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TOP 30 – The BEST Game Designers of the Last 30 Years!

[With our 30th year celebration launched, we have to admit that we wouldn’t be here if there was nothing to discuss! For that, we have to be thankful for the talented game designers that have managed to create so many thought provoking, challenging and entertaining games over the last three decades. So, as with our Top 30 Games poll, we contacted everybody we could find who had ever contributed to Gamers Alliance Report since our beginning as well as our worldwide membership and asked them: In YOUR opinion, who are the FINEST game designers who had work published over that span? Here, with some comments from some of our voters, these are, as determined by our poll, the Top 30 game designers of the last 30 Years! Let the countdown begin!]

30. X

Now here is something we didn’t anticipate. When the dust settled and the numbers were crunched, 19 (!) different designers TIED at slot 30! (So, if you don’t see your favorite designer listed, he or she is right here!) As for the rest…


29. Bruno Cathala

 

brunocathala

“I’m putting Bruno Cathala (working with Serge Laget) here mainly because they brought us Shadows Over Camelot. Shadows is not on my list of great games, but it was seminal in starting the trend of co-operative games with a traitor, which has become such an important part of the hobby. It was also a brilliant game in its own right with the idea of quests that become worse after you win them.” – – – – – Derek Croxton

 


28. James Ernest

 

jamesernest“The insanely prolific Mr. Ernest seems to always produce games that have a unique game mechanism that I have never encountered before or feature a new twist on a classic old one. Even if you never play them, they are worth reading just for this reason alone especially if you have a desire to design games yourself. Button Men is still the best and most innovative dice game I have ever seen and I am glad to see it will be getting a new release soon. Kill Doctor Lucky is easily his most famous title. Other favorites of mine include Parts Unknown, Gloria Mundi, Pirates of the Carribean, The Very Clever Pipe Game, Lords of Vegas (which I reviewed for Gamers Alliance) and, most recently Fish Cook.” – – — Nick Sauer

 


27. Tom Dalgliesh

 

tomdalgliesh

“Tom is here for all games that Columbia has produced in the past 30 years, because I dare say that none of them got published without a large amount of development input on his behalf. The block system continues to amaze me with its adaptability. Each game manages to be different, even though almost all the mechanics will be familiar to people who have played other Columbia games. For that continuing success, and for their continual high quality, credit must go to Dalgliesh. ” – – – – – Derek Croxton

 


26. Phil Eklund

 

phileklund“The master of the detailed Euro style simulation games from dinosaurs (American Megafauna) to Middle Ages (Greenland) to the exploration of the solar system (High Frontier). – – – Chris Kovac

“Phil Eklund is definitely on my list. I am still fascinated by his brilliant hard science game of exploring and exploiting the solar system: High Frontier is a tour de force. (Phil’s a genuine rocket scientist and it shows.) I’m a fan of 2012’s Pax Porfiriana and last year’s brutal Greenland, too. I am very much looking forward to the several new games he has for us at Spiel ’15.” – – – – – Pevans

 


25. Rudiger Dorn

 

rudigerdorn“Rudiger’s designs are a bit sneaky, as I’m usually not blown away on first play but repeated experiences only get better and better. Jambo and Louis XIV are thoroughly great two and four player games respectively, and Goa is also a treat.” – – – Mark Delano

“The top games for my favorite designers are almost always scattered throughout their careers, but for Dorn, they come from one concentrated period (2001-2005) in which he was unquestionably one of the leading designers in the world. He then went through an extended slump (at least for lovers of heavy games), but thankfully, he’s re-emerged with some fine recent titles, including a Kennerspiel winner. The other fun fact about Dorn is that his best games all include some version of his famous “walking” mechanic, in which pieces are dropped off one by one in consecutive spaces; he always implements it differently, but it’s a common theme in his designs, which I find delightful. My top Dorn games include Goa, Louis XIV, Jambo, Traders of Genoa, and Istanbul.” – – – Larry Levy

 


24. Richard Breese

 

richardbreese“Richard’s oeuvre is not huge, but it starts with the truly seminal Keywood in 1995. As well as the other Key… games, Reef Encounter is brain-meltingly terrific and I’m looking forward to Inhabit the Earth at this year’s Spiel.” – – – Pevans

 

 


23. Philippe Keyaerts

 

phillippekeyaerts“Philippe Keyaert’s Small World took the mechanic of choosing characters to the next level. Not only were there differing races but differing abilities, providing for so many possibilities that you would literally never play the same game twice.” – – – Alan Newman

 


 22. Tom Lehmann

 

tomlehmann“Race for the Galaxy and Phoenicia are brilliant designs, but he backs those up with Time Agent, Fast Food Franchise, Pizarro & Co. and To Court the King. Not as prolific as many of the other designers on this list, the quality and refinement of his designs more than makes up for a lack of quantity.” – Mark Delano

 

 


21. Alan Newman

 

alnewman1a“….solid games. Super 3 is my favorite of his.” – – – Paul Sauberer

“Since this list is not strictly speaking a top ten, please allow me to toss in one of my own designs, Winds of Plunder. The game had a unique movement system for sailing ships on a four zone board with 12 locations, three in each zone. Players used cubes to bid for the right to change the wind to whichever direction favored them. Designwise, the blind bidding system equated to the skill required of the crew. If you were successful, you could take advantage and change the wind’s direction.” – – – — Alan Newman.

 


20. Mike Fitzgerald

 

mikefitzgerald“Mike is a master at the rummy style card game, reinventing rummy and hooking it into a theme, thereby creating a whole run of Mystery Rummy games of great style and substance for card players of all ages. I had the pleasure of reviewing the first game in the series – Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper – for GAMES magazine and then fleshed out the review for an early issue of Gamers Alliance Report. With the Mystery Rummy series of games coupled with his most recent release of Baseball Highlights: 2045, it is no surprise the Mike Fitzgerald has earned a spot in the top 20. ” – – – – – – Herb Levy

 


19. Mac Gerdts

 

macgerdts“Gerdts [is] the designer who may have the brightest future of the bunch. Uniquely… Gerdts is best known for a single mechanism, the rondel. It can be found in most of his games and even the ones that don’t use it still employ ways that restrict the player’s choice of what their next action will be. My favorites of his include the terrific Navegador along with Imperial/Imperial 2030, Concordia, Antike/Antike Duellum, and Hamburgum.” – – – – – Larry Levy

“Mac Gerdts, originator of the rondel mechanism with Antike. Okay, he doesn’t have a long list of games to his name, but each one is a cracker. I’ve got them all and will happily pull any of them off the shelves at the drop of a hat. I was particularly impressed with what he did in Concordia, in moving away from his trademark rondel. Plus, I look forward to his next game – roll on 2016!” – – – – – Pevans

 


18. Stefan Dorra

 

stefandorra“Dorra’s hallmark in his great games is paring away the elements to the bare minimum of mechanics. Intrige captures the essence of betrayal better than Diplomacy or Battlestar Galactica. Zum Kuckuck duplicate mechanic throws down the ‘can you play it better’ gauntlet quicker and easier than Bridge. Other great games are Medina, For Sale, Alles im Eimer and Nyet.” – – – – – Mark Delano

 

 


17. Michael Rieneck

 

michaelrieneck“While Michael Reineck may not be well known, the author of World Without End and Pillars of the Earth would make this list if he had only authored Palastgefluster, one of the most original and enjoyable card games I have ever played.” – – – – Alan Newman

“Rieneck’s Around the World in 80 Days is a quality design that should have won the Spiel des Jahres when it was released. Cuba and Pillars of the Earth are first rate too. And it’s a shame that Palastgefluster has not as of yet seen an English language edition as that is a terrific gem of a game.” – – – – – – Herb Levy

 


16. Stefan Feld

 

stefanfeld“Feld is perhaps the most distinctive and polarizing designer in my list. For the most part, either you love his design style or you hate it. Count me among the lovers. So many of the mechanisms he uses (particularly with dice) are so clever and elegant and the wide variety of game techniques he’s created is remarkable. When a designer is this good and this sound mechanically, it’s easy for me to overlook pasted on themes. I particularly enjoy Feld’s efforts with Alea. My favorites of his include Castles of Burgundy, Macao, Trajan, In the Year of the Dragon, Bora Bora, Notre Dame, Luna, and Die Speicherstadt.” – – – – – Larry Levy

“Is there anyone more prolific at producing quality gamer’s games than Stefan Feld? Trajan ranks at the top of that heap for me. But Feld also has a less ‘taxing’ side and his ‘lighter’ stuff (and ‘lighter’ is a relative term) such as Rialto excels as well.” – – – – Herb Levy

 


 15. Michael Schacht

 

“If I want a connection game, one of his is going to be it.” – – – – Paul Sauberer

“My personal fave.” – – – – – – – Dave Rapp

michaelschacht“Here is a designer the exact opposite of Chvatil [#13 below], who puts all his emphasis on clean game play. I remember first sitting down to a game of Coloretto and thinking, “Really? An abstract game about collecting different-coloured cards?” It is now one of my favorite games, and I also enjoy the more concretely-themed successors, Zooloretto and Aquaretto (although I think they are among the worst names for games ever). I have only played a handful of the rest of his massive oeuvre (California, Hansa, Paris Paris, Rat Hot), but the ones I have played all share the same basic characteristics of being very easy to learn yet giving the players intriguing decisions.” – – – – – Derek Croxton

 


14. Richard Garfield

 

richardgarfield2“Magic the Gathering. Do I need to say anything else?” – – Chris Kovac

“I include Garfield on this list primarily for his single most famous invention. It is difficult for me to concede how great Magic is because I am so jealous of him. Not only all the money he has made off of it, but also what a brilliant idea it was to make a card game that was collectible. It is great money-maker, but also a great gaming concept.” – – – – Derek Croxton

 


13. Vlaada Chvatil

 

vlaada“If the entertainment factor of a game was based strictly on how the rules read Vlaada Chvatil’s games would be amongst the ‘funnest’ around. Through the Ages, Space Alert, Galaxy Trucker and the recent Codenames each showcase a different genre that remain engaging regardless of depth.” – – – – – – Mark Delano

“Chvatil doesn’t have the output that most of the other designers on my list do, but he’s created some fabulous games. He loves to take standard themes, like Civ games or Dungeon Builders, and give them a unique twist. His heavy games are deep, complex, and long, but he’s also shown a talent for creating lighter titles. In doing so, he’s put the Czech Republic on the gaming map. My favorites from Vlaada include my #1 game of all time, the amazing Through the Ages (I can’t wait to try out the new version), Codenames, Dungeon Petz, Space Alert (one of the very few cooperative games I’ll play), and Dungeon Lords.” – – – – Larry Levy

” I played Through the Ages before there was an English version and I remember thinking how unusual it was to hve a game printed in Czech. Since then, we’ve seen a lot more games from Czech designers as well as from other countries (Poland seems to be the latest) but Chvatil remains something special. His games have a creativity to them that surpasses everyone else so that, even if I ultimately decide I don’t like the game, I always have fun learning how to play it. Dungeon Lords remains his greatest creation, in my opinion.” – – – Derek Croxton

 


12. Richard Borg

 

richardborg“Command and Colors game system (Battle Cry, Memoir ’44, Ancients and Napoleonics). Quick and easy to learn.” – – – Chris Kovac

“I remember looking on Battle Cry when it first came out and noticing that it was designed by Richard Borg. A Civil War game? It must be a typo for Richard Berg. That was my wargaming background; I wasn’t aware that Borg had been around and making games for years. His first venture into wargaming – which was his preferred game type all along – was a doozy, though. People who would never touch a hex and counter game would play Battle Cry, or Memoir ’44, or Command and Colors. People like me who appreciate hex and counter games might decry some of the unrealistic aspects of these games, but most of them ultimately have to admit that they are a lot of fun to play as well. Borg deserves credit for adapting his basic system to different time periods and making it work.” – – – -Derek Croxton

 


