REEF. As described on their press release:

The first title REEF was created by acclaimed designer Emerson Matsuuchi – best known for designing the Century series. During the game, players serve as the reef itself, alternating turns and carefully selecting which colors and patterns in which to grow and expand – the more beautiful the reef, the more points they will score! […] While it could take thousands of years for a coral reef to grow, we expect a game of Reef to only take about 30 – 45 minutes.”

What a gorgeous game box, wouldn’t you agree? Even if that graphic is described on their press release as “Visual still in development”, I feel their progress thus far is a pretty good sell. Given that this is yet another game in a line following from Azul, I have nothing but good expectations for  REEF and Next Move. However, we may not learn much more about REEF until it’s debut on June 13th at Origins (much the same as the sequel to Plan B’s Century: Spice Road). If, like me, you want to find out more about Next Move’s future games and more information about REEF, please check out their website for more information and future updates!