Well here we are again with my end of the year top five games list. With all the games that I play & review through the year it is really tough to decide what games should go on this list. It is not any easy job but you know someone has to get down & dirty in the world of board games.

So how do I decide on what is in my top five games? Well, I have a checklist that I go through. Art, endurance of play, theme, & overall enjoyment of the game. Like I said, it is tough.

Okay, so that is enough of that, let’s move right into the list.

#5. Game of eNERGY


While I was wondering around Origins Game Fair 2016 I was met by an enthusiastic lady who was helping out at her son’s booth. She did a great job at selling me on the game designed by her son Nathan.

I didn’t get to play right away, which I’m kind of glad, because I got to watch a few others play. This helped to build my anticipation for what looked to be an amazing strategy game of building power plants of various types.

I was invited to actually jump into the middle of a game. So I agreed & immediately felt like I knew what I was doing without too much instruction.

The Game of eNERGY is an economic game where players act as enterprising business individuals. Each player will face the challenge of how they want to build their economy. This includes where to build, what to build, & how much of one energy facility to build. But time is of the essence as the ending of each round brings players closer to providing the world with a sufficient power source. The player with the most terawatt hours will win the game.

Game of eNERGY was successfully funded a few months later on Kickstarter. A bonus to Game of eNERGY is that it can be played solo.

#4. Lost in R’Lyeh


Atlas Games has been around since 1990 & they have never failed to bring out some very good yet odd games. Last year Atlas Games had me at Three Cheers for Master & Fairytale Gloom both of which are really fun games.

In 2016 Atlas Games released a variety of Cthulhu based games. Of course this generated talk that Cthulhu & the Great Old Ones were getting ready to take over board gaming. Actually it was pretty close because Atlas wasn’t the only company to release Cthulhu based games in 2016.

Lost in R’Lyeh is a card game where players must rid themselves of all the cards that are placed in front of them. They do this by playing multiples of cards triggering powers that can affect the game. The last player left with cards ends up losing their sanity & is trapped on R’Lyeh forever.

#3. Star Trek: Frontiers


In 2016 gamers were able to go where no one has gone before with Star Trek Frontiers from Wizkids. This was a reimplementation of Vlaada Chvatil & Andrew Parks Mage Knight. One to four players can jump into a Federation or Klingon starship to explore why their outposts are being attacked.

If you are a big fan of both Mage Knight & of Star Trek then you will definitely love this game. The Star Trek theme is perfect for a game of this caliber. It is also another great solo game to keep you busy for hours on end.

#2. Bloc By Bloc: The Insurrection Game
Bloc By Bloc

In the past few years we have watched frightfully on the news riots & protests around the world. With that Out of Order Games published it’s first game Bloc by Bloc this year & boy did that publish it at the right time.

In Bloc by Bloc players will become one of four factions within the game to protest against the Establishment. Players will do this by protesting peacefully or violently in strategic ways while the Establishment seeks to shut down those groups of protesters.

Players must try to cooperate with one another to bring down the Establishment before time runs out. If players end up winning not all players will win. Each group has a secret plan & one or more groups may end up sharing in the total victory.

Out of Order Games went on to successfully Kickstart Bloc by bloc in the spring of 2016.

#1. Button Shy Games


Usually I reserve the number one spot for one single great game. Not this year!

Instead I have decided to reserve this spot for a very innovative game publisher that goes by the name of Button Shy Games.

I did this simply because their run of micro & macro games have been spot on since their inception. I can’t count how many awesome games they have released this year, I just know that I have played a number of them & all have been great to bring to the table.

I want to thank Jason Tagmire & all of the other fantastic game designers & artists that have worked on the many great games from Button Shy. I wish them continue success throughout 2017.

2016 was a tough year for a lot of us. My good friend in gaming, Roger, passed away this past fall at a very young age. I enjoyed introducing him to a multitude of games over the years. So in 2017 I will miss seeing him at Origins.

I still have a long list of games left to play & the year is yet to be over. Still a lot of time to play & enjoy. Let’s look forward to a better & brighter 2017.

Have a great new year & game on!

-Christopher Richter

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