Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The 10 11 Best New-To-Me Games of 2017

The  10  11 Best New-To-Me Games of 2017 
...plus 32 honorable mentions

Well, I knew it had to happen some time.  This year the amount of games I played, including the amount of new games I played, decreased a bit.  Last year at this time I had played 158 new to me games by this time (and 167 total by the end of the year)  This year I'm only just at 100 now.  That's still a lot of new games though, and there have been some really great games that I've been introduced to.  Every year this list gets harder and harder to create.  In fact, this year my Top 10 is actually a Top 11.  You'll see why below.  Also, this year I've continued with The Best Kickstarter Previews & Prototype Games of 2017.

This main list only contains published games that I've played for the first time this year (although a couple I played previously in their prototype form or so long ago that I'm treating them as new games).  So, without further ado, here are my Top 10 11 New-To-Me Games for 2017, including 30 runner-ups and 2 Special Mentions, so that's 43 excellent games for 2017!

Also, check out my lists for 20162015, and 2014.

Honorable Mentions in Alphabetical Order:

* Indicates I played a prototype prior to 2017 and a completed version in 2017.

Acquire - 1964 - I played Acquire a few times a looooong time ago.  My parents used to play this all the time with their friends, with the plastic tiles rattling around in a coffee can all night.  I found a copy of the 1967 classic version at Goodwill earlier this year and played a few games for the first time  in about 25 years.  It shows its age in some areas, but still holds its own with many modern games!

Apex: Theropod Deck-building Game - 2015 - This was a fun deck-building game about being carnivorous dinosaurs that must hunt to build up your group.  It has some interesting mechanics, although the PvP combat was a little awkward at times, and unfortunately the t-rex miniature is very fragile.

Barnyard Roundup - 2016 - This is a great family bluffing game.  It has a feel similar to Sheriff of Nottingham, but is more streamlined and plays much faster.

Battle Ball - 2003 - Another Goodwill find, I really like some of the mechanics in this.  Particularly how characters trade off speed for power by the use of different types of dice.  This is a mechanic you might find me using in some of my games in the future!

Blood Rage - 2015 - This game took the meme community by storm in 2016 and I finally had a chance to play it this year.  It was a very solid area control and drafting game with some really cool card combos and player interaction mechanics.  Plus the minis are pretty awesome, especially when they're painted.

Bring Your Own Book - 2016 - If there's one thing my family has more of in our house than games, it's books.  We have almost 10 times as much shelf space for books as we do for games, and have almost as many books overflowing the shelves as we do games.  So Bring Your Own Book is a game I wish I could get to the table more.  Unfortunately party games don't get played much in my groups, so, despite loving this the one time I got it to the table, it hasn't made it back since early in the year.

Cavern Tavern - 2016 - I played this once and it was slow going, but super interesting.  We didn't finish the game because it was taking so long, but after a few rounds it was moving quicker.  Now that my game group knows how to play, I'd love to get it to the table again, but there are just so many other games to play that this one hasn't hit the table yet.

Civicus: Dice Game * - 2015 - I reviewed a PnP version of this game in June 2015 before the successful Kickstarter and was told I would be sent a production copy of the game (I even paid a bit to get the 4 player version).  Well, the game was delayed significantly, but finally delivered to backers in the summer of 2016.  But I never saw my copy.  After several emails and about 10 months, I finally got a response.  The designer was no longer with the company that he started, but he gave me the contact info of the new people responsible for the game.  They did eventually send me a copy, and I was excited to play it.  The game plays similar to the PnP version I reviewed, but it has a lot more going on.  I like the game quite a bit, but the scoring mechanic is super fiddly.  I added some custom components to the game to try to help, but its still fiddly.  So a great concept, but a little annoying in the execution.  It's worth a try though, if you ever find it anywhere.  GJJ Games Review

Colt Express - 2014 - Every year my family gets a new game to play for Christmas Eve, and last year it was Colt Express.  Yes, that's 2016, but I played this after last year's list came out.  My wife isn't a fan of this, but my sons and I quite enjoy it.

