Brandon’s Games of 2016


Brandon shares some of his favorite games of 2016. 

Taluva: Deluxe Edition


My first game of 2016 would have to be Taluva Deluxe.  Even though its BGG page says it was a 2015 game it didn’t end up getting delivered until January 2016.  Taluva is a re-release of an older version but with a lot more added to it through Kickstarter.  This makes my list not only because of the simple yet deep game play but also because of the beautiful presentation from the board to the pieces to the very tiles that you play on.  You can see a good example of what the board looks mid-game in the photo.

Dishonored 2

I loved the first Dishonored and played it many times through.  The sequel adds to the story and both lets you play with the powers that you know but also play around with all new powers.  The recent update that adds New Game Plus makes things even crazier by letting you mix and match the new and old powers and carry over all of the runes and bonecharm abilities that you had learned in previous playthroughs allowing for some very wild combinations.


This year I built my first ever computer and might have gone a little overboard with it.  Picking up Doom though made it all worth it when you can play the game with maxed out settings and still experience no slowdown.  This is not the kind of game to learn how to use a keyboard and mouse with but once you get the hang of it there is no way you are going to want to go back to a controller with this games hectic, fast paced combat, weapon customization, and collectible and easter egg filled levels.  Each shot fired whether it is from the starting pistol or the new BFG-9000 just feels right and makes you feel really powerful.

Aeon’s End

Aeon’s End is a cooperative deck builder card combat game similar to the Legendary games or the recent Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport.  What gets this one onto my list is the turn order which is randomized by a deck and the automated monster deck that gets its own turn.  I have only had the chance to play this twice so far but with multiple characters, randomized market, and different levels of difficulty for each Nemesis I can definitely see myself playing this more as the year goes on.

Hero Realms

Essentially this is just a reskin of White Wizard Games already popular Star Realms but with a D&D skin on it but I felt that there was enough minor changes that make the game different enough from Star Realms that it is worth playing both.  One of the nice changes to this is the inclusion of asymmetrical starting decks in the form of Heroes.  These Heroes let each player start with different amounts of health, 2 unique ability cards that can be used through out the game, and different starting 10 card decks.  Something else that I am looking forward to trying out is the Campaign which will be releasing in Early/Mid 2017.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game


This one makes the list because you get to play as the turtles and enemies both from the current comics run on IDW and some of the older villains as well.  Getting the Eastman variants for the Turtles and their cards isn’t necessary as they have the same abilities and cards but the art style on the player boards and the design of the minis is worth it for the nostalgia if you read and enjoyed the Eastman/Laird Ninja Turtles.  Gameplay is fun and you can tell that there was a lot of thought and care that went into the entire game design to make sure that it was not only appealing to Ninja Turtle fans but also to gamers as well.  So far we have only played a single campaign and it seemed like the Turtles might be a little overpowered but that could have also been because it was our first time playing and it was easier for the Turtles to coordinate while the Villain Player was essentially on their own to learn how to play the game.

Honorable Mentions:

Armello (PC): just released some DLC in the form of new characters and boards which adds some more replayability to an already great game

Don’t Mess With Cthulu: Social deduction where no one knows anything and everyone is allowed to lie about what they have

Overwatch (PC): great online multiplayer game where matches are short so you can jump on for a quick game or play several in a short amount of time.  I also like that there is a mode that forces you to play as random heroes so you have the chance to learn new ones that you may not have played as

Move or Die (PC): this is best played with friends in the same room but can be played solo against the computer.  Its hard to describe this game as each round the rules and win conditions change, one round could be last man standing as death blocks come to crush you randomly across the level while the next could be the player that colors the most squares by running, bumping, and crashing into them is the winner.  It’s fun and can have some crazy arguments while players are running and crashing into each other.

Citadels (2016 Edition): I was a big fan of the original Citadels and the new edition with Tarot sized Character cards and now going up to 27 characters adds to a game that was already fun to play with a group.

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn: This is a cool card combat game with beautiful artwork and so many different characters and cards that the base game is enough to last you a while, with the expansions adding on some new and unique cards and characters.

Manhattan Project: Energy Empire: Not just a reskin of Manhattan Project, this uses a similar worker placement mechanic but removes the PVP aspect and adds in some interesting resource/time management mechanics that I feel enhance the gameplay from the original

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