Sometimes games can be stunning.
Whether you’re discovering something new, unlocking a unique play experience, or revisiting an old favourite – “wow” moments abound. But some are more memorable than others.
So, here are eight of our favourite times a game revealed its true beauty. Starting with-
A lesser known classic from Alderac, Doomtown offers Weird West action in a box. Make your way past the initially byzantine rules and you end up with a game that is truly, truly special. Players take on the role of duelling gangs in a ghost town, aiming to acquire property, deeds, and build the gang of your dreams. And the apex – calling someone out. Mimicking the high noon of your favourite western, players take to the centre of the board and draw pistols at noon. But the results can be…problematic. New players can find themselves gunned down easily, ending a game in minutes. Or bogged down in a gunfight. Or taking advantage of the game’s poker-hand mechanics for each card played. But no matter the result, you’ll be left with an impactful battle that will leave an imprint in your memory for every session to come – perfectly matching the tension of a spaghetti western gunfight.
Sometimes, mistakes make a game truly special indeed. Set in the dark depths of space, play involves hidden movement as your group attempts to stealthily make their way to emergency shuttles…while something stalks. Disguised as crew, other players are ravenous aliens who follow the sound of your footsteps – concealing their presence until they are ready to strike. And sometimes, they get the wrong target. Players can be so good at pretending to be aliens, they eat their allies – snaffling down another alien by accident and reducing the table to tears of laughter. A powerful learning experience for your group’s meta and a moment you will never, ever forget.
Sometimes, players take things too far. Sessions can be filled with backstabbing, blocking plays, or seeking revenge from a slight ten sessions ago. But we’re pretty sure that reducing the world to ashes tops the list. A stunningly balanced game from GMT, Twilight simulates the balance of intrigue that characterised the forty-five years of the Cold War. Bluffs and feints abound, with both sides seeking to accrue influence and capital while nudging the needle on the doomsday clock. This dance continues for so long that the balance is taken for granted until…boom. One side tips the balance and all-out-war kicks off, nuking the globe and ending the game. A genuinely sobering moment for players…it isn’t long before you reshuffle and you’re back to scrapping over Cuba and china all over again.