Published by: Space Cowboys and Asmodee NA
This had the misfortune of being the other game Space Cowboys put out before Time Stories. Elysium is a unique card game that can be played in approximately an hour. Cards have great art and an insert that actually works! This set collection game has some great strategy that will leave you shaking your head on what you should do. There is enough player interaction to keep everyone involved at all times.
Published by: Z-Man Games
Voyages of Marco Polo was my Euro game of the year. This may have fallen off many peoples radar due to being released early in the year and selling out. This dice worker placement game has similarities to other great games such as Alien Frontiers. I enjoyed Voyages of Marco Polo more because of the player powers, traveling to different cities, and various paths to victory. If you are a Euro style or worker placement fan, you should play this as soon as you can.
Published by: Mayday Games
Viceroy was my favorite game that I played in the first half of 2015. This card pyramid building game combines some interesting elements. Auctioning to receive cards each turn using gems in a secret bid was an interesting system that was hit or miss with players. There were great decisions in figuring out which card your going to place due to card abilities and matching gem colors. Viceroy's engine building made you really think ahead of time on which strategy you wanted to go with. There were many paths to victory and games were usually close. The art on the cards is very good.
Published by: AEG and Artipia games
Dice City was released around Essen and had great success. Due to all the big releases this did not get as much notice as it deserved. Dice City replaced Machi Koro for me. I was a huge Machi Koro fan and Dice City impressed me that much. This light civilization building game has players rolling dice and using the corresponding buildings that are in that certain dies location. You can attack other players if you want or focus on your own city. Easy to teach and learn. This is a great family game for all to enjoy.
Published by: Stronghold Games
Dark Moon is a commercial release of the popular BSG Express PnP game. Dark Moon is a co-operative game with a hidden traitor element. You are trying to keep your space station in tact while some members of your crew may be infected. Players are rolling dice to repair the station, taking care of urgent missions, and for your voting. A vote may hinge on you have the right color die. If you do not have it, will make you a suspect as an infected player. Tension is high and with the station falling apart can you survive?
Published by: Bezier Games
The best way I can describe Favor of the Pharaoh is that it is Yahtzee with special abilities. You will spend the whole game preparing for the end roll. You need to balance having a lot of dice, types, and abilities to win this game. Released around Essen time, this family game did not get much press, but I recommend it if your family enjoys dice games.
Published by: Portal Games
Tides of Time is a 2 player game that has players drafting cards back and forth to collect cards to meet goals for points. The goals are on the cards that you are collecting for symbols. Trying to get the most out of each card is very huge in this game. One of my favorite games that came out of Gen Con this year and has been a hit for everyone I introduced to it. The art is outstanding and could be on someone's wall as a painting. 7 Wonders Duel came out and took the attention from all the other 2 player games. 2015 was a great year for 2 player games and this was most certainly one of them.
Published by: Minion Games
DragonFlame was a game that I had not even heard about till I was sent a review copy. DragonFlame takes a fresh look at mixing auction and area control mechanics with set collection. Players will be collecting gems and treasure, while also burning the towns. If you do the most burning in a town, you get victory points, but if the town is not fully burnt down it is worthless. In the auction cards are placed face up and face down leading to some tense decisions on which pile you want to take. Take the wrong one and you could end up with negative points. Compact game that is very fun to play.
Published by: Stonemaier Games
Between Two Cities was a kickstarter game that had players building cities with the players next to them. You had to work with the players next to you but also not help them out too much. You score the weaker of your two cities and the player with the highest points for a weaker city wins. Between Two Cities is all about balance and how to best maintain it. You can play solo or up to 7 players. Very quick set up and no down time makes this a hit for larger groups.
Published by: Ystari Games and Asmodee NA
Starfighter is another 2 player game that was released around Gen Con that really got barely any attention. You are a commander of a capitol ship and sending out fighters to protect your ship against the other player. Each player can adjust their board position and cards will move around the board including flipping over or turned 180 degrees. This has a classic arcade game feel that will appeal to some. Lots of combos and decisions that make this very enjoyable in a short period of time.