Joe’s Favourite Games – Day 1

After a failed attempt to write a list of my top 5 games (it quickly became a top 10) I’ve decided the best thing to do is a series of blog posts going into a bit more depth about my favourite games. So, each day this week I’ll be discussing a couple of my favourite games.

I have decided not to include RPGs in these posts because they would just be a list of RPGs, which I’ll save for another time.

Star Realms

Almost made it – Hardback

Although this list isn’t in order it would be disingenuous for me to put anything other than Star Realms at the top. I recently hit 2500 games on the app and even though each session is short that represents a much greater time investment that any other game I’ve played. I love how easy the app makes playing this game. It only takes a few seconds to get matched up against a stranger and a few minutes to lose to them. If feels like the more you get into the game the tiny strategies you uncover to give yourself that edge. You also build up your experience so you can work out exactly when you should shift your aim from economy to damage. I also like that even the best players can only really hope for a 64% win rate, so if I’m going up against someone that I know is one of the top players, I might be able to still eke out  a win.

The real selling point for Star Realms is the online community. There’s an excellent Facebook group and plenty of fan run leagues and tournaments with interesting formats and schedules that each present a different challenge.

Hardback is surprisingly similar to Star Realms, the colours of the factions even match up a bit. But…I haven’t played 2500 games of Hardback so it would be crazy to include it in this list.


Almost made it – Secret Hitler

Social deduction games are probably my favourite genre. It could even be argued that playing werewolf with cousins on holiday was as much of a gateway into the hobby for me as King of Tokyo or Catan.

If I’m getting very introspective about it I think there’s a good case to be made that Avalon represents a social situation with clear goals and rules. And in my day to day dyspraxia life I can sometimes find social situations hard to read. So finally finding a social situation I completely understand is undoubtedly part of the addiction that makes me keep going back to these games.

I love the puzzle element of watching votes and allegiances and marrying them up to results. Another dyspraxia symptom, having a great working memory also helps me at this game, enabling me to remember a lot of the players voting histories which gives me evidence to uncover puzzles if I’m on the Good team or facts to help shift suspicion on to a scapegoat if I’m an Evil player. I find this puzzle element slightly lessened in Secret Hitler due to liberal players being incentivised or even forced to play fascist policies.


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