With so many excellent games having come out in 2018, and because we arbitrarily decided to only have a top 5, here are 5 more games that almost made the cut.
Not the first and not the last time that Wolfgang Warsch’s works appear in this article. The Mind is bizarre cooperative card game all about getting into the minds of your compatriots around the table without the luxury of communication in any form. We all draw a hand of cards and are tasked with playing them in ascending order without speaking, signing, or tapping out in morse code any information. Weird, unique, and utterly brilliant.
Pyramid of the Penqueen
This game pits up to four penguin explorers against each other in a race to gather their own set of 5 unique treasures first, these intrepid birds also competing against the Penqueen who is trying to rid her pyramid of the pesky thieves. Roll dice to dart around the ancient tomb whilst evading the blind Penqueen whose side of the magnetic board hides the location of her prey. It can be tense, it can be silly, it’s always great family fun.
Ganz Schön Clever
Wolfgang Warsch’s last entry in this article, but by no means his least. Players roll multi-coloured dice to spend them crossing off or filling in spaces of identically coloured areas on their player sheet in this much more strategic, much more rewarding, much more thoughtful, and much more German rendition of Yahtzee. Whilst there is no theme and it’s not the best looking game of the year, it’s easily one of the best ways to spend 30 minutes that came out in 2018.
Go Nuts for Doughnuts
Simple to learn and hilarious to play, Go Nuts for Doughnuts has become a new favourite at the cafe for the lighter end of light strategy category alongside the likes of Sushi Go. You need to get the most valuable doughnuts you possibly can (not all doughnuts are equal) by secretly laying claim to one doughnut among a fresh selection each round. We all unveil our picks and anyone who was alone in their choice gets the doughnut, whereas doughnuts multiple people chose are discarded instead. It’s silly, it’s fast, and can turn cutthroat.
As the head of a household in Portugal’s historic university town of Coimbra, you must accrue influence with the town’s different factions to triumph. Players draft dice, which they then place as workers to build up a tableau of citizens and participate in such noble pastimes as pilgrimage and funding voyages to the new world. It combines a few simple building blocks to make something very elegant and rewarding.