Brian’s Games of 2016


So for me 2016 was all about jumping in on the other side of the fence and helping with making games here at Ironmark rather then just playing them.  Fortunately, an off hand comment about how great the American Revolution would be as a theme for a mega-game turned into an all consuming highlight of my year.  As a result, I didn’t play anywhere near as many games in 2016 as I wanted to, but these are the ones I enjoyed the most.

The World Turned Upside Down


This was my first foray into designing anything, and without Stefan it never would have went anywhere. But I learned an enormous amount helping put this together, and I am looking forward to running it many, many more times. So, while I know you can’t run out and buy this yet, it gets a spot on my list.



We have been trying with mixed success to get bunches of us together to play games online for a very long time and Overwatch finally cracked the code for our group. It really is the perfect mix of casual and competitive, and players at every skill level can contribute to the win. For me that should be the goal for any team based shooter and Overwatch knocks it out of the park. I know, I am the guy at the low end of the skill curve.

The Division


The background story to this game sucked me in like no other pre-release. While the game as delivered had some glaring flaws, the team behind it took a hard look at people loved and released a great patch. Sometimes it takes frequent iterations to get something right, and since this was a digital game, we are fortunate to get that revised vision.

Pokemon Go


Never before or since has a video game made it so cool to be a nerd. People I would never expect jumped on this train, and it was so much fun to wander around new places catching them all. It still has a place on my phone, but I am not certain I will open it again. Well, maybe now with a new year’s resolution. It is still a great way to gamify exploring your locale.




For me this game was super difficult to wrap my head around. Once I did however, it was so worth the effort. This makes the list for reminding me that not every game has have simple to grasp rules to still be enjoyable, and that sometimes you need to put in some effort in order to be rewarded.

Secret Hitler


This game very quickly has become my favorite hidden role game. Each of the mechanics builds on the next, and the end result is a well balanced, and quite simply fun game to play, despite the kind of dark theme. Plus, the lizard art for the cards is infinitely amusing to me.

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