We here at the Wolfman’s Lounge like games. Not like mind games, drinking games, or even love games. Well, maybe love games. Scratch that…No, I’m talking about boardgames! Previously, Josh examined the best 2016 had to offer. If I could describe 2016 by way of a single movie scene it would be the soul shattering moment in the NeverEnding Story when Atreyu’s horse, Atrax, succumbs to the Swamp of Sadness. Go Google that shit and tell me I’m wrong! THAT BEING SAID, 2016 really was quite a fine year for cardboard and plastic analog gaming. 2017 has got its work cut out if it wants to compete.
So I’ve taken a cursory glance at all of the announced titles that are expected to come out in 2017 and whipped up a Top Ten. These are the games that make me lose sleep at night because I’m obsessing about them like some love struck teenager. That gentle cooing and deep sighing you hear is me looking lovingly at a Polaroid of the game in the number one spot. You creeped out? Wanna turn back? Too late, OFF WE GO!
10. Big Trouble in Little China: The Boardgame (Everthing Epic Games)
Has it been noted anywhere on the Wolfman’s Lounge that Big Trouble in Little China is my favorite movie of all time? It hasn’t? Well it is. Make a mental note for when you have to buy me gifts. In regards to the game, I haven’t a clue if it’s going to suck or make me feel like I just chugged one of Egg Shen’s magic potions. All I know is that I’m excited that it’s coming out. What more could I guy ask for?
9. Alien Artifacts (Portal Games)
This is another one I don’t know much about. However, does the phrase “4x CARD GAME” both confuse and excite you? I thought so. Typically, 4x games are huge ass, 6+ hour monsters like Twilight Imperium III, so a card game version of that immediately piques my interest. It defies all logic. Spock himself has told me so. The concept alone is what put it on the list, but Portal Games is a very smart and capable publisher. Fingers crossed this turns out OK.
8. Justice League: The Board Game (abba Games)
So we’re still all waiting for the definitive superhero boardgame. There are almost zero worthwhile contenders. The few that are good seem to be shunned by the masses for one reason or another. Still, I can’t help but get lost in frothy anticipation for this game. It promises to be an “Us vs Them” team style adventure game that will cull popular stories from the DC archives. However, the real selling point is that each superhero is played using a unique gameplay mechanic. This means that the person playing Batman is literally playing the game differently than Superman or The Flash. The designers are a complete unknown, but here’s to hoping that this is finally THE SUPERHERO game that I’ve been waiting for.
7. Heroes of Land, Air & Sea (Gamelyn Games)
This is a giant 4x style game from the guy know for his “Tiny Epic” series of games. That’s not why I’ve sniffed it out though. Nope, it’s on this list because it looks like the inspiration for the game is Warcraft II and Warcraft III. Yes, the old PC games. I LOVE those games and if this comes close to being a proper analog version then I’m all in. Zug Zug mother fuckers!
6. Escape from 100 Million BC (IDW)
With a name like that, how could I NOT get psyched? Also, look at that box art! Tell me it’s not the most ridiculously, awesome thing your eyes have witnessed today! It looks like some lost piece of cinematic trash from New World Pictures circa 1987-1991 starring either Jean Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren. I literally know nothing about this game, but I’m “all in” thanks to the silly/dumb/amazing theme. Sometimes you can’t overthink this shit.
5. Shark Island (Upper Deck)
Just look at that fucking picture! Drink it in! How could you walk past this on a store shelf and NOT buy it? In case you’re wondering, let me assuage your fears…yes one person gets to be a man-eating, great white shark. I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. I don’t think I need to say anything else do I?
4. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet (Portal Games)
This is the sci-fi follow up to the smash hit (and brutally unforgiving) Robinson Crusoe. The big changes being that it’s now set on Mars and the game is completely App driven. I for one am completely sold on Apps integrating with boardgames and I can’t wait to try this. Plus, this game will let me break out my “Get your ass to MAAAHS!” Arnold impression. That’s worth at least a top five spot.
3. Rising Sun (CMON)
Eric Lang is arguably the best designer in the “Dudes on a Map” genre. His last attempt, Blood Rage, was nothing short of fantastic and this spiritual successor will hopefully be even better. It’s a tall task, but I think the man is up to the challenge. I dig the samurai mixed with Japanese folklore setting and I hear this game will feature plenty of negotiating which always makes me happy.
2. Assault of the Giants (Wiz Kids)
Ever since Cthulhu Wars stomped onto the scene a few years ago, companies have been looking to capitalize on the oxymoronic HUGE miniatures phenomenon. Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons’ attempt at a game with big fucking minis. Giant minis, if you will. The recent glut of D&D boardgames have ALL been completely on point, so I have stratospheric expectations for this.
1. Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks (Gale Force Nine)
I love me some Doctor Who and Gale Force Nine makes the best damned licensed games in the ENTIRE universe. They are a company that just flat out understands how to properly translate a property into a boardgame. The design choices they make always feel richly thematic, and yet immediately accessible. When you get done playing you have this sensation that you literally escaped to whatever TV Show, or license that the game was about. Trust me when I say that this is not an easy task to accomplish. These guys have proved again and again that they simply have no peer when it comes to licensed games. They’re take on Doctor Who looks incredible, and I absolutely cannot wait to play it. Allons y!