Posted Wednesday, 21-Jan-2015
Article used with permission from CleverMoveGames.com.
Which modern board games have the best wooden pieces? Players accuse many European board games of boiling down to nothing more than pushing wooden cubes around a board. And sometimes that’s true. But sometimes game companies go to great lengths to make sure that their pieces are not just another set of wooden cubes.
Like “Connect Four” taken to the next level, Quarto’s beautifully-shaped pieces serve a purpose: line up four with one aspect in common, and you win.
Gulo Gulo adds a dexterity element to an otherwise-simple children’s game. Pluck one of the wooden eggs out of the bowl and advance to a tile of that color. But if the egg alarm hits the table — or you knock any eggs out of the bowl — you have to move backward.
The upgrade pieces in Viticulture are not just nice, they’re completely unnecessary. The designers could have gone with simple disks and spaces to mark players’ upgrades. Instead, they insisted on having a different wooden component for each.
Don’t be fooled by Dungeon Lords’ cute appearance. This is a seriously heavy game.
The pieces in Camel Up aren’t just endearing, they’re functional; when one camel moves onto a space occupied by another camel, it jumps on that camel’s back.
Niagara has an abundance of clever component design — particularly the plastic discs that mimic the movement of water — but the boats earned it a spot in this list.
The publisher could have easily used cardboard chits to represent the stages of the castle in Pillars of the Earth. Instead, they want with wooden blocks to give the game more gravitas.
Villa Paletti plays like an advanced version of Jenga, where players make some actual strategic choices — and it wouldn’t be possible without the game’s brightly-colored wooden platforms.
This game has come in a few different versions, but nothing beats the classic wooden set. Not only is it a solid game, but it looks better than most chess boards.
It’s the eyes that really put these guys over.
Meeple and meeple variants have appeared in many other games, but we still have to credit Carcassonne for popularizing the use of tiny wooden men.
Another classic that can’t be ignored.
While Survive includes its own variation on meeples, it’s the sea creatures and boats that put the game over the top. Each of those components are incredibly detailed — especially when you consider their size.
The pepper-shaped pieces in Scoville aren’t just a nice touch; they’re also intuitive. The taller the piece is, the more valuable it is.
Gobblet combines Tic-Tac-Toe with Memory and makes a surprisingly-compelling two-player game. In addition, the deluxe set comes in a wooden storage box that doubles as the game board.
Like a more complex Jenga, players in this game aim to be the first to get all of their animals into the pyramid pile.
The components in Imperial Settlers are way nicer than they have to be, considering that it’s primarily a card game. But the red food token has taken on extra charm due to the continuing argument over whether it’s an apple or a tomato.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!