Dice Hate Me Game of the Year Awards 2010
It has been a great year for board games! For me, personally, it has been a wonderful year as I’ve reconnected with old favorites, discovered some new favorites, and sealed the deal for a lifetime gaming partner that’s almost as geeky as me! For the boardgaming community, 2010 has blessed all of us with some great independent success stories, allowing new ideas from the “little guys” to trickle into the market. We owe a greater depth in variety and fun gameplay because of the efforts of backers on kickstarter.com and the print-on-demand wonders at The Game Crafter.
No year – and, truly, no blog – would seem complete without a little retrospective. And, so, I bring you the Dice Hate Me 2010 Game of the Year Awards! Just like our compatriot GeekInsight over at Giant Fire Breathing Robot, the contenders for the Game of the Year aren’t limited to those games released in 2010 – the field of entrants is open to any game to which I was introduced this year. The list is large and the competition fierce, but after careful consideration, there is a clear and well-deserved winner.
2010 Dice Hate Me Game of the Year
To some readers this award will come as no surprise, but when I interviewed Clever Mojo Games owner and publisher W. David MacKenzie and designer Tory Niemann back in August, I had no idea that their little Kickstarter-backed game would be any good. When David offered me a review copy I eagerly accepted, but the fact that it involved so many dice just left me feeling, well… scared. When I rolled those first few dice in November, all fears were replaced with a sense of unbridled joy. Alien Frontiers is the Dice Hate Me Game of the Year because fun and elation continue to grow every time this little gem hits the table.
In honor of Alien Frontiers receiving the 2010 Game of the Year Award, Dice Hate Me will be hosting a very special and exclusive New Year’s giveaway contest. Be sure to check back here tomorrow for more information on how to enter. Believe me, if you’re a fan of Alien Frontiers, plan to buy a copy in the future, or are just excited about games in general, you won’t want to miss out on this contest!
Although the first print run of Alien Frontiers is sold out, the second print run should be available March 31, 2011. Pre-ordering is now available at the Clever Mojo Games website. In the meantime, read my review and watch Dice Hate Me for more news and updates as the second print release date draws near!
I’ve played many, many games over the years but rarely have any of them challenged me as much or engaged a larger portion of my brain as Twilight Struggle. It is a grinding, mindbender of a two-player grudge match that is certainly not for the impatient or weak of will. For those players who accept the challenge, Twilight Struggle’s gameplay offers an incredibly unique integration and simulation of historic events during the Cold War. Every single decision in the game is tantamount to success and tension mounts at each turn as players consider the global consequences of their actions. If I were to summarize Twilight Struggle in one word it would be intense; if I were afforded just one more: masterpiece.
Given the game title and a theme steeped in the Samurai tradition, one would expect Shogun to be just another battle for supremacy across war-torn battlefields. Thankfully, Shogun is far deeper and much richer than that. Players not only must protect their borders from encroaching Daimyos – they must also balance order within their provinces, build temples and other structures, and appease and feed their people before a revolt forces enemies to grow from within. A show of power and a clever avoidance of battle typically benefits the most successful players. However, when armies do clash, the outcome is decided by flinging little cubes into the Battle Tower – a fun and unique combat system that can use the power of the people in the fields to turn the tide of war.
And now for something completely different. I figured all of you would appreciate another voice for a proper look back at 2010, so I proudly present to you a fledgling gamer’s perspective – my wife, sometimes known as The Sphinx, but more commonly referred to as Monkey238!
So…Chris has asked me to contribute to his Game of the Year post. I’m not sure what his motives are, but I’ve come up with four very viable options:
- a) He wants to show off that he married an awesome girl.
- b) He wants to spark some interest in other potential gamers.
- c) He wants to alleviate some of the writing responsibilities this week.
- d) All of the above.
Whichever may be the case, I am willingly giving you my two cents as a show of love and support to a man who is as passionate about board games as he is about me. And choosing my Game of the Year is not an easy task, mind you, due to the fact that as of this publication date, I have learned 38 – yes, thir-ty-eight – new games in 2010, which is more than I had known in my cumulative prior 33 years. That’s what I get for marrying a geek. Yet I have confidently narrowed down my database to three games which have riled up obsession, gloating, and limited sleep due to the fun that I have had playing them.
Dice roll, please.
The winners are…
Game of the Year
By far my favorite game, indicated by my addiction to play until we win despite the unfavorable statistics that have indicated that winning only happens 25% of the time. I love the chaos (due to epidemics, mutants, and viruses), the collaboration (Chris and I get to play on the same figurative side of the board to discuss strategy), and, dare I say – for fear of tainting my nerd card with geekiness – the feel of the small wooden cubes.
My nerd card gets bonus points, as I am willing to stay up until six in the morning to relive the crazy, historical events of the Cold War, from either the perspective of the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. I am intrigued by how accurately the game play mimics the ebb of tensions existent of the true events, the cool card graphics, and the tiny degree of exhilaration I feel when I rule over the entire world.
This game is fun. Period. I get to use special galactic powers, kick opponents’ spaceships off the board, and colonize other worlds. Enough said.
- The 2010 Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide
- Dice Hate Me at the Movies
- The Game Crafter – Personal Boardgame Production Made Possible
- Alien Frontiers News: All Systems Go for Second Printing
- Lunchgames! The Inside Scoop