Ah 2023, a great year for gaming at least, even if looking at the news on any given day was a complete shitstorm. As expected, I’m fixing to go through my favorite games for this year both board, card and video variety as well as movies and favorite book (not from 2023). We were starved for choice in everything this year. If there’s an interest, here is my 2022 version and beyond
The game we played the most this year, per play at least, was A Study In Emerald 2nd edition, which is just proving again and again to be one of the best multiplayer deckbuilders there is. I love Ascension, but Study In Emerald, if you can handle just a WEE bit more complexity, is just off the hook with replay value and backstabby fun in and hour and a half. There are still cards I’ve never seen before in play after 30+ plays and I still laugh when Cthulhu blows the shit out of London yet again. The game will be rehashed by CMON next year and we’ll see if that stands up to 1E and 2E of Study in Emerald. That said, the best game FROM 2023 is….
My favorite so far (I don’t get to play much, so something may have slipped by) is Stationfall. This is just a complete hoot to play and absolute madness. It has a high learning curve, so make sure that someone in your group really knows the rules. I’d love to get more plays of this, but it’s on the long side for game nights. Absolutely crazy game and goes against EVERY standard bullshit clone of Viticulture that is fills nearly every kallax game shelves right now.
I did not read much this year, finishing only like 3-4 books. My favorite this year was my re-read of Treasure Island with the N.C. Wyeth illustrations. A profound romp through a fairly realistic story of pirate treasure. I kids book for sure, but I needed something light before I started in on the classic ‘The 30 Years War’ by C.V. Wedgewood.
I barely watched any films this year for lots of reasons, but two stand out, Godzilla Minus One and The Dungeons and Dragons movie. I didn’t see Sisu or a lot of other great films (well, probably great) including not seeing the French language adaption of 3 Musketeers, so I gotta give it to the D&D movie, which I’ve seen twice now and it holds up well, knows exactly what it is and has tons of Easter eggs for fans. I really never saw this coming, that D&D would be such a great cheesy trash film instead of just unwatchable trash. Make more please, a lot more.
This movie is definitely more 13th Age than 5th edition and folks should take note of that. Crazy set-piece battles > hide bound, balanced encounters with 100% predictable magic systems and bog standard combat effects. 5E and it’s ilk isn’t what you want in your games if you liked this film.
This is a double game of the year, and it’s because both of these games are so incredibly different that I feel justified in deeming both the game of the year. First is, of course, Street Fighter 6. I’ve already expounded on the game, and I just can’t wait to play it more after I play it for awhile. It’s easy to pick up for beginners and while I play primarily locally, it has a solid online version as well. Absolutely top drawer– and again like the D&D movie, I never thought I would say this!
The second is a sleeper– Jagged Alliance 3. While I haven’t played Balder’s Gate 3 yet, I never really got into the RPG games all that much other than Temple of Elemental Evil, so I’m holding off. I know BG3 will be awesome, but having put about 20 hours into JA3 so far with MANY more on the horizon, JA3 is the GOTY for sure. It is EVERYTHING I have hoped for in a JA follow up title since 1999. These guys did everything exactly how they were supposed to and if you were a fan of the older games, you will be blown away– not at first, but within a few hours when you see how well everything is designed. I’m going to do a full review when I’ve finished the game so that’s all I’m going to say for now. Incredible.
Hottest Chick on the planet 2023
It’s the same as last year, was the same the year before that, will be the same next year: Rebecca Bagnol.