Quinns: Hello everyone! Shut Up & Sit Down will return on January 15th. In the meantime, continuing on from our roundups of our favourite features from 2014 and 2015, here’s a hefty list of our very best work from 2016 and 2017. You know the phrase “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? Well, this article is basically a basket containing all of our eggs. Take that, Plato. You’re not the boss of us.
Paul: I don’t think that’s what Plato sai-
Quinns: Did we miss your favourite video or article? If so, leave a comment!
- At the time of writing Gloomhaven has finally hacked and slashed its way to Board Game Geek’s number one slot. We’re grateful for that, since it makes Matt’s gargantuan 35 minute review a little less ridiculous.
- And if you like big boxes, don’t miss my review of Twilight Imperium 4th edition. It’s technically the first SU&SD re-review, and it’s really interesting comparing it to our old review of 3rd edition because I cover almost none of the same points. The game’s just that expansive.
- Speaking of TI, in a first for the board game industry we created a documentary on the making of Twilight Imperium 4th edition, simply because we felt that the game deserved it. Do give it a watch if you’re at all curious how our niche board games are made.
- …But while 2017 was a year of big reviews, Paul’s review of the dainty Azul was a welcome reminder that small games can bring the very best out of the hobby. What could be better than slipping pretty tiles around the table with a few friends?
- Our 2017 holiday gift guide is probably a link well worth bookmarking. Whether you want to bring a game home to meet the parents, or buy something for that special table gamer in your life, we’ve got you covered.
- I had a lot of fun putting together this feature: How to Build an Amazing Board Game Collection for $10. It bears repeating that the collection you get from that article is better than collections I’ve seen costing four figure sums.
- 2017 was absolutely our best ever year for podcasts. Don’t miss our PAX Unplugged live show (68), our UK Games Expo live show (61), or the episode where Matt and I get really angry about board gaming legends Space Hulk and Magic: The Gathering (53). If you’ve not heard our podcast yet, number 53 is a great place to start.
- 2017 was /also/ our best ever year for roleplaying game coverage. Our reviews of Blades in the Dark and Lady Blackbird make nice counterpoints to one another, showing just how big and how tiny roleplaying experiences can be, despite being from the same designer.
- If you’re more of a miniatures gamer, do check out our review of the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000. An honest appraisal of an ageing game, but one soaked in je ne sais quoi. A whole year ago now, we also looked at the latest edition of the venerable Blood Bowl, alongside the less well-known Guild Ball.
- I bet a lot of you missed our Millennium Blades review this year. Fix that immediately! It’s an exquisitely crazy thing- a simulation of collecting and playing a collectible card game.
- Oh maaaaan. I somehow forgot that this year we published a mammoth feature going through the Board Game Geek top 100, game by game. Perhaps my brain chose to compartmentalise the memory. We had fun writing this feature, but I think we managed to piss off just about everybody.
- So here’s something much nicer! Pip’s feature on Jenn Sandercock’s upcoming book of edible games. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, eh?
- It’s easy for people to go back and see our old podcasts and videos, but written articles have a way of disappearing forever. Five written reviews that most definitely deserve a better fate are my playful comparison of Exit and Unlock, Matt’s love letter to the delightful Burgle Bros, Paul’s artful examination of Fresco, my passable review of Diamant (which I’m only including here because I want people to know how good Diamant is) and my inspection of the criminally silly Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.
- We’re slipping back in 2016 now, and one feature that I think everybody loved was the examination of my, Paul and Matt’s board game collections. All too often this hobby simply loves big board game collections. I much prefer personal, curated collections with stories behind them. It’s like a menu: all too often, three amazing options are just fine.
- To date, Paul’s Kingdom Death: Monster video still has the best opening line of any review.
- Ooh, here’s a podcast worth revisiting. Our Top 5 games of 2016! I don’t find “Best of the Year” lists particularly handy once they’re past their use-by date, but I love them as snapshots of another time. Going back and listening to old Dice Tower podcasts where they talk about their favourite games from 2006 is a blast.
- Here’s a load more written reviews worth saving. Vinhos Deluxe is the kind of review that makes me want to dig out my copy of that game and play it immediately. Alchemists, on the other hand, is a game that Paul and I both liked during review, but getting it out again doesn’t appeal. Both games are equally complex, though, so I wonder what the difference is?
- My goodness, 2016 was a year of great little games. Sushi Go Party, Go Cuckoo, Dead Last and Patchwork are all absolutely fiendish, and yet they all demand such different skills from the players. You guys, I think board games might be amazing??
- Arboretum gets all the attention, but Parade is another game in the same series that’s an absolute delight. They boxes look beautimus on a shelf together, too.
- Speaking of cards, Pip’s Personal History of Playing Cards is like an appetiser to the sort of coverage that I really want to give the 52 card deck. It’s the greatest, most far-reaching, prettiest, bestest, most excellently historic invention that table gaming has ever had, and some day I want us to do a video on it, reviewing Bridge, Poker, Durak, Euchre…. It’s just such a hard thing to explore when we have other games to play.
- Ooh, hey! I’d forgotten we reviewed Ticket to Ride! Plus Paul did that review of Carcassonne a while back. Oh my goodness, is 2018 the year that we finally review Catan?
- I don’t know why we so often feel the need to pull out all the stops when we do Actual Play videos, but we do. I hope all of you have seen us playing Mysterium: Hidden Signs in full costume and in an actual haunted manse, or watched us playing Infinity on a gorgeous table FULL of little broken homes.
- Playing and reviewing a crowd game with an audience of 200 people could have been a disaster. It wasn’t! Good work us.
- Publishing this article on Fantasy Football brought me so much pleasure. I love when my job involves showing just how broad and surprising this hobby is.
Gosh. I can’t wait to see what we come up with in 2018. See you guys there!
Paul: One last thing. Let’s not forget that, across 2016 and 2017, we also organised and ran our first ever convention! SHUX was a sell-out success, an astounding thing to see happen and also something that added a few more videos to our YouTube channel that you might not have spotted yet. There’s even more from the show still to come, so keep an eye out! Special thinks to Michele Marotta for today’s header image.
Happy New Year! I’ll kick the site off with some news when we go live and I’ll also be swinging through PAX South next week, checking out both board and video games (boy, it feels good to travel again). If you see me, say hello!