We asked I’m Board staffers what their favorites games of 2016 were and here’s what they said!

Aaron F

Top Picks of 2016:

1. Codenames
2. HMS Delores
3. Captain Sonar

If you haven’t played it yet, Delores is a tiny, simple, deep, gorgeous card game by Eric Lang and Bruno Faidutti with art by Vincent Dutrait. Basically a souped up combination of rock-paper-scissors and the prisoner’s dilemma with some very Knizia-esque endgame scoring, this is one of those games that feels almost too simple at first — like there’s no game to it at all — but has an undertow of cunning tactical play you won’t realize you’re being sucked into until halfway through. Rules can be learned out of the box in ten minutes, sessions clock in under twenty, but there’s endless play here. One of my favorites this year.


Favorite of 2016: Codenames.

It’s a simple, easy to pick up game with hours of replayability. Super fun for a variety of audiences.


My favorites of 2016:

Clank! is a deck-building dungeon crawl that’s just fun to play. Try to avoid making too much noise while you race as deep as you dare to get the best treasure. As you keep swiping her loot, the dragon gets angrier. Will the other players go for a quick grab and run strategy, possibly leaving you stranded if you push too far? Or is that what you should do? Good times…

Covert is a spy themed dice placement game in which you’ll send your agents all over Europe to gather intel, break codes, and complete missions. This game falls right in my wheelhouse; it has easy to understand rules combined with tough decisions.


Favorites of 2016:

A Feast for Odin
The Great Western Trail
Star Wars Rebellion &
Terraforming Mars

Honorable Mentions:

Roll Player
Aeon’s End


Favorite of 2016:

Terraforming Mars


Favorite of 2016: Terraforming Mars.

Play as a Megacorporation to warm the Red Planet, fill it with water, and introduce plant life. Each step in this terraforming process will impact the game and the cards you play. Each player will contribute to this effort, shifting the Martian landscape turn by turn, but the one who does it the best wins!

This game has everything I like mechanics wise, from card drafting, resource management, and variable “powers” to name some big ones. Gameplay wise I like to be faced with new decisions every turn and this game blends long term strategy with short term planning perfectly so that I always feel engaged in what I’m doing. Add a little bit of player interaction without having to be confrontational, and the fact that no game is ever the same (a massive deck of cards chock full of variety) and I haven’t gotten bored of it yet.

Honorable Mention: Blood Bowl 2016 Re-release

This is the first time I’ve ever owned or played this Games Workshop classic and unchanged after all these years it’s still brilliant. This game combines strategy with the thrill of random luck in a brutal fantasy football arena. The mechanics are simple, tight, but with an allowance of depth and customization that surprised me. Every game seems to be a nail biter with spectacular (and often hilarious) moments of football glory.


Favorites of 2016:

World’s Fair 1893 and Codenames.