10 Tabletop Games We’re Getting in 2016
Ah, 2016. So much to look forward to. For one thing, we’re looking forward to chilling out and playing some of the weird and wonderful games heading our way over the next few months.
10. Hitman Holiday
One that has only managed to make the list because of a delayed release, this crowd sourced game of malice and suspicion is now on the way. The world’s greatest hitmen have converged on a holiday resort to relax soak up the sun and partake in a world murder championship. Everyone has their own assassin and another player they have to eliminate – but they also have to avoid being taken out themselves. We’re looking forward to the mind games that may ensue.
9. The Irrational Game
Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics Dan Ariely has turned his study into this original brain scratcher. Players compete by guessing the answer to behaviour related scenarios, such as how much more a person will eat from an endless soup bowl compared to a regular one, with psychological explanations to go with the correct answers. I’m looking forward to taking this one into the classroom.
8. Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The Four Horsemen are coming and everyone at the table is going to die before the end of the game. In order to win you want to be the last one standing. Each round you draw cards you can use to defend yourself and divert attention onto other players when the Horsemen appear in the deck. Playing pesticide can slow down Pestilence, a celebrity chef flogging butter can slow down Famine and a flower child can stand up to War. Lots of topical cards and backstabbing – should be fun!
7. Marvel Legendary: Secret War Vol. 2
This would be much higher on the list if it wasn’t an expansion pack because we LOVE Marvel Legendary, the deck building game that lets you form your own team of Marvel characters to battle villains. We’ve already got the core game and a bunch of expansions and are officially out of storage space for game components but we cannot resist adding more heroes and foes to the game.
6. Kill Doctor Lucky
I’ve been a fan of Cluedo since I was a child, though these days we tend more towards the more complex Mystery Express. Kill Doctor Lucky is the logical reversal of the concept, setting players the task of killing the titular doctor by using the best weapon and room to make your move. Other players will try to upset your murder attempts, giving them an opportunity to take a winning shot. Timing and observation will be key.
5. Scoundrel Society and Ninja Camp
These little games get paired together because they’re arriving from the same publisher at the same time, and anything from the creators of Heroes Wanted is worth attention. Everyone is a con-artist and thief in Scoundrel Society, proving their skill by stealing from each other. You need to balance you haul against how much suspicion is on you, as the most suspicious being arrested at the end, leaving everyone else to compare their take and declare a winner. Ninja Camp pits you against each other as ninja animals completing their training by playing Ninja Skill Cards to navigate a series of traps and obstacles. It looks like bright, silly fun!
4. Secret Hitler
We try not to double up on game styles in our collection and although it’s similar to Coup and Ultimate Werewolf we couldn’t help getting in line for Secret Hitler. Every player is either a Liberal or a Fascist. The Liberals are stronger in number but the Fascists know who else is in their camp, and everyone is working to push through their agendas. Also, one player is secretly Hitler, known to the Fascists while the Liberals try to uncover them.
3. The Networks
Here’s a cool setting for modern players – working as a television executive. You earn points by bargaining for and purchasing television shows, actors and advertisers. Matching the right stars to the right genre shows will make them more effective, and you’ll have to meet certain requisites to get the right shows. It looks like a cool and unique strategy game.
Horror games have been topping the charts lately and Pandemonium looks to be an absolute ripper. At a glance it looks similar to the massive hit Zombicide in terms of mechanics, but has a very different visual design. Making a point of not being another zombie game, the line up of heroes and monsters is freaking amazing, with a massive number of demented miniatures being included, with plenty of references to classic films like The Thing, Re-Animator, The Shining and Halloween. It looks like a cool take on the horror game genre.
1. A Study in Emerald
Ok, so this isn’t a new game but it’s been unavailable essentially since release and this 2nd edition features new artwork and streamlined rules so I’m counting it. Also, I’ve been dying to get it. Neil Gaiman is one of the best authors of the modern age, producing amazing works in novel, comic, television and children’s book forms. Years ago he wrote a short story emulating the style of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ stories set in a world where the Lovecraftian Old Ones have conquered the world. I won’t say any more because it’s got some great twists and turns (and takes about 10 minutes to read), but this board game is based on that short story. Gaiman, Holmes, Lovecraft mixed together in a strategic murder mystery game? Sold and sold.