New Year, Old Year: 2018 Revisited
Day Five: The Hybrid!
What I Got Right!
Man, what a year. Even with a few titles that probably didn’t deserve to be elevated, there were some real standouts.
For one thing, it was a very good year to be named Cole Wehrle, with both John Company and Root finally making their appearance. The former is a masterclass in how to design a historical game, while the latter will likely leave an impact that should be felt for years to come — although whether its emulators will understand the lessons of its asymmetry is to be determined. If anything, I’m a little disappointed that this category was so boring. Would anybody contest Root? I’d love to hear that argument.
What I Got Wrong!
For the sake of argument, I’m being as generous as possible with “wrong” here. Haven, like Heir to the Pharaoh, looks like it was yet another Alf Seegert design that was criminally overlooked, despite artwork and branding by Red Raven Games. Maybe that’s not the case, but it certainly doesn’t seem to pop up very often.
As for the other two, I have a fondness for AuZtralia and Everdell, but they don’t seem like titles I’m likely to return to. That isn’t the only marker of quality; I’m not likely to return to Meltwater, either, but that doesn’t diminish the bruise it leaves. But some games are made for impact and others are made to be played, and something tells me these two fall into the latter category. I may write about AuZtralia down the line, which might necessitate a revisit, but that’s for the sake of an article on its approach to history. Not exactly an acquittal, is it?
Either way, 2018 is probably the Best Week I’m most pleased with in retrospect. It was a strong year, and many of its best titles have held up marvelously. If you’re the sort of person who likes to wait until the passage of months and years has sifted out the last of the stinkers, might I recommend some of these?