My Top 3
Mark from @diceinthedark
A big thanks to Jim for giving me the opportunity to share my top three games.
My choices are:
Number 1: Everdell
Everdell is a thing of absolute beauty. It conjures an intoxicating world through its gorgeous art, its writing, and the lore that sits in the margins of the rulebook. The game has a fantastic flow: as you build your city of anthropomorphic forest creatures across the cycle of the seasons, the engine of your city comes to life, garnering you more opportunities for growth.
The awards that you can earn, one of the main ways to gather the points that will win you the game, are different each time. Like the awards, some of the spots where you can place your workers are different from game to game, drawn from a deck of possible forest locations, ensuring that no two games are ever quite the same. These two factors, along with the huge deck of cards that you’re only likely to see a fraction of each play through, make the game feel immensely replayable.
It’s rewarding, it’s beautiful and it’s spellbinding. Everdell evokes a world that I want to keep going back to.
Number 2: Arkham Horror The Card Game
In contrast to Everdell, the worlds that Arkham Horror the Card Game evokes are ones of absolute horror, filled with cosmic entities, old gods, dark cults, and dread.
I am continually amazed by how much Fantasy Flight Games have been able to do with just a few decks of cards. They’ve created investigators that feel vastly different from each other, and campaigns that spread, literally, across time and space.
The game is wonderful at evoking a sense of place. Through writing and art alone the game has taken its players to university campuses, illegal gambling dens, a moving train, city streets, theatres, Venice, backwoods villages, the swamps of Louisiana and more. What you’ll be doing in each scenario is as varied as the locations where you’ll be doing it, from unmasking hidden cults, to trying to stop dark rituals in the depths of a twisted forest, to battling gigantic tentacled beasts.
Your investigator, the character you control as they get caught up in a Lovecraftian mystery, is represented by a deck of cards which is highly customisable. Fine tuning your deck is part of the fun and something that you can take a real deep dive into if you’re willing.
There’s a massive amount of content for the game, and that it can be tackled again and again with different investigators without feeling stale is a testament to the quality of the design.
A truly brilliant game.
Number 3: Dice Throne
When I was younger, I spent many hours playing Street Fighter 2, and I think that’s why I love Dice Throne. For my money, Dice Throne is the closest a game has come to bringing that kind of brawler to the tabletop.
It’s fast paced and simple to pick up, and though luck is obviously a factor (it is a dice game, after all), there’s lots of ways for you to change and mitigate your rolls, so when you pull off a powerful special move, it feels great.
When you combine both Season 1 and Season 2, there’s a huge roster of 16 fighters, all with distinct moves and playstyles. They are a diverse bunch, with a samurai, a gunslinger, a paladin, a monk, a barbarian, a ninja, a treant, an angel, a cursed pirate, a huntress who fights alongside a sabretooth tiger, an artificer, a pyromancer, a tactician, a moon elf, a thief and a vampire.
I think it’s a fantastic game that is super easy to pull off the shelf. It’s quick, dynamic, easy to play and a lot of fun.
Thanks for reading!