Saturday, March 28, 2009

Current favourite publisher...

Would definitely have to be Ystari Games based in France. I own 4 of their recent releases and am eager to collect more. Their games are clean, elegant, aesthetically pleasing, and loaded with depth (and each one features a 'y' and 's' in the title!) Check out...

This the original worker placement game and probably still the best. With absolutely zero luck and a dizzying wealth of options and strategies, Caylus is the ultimate heavyweight eurogame. The only reason we don't play this game more is because the four hours of brain-burning ends up being quite exhausting. A must-own for anyone who loves a good strategy game...

Metropolys, which just came out last year, probably has the most original auction of any game of the past 10 years. It's surprisingly simple and yet loaded with subtlety and vicious player interaction. Although the board is kind of drab, the game itself is a ton of fun and plays in just under an hour. Brilliant.

This is probably my favourite game of theirs. A game of archaelogy (sort of...), Mykerinos lets you capture point scoring tiles and then display them for points in the museum. The five special character powers aren't complicated but add just enough depth to make every decision an agonizing one. In the end, this game is really just an area-majority game, but it's done so originally it feels like something totally new. AND it plays in 45 minutes!

The latest addition from Ystari to enter my collection is Yspahan. Yet another game that is quite hard to describe, this delightful game plays in just under an hour and yet offers an enormous amount of choices and many paths to victory. It also features one of the most creative use of dice to decide one's actions in any game of recent memory. Yet another winner and a beautiful looking game for which I look forward to many more plays.

What to play next? Well, I've heard great things about Ys, their secret bidding game that has been out for a few years, but the one I'm really excited about is their release for this year, Bombay (also their first one without the 'y' and 's' in the title...) Check out the hella cute elephant pieces!

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