Board game reviews, news and commentary.
Top 3 Board Games of 2015
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Thursday, Dec 31, 2015

Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, concluding our look back on 2015 my completely subjective top three favorite games of the year! Behold!

Chaz’s Completely Subjective List Of Favorite Games Of 2015: #3: Specter Ops

Regular viewers of my videos (hi, Gary) may recall that in last year’s year-end review, I mentioned a game that I was looking forward to by designer Emerson Matsuuchi. Well, that time next year is now this time this year, so what do I think? Would Specter Ops live up to my expectations? Could it be done?

Tune in next time to find out! Bah, I’ll just tell you now. Yes, Specter Ops managed to deliver a hidden movement game with streamlined mechanisms and gameplay, while including asynchronous player powers and building tension on the very first turn.

For those reasons, I’m glad to place Specter Ops in my #3 spot for the year, and retain Emerson as my current favorite board game designer. He’s also a super-nice guy.

Chaz’s Completely Subjective List Of Favorite Games Of 2015: #2: Star Wars Risk

Some people may say that Star Wars Risk was one of the biggest surprises of 2015. And some of those some people would be me. Here was a re-implementation of the highly praised game The Queen’s Gambit, disguised as part of the Risk franchise, developed by Hasbro for big-box retail chains.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up playing Risk, so, for better or worse, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for it. But Star Wars Risk did not earn this high a place on my list merely out of nostalgia. Far from it! Let me put it this way, at BGGcon, in several of the games of Star Wars Risk I saw being played, the participants were actively on their phone placing an order for their own copy of the game on Amazon while they played it.

The last time a game carrying the Risk brand was able to do that was, never! Never because that is not the type of thing that has ever happened in this, or any other, universe. And that’s why Star Wars Risk claims the number two spot on my list of favorite games of 2015.

Chaz’s Completely Subjective List Of Favorite Games Of 2015: #1: Codenames

Codenames earns the top spot on my list for the year because it’s a game that has managed to be engaging with every audience I’ve played with. Gamers at conventions, my local gaming club, and family and friends. It’s one of those games that many different audiences can appreciate.

But, what really makes Codenames stand out to me is that it is one of the very, very few games this year that, no matter who I’ve played it with, the initial reaction after finishing a game has been, “let’s play that again”! And I can’t think of any game this year… even the last three years, that has been met with that response so often and consistently. And it’s because of that level of accessibility and replayability that Codenames earns my top spot as my number one favorite game of 2015.

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