Dawn: Rise of the Occulites - 2014 - This is a HUGE, game that I was sent to review.  I've managed to get it to the table twice now, but I've only played the introductory scenario.  I want to give a couple of the other scenarios a try before I review the game.  It has some really interesting combat mechanics and the component quality is outstanding, so if you're looking for something really different in a skirmish game, and don't mind a huge price tag, this is definitely worth a peek.  GJJ Games Review - Coming Soon

Death Wish- 2017 - I reviewed a prototype of this back in May, 2016 and found it to be a fun, light set collection game with some great humor.  There are a few cards that aren't family friendly, but they're easy enough to take out and play with kids.  GJJ Games Review

Dice Derbi - 2016 - This is a dice chucking good time!  The core of the game is a ton of fun.  There are cards that really need to be reworked for their effects, but overall this is a light, fun dexterity game.  GJJ Games Review

Dice of Crowns - 2016 - Here's another game that came really close to making the top 10.  It's a press-your-luck game that plays pretty quickly, but has an interesting way of encouraging player interaction.  On your quest to gain crown tokens you'll roll scrolls.  Scrolls get passed to other players who reroll the dice and have chances to earn crown tokens themselves or send daggers to other players.  It's a great mechanic and the mint tin sized game is great to take just about anywhere!  GJJ Games Review

Flea Marketeers - 2014 - I played this on New Years Eve last year and found it quite fun.  It's not a great game, but it was a lot better than I expected.  Each player is a flea marketeer with a table set up.  You buy and sell items, trying to get the most valuable items on your tables.  The catch is, things that are worthless to you may be valuable to another player, and vice versa.  Each player has their own, unique price guide for all the items that become available through the course of the game.  It's quite fun to play!

Gadgeteers - 2017 - A huge thank you to Letiman Games for donating three copies for my 24 hour gaming marathon to support Extra Life this year.  Two were for our game auction and one was for me to play and demo.  I really enjoyed this little area control game where players bid for control of parts that they use to build gadgets.  It's a very unique theme for an area control game, and I thought it worked splendidly!

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - 2016 - This was my Father's Day present this year and since my youngest son was born on the Monday after Father's Day, the family spent the following week playing this.  We quite enjoyed it and got to Year 4 before baby life caught up to us.  Each year adds another challenge to the core gameplay that you learn in Year 1, and while that was interesting, we found it a bit repetitive.  We felt like we were just doing the same thing year after year, just with bigger obstacles, and after we lost Year 4 the family got a bit bored.  I'd love to bring it back out though and finish off years 4-7.

Herbaceous - 2017 - Here's another game that came very close to making the list.  This absolutely gorgeous game by Steve Finn, Eduardo Baraf, Keith Matejka, and artist Beth Sobel is a great, casual game about planting herbs in a garden.  It has similar mechanisms to Biblios, but I actually like it better than Biblios.  GJJ Games Review

Ice Cool - 2016 - Here's another game that will be seeing a review very shortly.  I always say I'm not a huge fan of dexterity games, and then some fun ones come along and surprise me.  Ice Cool is a quick, fun game that's perfect for families or just when you want to have some silly fun.  The box design is super clever, the artwork is great and fun, and the gameplay is hilarious.  I just wish it came with a built in Lazy Susan!  GJJ Games Review - Coming Soon

Island Hopper - 2017 - Two dexterity games made this list this year.  Island Hopper also has a dexterity element, but also some bidding and bribery that makes this a great, interactive game.  Each player runs a delivery service in an island chain and is trying to earn money by completing delivery contracts.  Each round one player is the pilot of a rickety plane and tries to make deliveries to the most profitable islands, but the trick is they fly with their eyes closed and have to drop tokens on the islands blindly.  Other players have opportunities to direct the pilot either toward or away from the islands, depending on their own goals.  GJJ Games Review - Coming Soon

Kingdom Builder - 2011 - Kingdom Builder sat on our shelf unplayed for about 3 years.  This year we finally got it to the table and found it quite enjoyable.  It's pretty casual, but has some interesting decisions despite a simple core mechanic of draw a card and play it.

Kingdomino - 2016 - My son asked for this for his 8th birthday and it's a winner!  Super simple, fast gameplay make this a great filler or family game.  We're super interested in trying out Queendomino sometime soon.

Knot Dice - 2016 - I received this in order to review, so hopefully I'll be getting that out soon.  These are gorgeous dice that form really cool, intricate Celtic knot patterns.  There are a whole bunch of games and puzzles included in this set.  So far I've played a handful of the games and they're all quick, casual filler games with a puzzle-y aspect to them.  I'm looking forward to trying the other games out, too.  I also have my own game design that I'm working on that uses these dice.  GJJ Games Review - Coming Soon

Kodama: The Tree Spirits - 2016 - Kodama is another game that my son asked for on his birthday.  It's a super cute theme, and interesting card game, although it can get a bit fiddly.  It's fun to grow your trees though, just be careful that you don't bump the cards.

Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction - 2017 - I reviewed this in April and found it to be a quick, fun card game with some interesting chaining mechanics.  There's a fair amount of luck involved, but with multiple ways to use each card there are also a number of ways to mitigate that luck.  The game does have the feel of the original Manhattan Project, although it plays a whole lot quicker and is a very stripped down version of that theme.  GJJ Games Review

Not Alone - My oldest son bought this with his birthday money and we've found it to be quite enjoyable.  It's best with 5 or more players, but works well at pretty much any count from 2 to 7.  It's some fun bluffing and deduction, similar to Sheriff of Nottingham, but without the need to lie.  It's a super fun theme, and the little bit of artwork that's there is pretty awesome, too.

PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem- I reviewed the prototype last year and received a production copy this year.  A number of the issues that I had with the prototype were fixed for the final copy (namely things like having a puzzle border instead of tiles on a board, and they incorporated my idea to get rid of player elimination), and also added in a number of special abilities that are randomly assigned to pwns at the start of the game.  Personally, I don't like the special abilities - they just add more chaos and information to track in an already chaotic game - but it's nice to have more play style options.  I also found that we ran out of some terrain type tiles occasionally, but overall I still found the game to be a chaotic, fun time.  GJJ Games Review

Pyramid Arcade (Various Games) - My friend Tony had picked up a couple of the Loony Pyramids games last year and we enjoyed them.  Then last December he got Pyramid Arcade that has over 20 different games in the set.  I played the first one the evening after I posted my list last year, and since then we've played a number of the games in the set.  They range in depth and difficulty, and some we like better than others, but there's a game for pretty much everyone and every situation in the box.  It's a great value!

Shadowstar Corsairs - I first say Shadowstar Corsairs (then called Darkstar Corsairs) at my first ever Protospiel, at Madison in 2014.  I didn't get a chance to play it there, but my friend Jim did and loved it so much he backed it on Kickstarter.  He brought it to my house in the last week of December last year and I finally got a chance to play.  It's a bit longer than I'd like, and moves slowly at points (especially the 5 player game I played this past November), but the mechanics are solid and the components are outstanding.  If it was my game there are a few things that I'd house rule, or tweak though.  Mainly, I'd separate out the contracts that promote combat from the ones that are more economic and pickup/deliver in nature and then play with only a subset to give you a play style that you'd prefer.  I found that if you're looking for a highly interactive, combat based game, and then get some economic based contracts, it really detracts from the fun, and vice versa.  Each style works well, but they're better when they drive the overall feel of the game than they are mixed.

Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty's Web - Look for a review for this coming shortly.  I picked this up at ChiTAG in November and my wife wanted to play immediately (she's a bit of a Sherlock Holmes fan).  After playing I was a bit disappointed.  We felt the game was good, but the randomness and lack of real control really kept it from being a truly great game. I really love the puzzle-y aspect of trying to fit clues and witnesses together to make a path of evidence from a crime to Moriarty, but really don't like the randomness and lack of control that results from just drawing blindly off the top of a pile.  So I came up with my own variant.  Essentially the game plays the same, except on your turn you draw two tiles from the top of a stack, choose one to play, and one to return to either the top or bottom of the stack.  This makes the game a true puzzle, with choices on every turn, right from the start of the turn.  There are a few other tweaks to help with the balancing, so if you want to see the full variant, look for my review coming out soon.  GJJ Games Review - Coming Soon

Wacky Wacky West - I stumbled upon this 1991 Spiel des Jahres Winner by Catan designer, Klaus Teuber, at my Goodwill and had to pick it up for just $2.  It definitely shows it's age, but is still a fun tile laying, voting game that's a great family game.

And now for the Top 11, starting with numbers 10.  Yes, there are two number 10s.  I really couldn't decide, so there's a tie for number 10 this year!  * Indicates I played a prototype prior to 2017 and a completed version in 2017.

But first, here are two Special Mentions.  These didn't quite crack the top ten list, but I wanted to mention them special.

