Board Games 5609
(Updated: April 29, 2019)
This was my Game of the Year in 2011. If you like fantasy as a theme, you are set in the board game world. You can elf as many dungeons with your wizarding stick as your heart desires. But if you like science fiction, then obviously what you want is a fourteen-hour long grindfest of sprawling space empires all trying to be the first to research Calculus so they can build terraforming stations or whatever. What I’m saying is, space games tend to only come in one flavor. Ascending Empires changes this, bringing the space conquest field into a fun, fast, and more appealing format. Yes, it has a flicky element, but unlike previous games with this element (such as Catacombs, which is now in the trade pile), this isn’t the only feature of the game. There’s a lot more going on, but not so much that you need to set aside an entire afternoon and your plans to ever know the touch of a woman to experience. The only, only, bad point is a huge one — the production values on the game boards are lousy, and this was almost enough for me to knock it out of the top spot, but I’ve had so much fun playing the game as is that I can’t really complain too much.