Hanabi

(2-5 players; 25 minutes; ages 8+)

Hanabi is both the top deductive and co-operative game.  It’s best with 3-4 players and is the only game that I’ve played where my real objective is to win without cheating too much.  Players work together against the game, so a subtle grimace here or a sudden intake of breath there gives a much needed, but strictly forbidden clue to your team mates!  I’m sure you will try to play more ethically than me 😉

Hanabi is MathPickle’s 2013 Game of the Year. Perhaps more importantly, it is the first small game that has won gaming’s most prestigious game design award: the Spiel des Jahres. For $15 you can’t go wrong.

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe – because, like Spinoza’s God, it won’t love us in return.

Bertrand Russell

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.