Variant: Top 100 Games – 50 Through 41 | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Variant: Top 100 Games – 50 Through 41

Image via parentstv.org

Image via parentstv.org

Now, we’re entering the top half of the list. From here on out, every game is fantastic and I want to play it more. As I look over this particular set of ten, I see some absolutely stellar offerings. Many of these games work well with the casual crowd and yet are still a blast for me.

50. Keyflower

Probably the least causal-friendly game on this set of ten, Keyflower is fantastic. I love the mutli-colored auctions and the fact that when you bid on something, you’re basically locking in the currency to be used. It provides great tension between bidding early and securing a good color, or bidding late to snatch something up when other players have exhausted their funds.

49. In the Year of the Dragon

Sometimes Feld makes games that really punish you. In the Year of the Dragon can certainly be like that. As you try to build up your scholars and do things that get you points, you have to worry about plague, decay, and feeding them. I love how tight the game is and you feel that every decision is critical. I don’t think I’ve played this since the Year of the Dragon (2012), but that needs to change.

48. Roll for the Galaxy

Want to know a secret? I’ve never played Race for the Galaxy. Shocking, I know. I’ve played an awful lot of San Juan, and I get the central idea of it. But somehow, I just never got around to playing it. But I was introduced to Roll for the Galaxy and fell in love. Despite it being a dice game (which I tend not to like) and a successor game (often filled with fail), the whole thing succeeds brilliantly. I love that every turn is like a little puzzle to manipulate the dice to get what you want. And trying to guess what other people are going to do with their turn is always a blast.

47. Galaxy Trucker

I adore this title. It took me a couple of plays to really get the hang of it. I mean, those first few ships were monstrously constructed and exploded right on cue. But after a few plays, I got the hang of it and it’s simply a blast. The real-time building is exciting and I love the way you can pressure your opponents. And the rest of the game isn’t so much a “game” as an extended scoring round.

46. Castles of Burgundy

This is probably a little bit lower (higher number) than it might be simply because I’ve played it quite a bit. It’s one of my wife’s favorites and a go-to title whenever she has friends over that want to play a game. So, while I still enjoy it immensely, I’ve played it enough that it is no longer shiny and new. That said, it’s still a solid title and perhaps the most enjoyable and accessible Feld title out there.

45. Tammany Hall

Now here is a mean game. Mean, mean. I have to be careful who I play this with because it is a cutthroat area control title with specific slanderous weaponry that can be employed on your opponents. And I love it. Tammany Hall is such a fantastic experience and I try to play it every chance I get. It does have a little trouble scaling, and is certainly best with five. But you always feel that a victory here was well fought and fully earned.

44. Modern Art

This Knizia classic is thoroughly enjoyable every time I play it. I love that the players effectively determine which artists are popular, and therefore, which will be worth more money. And I love that the winning bid is paid to the player, not the bank. That means you have to be careful if you engage in a bidding war. You’re definitely helping an opponent when you do.

43. Istanbul

It may not seem like it, but Istanbul is definitely a racing game. You have to move as quickly and efficiently around the board to acquire five gems. Finding those efficient paths is a fun challenge and, because the board is modular, a unique challenge each game. But this title really stands out once you add in the expansion, Mocha & Baksheesh. With the introduction of coffee, the title goes from fun, to amazing. The strategy opens up and new paths to victory appear – even on the same board.

42. Notre Dame

Three Feld titles on one list! Yep. While I can’t say that I love all of his designs (especially more recent ones), there’s something undeniably great about Notre Dame. There is card drafting, geometrically improving actions, and a constant threat from rats. Not to mention area majority in the cathedral and determining which people to hire. Such a solid title.

41. Village

Village has a unique mechanism where your workers ultimately get old and die. It provides this delightful narrative that is so often missing from euro games. And the expansions, especially Village Inn, take an enjoyable game and really turn it into something superb. The strategies open up and players are drawn in different directions each game.

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