Jazz Paladin, Review Manager of EBG: Top 10 of 2022.
Top 10 of 2022:
Greetings everyone! Welcome to the end of 2022! The team at EBG had a busy year with tons of reviews, but there is always time for more, right?
For the month of December, a number of us have put together a list of our top games of all time as well as our favorite new games of 2022. We will also share our biggest new disappointments of the year and why.
With that being said, here is what made the naughty and nice lists!
For Jazz Paladin, Review Manager of EBG we have…
Best Games of all time :
Tied for first place :
1) Dungeons of Infinity and Arena : The Contest.
Dungeon Crawls are my favorite. I was surprised when a personal favorite of mine was bested by two relative newcomers.
Both Arena and Dungeons of Infinity live up to the dungeon crawl experience, but have a different focus on how they handle things. They feel like two sides of the same coin for me, if I want something that focuses on tactical grid battles vs an AI (or PvP deathmatches), I go to Arena. If I want something that feels like a cross between Final Fantasy Tactics and Diablo with lots of randomness , I choose Dungeons of Infinity. Both feature equally compelling narrative, and have expansions that are both tied for my attention next year, promising even more improvements to already great systems.
2) Shadows of Brimstone. Also a dungeon crawl. This is bumped down for me. It is a great game and experience but man, it takes a lot of space on my shelf and is expensive to maintain. But it is epic in every sense of character development. Narrative takes a back seat to pure action. Nothing wrong with that, though, the abundance of options available more than make up for this!
3) 4x Space Games. Too many to list, they all have a relatively equal standing that varies only slightly depending on many moods and situations. Be on the lookout for my massive shootout in 4x games in 2023 where I pit the best in my collection against each other including : Twilight Imperium / The Silver River / Eclipse Second Dawn for the Galaxy / Nexum Galaxy / Space Empires 4x.
4) Uprising : Curse of the Last Emperor. Also a 4x game. But this is fully cooperative! We got a ton of plays out of this since its release, and this won’t be stopping anytime soon! Insanely punishing difficulty (we do Apocalyptic mode), but oh it is so good! Be on the lookout for a review to its Titans expansion next year!
5) Mage Knight : We haven’t played this in a while, but it is quite the epic deck building battle! Coupled with lots of decisions that make a big difference, this always feels like a different experience each time!
6) Indonesia. I haven’t officially reviewed this yet (this is forthcoming), but it has been in my collection for years now. This is the most brutally competitive economic game I have yet tried. I like to call this the Twilight Imperium of economic games. It has almost unparalleled player interaction for its type of game, and I have heard the devs say if you lose, it’s your own fault…and I find this to be very true!
7) Shadowrun : Crossfire. In other years, this would be near the top of my list. In some I still feel this should be in the number 2 or 3 spot just because it is so different from many other deck builders out there, especially since it is fully coop with the ability to level up between games! Look for a full review next year!
8) Downforce. This is my go-to game for getting newbies into board games, this is accessible and enjoyable for both casual and serious gamers, with a time commitment that makes it easy to take out any time.
9) Clank! In! Space! Or Clank! Also great games that are easy to learn and fun. A frenzied, competitive deck building race! Loaded with great art and humor (especially Clank! In! Space!)
10) Tournament Fishing. Easily the most unique deck builder in my collection. And I have lots! In its way, it’s just as unique and one-of-a-kind as Shadowrun : Crossfire, and just as unpredictable! But this one is competitive. Great production quality!
Biggest Disappointments of 2022
Etherfields. This should be no surprise if you saw my review. I had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat for me in every way.
Dawnshade : Claimed to be inspired by Final Fantasy tactics, and this did not feel reflected in the gameplay at all.
Best New Games of 2022 :
Return to Dark Tower. Although it missed some marks with me in some ways, I was really impressed with the production quality and ease with which one can teach new players. A great way to wow new players and get people into gaming at your house for the first time!
Nexum Galaxy . This was surprising, as it entered my collection very late in the year, but it managed to capture my attention for being purely strategy based and throwing luck out the window, which is usually a staple for dice-based 4x space games. Best of all, it is very portable and plays without a huge time requirement, but still provides the satisfaction my much bigger 4x games do (even though Nexum Galaxy is technically still just a 3X).
Stay tuned for more Top 10’s all thru the month! If you find you resonate with some of our reviewers more than others, now is the time to get some good insight into new games to try!
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Jazz Paladin- Reviewer
Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.