The nominations for the 2015 Spiel des Jahres (Game of the year) have been announced.
For those unfamiliar with this prestigious award, generally the games that are selected are family style games, without too much complexity, but offer a rewarding experience.
The Wild West comes alive in this game all about robbing trains. In Colt Express players become rival train robbers trying to secure the most loot all the while avoiding capture by the sheriff.
The game itself features programmable movement. In other words each turn you must plan out in advance the actions and movements that you want to carry out, and then hope that things work out as intended. Some of the actions you can take include moving from carriage to carriage and even up onto the roof, grabbing loot, stealing loot from other players and even getting involved in a shootout.
What makes this game so memorable is the train itself, which is three dimensional, so instead of playing the game on a traditional flat board, you actually play on the train, which gives the game a great feel.
Colt Express is a great competitive game, with just enough chaos to keep things interesting.
Machi Koro is a card based game that originated in Japan. During the game each player will be building a city using cards that represent the various buildings. The ultimate aim is to complete four special constructions, the first to do so is the winner.
The core mechanic of the game revolves around the roll of one or two dice. Each turn, the current player will roll the dice and each building that he owns (which features the number rolled on the dice) will activate, generating income. In some instances buildings in the other players cities will also activate. After receiving income the player may purchase an additional building to add to their city.
As you can see the gameplay is very simple, but there is considerable strategy in deciding which combination of buildings will most help you reach your goal. Of course as with any game that features dice, there is also an element of luck.
Machi Koro is an excellent game that is easy to learn and fun to play. A worthy Speil des Jahres nominee.
MACHI KORO is available here.
The Game is another excellent example of a co-operative card game in a similar vein to previous Spiel des Jahres winner Hanabi.
The Games consists of a deck of cards numbered from 2 to 99, as well as 4 starting cards (2 each of 1 and 100). Each turn a players must play 2 cards from their hand onto one of the 4 piles, either in descending or ascending order. The aim being to place as many cards onto the piles, before play becomes impossible.
There is one exception to these rules. If you have a card that is exactly 10 more than the last card played onto the descending pile you may play it, and the same is true for a card 10 less than the last card on the ascending pile. In this way you may make it possible to play cards that previously had been unplayable.
Now while this may seem a little confusing, the reality is that The Game is incredibly simple to learn, but certainly requires some skill in order for the group to be successful.
At this point THE GAME is not available in Australia, but we are hoping it will be soon.
So which of these three do you think will win? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.