Variant: And the Board Game of the Year Goes to….
Tons of great games came out this year. And I had the wonderful opportunity to play a healthy chunk of them. After the final five nominees came out, I had several discussions over Twitter and in person—as well as reading all of the comments—to talk about why those games made the list and why some others didn’t. Even though every game in the top five is super fantastic (and some games not in the top five) there can be only one winner.
I replayed all of the listed games recently. I compared the sheer enjoyment I receive from each game, and my eagerness to play them—especially after repeated plays. And, based on fun and fun alone, the winner is…
Sentinels of the Multiverse! Sentinels combines fantastic co-op play with a near elimination of the “dominant player” problem that can plague the genre. Sentinels brings into the gaming world a functional and engaging comic book theme—something that was largely absent. It has captivated everyone I’ve ever played with, whether they are serious, casual, or a nongamer. It not only plays solidly, but it captivates the players as they identify with the super heroes and heroines that they have chosen to play.
Sentinels isn’t perfect. Crafted as it was by a very new publisher, it is lacking some of the bells and whistles that you might find in a more established production company (for example, health tokens). There are also definite scaling issues with five players. But, besides these relatively minor points, Sentinels is an outstanding game with tremendous replay value. And the replay comes not from a modular board or a random starting tile, but from a truly unique experience in every game.
Because every game weaves its own epic narrative, and my group still laughs and remembers critical moments from our games, it is the GeekInsight Game of the Year!