Avalon

(5-10 players; 20 minutes; ages 9+)

Avalon is the best game for 5-10 players.

Just less than half of players are secretly part of the evil team.  They know who they are, but the good players are mostly in the dark.  It is fast to play, and a real winner with many non-gamers.The packaging claims ages 13+, but much younger children learn about bluffing relatively fast, and a large fraction of 9 year olds that I’ve played this with have rated it their favourite game. It is good both for those who like pure deduction and for those who are experts at reading people’s faces.

One MathPickle amendment: Things can get pretty busy on the table top, so instead of playing accept and reject cards – experiment with thumbs up and thumbs down after a count of three.
Avalon was MathPickle’s game of the year in 2014.

Men are liars. We’ll lie about lying if we have to. I’m an algebra liar. I figure two good lies make a positive.

Tim Allen

Hanabi

2013
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
2-5 players
25 minutes
ages 8+

Avalon

2014
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
5-10 players
20 minutes
ages 9+

Star Realms

2015
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
2 players
20 minutes
ages 8+

Codenames

2016
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
2-8 players
20 minutes
ages 10+

Santorini

2017
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
2-4 players
15 minutes
ages 6+

Warsaw: City of Ruins

2018
MathPickle 
Game of the Year
2-4 players
45 minutes
ages 10+

878 Vikings

2019
MathPickle
Game of the Year
2-4 players
60-90 minutes
ages 11+

The Crew

2020
MathPickle
 runner-up Game of the Year
2-4 players
20 minutes
ages 9+

Cartographers

2020

MathPickle
Game of the Year
1-100 players
30 minutes
ages 8+

Air Land & Sea

2021
MathPickle
runner-up Game of the Year
2 players
15 minutes
ages 8+

Jon Perry's Air Land & Sea impressed me immediately with its inspired rule that allows players to withdraw from a battle at any time. The game improves with play as the first games will be slowed down because each card has critical text... however there are only 18 cards in total. This game is a gem for those with a limited budget.

Wingspan

2021
MathPickle
Game of the Year
1-5 players
60 minutes
ages 10+

Elizabeth Hargrave's Wingspan does not have the most innovative mechanisms, but it is infused with natural beauty like no other game I've played. Unlike all previous winners, the game did not "wow" me on the first play, but over many plays, I came to love the anticipation of each new bird entering play. It is a sumptuous game.

Sniper Elite

2022
MathPickle
runner-up Game of the Year
best with 2 players
30 minutes
ages 12+

Ever dreamed of being James Bond? In Sniper Elite one player secretly sneaks around a top-secret WWII military base - attempting to sabotage the enemy without getting killed. Many parents will have issues with the theme. I do not let my children play violent computer games, but a violent strategic board game? That is different.

My City

2022
MathPickle
Game of the Year
2-4 players
20 minutes
ages 8+

My City is a legacy game that is played 24 times. A legacy game is one in which permanent changes happen with each game. For example, if you win a game you might "win" a building that is difficult to construct for all future games. Only buy My City if you plan to play with the same people again and again. 

Dune Imperium

2023
MathPickle
runner-up Game of the Year
2-4 players
2 hours
ages 12+

This is not an easy game. Choose a different game if you are new to board gaming, but if you are an experienced gamer AND enjoyed the 2021 movie Dune, then this is an immersive game experience with tense decisions. 

Cat in the box

2023
MathPickle
Game of the Year
3-5 players
30 minutes
ages 10+

This card game is a logician's paradise. The suit of each card is not written on the cards. Instead, you declare the suit when it is played. Then you must live with the repercussions of your decisions. Do you decide to trump a hand by saying you have no yellow cards? Fine, but that means you cannot play another yellow card for that round. Continue until someone wins or there is a paradox!

Canadian Game Store 

Because of my connections in both the board game industry and education, I can offer school libraries and school classrooms in Canada large discounts on bulk orders of games. Instead of giving you a huge selection, I've chosen my favourites - excluding my own game designs like Santorini so I can remain unbiased. These beautiful games will jumpstart your school's dedication to problem-solving in a way that math worksheets only dream about 😉

For schools outside of Canada - I cannot compete with Amazon - so it is best for you to take the games here and order online or preferably seek out a local game store to support. For Canadian schools, I can significantly undercut Amazon.ca only by offering bulk sales.