Some of these games I have reviewed, and some I haven't. If I've reviewed it, I'll give you the link to my review (instead of the normal link to Amazon, but feel free to use this Amazon link and search for any of these games in the search bar). If I haven't reviewed some of these yet, I'll try to get around to writing one for you! And, since I just completed my self proclaimed "Abstract Strategy Month" of December, what better place to start than...
Top Ten Abstract Strategy Games!!
10. TsuroSimple but enjoyable. This may be the only abstract strategy game that I know of that can support up to 8 players!
9. StompleGorgeous and engaging. This game is perfect for anyone with children, but the amount of luck involved in your initial setup keeps it from placing higher.
8. AbaloneThis is basically sumo wrestling as an abstract strategy game. It can be incredible fun, but can also become tedious if you and your opponent are too experienced at it, if you are both able to avoid getting any pieces knocked off the board.
7. Jin LiOne of my surprise finds of 2011 was Jin Li. Having never heard of the game before I was given a copy, I quickly fell in love. Surprising depth with very brief rules, I wound up buying the iPhone version so that I could play it when I needed a 3-minute break.
6. HiveOne of my very first reviews, Hive is the game on this list closest to having a theme, but it's paper thinness allows it to still land on the list. Simply a brilliant game (another one that I've bought for my iPhone) of attempting to surround your opponent's queen.
5. YinshThe Gipf project finally cracks the list with what many believe to be the best game in the series. Unfortunately, it's up against some brilliant competition both from other games in the Gipf project, and some outsiders. Still, Yinsh combines some beautiful gameplay elements to make for a great experience!
3. PentagoMindtwister USA's flagship game really is a prototypical example of what I look for in an abstract strategy game - easy to teach, easy to transport, and many levels of strategic depth. "Play one, twist one, try to get five in a row." It's much deeper than it initially appears.
2. GipfYes, I should post a review about this one. The original game from the Gipf project, Gipf is an amazing game. It combines elements of pushing and matching pieces into a brilliant, amazing, and exciting game. (I'm running out of adjectives - I love all of the games on this list!)
1. DvonnA game that I gave a score of 8.5 to tops the list? Yeah - I always say to read the text and not to focus on scores, and this is a perfect example. I love Dvonn. Love it. What's more, the setup and the teardown of the game are the game allowing for essentially no downtime with either of these activities. Some people disagree, but I think that the ever-collapsing board makes for a great play experience!
Honorable MentionRise, Tzaar, Ingenious, Multiplayer Pentago, Cityscape.
Any of these could have easily made the list, as they are all solid titles, but the real question would be - what do I take off of it in their place?
I hope you enjoyed my inaugural Top Ten list. Feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think I got right, and where you think I was way off! (As a note, I've never actually played Go, if you're wondering how it got completely left off of the list.)