11. Antoine Bauza

 

antoinebauza“This relatively new designer is my ‘look to the future’ entry. Mr. Bauza’s career is just beginning but, based upon his output to date, I suspect he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Beyond 7 Wonders, both Tokaido and Takenoko are outstanding designs. I’m also seriously considering forcing both Hanabi and Ghost Stories on my regular group in spite of their coop game objections.” – – – – – – – Nick Sauer

” I first played 7 Wonders in prototype form at The Gathering of Friends. It was the sensation of the convention. When the finished product soon after appeared, it shot to the top of the list of games that MUST be played! Brilliant design.” – – – – – Herb Levy

 


10. Dirk Henn

 

dirkhenn“Headlined by the four great games Show Manager, Alhambra, Spekulation and Wallenstein, Dirk Henn’s games are surprisingly engaging considering their relatively simple mechanisms.” – – – – Mark Delano

“The first games of Henn’s that I bought where home-made versions that I was told he sold from his backpack at Essen. Even then I loved his design work. Ultimately, Iron Horse and Premiere which would go on to become Metro and Showmanager, respectively, were the two games that convinced me that I really wanted to own everything this guy did. Metro is a brilliant spin on the whole route connecting game that Linie 1, now known as Streetcar, had made popular at the time. Alhambra is his runaway success and while it has been heavily expanded I have to say that a surprisingly large percentage of them are well worth trying. Many of his games are in regular rotation not only at our own game night but at a number of other local gamer’s events as well.” – – – Nick Sauer

 


9. Friedemann Friese

 

friedemannfreese“I think Friedemann designs embody the idea of breaking new ground. I can practically feel the desire to do something different with each game, even when it takes an existing design in a new direction. Apart from the juggernaut that is Power Grid there’s Black Friday, Fearsome Floors, Funny Friends, Felix and Friday.” – – – – – – – – Mark Delano

“[Reasons for my vote include] Power Grid and naming each game he produces with an F. Also, the most distant hair color of any game designer I know (a lovely shade of green).” – – – – Chris Kovac

“Foppen, one of Friedemann’s card games, is a minor masterpiece that gets a lot of plays as an opener or closer at our game night sessions.” – – – – – Herb Levy

“Friese may be the most creative designer we’ve ever seen. His mind works in strange and mysterious ways and his games include unique and audacious mechanics. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but they’re always worth checking out. A Friese design is like nobody else’s and that’s a wonderful thing. The games I love to play from The Man in Green include Funkenschlag (despite a longer duration and inferior production values, I prefer this to Power Grid because of its pacing), Power Grid, Friday (the only solitaire game I love), Fresh Fish (both the original and the streamlined redesign), and Black Friday.” – – – – Larry Levy

“The designer whose work features the letter F and the colour green: Friedemann Friese. Since I was introduced to Wucherer (later Landlord! and now Friese’s Landlord) over twenty years ago, I’ve played every game of Friedemann’s that I can. Not only does he design excellent, distinctive games, he has a wonderfully dark sense of humour that comes through in many of them. Want a game featuring counterfeit money or cannibalism? Look no further. Then there’s his wonderful take on the game of life, Funny Friends (in which I always endeavour to acquire the “games designer” job and the green hair gel), and, of course, Funkenschlag/Power Grid, which I consider his masterpiece. Again, I am always eager to see Friedemann’s next game.” – – – – – Pevans

“Best known for Power Grid but, all of his designs are worth looking at for the same reason as James Ernest’s in that there are always some interesting new ideas in each. Fearsome Floors is another of our favorites with Copycat and the First Sparks potentially following on soon. I’m especially interested in seeing his newest release 504 as, if the early press on the game is correct, it promises to be groundbreaking as well.” – – – Nick Sauer

 


8. Karl-Heinz Schmiel

 

karlheinzschmiel“The 30 year time range worked out to Schmiel’s advantage. One of his masterworks, Die Macher, was first published in 1986. If the cutoff would have been 2 years later I’m not sure I would have included him, and a longer time frame would have seen older designers competing for space. Add in Tribune, Attila, Was sticht? and the silly but fun A la carte and it’s an easy listing. Another less is more designer.” – – – – Mark Delano

