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Top Four Player title means these are superb games to play with a group of people. For this title we also have them as competitive games.

We have picked 5 of the best games we own or have played. Every game in this list has been played by Flashback Generations and comes with our recommendation.

#5 Lost Cities

Lost Cities is a card game in the Kosmos two-player series. The game consists of a single deck of cards of rank 2–10 in 5 different colours with 3 special “handshakes” (“HS” in scoring examples below) in each suit. There is also a board which functions only to hold and organize discarded cards and is largely superfluous. Games last around 15 minutes. This is generally considered a good “couples” game and is often recommended for people with non-gamer partners.

 

#4 Concept

In Concept, your goal is to guess words through the association of icons. A team of two players – neighbors at the table – choose a word or phrase that the other players need to guess. Acting together, this team places pieces judiciously on the available icons on the game board.

To get others to guess “milk”, for example, the team might place the question mark icon (which signifies the main concept) on the liquid icon, then cubes of this color on the icons for “food/drink” and “white”. For a more complicated concept, such as “Leonardo DiCaprio”, the team can use the main concept and its matching cubes to clue players into the hidden phrase being an actor or director, while then using sub-concept icons and their matching cubes to gives clues to particular movies in which DiCaprio starred, such as Titanic or Inception.

The first player to discover the word or phrase receives 2 victory points, the team receives points as well, and the player who ends up with the most points wins.

 

#3 Survive

Survive is a cutthroat game where players seek to evacuate their pieces from an island that is breaking up, while remembering where their highest-valued pieces are located to maximize their score.

An island made up of 40 hex-tiles is slowly sinking into the ocean (as the tiles are removed from the board). Each player controls ten people (valued from 1 to 6) that they try and move towards the safety of the surrounding islands before the main island finally blows up. Players can either swim or use boats to travel but must avoid sea serpents, whales and sharks on their way to safety.

Survive is very similar to Escape from Atlantis with some key differences.

Survive was reprinted as “Survive: Escape from Atlantis!” by publisher Stronghold Games and hit store shelves in February, 2011. The reprint contains the game Survive, as well as all the extra pieces needed in order to play the game as “Escape from Atlantis”.

 

#2 Love Letter

All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to take your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first?

Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!

 

#1 Kingsburg

The realm of Kingsburg is under attack! Monstrous invaders are gathering at the borders, aiming to invade and plunder the realm! