All the board games I played in 2018, in order of appearance. * designates a meaningful re-play.
Bang! - Not the short, fast-paced game I expected. Fun, but probably better as two separate games. Didn't feel very high stakes.
Pandemic - Finally. The great co-op game. I really loved the intensity: not too much and consistent throughout the whole game. Not as mechanically elegant as Flashpoint, but one of the most helpfully designed boards I've ever seen. Incredibly self-explanatory. It was close and I would love to play again.
Cat Stax - Single player puzzle, to my surprise. Fit the cats in the shape. Not bad.
What The Fish? - WTF indeed! Pretty fun if not chaotic. Not a lot of strategy to it.
* Clusterfuck - Haven't played this game in years. Seriously fun, even with the minimum number of players. Might work on a retheme so I can bring it to work.
Slap .45 - These constant slap games just don't land with me.
Legends of the Hidden Temple - Mechanically, it's just cheaply packaged drinking games and pure luck games. Good ideas about having removed players still be involved. Hilarous to read the rules as a host. A good framework to put other games into.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong - The first official Falvey Game Lunch game and an excellent choice. I almost regret buying Mysterium because this game feels the same on a certain level and is way easier to explain and set up. Very compelling game and who can argue with that player range?! FOUR TO TWELVE PLAYERS in a 15 minute game?!
"Thieves of Waterdeep" - First test play of my upcoming board game occured on 21 May 2018. Used only components from Lords of Waterdeep fairly successfully. Fun but needs work: how to you define "catching" vs "getting away with it"?
Consentacle - A great interactive piece of art. A strange mix of goofy gameplay with a poignant simulation of intimacy.
* The Resistance - I've long considered Secret Hitler to be the best hidden role game but I have to hand it to The Resistance: it is more intuitive, quicker, and more intense. Case in point: we squeezed three games into an hour and they were the first games I've gotten to play in 6 years (my friends swore off playing for a while).
Santorini - I enjoyed this game a lot the first time I played it, but it wasn't a must-have. THEN. I borrowed it from a friend and I've never seen my family and friends go rabid over a boardgame the way they did for Santorini. Truly a must-own on the merits of how good it is AND how viral it is.
Onitama - A simple and clever game! Definitely worth trying. The app didn't grab me the way the card version did.
Sushi Go Party - I sweated over whether to buy this or classic and I'm so glad I bought this version. So versatile and easy to teach and play.
Merchants and Marauders - A fun game with either too many rules or a terrible rulebook.
Inhuman Conditions - A real party divider but the people that stayed really enjoyed getting into character on both side. The puzzle was delightful and subtle from the start with lots of room to get good at the deception.
Flamme Rouge - This game rules! Almost too simple and so tense. How is it always down to the wire??
Magic Maze - Played incorrectly (we spoke the whole time) but we agreed the physical reaching aspect was off-putting enough to not play more than twice (that night).
Ravine - A slight mismatch between expected tone (serious) and delivered tone (silly). The Madness cards demand a more laid back tone setting but all of my friends really dig this game. Can't wait to play with the expansion.
Pirateer - What a raucous and genius game! Can't wait to get my hands on this again!
Anomia - Chaotic and well-named. Might be worth having around!
Trap Words - Played a hacked version with These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs and loved every tense second of it.
Treasure Island - My lone Christmas present game! So good and tense. Much more of a thinker than I thought, atleast with 1v1. More players may help it go quicker and be more devious.