New Year, Old Year: 2015 Revisited
Day Four: Surprised!
What I Got Right!
This was a good list. Neanderthal remains one of my favorite games ever, an easy option now that most of the people in my group know how to put up with its cruel capriciousness, not complaining even when half their tribe gets gored by a mammoth while the other half freezes to death in a river. They shouldn’t have stood in that river up to their thighs, the water was frigid. Whenever we only have three people on hand, this and its sister game Greenland are two of our most reliable hitters. Meanwhile, the preposterously-punctuated T.I.M.E Stories was the highlight of my legacy group for a good long while. We’ve taken a break in between expansions to play through SeaFall, but we’ll be back just as soon as that’s wrapped up. I’ve seen people speculating about an overarching meta-story, but I’m just happy that we can get through a story in two or three sessions and feel like we’ve done a yeoman’s work. And Mafia de Cuba is still the thing I haul around whenever my family heads up to the cabin, a perfect social deduction game that earns points on presentation alone. My Mom will play this with us. That says so much about how easy it is to figure out.
If I’m being totally honest, I don’t play Evolution anymore, though that’s only because Evolution: Climate is the final-form version of itself. Dom Crapchettes was nice enough to chat about it with us on the Space-Biff! Space-Cast! Great game, I’d recommend it to anyone.
A few of the others don’t hit the table all that often, though they’re still rattling around. Baseball Highlights: 2045 is just too slick to forget about, and just typing its title and seeing it appear in digital ink before my eyes makes me want to play it this very weekend. Alchemists is still both one of the greatest puzzle deduction games ever crafted and the single best game to use an app thus far. It now has an expansion that I’ve been dying to try; we’ll see if that’s in the cards. And Witness is still my preferred method of contracting a cold, though after playing it with a buddy with raging halitosis I’ve been a little timid about trotting it out. I’m not sure I can handle getting burned like that again.
What I Got Wrong!
Roll for the Galaxy? Everyone loves it. The most important person, on the other hand — me — is so damn sick of it. If ever there were an argument to be made that a game can be played too much until I can’t stand its pimply face ever again, this is the one.
My feelings on the other big title are more muted. While Deus is a perfectly nice game and I remember it fondly, I just can’t see myself playing it ever again. I’ll also probably never play Burgle Bros. again, though I deeply regret that fact. After being annoyed with its gamey mandatory events, I sold it prematurely and have been wishing it would magically return itself to me ever since, much like a straight-to-cassette-movie beagle returning to its rightful home.
Finally, on the next page we take a look at the rest of the best games of 2015 and how well they’ve fared since. Best or Less? That’s a slant-rhyme, it works.