$10.00
2008 Biggest Sleeper Hits
David Kahnt
United States
Laurinburg
North Carolina
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story...
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Is there any game you have played designed within the calendar year of 2008 that you would consider a "sleeper hit?"

That is a game that at first you don't even know why you sat down to play the game... or maybe one you promised yourself you would never ever playbut then you did...

And you enjoy it thoroughly.

If you can think of game put it here.

-DK
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1. Board Game: Sorry! Sliders [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1057]
David Kahnt
United States
Laurinburg
North Carolina
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story...
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I really only played this with stormseeker75 because of Blott's recommendation.

I have said this before... and will say it again:

A game this dumb should not be this much fun.

Definitely my choice for the sleeper hit game of 2008.
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2. Board Game: Kayak Chaos [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:6138]
Matt Hiske
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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Happily walked upon the game display off the beaten path @ Gen-Con. I have now found it to be one of my favorite filler games.
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3. Board Game: Micro Mutants: Evolution [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1389]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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Jay Little pulled this out for a group of us at the Geekway 2008 (after we trounced him in Samurai, he was looking for some payback). When he described this as "combat tiddely winks", I thought - this sounds retarded. Well, 30 minutes later I had seen the light and had a good time. Good enough that I promptly bought the game when I returned home. Well, you can get it now for $10 during the FF sale. Its a bargain price for a game that is quite fun (and takes a good amount of skill). Don't be fooled, this is a good fun game.
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4. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:870]
German Mike
United States
Hudson
Ohio
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For me, THE unexpected hit of BGG.con 2008! I had read about 'Le Havre' and expected it to be good (which it was), but I somehow overlooked this little gem in the pre-con communication.

It plays in about 30 minutes and offers lots of tough decisions with very simple mechanics. I love the artwork and theme and the production value is great!

My sleeper hit for 2008!
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5. Board Game: Charioteer [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:7055]
T. Nomad
South Korea
Gyeongsan
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No question, this little work of genius by Dr. Finn. I'd never even heard of the company, but had ordered and enjoyed Biblios. Everyone at my game club thought it was great, too. So when the opportunity came to place a group order of S&S, I threw in an order for Charioteer for myself. Surely it couldn't live up to the same high standard, but I thought it might be worth taking a chance on. In two weeks, I've had 4 plays, and it's a winner. HUGE (quality) game in a tiny package.
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6. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:407]
Tom Rosen
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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This was the sleeper hit of BGG.CON for me. I had a long list of games to play going in to the convention. I mean a LONG list, covering all the major releases by well known designers and well known publishers. But I hadn't heard much about this game except that it came in a gigantic box, so it wasn't on my list. Thankfully I got asked to play and ended up really enjoying the game. I'm hoping now that it gets a domestic reprint and comes in a much smaller box because it was a great game. It was an involved economic game with a supply-and-demand resource market, like the Power Grid market vaguely, but I don't enjoy Power Grid, and I enjoyed this. It involves producing four different types of resources in order to buy and sell them in a market where the prices fluctuate based on the supply and demand of your fellow players. Make the most money and you win. It was a couple hours long, but really engaging and I hope to play again. I enjoyed other games that I expected to enjoy at the convention (such as Ghost Stories, Chicago Express, Le Havre, Dominion), but this was the sleeper hit. Runner-up sleeper hit would definitely go to Red November, which was a surprisingly tense and compelling cooperative game that I quickly ordered due to its very small box size and price.
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7. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1256]
John Farrell
Australia
Aspley
Queensland
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A game takes 30 minutes. You get to play with the blocks. What more could I want? I believe Rio will be releasing it in English.
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8. Board Game: Hop Hop Hooray! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:3373]
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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You take turns bouncing marbles into a grid.
Three marbles of any color in a row = 1 point.
Three marbles of your color in a row = 2 points.
If you complete multiple sets, score them all.
Remove the marbles scored and return them their owner.
Once the scoring chips run out, the game ends.
The player with the most points wins.

Simple and fun! Excellent with tasty beverages.
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9. Board Game: Yetisburg: Titanic Battles in History, Vol. 1 [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:6218]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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This one gets my personal vote. Stupid premise. Absurd background. I contend that it was designed based on a drunken bet ("I bet you can't design a game that...").

But it's a surprisingly tight and fun little game. For a light card-based wargame, it's shot up towards the top of my all-time list (of card-based wargames, that is ).
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10. Board Game: Snow Tails [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:455]
Huzonfirst
United States
Manassas
Virginia
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The women's national team pulls off a stunning victory at the World Cup! U-S-A!!!
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This has to be my most pleasant surprise of the year. Fragor's previous games hadn't really clicked with me, but this is very clever and just a lot of fun. It's also one of the few racing games I like. There's almost an unlimited number of courses you can create with the components, so it figures to have tremendous replayability. Definitely one of the best middleweight games of the year.

