Good Games is a remarkable place to work; not only is every year different from the last, every week in this dynamic industry can bring shifts and changes. 2016 was no exception to this rule, bringing surprises, changes and some wonderful new games. We asked our staff for some of their picks for best, worst and weirdest things in a Good Games store throughout 2016 – join us as we look at the best and the less-than-best of the year that was.
What We Loved
Red 7 - This game is simple, elegant and fun. It plays like the lovechild of Uno and Fluxx, but deserves to go bigger than both of them. Though it was in short supply this year, keep an eye out for a copy in 2017! Marty, Town Hall
Sushi Go! - While it wasn't released in 2016, it kept being so GOOD in 2016! A fun little game with cute art and interesting mechanics that's easy to learn and quick to play - it just didn't stop selling this year. Mia, Melbourne
Everything Pokemon - Pokemon gave us 20 years of nostalgia straight to the face this year, causing us all to explode with pokeballs, pikachus and premium product. Everything from the Generations boxes to the Evolutions set was fun and reminded the world of what we love about Pokemon. Dennis, Indianapolis and Danielle, Newcastle
Scythe - a deeply strategic 'minimal luck' economic, territory control game. While the game is simple to pick up due to its worker placement style player boards, limiting player's options each turn, this doesn't stop it from being an engaging and enjoyable game. Aaron, Town Hall and Ben, Rockingham
The Arkham Horror LCG - Rich in theme, this game draws you into a story of Lovecraftian horror like no other FFG "Arkham Files" games has ever done. Every action has a consequence -- both for the story and for your own character's sanity. All at once, it's a deeply compelling story experience, a unique deckbuilding experience, and a memorable cooperative gameplay experience. Adem, Top Ryde
Blood Bowl - Football has never been more fun than it is on a board, played by Orcs, Elves and Dwarves. Games Workshop's revival this year has been highlighted by this amazing game, with its top quality miniatures, great production values and consume-your-life gameplay. Hands-down the best game of 2016! Jaime, Hurstville
Seafall - an overlooked gem of a legacy game. Packed with fun, theme and depth, it satisfied all the gaming itches immensely. Jason, Newcastle
Dominion: Empires - Loved adding this to my already substantial Dominion collection, the Landmark cards change the game up completely, which is always great with a long-running game series. Aaron, Cannington
Magic: The Gathering: Eternal Masters - C'mon, guys, what more do I need to say? Super fun set to play with, reprints of amazing cards, shiny packets - what's not to love? Daniel, Chatswood
Star Wars: Destiny - It's everything I love about Goober culture compressed down into a few dice and cards. Battle your favourite characters against each other and teach the jerks on the other side of the force a lesson! Kieren, Miranda
Final War - Great game, plus the demo team who have been visiting our stores to promote it are a super bunch! Good times, brother! Grady, Epping
Captain Sonar - Run a submarine with your friends. No really, it's more fun than it sounds! Will, Hurstville
A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King - Easy to learn, quick to play, fun to look at and infinitely replayable, whether Game of Thrones is your thing or not. An awesome little game! Nick, Coffs Harbour
Volo's Guide to Monsters - This book added some amazing monsters I can throw at my player characters, the amount of background detail we get on things such as beholders and mind flayers provide the Dm's with both tactical and role playing information you just don't get from the Monster's Manual. Kieran, Miranda
What we didn't love
Speak Out! - I don't want to put that thing in my mouth. I don't want to see inside other people's mouths. Gross, Gross, Gross, Gross, Gross. Aaron, Cannington
Not enough One Punch Man gaming stuff - One Punch Man is one of the funniest creations the Superhero genre has ever seen, as funny as Deadpool or Guardians for sure - why haven't we seen it as a Weiss Schwarz set, Heroclix or a Cryptozooic Deckbuilder yet? Will, Hurstville
No Reprint of Damnation - Come on, Wizards, we've been good this year! It's the one card that Modern decks are crying out for above all others - please reprint it! Mason, Hurstville
Cards are still against Humanity - Good taste demands that this game comes to an end. Danielle, Newcastle
Star Wars Carcassonne still isn't in Australia - Licencing issues, lack of supply - whatever the reasons it isn't here, it's ridiculous. Sure, Australia isn't a big market, but how hard is it to stick a container on a boat and send us some love? We've heard the game is great, please let us play it soon! Jaime, Hurstville
The Games Workshop/Fantasy Flight split - While I have hopes for future games which wouldn't have been made otherwise, I don't think it was worth the cost of the loss of many beloved games. Aaron, Town Hall
Isolation - Will someone PLEASE come and play board games with me??? Ben, Webmaster
What Was Just Weird
Every year, we get asked some very strange questions by people who don't quite understand how a game store works. While it isn't those people's fault, a number of these requests end up being unintentionally funny. Here were this year's in-person requests and coments asked by people standing in our stores:
Do you sell board games?
Do you sell sewing machines?
Do you fix X-Box 360's? No? Well do you sell Retro Video Games?
Do you repair toys?
How much does it cost to leave the kids here for a play session?
Is it safe to bring my kids, do people drink alcohol or do drugs here?
I had a lady ask if all the people one night during a full house were unemployed and 'addicts'?
"Do you sell flash paper?" Sorry the only magic we sell is a trading card game.
Do you sell fishing tackle?
Do you guys want to buy these star wars action figures? When we said no he turned to the room full of players and loudly proclaimed he had star wars action figures to sell... So I threw him out
No matter what kind of 2016 you had, from all of us to all of you, thank you for visiting us this year and have a safe and happy new year. Here's hoping we all find time in 2017 to play games and be merry together!