Innovation ★★★★

If I were a game designer, I would like to make a game like Innovation. Inside its small package, lies a clever civilization game where each card has its own ludicrous effect. It’s the kind of title I would be happy to play a hundred times and whose chaotic nature only furthers my enjoyment.

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Tragedy Looper should not be westernized

Tragedy Looper, Bakafire’s game of time travel, is getting new editions this year. This is great news as it’s an excellent game with a unique premise. However, the German publisher, Frosted Games, will not maintain the original setting. According to their podcast, they’ll move away from the anime artstyle and replace it with a Western one.

I believe this is a serious mistake. To westernize Tragedy Looper is to deny its whole identity.

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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases ★★★★★

There are countless games based on the world’s most famous sleuth but none as great as Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. With just a book, a list of addresses and a bunch of newspapers, it captures the whole spirit of the Victorian investigator and reflects it, not just through its setting, but its mechanics.

Now subtitled “The Thames Murders & Other Mysteries”, it remains the best deduction game I’ve ever played and, despite some minor flaws, a truly engrossing experience.

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Liberté ★★★★

Of all area control games I’ve played, Liberté has the most challenging decisions of them all. Behind its French revolutionary façade lies an opaque game where players don’t directly control a faction. Matches can close with a narrow margin in victory points or end swiftly with a monarchist coup. It’s one of my favourite Martin Wallace designs despite a few shortcomings.

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The Crew: The Deimos Adventure ★★★★

The Crew, Thomas Sing’s cooperative spin on trick-taking, hasn’t gotten a retail expansion yet despite being such a huge hit. However, it has gotten some additional content courtesy of Kosmos, its publisher. The Deimos Adventure is a set of 15 new missions which take the system to new heights. Released online for free, they are a great addition for fans of the cooperative trick-taking game.

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