Since I first played Rolling Through the Ages as a prototype, when I knew next to nothing about it, that might have qualified for my biggest sleeper of the year. But I haven't played the published version yet, so it doesn't qualify. I'm hoping the FRED edition turns out to be as good or better than the little prototype that got so much play at the Gathering.
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11. Board Game: The Hanging Gardens [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:841]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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I would have picked Sorry! Sliders as well, but since Dave took that one, I'll choose this game.

I knew absolutely nothing about The Hanging Gardens until I started seeing 20 or more plays a month from Randy Cox. This surprised me, because I'd never thought him to be the type that will play a game quite so frequently.

Then some of my other geekbuddies started playing it and I got the itch to try it myself. Thankfully Grimwold visited and taught us the game and we really enjoyed it. I received my own copy in October as a birthday gift and it has become our new filler game of choice in most of our gaming sessions. One couple even asked where they could buy a copy after playing only 1 game.
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12. Board Game: Burgen Land [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3568]
I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I knew almost nothing about this game before a friend suggested I look into it. I ordered a copy from Game Surplus expecting a small simple dice game. Turns out, this game makes some of the best use of dice I've ever seen. What a spectacular 2-player game. I've written a review if you want to read more.
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13. Board Game: Nefertiti [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:653]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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I hadn't even heard of this game before I saw it in the Rio Grande room at GenCon. So I gave it a shot and loved it. It's a very fluid auction game whose various auction closing mechanisms provides a lot of variety and keeps everyone on their toes. Outside of maybe Le Havre, it's my favorite game of 2008.
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14. Board Game: Giants [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:602]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Definitely a sleeper for me - after Utopia, I wasn't expecting much from Matagot, but this game is one of the few highlights of a generally thin and weak year, from my point of view...
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15. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:40]
Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Yeah, a Z-man game wouldn't be something you would think of as a sleeper.

I hadn't heard much about it except it was cooperative, which meant it was way down on my list of games I would want to try. One night, Kevin (Astrogeek) bought the game and wanted to try it out. I really didn't want to, but agreed because most of the time the others are playing games I want to try out.

I was hooked! I picked up a copy when the second printing hit because Christa loved the game and have played it 45 times going into December. I even bought disks to replace my cubes.

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16. Board Game: Comuni [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1246]
Stefano Castelli
Italy
Rome
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Comuni. Absolutely.

This game deserves way more love and attention here on BGG.

It is a real gem.
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17. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:417]
Will DeMorris
United States
El Paso
Texas
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What an abstract wargame based loosely on Napoleonic era conflict? Each army only has 8 units? Sounds like a yawner.

Well after tons of endorsements from fellow geeks, I added this to one of my wargame orders. I wasn't exactly thrilled when I opened the box, saw the contents and then read the rules. "You've got to be kidding me", I thought. However I decided to give it a chance and boy I'm glad I did. The gameplay is fast and addictive. The way the card deck really gives each army distinct flavor is brilliant. What a great game that was totally not on my radar.

-Will
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18. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:200]
 
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
DC
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Even though we're all extremely familiar with this title now, I remember when we all had only a vague idea that some new WWII tactical game was on the way.
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19. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:419]
Paul Boos
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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Mine would be this gem. I needed to trade Fury of Dracula; I was the only one in my group that liked it. That meant it would never hit the table; I'm a bits whore (see my Bits Whore Anonymous geeklist) and the ships really appealed to me on this one - I had to have it. This is a surprisingly deep game.


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20. Board Game: Hold the Line [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1218]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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It is now working its way up the rankings, but I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't gotten the immediate attention that other simple wargames have received. Nonetheless, I predict this game climbing really high in the rankings as word of mouth continues to grow.
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21. Board Game: Bushido: Der Weg des Kriegers [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:3581]
Dvonn Yinsh
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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This wasn't even on my radar for Essen 2008. Glad I stumbled on it on the last day.

Unfortunately, it didn't receive much attention or distribution.

But it's original and richly thematic. Different player roles are assigned by the active player. Lots of player interaction and conflict.

Give this gem a try if you can get a copy of it.
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22. Board Game: Affentennis [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2413]
Manos Velivassakis
Greece
Athens
Attiki
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I had heard about this game but I didn't have any intention to buy / play it. I saw the game at Essen '08 and said "Oh,let's try it for fun!". 15 minutes later , I bought it! Addictive and excellent adaptation of real tennis. You can't find how fun it is,until you play.
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23. Board Game: Journey to the Center of the Earth [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2411]
Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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I consider this game to be one of the biggest hits in our household! Easy to learn, fun to play. Great components!

What else would I ask for in a game?
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24. Board Game: Timber Tom [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2312]
Jeffery Qualey
United States
Odenton
Maryland
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I had no idea I'd like this game so much. It's a race game with a great hiking theme. You have to watch your use of supplies, and the games are usually real close. The quality of the components (especially the board) is like nothing else I have seen.
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25. Board Game: Kriegbot [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:4921]
J. R. Tracy
United States
New York
New York
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More Eklund fun, though this is Eklund fils, not pére. Crunchy robot combat, with clean mechanics and good replay value via customization options. This is a solid effort and well worth a look.

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