First is the Scythe: Invaders from Afar expansion.  This isn't included this year because it's only an expansion, not a new game.  Last year, though, Scythe was my top game, and it's still one of my favorite games this year.  It's possibly my favorite game ever, but I do have a few others that I absolutely love (Terra Mystica, Carcassonne, etc.) so I just wanted to give a shout out to the new expansion.  I got it right after it came out last year, but it was early this year before I got it to the table.  I don't feel like the expansion is a huge game changer, but the two new factions do add some additional interesting strategic choices.  At first I thought their ability to travel the board without being hindered by rivers would make them too powerful, but they do seem balanced to me.  It does make other players focus a bit more on getting out of their home territories a bit faster, but in all the games I've played with them they didn't seem to get to the factory or find encounter tokens any faster than other factions.  I wouldn't necessarily call this an essential expansion, but it adds more variety, which is always great.  I recently just picked up the Scythe: The Wind Gambit expansion, which I think is more game changing with the variable end game conditions and airships, but I haven't played it yet.  I can't wait to, and am really excited to see what the third expansion brings to the game next year!

Next up is Mole Rats in Space, the new family friendly cooperative game from Matt Leacock and Peaceable Kingdom.  I reviewed this in the spring, and while it didn't make my top 10 games list, it was just shy, which is saying a lot for a kids game.  As the game is, I found it a bit too simple and random, but my family and I have been playing with a simple variant that I developed, and the game is really excellent with that small change.  Essentially, instead of drawing a card and playing it, you have two cards in your hand, play one, and then draw back up.  This gives you some choice and control.  However, to up the difficulty to balance the extra control, snakes are required to head toward a Mole on their level (and for more challenge, have them head to the nearest ladder otherwise).  The base rules are great for families with younger kids, or families new to gaming, the variant makes the game great for gamers that want a bit more.  Be sure to check out my review for the full details!  GJJ Games Review

OK, without further ado, here are the Top 11 New-To-Me Games of 2017!

10. Dice Forge - My 8 year old picked out Dice Forge for his birthday and let me say, he picked another winner!  Dice Forge is a quick playing, dice-building game unlike any other I've played.  The dice-building mechanic is something I expect to see a lot more of in upcoming games (Kapow! is the next one out that I've noticed uses a similar mechanic).  There's also practically zero downtime in Dice Forge.  Everyone rolls their dice for resources on every single turn, so you're always doing something.  My only complaint is that it's sometimes too fast paced.  Often a player is working on swapping out the dice faces while the next player is starting his turn.  Since everyone rolls on every turn, and some cards can let you do things based on what other players roll, occasionally everyone has to wait while the previous player finishes swapping out dice faces.  But if you're looking for a great, fast paced game with a great mix of luck and strategy, Dice Forge is an awesome choice.

10. Eight-Minute Empire - This is a game that I've had my eye on for a quite a while.  My FLGS had a copy of it for a while and I was planning on finally picking it up with some of the birthday money my in-laws always give me, but someone picked it up about a month before my birthday.  So I waited until mid-August before my FLGS got another copy, and I picked it up right away.  I really, really enjoy this little area control, set collection game.  I like the balancing between collecting resources and conquering territory.  I like that the combat is very casual.  I like that the game plays in 10-20 minutes.  I like that it's super easy to teach to just about anyone.  There's not much I don't like about this game.  I think the last player has a minor advantage, but that's about it, and it's something that can be mitigated through careful gameplay.  Eight-Minute Empire was reworked into Eight-Minute Empire: Legends, which adds modular maps and brings in a bit more combat, plus it has an expansion or two.  I'd love to try that someday, too, but for now I'm super happy with the original game.

9. Potion Explosion - My friend Rick has a copy of this.  I played it and loved it.  When my 8yo was looking for something to spend a gift card to my FLGS on that he won, I suggested Potion Explosion.  There had been a copy at the store for a month or so.  So we watched a few reviews and gameplay videos and he fell in love.  But he wanted to play first, just to make sure.  So Rick brought his copy to the next game night, my son played, and loved the game even more.  So we went to the front of the store to buy they copy they had, only to find out they sold it earlier that day!  My son was devastated, but as proof to how much he liked the game, we're still holding on to his gift card until the store is able to restock the game (hopefully in January).

8. Clank! & Clank! Sunken Treasures - I used to love deck-building games.  I guess I still do, but it's starting to seem like a mechanic that is just overused.  Everyone's got a new deck-builder, it seems.  So while I'll never turn down a deck-builder, it takes something special to wow me these days.  Clank! managed to do that.  I love the combination of deck-building and dungeon crawling that the game brings.  I still find that quite a bit of the game is random with the strategy focused on shifting probabilities, as many deck-builders are, but the element of exploration combined with the race to find treasure and escape before the dragon eats you to bring a level of lighthearted fun to the game that many deck-builders seem to lack.  The Sunken Treasures expansion I don't feel is an essential expansion, but it does add some new elements to the gameplay that are quite fun.  I'm really excited to try out Clank! In Space at some point, too.

