Welcome back to my top 50 games list as of the start of 2014. Part 4 has a few more surprises.
5 games make their debut in the 20's.
#20 Flash Point: Fire Rescue Up 6
Flash Point is one of the simpler co-op games, but I really enjoy it. The theme flows throughout the game. There's always a certain amount of tension since fire can spark up anywhere on the map. I have most/all the expansions, so I have plenty of ways to play this game. It hasn't been right for every group, but it's a game I can teach to just about anyone and they have a basic understanding of how to play based on real life ideas.
#19 Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game New
Legendary makes its debut on this list because it has a neat twist on the co-op game. Everyone wins or loses the game together, but there is essentially an MVP on the winning side. Now technically, someone wins more, but I've played it as an MVP situation. I enjoy the variety of superheroes in the game, and how each seems to do something unique. The game rewards cooperation, but it also allows players to make their own decisions which is important in any co-op game.
#18 Hanabi New
Hanabi makes my list because it is unlike any game I've ever played. This is a puzzle game where everyone has a lot of knowledge, but no one has perfect knowledge. Discussion is very limited, every clue matters, and players have to pay attention to everything, both spoken and unspoken. A perfect game is obtainable, but it's really challenging.
#17 Alhambra New
Alhambra is an older game, but I find it refreshing and challenging even today. It just missed the cut last year, coming in at #48. I was able to play it several times in 2013, which is why it moved up drastically. I have the big box, which means I have over 20 modules which means I have a lot of replayability in the box. Alhambra is one of the few games that my entire family will ask to play. That alone makes it worth rating highly.
#16 Love Letter New
Love Letter is truly a minimalist game. It has 16 cards, and 13 cube tokens. Even though the components are low, the game packs a punch. Love Letter is played over several rounds, with the winner of each round getting a token, and the overall winner being the player to get a certain number of tokens first. The game has a good combination of luck and strategy. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but most of the time, you're going to have some chance to win a round.
#15 Escape: The Curse of the Temple New
Escape is the most tense 10 minutes of gaming you can play. It's a realtime co-op dicefest. Players have to work together to get gems, and then get out of the temple before time runs out. If even one player is left in the temple at the end, everyone loses the game.
#14 Shadows Over Camelot Down 6
Shadows drops because of its length. I did get to play it 3 times in 2013, but each time I realized that the game takes too long for what it is. If I could get Shadows down to an hour, it would be even higher on this list.
#13 Battlestar Galactica Down 7
BSG probably wins my award for game I wish I played more but can't/don't. The game is so hard to teach to new people. It really is something you have to go through once in order to understand how to play, and even then the game is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, and often it's too much for multiple new players to understand. As such, this game sits on my shelf looking sad.
#12 Star Trek Fleet Captains Down 5
Such a good game that I don't get to play. It's hard to have a situation where I have 1 or 2 other people who want to play a long game. Fleet Captains isn't the longest game, but it is a deep game with an immersive theme. I love Star Trek, as you'll see in my Top 10, and Fleet Captains feels like Star Trek to me, but this game has a lot going
#11 Dominion Down 7
Dominion trends down for the second year in a row. Here's my issue with Dominion right now: the game is big, it isn't easy to get new players into the game because experienced players will typically win the game running away. I have enough Dominion cards to play almost forever without ever playing the exact same game. I still enjoy the game, especially with people who know what they're doing, but I have a hard time holding myself back when I play with new gamers.