The Dice Tower recently counted down their favorite games from 2013, and since I grabbed my favorites to vote for the People’s Choice, I thought I’d share a few of them here.
Rococo (or the deluxe version that came out in 2020, which is the actual one I own) is a game where players run a tailor shop that is outfitting rich patrons for an elegant ball. Each round, players choose cards from their deck, which represent employees. Each turn, one employee performs a job from shopping to tailoring to funding decorations for the ball. Whoever builds the most prestige will win.
I love that this is a different theme for a game — there aren’t a lot of fashion and sewing themed games. I like the hand management aspect of Rococo. Each round you look through all the cards in your deck (not your discard), and get to choose which ones to have in-hand for the round. That means you could pick all of your best cards, but then in later rounds you’ll be left with your lesser cards. The game has a lot of great decisions, and it always feels like you need another round or two to do everything you want to get done.
Concordia is “trading in the Mediterranean” game where players use cards to build up networks of colonists, collect or trade goods, and bring in new specialists. Players start the game with all of their cards in hand and play one each turn. The cards they’ve played are unavailable until they play the one that allows them to collect all of the cards again.
Concordia always feels like such a tight game. I enjoy the agonizing decisions each turn about which action to do. Some actions can end up helping other players, but if it helps you more, maybe it’s worth triggering them. Or, if you time those correctly, the other player might have a full warehouse, so they won’t collect all the wonderful goods they would have otherwise. I don’t know that I have worked out the strategy for Concordia, but I’m enjoying the journey to figuring it out.
#1 Steam Park
Steam Park is a game where players are building up a theme park for hard-working robots who only have a week off each year. Each round starts with a real-time dice-rolling phase, and then players take turns activating their dice to build rides and kiosks, attract robots to their park, and clean up after the inevitable messes.
Theme-parks are one of my favorite themes for games, and the silliness of building roller coasters and rides for robots makes Steam Park that much more enjoyable. I’m not typically into a lot of real-time games, but because there are ways to change your dice rolls and improve on some of the actions, I don’t mind it here. I also love that the rides that you’re building are three-dimensional, which gives this game an amazing presence.
What are your favorite games that were published in 2013? Let me know in the comments!