Elise’s Games of 2016


My gaming style is lighter than my colleagues. While I appreciate a five hour Euro, the advent of lighter yet still stimulating games has held my attention lately. I appreciate components and artwork, delighting in them for much longer than is normal. Take that information to heart when you read my favorite gaming selections for 2016.



I was anxious to play more after my first brain bending experience in this modular tile placing, city building game. The variable strategies in which to earn victory points are many and I haven’t seen one prevail heavily over the others. The continuously changing communal tile zone from which you select your buildings, parks, offices and such keep things interesting and stop you from planning too much. You may be get stuck into the occasional fit of analysis paralysis and regret many of your placement decisions but it’s definitely worth it.

Captain Sonar


Team based yelling at each other as you try to destroy an enemy submarine, huzzah! Fast paced, silly, and tactile this is a good game for those who like the yelling of Avalon but done in a more constructive manner. Each player assumes individual roles which are fun and interact well together. The feel of drawing on mats containing weapons, maps, etc. is something we don’t get too often in any form of games and is very satisfying.

Secret Hitler


Lying and deceit fill this game, which means I am no good at it. However I do love trying to deduce who is good and bad, while poorly denying that I am Hitler. The basic gameplay is what causes this game to be both super fun and frustrating. All the deception within means there is never a definite way to determine a good/bad guy, so strategic gameplay is thrown out the window. The deluxe version is also a beauty to behold in its wooden box.



A sleek graphic style, a variety of premium component materials, and dragons – what more could you ask for? While it’s not the most strategic, Dragoon is light but engaging enough and most importantly entertaining. Gameplay is simple as you claim cities, gain tributes, and fight other dragons. Cards offer special abilities causing bouts of aggression and chain reactions of revenge. I simply enjoyed playing this game and its social aspect is not touted enough.

2015 Games Discovered in 2016



From one of our Indie Megabooth buddies at PAX East 2016 this beautiful game offers familiar mechanics and solid gameplay. As princesses you and your sisters vie for the throne, building up your domain and assembling your court. Within basic tableau building you can receive bonuses for cards of the same type, or lose points for cards that don’t interact well. One of the most interesting elements is the randomly drawn events which cause players to work together or suffer the consequences.



With an intimidating DM screen and beautiful artwork, Mysterium is easy to both under and over think. It’s vague, wordless gameplay creates an air of confusion and misinterpretation that I found fun (although some might find frustrating). As the silent ghost you try to lead players to your killer with visual clues only. The mediums attempt to decipher what part of the clue correlates to the suspects, place, or murder weapon (is it the color? that mouse? a red piece of string?!). The only negative is the all-or-nothing accusation at the end.

Digital Selections


I tried out the physical game at PAX East 2016 and instantly fell in love. The app is a great port which brings everything wonderful about the game into the digital space. Great executions like this make me wonder if it harms the industry as I now have no reason to pick up the physical game.

OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo

A solid side scrolling beat-em-up based in the world of a rejected Cartoon Network pilot. While I still hold out hope for the show, this is a solid representation of the characters and their world which is based on video games from the 80s. Fun powerups, traditional character progression, and entertaining cut scenes made this app one of my favorites.


No one will play this game with me anymore. It’s chaotic shouting at your friends in an attempt at coordination. However no amount of coordination can prepare you for cooking on rocking pirate ships, moving trucks and in haunted kitchens. Adorable, chaotic, with a fun world map I could not recommend this game more.

My gaming resolution this year will be to play more new games. I sometimes get drawn to games I have played many times and love, rather than learn something new. 2017 will change all that so expect more next year! Remember if you want to join us for our weekly game group you can find all the information on our Meetup. See you there!

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