In the world of board gaming, there are those who enjoy the occasional Settlers of Catan match or a solid Scrabble session, and then there are the real board gamers. The geeks who can unblinkingly name-drop a list of games you’ve never heard of (but are likely twice as fun as the ones you have heard of). Those kinds of gamers have been known to congregate around BoardGameGeek, a web-based resource, forum, marketplace and hub for news and reviews, all dedicated to gaming on a board. This cult of cardboard gamers just released the winners of the annual Golden Geek Awards — or, in other words, a list of the board games you should consider getting your hands on.
Each year, the Golden Geek Awards are presented at BGG.Con in Dallas, Texas. According to the BoardGameGeek website, “winners of the Golden Geek are selected by the nomination and voting of the user community of the BoardGameGeek.com, RPGGeek.com, and VideoGameGeek.com websites.” Some of the stand-out winners are below.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Winner: Board Game of the Year
A cooperative game in which you and your team are highly specialized disease-fighters tasked with keeping four deadly (and highly contagious) diseases at bay for one year (or, in board game time, roughly an hour.)
7 Wonders: Duel
Winner: 2 Player Game
This is a two-player version of its parent title 7 Wonders, with a similar concept. Players compete for resources and develop their civilizations militarily or scientifically while constructing “wonders” along the way that provide special abilities.
Winner: Artwork and Presentation
Think Clue, but with more substance. One player is a ghost, the rest are mediums tasked with solving the ghost’s murder. The ghost can only communicate with the mediums in the form of “visions” (image cards); in a card-based series of guesses, the other players must guess the correct combination of setting, suspect and weapon used in the ghost’s murder.
Winner: Party Game
A card-based game with an espionage theme in which two teams must identify their secret agents based solely upon their code names and the help provided by their team’s “Spymaster,” who knows the answers but can only speak in one-word hints.
Runner Up: Party Game
A Western-themed test of dexterity. Players, divided into sheriff and robber clans, construct a table-top Western town that they must strategically advance through, “shooting” (flicking plastic disks) to knock down the opposing clan’s pieces.
We are currently in the golden age of board games. But have you played a new game recently?