“Known for Die Macher but also check out Extrablatt, a game that offers more options than nearly any game I’ve played – while tying very effectively to the theme.” – – – – Joe Huber

“Karl-Heinz Schmiel was one of the first German designers that I started seriously following. Die Macher was my all-time favorite board game until my friend Ryan and I discovered a strongly favored strategy. Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out yet as it took us over two dozen games to do so and, the new version of the game might address the issue anyway but I’m not sure. Both A la Cart and Tyranno Ex are great games of his and I consider Attilla to be an underappreciated title as well. I’m still amazed that to this day neither Was Sticht? or Extrablatt have received a US release.” – – – Nick Sauer

 


7. Sid Sackson

 

sidsacksonphoto“No mention of American designers would be complete without mentioning Sid Sackson, whom I personally knew at the pinnacle of his career. His best known efforts are probably Acquire and I’m The Boss!.” – – – – Alan Newman

“So many games that still stand up, as demonstrated by their re-releases.” – – – Paul Sauberer

“Although Acquire is probably Sid’s best known design, the game carries a 1962 copyright so Sid could not be considered for ranking in our poll based on that masterpiece. In truth, many of Sid’s games were released prior to the time span covered in our survey too. The fact that Sid Sackson still ranked so high in our poll despite these constrictions is a tribute to such, later, great designs such as I’m the Boss! which still makes it onto our gaming tables on a regular basis.” – – – – – – -Herb Levy

 


6. Uwe Rosenberg

 

uwerosenberg“The extraordinary thing about Rosenberg is that he’s had two independent stretches where he’s been a world-class designer. From 1997-2001, he created very popular and highly innovative card games, all of them around 45 minutes or so. Than, beginning in 2007, he switched to heavy and demanding boardgames, most of them utilizing worker placement and themed around the harvesting of crops, and his popularity soared even higher. He might even be entering a third phase, as his most recent successes have all been 2-player games. I love titles from all three periods, headed by Ora et Labora, Babel, Caverna, Schnäppchen-Jagd (aka Bargain Hunter), Agricola, Bohnanza, and Patchwork.” – – – – Larry Levy

“I think I own all of the Agricola stuff I could get my hands on.” – – – Paul Sauberer

“The designer of another of my top ten games, Agricola, is Uwe Rosenberg. Okay, a lot of his output is expansions, but he’s come up with some cracking games from Bohnanza onwards. Not as prolific as some, but Uwe Rosenberg has designed a selection of fine games and I look forward to seeing what he does next.”- – – – – – Pevans

 


5. Martin Wallace

 

martinwallace“Steam, Age of Industry and London to name a few. A man who can take a theme then make a game which highlights the theme.” – – – – Chris Kovac

“Wallace is the master of combining highly thematic elements and great game mechanisms. For me, he has done the best job of synthesizing the best of the German and American schools of game design. His earlier games were too high luck for my tastes, but he really hit his stride about 10 years ago and his output from 2008 to 2011 was remarkable. His more recent stuff hasn’t been to my tastes, but I’m hoping for a big comeback with Ships, which will debut around Essen. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying such games as Automobile, Age of Steam, Brass/Age of Industry, Steel Driver, London, Tinners’ Trail, and Pampas Railroads.” – – Larry Levy

“For the volume (the BGG list of games designed by Martin goes on for nine pages), quality and variety of his games. I still remember the excitement of playing the first, monochrome edition of Lords of Creation and the thrill of the Lancashire Railways prototype a few years later. I can’t think of a Martin Wallace game I don’t like (if there is one, I’ve blotted it from my memory) – and I include the unfairly-maligned Stockers in this. Martin has two games in my top ten, the two that I consider his masterworks: Age of Steam and Struggle of Empires. Most of all, I remain eager to see the next Martin Wallace game.” – – – Pevans

 


