Thursday, December 21, 2006



Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

I just played Big City again the other night... and it certainly deserves to be here. The game just looks GREAT as the city develops.

The only game I was really surprised by was Reef Encounter - I've played both editions & neither one made me sit up & take notice of the components.

2:12 PM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

Well, I'm pleased to see Tikal get #1, as that's one of the most gorgeous games I've ever seen. My top three got nominated, including El Grande (what an amazing job Doris did with that board--it's a shame I don't like the game better) and Java (another tremendous job by Vohlwindel--maybe even better than Tikal--but again, it's a game I avoid).

The way to really grab my attention with components is with a drop dead gorgeous board. So here's the rest of my nominations: Mare Nostrum, Doge, Wallenstein, and Die Handler. There's a pattern here: of the seven games, only Tikal and Mare Nostrum are games I like! I truly am a lousy parakeet!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Kevin_Whitmore said...

This list could be sub-divided into 3 categories. I'll stick my neck out and try to parse them. Naturally some will disagree with my take.

Toy Value Games: Big City, Settlers of Catan 3D, Shadows Over Camelot, Cleopatra, Gemblo, Star Wars, Ave Caesar, Blokus, Master Thieves, Nacht der Magier, Serenissima, War of the Ring, Battle Cry, Mississippi Queen, Starfarers of Catan

Lavishly Illustrated Gameboards: Lord of the Rings, Shadows Over Camelot, Tikal, Big Boss, El Grande, Elfenland, Java, Mystery of the Abbey, Reef Encounter, Serenissima

Prominent Use of Wood: Crokinole, Settlers of Catan (case), Master Thieves, Siesta

I don't know Tsuro, so I cannot try to categorize it.

Someone who wants a beautiful game might need to know why we were thinking of these games. If someone wants a beautiful wooden game they could be disappointed by a "toy value" game filled with plastic bits.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous estoote langobarden said...

My idea of "beautiful" in a game is a little different. I mean, Big City? It's nifty. It's impressive. But to call it beautiful would rather stretch the point.

There's a lot to be said for nifty and impressive, of course, and under that heading I would also call to your attention Himmelssturmer, Nacht der Magier, Tahiti, Pussy Cat, Union Pacific, Luftschlosser, Russelbande, Daytona 500, and Niagara.

Under "beautiful" there are headings like "striking" (compelling though unusual) and "elegant" (the beauty of simplicity) and "ornate" (fine detail work). Some games qualify under more than one, but here's the general idea:

Striking: Robo Rally, Hansa, Viva Pamplona!, Familienbande, Fiasko, Kaleidos.

Elegant: Ta Yu, Siesta, Einfach Genial, Ido (and standards such as chess and go).

Ornate (antique): Maharaja, Around the World in 80 Days, Thurn & Taxis, Moderne Zeiten, Condottiere, Flandern 1802, Korsar.

Ornate (exotic): Tsuro, Elefantenparade, Der Fliegende Teppich.

Stven Carlberg

12:35 PM  
Blogger Kevin_Whitmore said...

Hi Stven,

I agree. In my mind "beauty" and "boardgames" don't have a large correlation. Oh I like the looks of our winners, but the word "beautiful" isn't falling off my tongue.

I think the Spiel des Jahre committee used to award games with the best graphic design. I believe Inkognito was such a winner. Inkognito looks impressive, and its nice bits were part of my desire to check it out. But I wouldn't say "beautiful" to describe it.

Reiner Knizia's Samurai has always impressed me as being nicely appointed, and able to evoke the Japanese theme. The graphic design is refined and tasteful.

I previously tried to separate the winners and nominees. I did this in part because it seemed odd to lump "nifty and impressive" games with games that really strive towards more refined versions of beauty.

All in all these winners and nominees are good looking games. maybe I should just relax about the use of "beautiful".

10:05 AM  

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