Codenames

(2-8 players; 20 minutes; ages 10+)

I am not a word game person. While I respect scrabble, it is just not my kind of game because the memory requirements are so high. It is therefore with great surprise that I am naming a word game as MathPickle’s 2016 game of the year.

Codenames is a scintillating game of deduction and brinksmanship where you try to stay on the same wavelength as your team members to guess a set of words from a tableau. I cannot speak highly enough of the subtle game design elements which make this game an absolute winner. I play without a timer, but impatient players will definitely want to use the timer to put added pressure on their already beleaguered opponents.

I think the universe is pure geometry – basically, a beautiful shape twisting around and dancing over space-time.

Antony Garrett Lisi

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
Runnerup 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
Runnerup 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.