July 7, 2006

The 2005 Meeples' Choice Awards are in

MeeplesChoice.7.7.06.jpgWe may be critical, but we don't have giant egos. When another game group comes together as a collective voice to select the very best, we listen.

Spielfreaks, a Yahoo Games group formed in 2000 to discuss Eurogames, polled it's readers to see which titles they felt were the cream of the crop of 2005. Selections from past years include Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne [Our Review], Puerto Rico, and Ticket to Ride.

If you've enjoyed those titles then you know the Spielfreaks' list has weight.

So which titles rest atop the slew of new games from 2005?

In no particular order:

  • Caylus - Rio Grande Games
    The Official Line: The year is 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, workers and craftsmen will be flocking by the cartload, attracted by the great prospects. Around the building site, a city is slowly rising up...
    The players embody master builders. By building the King’s castle and developing the city around it, they earn prestige points and gain the King’s favor. When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.
  • Louis XIV - Rio Grande Games
    The Official Line: Slip on the role of clever court attendant and try your luck in the court of Louis XIV. Influence his next decrees. Relax in his radiance on his countless cushions. Bribe ministers and buy generals. Spin intrigue and spread your net in the empire of the Sun King. Every plan is right -- if it works! A careful plan and provident use of information gained in the court can help you fulfill your mission -- and win the game!
  • Shadows Over Camelot - Days of Wonder
    The Official Line: Shadows over Camelot is a unique collaborative game featuring a malevolent twist! As the incarnation of the Knights of the Round Table, you join forces against the game itself in an attempt to protect Camelot.

    Your victory hinges on the successful completion of legendary Quests, such as the search for Excalibur, the Holy Grail, or Lancelot's Armor; the tournament against the Black Knight; and numerous wars against the Saxons and Picts.

    But beware... all is not as it seems among these noble Knights. One of your number might yet turn out to be a traitor-in-waiting, biding his time while sowing havoc and destruction from the Shadows!

We sense a historical theme there.

If you're scratching your head over the definition of 'Meeples', then obviously you haven't taken our recommendation on Carcassonne; the game's pieces are called 'Meeples'. Carcassonne came out in 2000, the same year that Spielfreaks was founded, and Carcassonne was immediately awarded a Meeples Choice of 2000 (obviously).

To see the official Spielfreaks Meeples' Choice selections from 1995-2005, checkout their official Meeples' Choice website.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at July 7, 2006 3:22 PM

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