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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > December 2017 (#13) > Game of the Year

Game of the Year

Shelves heaving from a bumper year for the tabletop, we look back on the ten top titles (and more!) that kept us playing all year round and ask designers for their favourite picks of 2017

Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Kingdomino, Five Tribes)

FLAMME ROUGE

Simple, elegant, easy to learn, fun to play. What else!

UNLOCK!

Innovative, clever, addictive. Everyone has to play this at least one time.

My only concern is about hidden numbers that are sometimes invisible for me, even if I know where to look!

SANTORINI

I’m a fan of two-player abstract games. This one is incredibly well produced, easy to learn, hard to master. High replay value; my most played game last year.

CAPTAIN SONAR

Unique and incredible game experience. I really felt like an actor in a movie like The Hunt for Red October!

10 THIS WAR OF MINE: THE BOARD GAME

Michał Oracz and Jakub Wisniewski’s This War of Mine: The Board Game is a remarkable achievement. There’s no denying its claim to being one of 2017’s most notable games. Set during the Siege of Sarajevo, the game – an adaption of 11 Bit Studios’ video game – stands out for the depth of its storytelling, its artistic vision and the unsettling nature of the choices with which players are faced.

What’s most striking perhaps is the compelling marriage of the game’s ‘emergent’ mechanics with its civilian-survivor theme. Uncertainty is built into both, as player-survivors contend with the game’s unknown and uncompromising environment.

For those used to games with easily-quantiflable outcomes and clearly laid out routes to victory, the game will be a (possibly stressful) revelation.

Despite a couple of niggles (its long setup time and the occasionally frenetic crossreferencing), This War of Mine: The Board Game pushes the boundaries of what tabletop games – and indeed play – are capable of, offering an experience that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.

9 TWILIGHT IMPERIUM: FOURTH EDITION

20 years after Christian T. Petersen’s table- filling space blockbuster made its debut, there’s still nothing quite like it on the tabletop. Grand, absurd, genius, flawed and frustrating in equal measure, it’s a game so long that it’s often hard to find the time to play it, but lands with such a crowd-pleasing bang that it’s impossible not to admire.

This year’s Fourth Edition may very well be the best iteration yet, trimming down the last iteration’s excesses to minimise the difficulty of learning how to set forth into the galaxy with your space empire and reducing the time needed to play to a more reasonable (if still epic) length, while still managing to cram in 17 unique alien races and countless interlocking gameplay factors – from politics and conflict to exploration and economy – that bring the universe to life.

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About Tabletop Gaming

In December’s issue of Tabletop Gaming we have an exciting first look at massive miniatures game Star Wars: Legion, as its designers tell us about recreating the battles of the original trilogy on the tabletop. As 2017 draws to a close, we’ve rounded up the 10 very best games of the year . We’ve also asked some of the biggest designers from around the world of gaming to chip in with their own picks for 2017. The sci-fi excitement continues with a close look at the return of legendary strategy epic Twilight Imperium. We chat with the game’s original creator and the designers who inherited its legacy to find out what’s new in fourth edition. Plus, we give our definitive verdict in the reviews section! If you want even MORE sci-fi, we reveal how phenomenal series The Expanse went from the tabletop to TV and back again. If fantasy’s more your style, we’ve spoken with the studio behind not just one, but two, upcoming roleplaying games based on the Warhammer universe. Cubicle 7 explains how Fantasy Roleplay and Age of Sigmar are shaping up to be something special indeed. Still hungry for more? Allow us to satisfy your appetite with an in-depth look at how Euro masterpiece Food Chain Magnate was made, with a little help from the founders of renowned studio Splotter. Speaking of renowned designers, the creator of World War II classic Axis & Allies is back with his biggest wargame simulation yet – Larry Harris tells us all about his plans for War Room. Of course, we haven’t ignored the fact that Christmas is fast approaching. This issue’s 10 of the Best list is a special Christmas gaming gift guide, so you can find the perfect tabletop-themed prezzie for the special people in your life (or just yourself – after all, you’re special too!). That’s just the beginning of what’s in store inside our first monthly issue – dive in!
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