4. Klaus Teuber

klausteuber“Settlers of Catan and all that implies”. – – – – Chris Kovac

“The Settlers of Catan is no longer my favorite game, but it was for a long time. Although Teuber hasn’t produced nearly as many other unique games as other designers, he has been remarkably creative in adapting the basic Catan system to other situations, making them different enough to be interesting but similar enough to be easy to pick up. Just creating Catan, however, would be enough to get him on this list. It has done more for our hobby than any other game except Magic, the Gathering.” – – – – Derek Croxton

“My first encounter with Klaus Teuber came well before Settlers with the game Barbarossa which I still own and have fond memories of today. Of course, he is best known as the father of Settlers of Catan and, while I’m not a huge fan of that game, he has certainly done enough other titles that I do enjoy to make my list. These include Entdecker (the original), Lowenherz and the Settlers Card Game which I much prefer to the board game.” – – Nick Sauer

 


3. Wolfgang Kramer

 

wolfgangkramer“Another beneficiary of the selected timeframe. Of his classic games only the Formel 1/Daytona 500 series dates from before 1985. Kramer’s great games include Wildlife Adventure, Auf Achse, 6 Nimmt/Slide 5, El Grande, Torres, Princes of Florence, Hacienda and Maharaja. A marvelously long career has generated many gems worth revisiting.” – – – – – Mark Delano

“Kramer has been creating great games for over 40 years and this ageless wonder just keeps cranking them out. He is perhaps the most versatile modern designer we’ve ever seen, as there doesn’t seem to be any kind of game that he hasn’t successfully produced. His solo career is impressive enough, but he’s really shone in how well he’s worked with his numerous design partners. (And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my selection is also an acknowledgement of the tremendous talent of his long-time co-designer, Michael Kiesling.) Kramer is responsible for two of my all-time favorite games, Tikal and Princes of Florence, but I also love Maharaja, Tycoon, Wildlife, Palaces of Carrera, and El Caballero.” – – – – – – – Larry Levy

 


2. Alan R. Moon

 

alanmoon“I was following Alan Moon’s design efforts even before I became a Eurogamer and his Airlines was my real gateway to German games. He is the master of the middleweight game and has successfully created many such titles over a long and storied career. He’s also one of the best at tweaking his own designs to come up with new and distinctive versions. Although my favorites of his came from his partnership with Aaron Weissblum, his solo games are just as impressive. The games of Moon that make me beam are San Marco (but only with 4 players—I differ from the rest of the gaming world, which prefers it with 3), Capitol, Get the Goods, Airlines Europe, Clippers, and many of the Ticket to Ride spinoffs.” – – – – – Larry Levy

“As far as I’m concerned, Alan’s games started with Airlines back in 1990 (though I prefer its revamp as Union Pacific) and he had a series of terrific games over the next few years with Abacus and his own imprint, White Wind. Elfenroads (later Elfenland) is probably the best known of the White Wind games, but I have a soft spot for Mush. Then, of course, there was the phenomenon that is Ticket to Ride. Sadly, we’ve not seen anything really new from Alan in recent years.” – – – Pevans

“Alan R. Moon is at the very top of the designer universe, heads and shoulders the best American designer. Alan’s designs have all been top notch and consistently excellent.” – – – – – – Alan Newman

 


1. Reiner Knizia

 

reinerknizia (1)“If I went strictly on number of great designs Knizia would easily take first place. 1992 was the start of a decade of releases that I would still be happy to play today. Modern Art, Quo Vadis?, En Garde, High Society, Tigris & Euphrates, Through the Desert, Medici, Circus Flohcati, It’s Mine, Schotten Totten, Stephenson’s Rocket, Lost Cities, Traumfabrik and Taj Mahal is a phenomenal collection of games for just 10 years, and I’m sure I’ve missed a few (and I may have even left off one acclaimed but personally disliked title). This doesn’t even cover his recent designs of which many are just as good as his older ones. The abundance comes at a price of lots of less worthwhile designs, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay as long as I don’t have to actually, you know, pay for them.” – – – Mark Delano

” A great man of gaming of both gamers’ games and kid games.” – – – – Chris Kovac

“Traumfabrik and Lord of the Rings are my favorites of his.” – – – Paul Sauberer

“Listing Knizia as my all-time favorite designer feels a little strange, since he’s produced very little that I’ve liked for the past 8 years. But prior to that, and particularly during the last few years of the 20th century, the man’s output was amazing. So many good games, both heavyweights and delightful fillers! He wasn’t the most thematic designer around, but his ideas were great and they seemed to pour out of him! So even though Reiner is close to irrelevant to me today, I have no problems putting him on top. Games of Knizia’s that I particularly love include Stephenson’s Rocket, Amun-Re, Medici vs. Strozzi, Traumfabrik, Taj Mahal, Tigris & Euprates, and Medici.” – – – – Larry Levy.