7. Element - I reviewed Element in February and was blown away by the component quality and subtle intricacies in the artwork.  On top of that, the game is really awesome, too.  It's an abstract strategy game that works just as well with two players as it does with four.  There's a bit of luck involved, since you don't know exactly what stones you're going to draw each turn, but that's all part of the strategy in the game.  I love how each type of element has its own unique behavior, and the rock-paper-scissors nature of the interactions between the element types.  This has rocketed to the top of my favorite abstract strategy games list.  GJJ Games Review

6. Mint Works - When I first saw this on Kickstarter last year I was super excited.  I love small games, and a mint tin sized worker placement game sounded awesome.  Then I received the game early this year and absolutely loved the gameplay.  It's not the deepest, nor the most strategic worker placement game out there, but it's super easy to teach new players.  It's a great introduction to worker placement games and perfect for carrying around in your pocket.  I've used this both as a way to quickly and easily introduce new gamers to worker placement, and as a quick filler game with my gamer friends.  My only complaints are that the game sometimes ends too quickly (easily remedied by playing to 9 or 12 stars), and the mints get exhausted pretty quickly (I might add a few 3 mint tokens of a different color).  This is a game that goes with me almost everywhere because of its small size and great play.

5. Abandon Planet * - I played Abandon Planet for the first time at Protospiel Madison in 2016 and the game made the number 1 spot on my top prototypes list from last year.  I backed the Kickstarter and got my copy a few months ago.  I've only gotten it to the table once, so far, but really enjoyed it.  I love the social aspect behind the resource collection, although it works best with at least one or two players that go for the social strategies instead of everyone playing strictly logically.  It's still fun that way, but a backstabbing occasionally really ups the excitement factor.

4. Unmasked: Dracula's Feast * - Dracula's Feast made the number 2 spot on my top Kickstarter previews list last year, and the full Kickstarter version finally arrived this year.  The game went through a few changes since the prototype I played - some tweaked and balanced characters, and the elimination of player elimination.  This new game is still super fun, streamlined, and has no player elimination, which is great.  I love that it brings social deduction and logic together into a game where you don't lie.  Yes, your character might be required to lie about certain questions, but you never have to decide for yourself if you should lie or not.  So for those that don't like the deception aspect of many other social deduction games, Dracula's Feast is a great alternative.  Be warned, however, you'll need to use a lot of logical deduction, so it's best to play when there won't be tons of distractions.  I haven't yet tried the Cthulhu & Friends expansion, but that brings in some cool new mechanics and characters that look like they'll shake up the base game a bit.  GJJ Games Review

3. Between Two Cities & Between Two Cities: Capitals - This year, our game nights started skewing toward higher player count games.  My kids and the kids in the other families I play with are a bit older and are wanting to play more of the 'grown-up' games, however they're not quite old enough to figure out and play games on their own yet.  So instead of them playing their own silly games (like Connect Four Launchers - which was a big hit last year), they've been asking to play with the adults.  So we often have games of 6-8 players.  So I decided to pick up Between Two Cities since it plays up to seven and I had heard good things about it (plus, I love Beth Sobel's artwork, and Stonemaier Games does some really awesome stuff).  And my game group absolutely loves it!  It plays fast, is simple to learn, there's no downtime, there's some good strategy and interesting decisions, and great player interaction.  The only knock against it is that it only plays 7.  I'd love to have enough components to play with 8 or more players.  We loved the game so much, I decided to pick up the Capitals expansion.  This adds terrains, municipal buildings, and some cool district based scoring.  However, when we played, we realized that we weren't tired of the base game yet.  The stuff that Capitals added to the game were cool, and we did enjoy them, but we didn't feel they were necessary.  At least, not yet.  Of the things the expansion adds to the game, we liked the district scoring the best, municipal buildings next, and finally the terrains.  We might actually throw the district scoring into the base game the next time we play, and maybe try an 8 player game with the municipal buildings, but overall we felt the expansion added more than we were ready for, slowed the game down a bit, and didn't feel necessary.  I'm glad I have it, and I'll likely play a game with the expansion occasionally, but I'm still very happy with just the base game.

