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2016 Board Game Award Winners

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A couple of weeks ago we announced our nominees for our 4th annual Board Game Awards. There were many amazing board games released in 2016 and I’m always excited to take one last look back at the year to recognize the best and most creative among them.

Today we are excited to announce the winners for our 2016 Board Game Awards. As usual, the voting was difficult and some categories were extremely tight. But our editorial staff (along with input from our readers) have made their selections. So without further ado, here are the winners of our 4th Annual Board Game Quest Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

2016 Board Game Award Winners

Best Cooperative Game

2016 Best Cooperative Game

2016 Best Cooperative Board GameMechs vs Minions
Designer: Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, Nathan Tiras
Riot Games
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Publisher Riot Games has never created a board game before, having focused primarily on their insanely popular video game League of Legends. Yet in 2016, they ventured into the tabletop arena with their very first board game. Mechs vs Minions is a highly entertaining action programming game that not only plays great, but looks amazing.

Runner Up: Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition

 

Best Tactical/Combat Game

2016 Best Tactical Combat Game

2016 Best Combat GameCry Havoc
Designer: Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, Michał Walczak
Portal Games
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One of the most unique tactical games to come out in a while, Cry Havoc took the summer convention season by storm and, after playing many games, it’s not hard to see why. With a unique combat resolution system and four asymmetrical factions, Cry Havoc’s creativity makes it a game we are always eager to get to the table.

Runner Up: Star Wars: Rebellion

 

Best iOS Board Game

2016 Best iOS Board Game

2016 Best iOS Board GamePatchwork
Developer: DIGIDICED
Mayfair Games
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iOS Board Games are a fast growing genre on our devices and I’m glad for it. While we would always rather play at the table, they are great to have when you are by yourself. There were many great board game adaptations released in 2016 and Patchwork rose to the top with its smooth gameplay, excellent visuals, and all around superb programming. Developer DIGIDICED really has set a benchmark of what a digital board game should be.

Runner Up: Pathfinder Adventures

 

Most Innovative Game

2016 Most Innovative Board Game

2016 Most Innovative GameMystic Vale
Designer: John D. Clair
Alderac Entertainment Group
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Released at Gen Con 2016, Mystic Value was definitely the most unique game we played at the convention that year. This title is the first in AEG’s new “Card Crafting” line of games that has players using transparent cards to “build” cards as the game progresses. It was defiantly a clever concept and I’m excited to see where they take this line in the future.

Runner Up: Vast: The Crystal Caverns

 

Best Production Values

2016 Best Cooperative Game

2016 Best Production ValuesMechs vs Minions
Designer: Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, Nathan Tiras
Riot Games
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In one of our tightest races of the year, Mechs vs Minions barely inches out Scythe for Best Production Values. Both games had amazing artwork, components, and even custom inserts. But with its pre-painted minis, custom sand timer, and legacy style elements (sealed boxes and envelopes), we have to hand it to Riot Games, they thoroughly impressed us with Mechs vs Minions.

Runner Up: Scythe

 

Best Strategy/Euro Game

2016 Best Euro Game

2016 Best Euro GameScythe
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Stonemaier Games
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Scythe was one of the most hyped games to come along in a while thanks to its gorgeous artwork, great looking components, and Stonemaier’s reputation for quality. And for us, the game didn’t disappoint. Overall we all had a great time playing Scythe with its unique blend of resource management, player interaction, and different faction powers. Scythe could have easily been turned into “just another war game”, but instead, its mechanics are cleverly based on the “threat of combat”, which works perfectly with the theme its set in.

Runner Up: Great Western Trail

 

Best Card Game

2016 Best Card Game

2016 Best Card GameVillages of Valeria
Designer: Rick Holzgrafe, Isaias Vallejo
Daily Magic Games
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Villages of Valeria was an instant hit with us after our first play. It had beautiful artwork, rock solid mechanics, and entertaining game play. Publisher Daily Magic Games definitely hit on something special here and in our review, we even had a hard time thinking of things we didn’t like about the game.

Runner Up: Mystic Vale

 

Best Two Player Game

2016 Best 2 Player Game

2016 Best 2 Player GameStar Wars: Rebellion
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Fantasy Flight Games
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An epic game set in the Star Wars universe that sends the Empire hunting for the hidden rebel base. Star Wars: Rebellion spans the entire galaxy, boasts a ton of miniatures, and some really deep mechanics. Star Wars: Rebellion is so engaging, that even though its play time clocks in at around three hours, it never feels like it’s taking that long to play.

Runner Up: Onitama

 

Best Family Game

2016 Best Family Game

2016 Best Family GameIce Cool
Designer: Brian Gomez
Brain Games
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Ice Cool ended up being the most recent game that we labeled “more fun than it has any right to be”. The game play is super simple, flick your penguin around the school house, either to collect fish or catch the other penguins. It’s fun, accessible, and can be enjoyed by just about everyone. We’ve played more games than we can count of Ice Cool and it never seems to lose its charm.

Runner Up: Sushi Go! Party

 

Game of the Year

2016 Game of the Year

2016 Game of the YearTerraforming Mars
Designer: Jacob Fryxelius
Stronghold Games
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Mars has been a hot theme recently with more than a few games taking us to the “Red Planet”. However Stronghold Games’ hit title about corporations working together to setup Mars for colonization not only sold out of its first print run, but continues to fly off the shelves. Designer Jacob Fryxelius definitely created something special here and did a great job of creating a game that integrates its theme so tightly.

Runner Up: Scythe

Note: Per award rules, because it won Game of the Year, Terraforming Mars was removed from consideration from other award categories.

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While he will play just about anything, Tony loves games that let him completely immerse himself in the theme. He also is a bit of a component addict.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I would have thought game of the year would have to excel on all aspects. Terra-forming mars has the worst artwork of 2016 and possibly the worst production. It also has just about zero player interaction and some of the mechanics need a lot of work. I guess some gamers enjoy staying at a deck of cards for 3 hours with zero interaction

    • Thank you for your thoughts Paul. While we don’t quite agree with you on your thoughts on Terraforming Mars, you also have to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect board game. Every game has its flaws, be it production quality, mechanics, or even just theme. In the end, we just had differing opinions on Terraforming Mars than you did.

    • I understand your concerns Paul. While Terraforming Mars did win Game of the Year for a variety of reasons there is one reviewer who felt differently. See our review on the site.

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