“Reiner Knizia. BGG has 47 pages of Reiner’s titles, dating back to 1990, and so many of them are brilliant: Medici, Modern Art, Ra, Tutanchamun and, of course, Euphrat & Tigris and Lord of the Rings. However, in recent years Reiner’s output, while still prolific, seems to be mostly re-vamps of earlier games – an exception being 2013’s Prosperity, jointly designed with Sebastian Bleasdale.”- – – – Pevans

“A top designer list would have to include the prolific Dr. Reiner Knizia, who never slows down. Dr. Knizia’s efforts could populate a top ten list all own their own. Just to mention a few, Samurai, Ra, Tigris & Euphrates are all classics.” – – – – – – – Alan Newman

“The truth of the matter is that I have watched this designer from the very beginning of his career when others first started raving about him. I remained unconvinced at the time and, in fact, the first game of his that I felt the need to own was 1992’s Modern Art. Since then he has put out enough exceptional games that I now feel the accolades others threw at him earlier were well justified and, being the only designer to have two games on my top ten board game list further reinforces this. I may not be his biggest fan but his impact on the board game industry is undeniable.” – – – Nick Sauer

“Reiner Knizia’s resume is not only impressive for its quality but amazing for its sheer volume! Of all his many designs, Medici remains the gold standard for auction/bidding games and Quandary, the Milton Bradley revamped and beautifully produced reworking of Flinke Pinke, is simply outstanding which, by the way, serves as a wonderful way to get non-gamers to discover there is more to gaming than they ever suspected!” – – – – – – – – – Herb Levy

 

Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.


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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $29.99) Over 20 years ago, Magic, the Gathering burst onto the scene and the reaction was, to put it mildly, PHENOMENAL! The game flew off the shelves! More importantly, that Richard Garfield design put a small company, Wizards of the Coast, on the map and created ...
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Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Blue Orange Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $49.99) Blue Orange has been publishing games for over a dozen years. They predominately produce lighter family and party games, although there have been a few that require a bit more strategy (Gobblet comes to mind). Perhaps their most popular game is Spot It!, a fast-paced party ...
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Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $99.95) I've always been fascinated by the Star Wars universe and related games. I played a lot with the old West End Games RPG and I really love Star Wars: X-Wings. When FFG announced the release of Star Wars: Armada, I was thrilled. Someone could think Armada is the ...
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[With our 30th year celebration launched, we have to admit that we wouldn't be here if there was nothing to discuss! For that, we have to be thankful for the talented game designers that have managed to create so many thought provoking, challenging and entertaining games over the last three decades. So, as with our Top 30 Games poll, we contacted everybody we could find ...
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[In celebrating our 30th year, we thought about the thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of games that have appeared on the scene over the last three decades. So we contacted everybody we could find who had ever contributed to Gamers Alliance Report since our beginning as well as our worldwide membership and asked them: In YOUR opinion, what are the BEST games published, ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 2 players, ages 8 and up, 30-40 minutes; $21) Some topics command more than their fair share of attention when it comes to trains. One of those topics is, without question, trains. Russian Railroads (featured in the Spring 2014 Gamers Alliance Report), for example, used trains as a springboard for an excellent worker placement game. Now, Helmut Ohley, ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Stonemaier Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 45-90 minutes; $60) Wine is often thought of as "the nectar of the gods" being a source of inspiration for centuries, its virtues extolled through literature of all sorts (even poetry). So it is no surprise that this inspiration has spilled over into games. Wine making, its pleasures and perils, have ...
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