Blog Archives

Best Week 2021! Force of Will!

Enough of yesterday’s hippie-dippie kumbaya nonsense. Teamwork is great and all, but sometimes you’ve got to stick up for yourself. Pare away your fleshy parts. Make of your heart a stone. Become a creature of iron. Run in one of those mud marathons. Et cetera.

Today we’re celebrating the best games about asserting yourself in the face of irreparable differences. These are the two-player games that require you to plant your feet, lean back, and heave until you either win or tumble into the chasm.

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Best Week 2021! Save Yourself!

When my first daughter was born, there was a mantra I would whisper whenever she cried out in the middle of the night, when I had chores but felt too exhausted to propel my limbs into motion, when the prospect of reading another history book for grad school felt like climbing Everest. “Nobody’s coming to save you. You have to save yourself.”

Turns out, that same mantra works in the middle of a global pandemic. Today we’re celebrating the games that remind us that we can survive almost anything. Because nobody’s coming to save you. You have to save yourself.

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Best Week 2021! Make Something!

I don’t mean to brag, but after nearly two years of a global pandemic, I’ve become something of a professional when it comes to keeping hold of my waning sanity. So what better categorization for the best board games of 2021 than the five pieces of advice that have kept me afloat?

Take today’s motif, for instance. Need to survive another lockdown? It’s easier if you make something with all that spare time. Model airplanes, a novel, stacks of newspapers bound in twine and arranged into a hoarder’s maze — it doesn’t matter what you make, just so long as you make it. Today is a celebration of the board games that let you do exactly that. These are the makers.

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Fine, Have Your Dang Scores

This is how Wee Aquinas rates this site.

Every time. Every dang time.

Whenever I write about a board game, a certain sort clamors to my inbox like ants chasing a line of sugar cubes. “Yeah yeah, but what’s its score? Would you say it’s a 7.18 or a 7.19 out of 10?”

Know what? I surrender. As of today, Space-Biff! will be assigning a score to every game we review. But seeing as how you’ll be skipping past every word I write from now on, you can bet your butt you’re going to have to wade through seven hundred words to understand the scoring criteria.

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New Year, Old Year: 2019 Revisited

Wee Aquinas says yet again, "Reason dictates that we should shun the evils that we cannot withstand, and the endurance of which profits us nothing. Hence there is no sin in fearing them." In other words, wear your masks, dinguses.

As has become a February tradition around these parts, it’s time to rewind a whole year and a month to Best Week 2019. But this is no warmhearted jaunt down memory lane. Oh no. This is an interrogation. This is when we take a look at the titles I proclaimed the best of the year and discuss whether I was right, wrong, or somewhere in between.

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Best Week 2020! The Index!

Wee Aquinas is anticipating 2021 with clenched cheeks. Bum cheeks.

The wheel has turned. Below you’ll find links to every day of Best Week 2020, which despite the year’s expectations has hosted some of the finest games ever featured here on Space-Biff! Simply click the image to be transported to the relevant page.

See you on the other side, friend.

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Best Week 2020! Uncommon Sense!

Wee Aquinas is always sad when Best Week ends. It's the most involved he's been in anything for centuries.

Common sense is overrated. I’ve known that since I was a boy and my mother kept insisting I find some. I’m more interested in uncommon sense. Piercing observations. Repudiations of the norm. Self-awareness. Now those are qualities to celebrate!

Which is why today, for the final entry of Best Week, we’re taking a look at the games that thumbed their noses at common sense. They took a long look at their genre, gave a gentle shake of the head, and decided that if anyone was going to do it better, it had to be them. Even if it meant turning the genre upside down in the process.

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Best Week 2020! Parallel Dimensions!

At last, a topic Wee Aquinas knows and appreciates well.

Firestorm take incoming: more than any other medium, board games are about discovery. Yes, more even than their digital counterparts. Truly, board games are so completely about discovery that they cannot even be played until the process of discovery has begun. Beginning with the earliest formative moments when the rules take shape in our minds, they cannot help it. The flip of a card, the provocations of a rival, the epiphany of a perfect move — these are all acts of creation and discovery alike.

Today, Best Week is about discovery in a more literal sense. What follows are the best games of 2020 that left me breathless as I charted past the map’s edge, redefined my species, or recorded new knowledge.

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Best Week 2020! Some Time Away!

Who made these holes, Wee Aquinas wonders? What creature burrowed them into the wood? A sickly thought dawns upon him. Perhaps the wood is the fabric of the universe. And if that is so, then perhaps it is we, the sentient consciousnesses that remake our surroundings in our image, who chewed the pulse.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. As far as years go, 2020 was a real downer. It isn’t necessary to say why. Such an utterance would only grant it additional power.

Fortunately, certain games were a relief. A vacation in miniature, you could say. These are the titles I was able to get lost in, if only for an hour or a few minutes, and forget the low-grade anxieties that attended every waking moment.

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Best Week 2020! Agony, Sheer Agony!

Wee Aquinas feels it's in poor taste to refer to anything in 2020 as agony. But he isn't in charge here, so too bad, little guy.

There’s nothing quite like counting out your moves. Or obsessing over the perfect placement of a polyomino. Or examining the unfurling board state until your eyes cross.

Today is about those games. The ones that saw me picking over every detail, every possible move, every counter-move. These are the ones that hurt so good.

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