1st Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Rose
Parade, Z-Man Games
It’s short and sweet, with just enough beef to make it a great card game. The new edition out by Z-Man also adds a beautiful new set of Alice in Wonderland themed cards (akin to the original). But don’t get too distracted by the art, colors and numbers play a huge role in this game, so you need to pay attention!
This is a game I love bringing out to events because people become lured in by the card design, but also enjoy themselves and the skill they start to acquire during game play.
2nd Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Rose
Hex Hex, Smirk & Dagger Games
No matter if you play the minimum, or maximum players, this game is fun no matter what. Over and over. What was once the simple game of hot potato, is now Hex Hex. Pass the hex to players and try to detonate it on anyone but you! You are sure to get a good rivalry going on with at least one of your friends while playing this game. Oh, and it makes an excellent drinking game.
3rd Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Will
Cosmic Encounter, Fantasy Flight Games
I really like this game because you play as an alien with special powers to break the basic rules of the game in some way. The game comes with a large variety of these special powers so every game is different and you have to use different tactics to make the best use of your alien power.
The other thing I like is that there is a lot of player interaction. When one player is attacking another player the other players have the chance to aid either the attacker or defender for various types of advantages. This means everybody can be involved in every turn whether it’s their turn or not. This also means that there can be joint victories.
4th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Will
Smash Up, Alderac Entertainment Group
Smash Up is currently my favorite game to play because there is so much variety in the game play. The basic play of the game is to play what are called minion cards of various values on base cards to try to win the victory points on the base cards. You also get to play action cards that affect the game in various ways. What makes the game so much fun is that the cards you get to play with represent different types of character types such as robots, pirates, zombies, aliens, ninjas and many others. All these different types play very differently and very much thematically like the types that they are.
But wait, there’s more! You don’t get just one type of character deck, you get two types of character decks and you SMASH (shuffle) them together. So now the game becomes how well you can combine the strengths and weaknesses of the character types you’re playing, versus your opponents combinations. You play to just fifteen points and there’s a lot of player interaction. With more than twenty character types and more on the way no two games will ever be the same.
5th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Jamaica
Pandemic, Z-Man Games
Pandemic is a board game for 2-5 players. All the players work together to stop 4 diseases from wiping out the earth. The players travel around the game board (which is a map of the World) and try to keep the diseases in check while scrambling to get the right cards to discover cures. All the while new cities are becoming infected or cities you had just treated are becoming re-infected.
If you run out of cards to draw, you lose. If the diseases get too big too often, you lose. If you run out of disease cubes, you lose. There are many ways to lose and only one way to win so most of the time you will…..lose.
That isn’t to say that this game isn’t a blast to play, on the contrary. This game makes you think you’ve got it all under control, you know what the players have to do for the next 5 turns and if you can just make i…..wait, did Chicago just set off a chain reaction on the Eastern Seaboard? By the end of the game you will be gripping the edge of the table in suspense, hoping against all hope that your planning paid off and you can save the world. And if it did and you feel pretty proud of yourself, don’t worry there are three expansions that want to have a go at you.
6th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Jamaica
Betrayal at House on the Hill, Wizards of the Coast
Betrayal is a semi-cooperative board game. You and your friends enter this creepy old house at the end of the lane. Don’t ask why, you just do. As you explore the house, weird and creepy events keep happening to you; you find weird and mystical items and suddenly you find out one amongst you has been a traitor the entire time. At that point they are playing to beat you and you are trying to beat them in one of 50 unique scenarios that take some inspiration from classic horror tales. You will try to collaborate with your teammates without revealing anything to the traitor and you try desperately to survive them…and the house. For the house has a few tricks up its sleeve as well.
This game is great for a group of friends or complete strangers just playing a game together. Once you’re done and the house lies in ruins around you, you’ll want to play again to see what other scenarios have in store for you.
7th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Jason
Dixit, Asmodée Éditions
Dixit is fun because of the unlimited replay ability. The experience changes depending upon who you play the game with. The voting and scoring mechanics of the game are unique. The artwork of the game and its many expansions is visually appealing to artists and non-artists.
8th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Jason
Tsuro, Calliope Games
Tsuro is a great game because it takes mere minutes to learn and 20-30 minutes to play. Yet it has a good deal of strategy. Be the last piece still on the board at the end to win the game. Sometimes the game even wins. This game, is a perfect convention game.
9th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Jason
Qwirkle has more strategy than first meets the eye. Shapes and colors line up a certain way like scrabble to score you points. But be careful. The sought after Qwirkle is a lot of points and can change who is leading quickly. Good family fun for $20 at your local Target.
10th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Ron
Descent 2nd Edition, Fantasy Flight Games
Descent 2nd edition is a Dungeon and Dragon style board game. It has 2-5 players where one acts as the dungeon master controlling the creatures of the world along with using special cards to try and stop or defeat the other players. The other players will work cooperatively together to try and complete the goal for the map. Players can either just jump into a random map or can use the map on the back of the book and actually turn the game into campaign mode and level, earning new skills and abilities to fight the denizens in the world. As the heroes work to become stronger so to does the Overlord. As the players all work through the campaign so to does the story becoming richer and deeper revealing what’s going on in the world. Multiple character and abilities for characters to choose from along with multiple items and weapons to either buy or loot.
Many options and game changes every time people play. Hours and hours of fun and strategy and through the campaign mode friends can gather constantly to see where the story goes to unfold.
11th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Dan
Carcassonne, Rio Grande Games
For an easy to learn, difficult to master tile-laying game good for 2 to 5 people, I turn time and time again to Carcassonne. This delightfully engaging pastime can be enjoyed in under an hour and has been popular enough to spawn an assortment of cross platform versions including Xbox 360, PS3 and mobile phone versions. Numerous large and small expansions to the board game original add to the basic farm/road/city/church elements including a wide variety of new features ranging from traders to plagues to even a rampaging dragon! Pick up Carcassonne at local game dealers including Game Depot and experience the sensation!
12th Game of Meeplemas
Pick by Dan
Illuminati, Steve Jackson Games
The media is awash with mentions of NSA surveillance and fears of big brother. Those of us in the know, however, realize this is all part of the scheme of none other than… the Illuminati! In this game of conspiracy players take charge of unique secret societies operating behind the scenes to subvert control over the international system of power through bribery, assassination, and deceit. A memorable title from Steve Jackson games, Illuminati will satisfy a group of 2 to 6 power gamers for several hours. A card game not for the feint of heart, but strategic and intriguing enough to entice the tactically minded.