2. Bob Ross: The Art of Chill - This game was a surprise for me.  I love Bob Ross, and thought the game was going to be a silly gimmick game.  Then I watched some overviews and thought it actually looked like an interesting game.  So I picked it up from Target (it's a Target exclusive, so you can only get it there, unless you're willing to pay out your nose to someone reselling it on Amazon or eBay), much to my wife's amusement and disdain.  But I convinced her to play, and it's now become her favorite game!  The theme in this game is stellar and just drips off of every surface of the game.  From Bob's incredible artwork to the plastic easel, from the great component quality to the paints and brushes, from the quotes on the cards to the awesome Bob Ross meeple, this is a game that would thrill any Bob Ross fan, even if the gameplay weren't great.  Fortunately, the game plays as great as it looks.  The overall mechanics are pretty similar to Ticket to Ride, but it's much more relaxed.  There's no way to block another player in this game.  The player interaction is a bit low, and there's a bit more randomness with the Bob die that gets rolled at the beginning of each turn, but it all fits with the theme of the game and Bob's trademark 'chill' persona.  Essentially, each turn will start by rolling the Bob die, which will determine if Bob makes progress on his painting or if you get a small bonus.  Then you'll get to take three actions.  You'll be collecting paint and brushes, applying paints to your palate, and earning points by painting parts of the same painting that Bob and everyone else is also painting.  Painting elements first earns you bonus points.  The first to 30 points, or to get to Chill on the point track, is the winner.  Earlier players do have a bit of an advantage, so I like to finish a round after someone reaches Chill, but the game is so casual and fun that it really doesn't matter who wins or loses.  It's really all about the Joy of the Game.

1. Secret Hitler - My friend Kevin brought this to game night for the same reason I picked up Between Two Cities: more players wanting to play a game together.  From our very first play this was a HUGE hit in our group.  I think we played 4 games straight the first time we played, and almost every time since we've played multiple times in one sitting.  Unlike Dracula's Feast, you do have to be deceptive about your role, but unlike many other social games, in this one there are two people plus the game to potentially blame each time something bad happens.

The gameplay is super simple: each round a president and chancellor are elected, then the president draws the top three policies from the draw pile and chooses one to discard.  The other two are then passed to the chancellor, who enacts one and discards the other.  Once a certain number of Fascist policies the Fascist players win, and if enough Liberal policies are passed the Liberal players win.  It's as easy as that.  However, because only the president knows what three policies were originally drawn, and what policies are passed to the chancellor, there tends to be a lot of discussion, blaming, and deception that goes on.

There are only a small number of Fascists compared to Liberals in the game, but there are a lot more potential Fascist policies that can be enacted.  So it's quite likely that two Liberal players might get stuck with three Fascist policies, and no real choice about what has to be enacted.  Then they have to explain how they're not Fascist players.  However, as more Fascist policies are enacted, players gain certain abilities, like eliminating a player from the game, or looking at someone's political alignment.

We've found the game to be a perfect balance between playtime, player interaction, simplicity, elegance, and strategy.  Every single time the game comes to the table everyone has a great time playing.  This is definitely a game that I'd never turn down.  I do wish that the name didn't reference Hitler, just because of the stigma against him, however I think anyone that isn't offended by the name of the game will agree that the game name is only a pasted on theme, and it'd be super easy to change this to Secret Leader or something less generic (there are a ton of PnP versions online, like Secret Pirate, Secret Voldemort, Secret Sith, etc.).  Of all the games I played in 2017 though, this is the one that everyone has a great time with and wants to play again and again, every time it hits the table.

Well, that's it for my list of Top 11 New-To-Me Games of 2017.  Each year this list gets harder and harder to compile.  There are so many great games out there and limiting it to just 10 (or 11) is a real challenge.  I started with a list of about 20 games that I thought were awesome and had a hard time deciding to knock a few, like Herbaceous or Dice of Crowns down to the Honorable Mentions list.  Even though I played fewer games this year than last year, the games just keep getting better and better each year.  My dream is that someday one of my own games can appear on someone else's top 10 list.

How many of these games would make your top 10 list?  Are there any you feel strongly that should have been moved in its position?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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GJJG Game Reviews are independent, unpaid reviews of games I, George Jaros, have played with my family and friends. Some of these games I own, some are owned by friends, some are borrowed, and some are print and play versions of games. Where applicable I will indicate if games have been played with kids or adults or a mix (Family Play). I won't go into extensive detail about how to play the game (there are plenty of other sources for that information and I'll occasionally link to those other sources), but I will give my impressions of the game and how my friends and family reacted to the game. Quick Reviews will only get a single rating of 1-10 (low-high) based on my first impressions of the game during my first few times playing. Hopefully I'll get more chances to play the game and will be able to give it a full review soon.

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