Geekway 2014 Gems
K H
United States
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As an experiment, I went into this year's Geekway to the West convention with a different plan than usual: play anything, no matter what, as soon as anyone suggested it. I figured this would be a good way to get out of a rut, and maybe stumble over a hidden treasure or two. Below are the games that made this decision a winner for me.
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1. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:314]
K H
United States
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This is the only game of the weekend that I planned to play ahead of time. It just happened to fit on this list because it was also the first game suggestion made to me upon arriving at the hotel: the signup sheet was in the hallway on the way to check-in.

At Geekway, we have the luxury of playing with all of the stunt elements from the numerous expansions. The ramps, jumps, and other oddball hazards dreamed up by those perverse (Oops, I mean creative) minds who laid out the tournament courses really made the game shine.
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2. Board Game: Mangrove [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
K H
United States
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I was between games one night, wandering the tables and looking for a 'Players Wanted' sign. While this game was not advertising for players, when I paused to comment (it looks like a firework exploding) the owner invited me to join.

Although the simplistic game play is little better than Jackstraws, the sheer beauty of the implementation is what warrants inclusion here.

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3. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:1991]
K H
United States
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I am not usually a fan of hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers. This one may have changed my mind, at least a little bit. It moves fast, avoids getting bogged down in details, and has nice custom dice. The box is tiny, and the price is low, but it delivers a surprising amount of fun.
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4. Board Game: Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1553]
K H
United States
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Although I was put off by certain thematic elements (slave trade and subjugation of natives by mass slaughter for example) the quality of game play makes this title noteworthy. There are still interesting choices to make, even though the dice hate me.

Pro tip: Upgrade your seafaring skill track before exploration. Failing the die roll for your first explore action really sets you back. Failing twice in a row is a sure way to lose. Oh, and the dice really do hate me.
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5. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:343]
K H
United States
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This is a light to medium weight worker placement game with a railroad building theme. At first glance, there is not much to distinguish its mechanics from a dozen other titles. One feature that does stand out is an internal mechanism for keeping the game moving full speed ahead, so make sure you keep up.
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6. Board Game: Coconuts [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:749] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
K H
United States
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Use spring-loaded monkeys to catapult rubber coconuts into the waiting cups. Race to collect a set of six. Even better, aim for your opponent's collection and steal one away.

This was the perfect game for winding down Sunday evening with a group of sleep deprived Geeks.
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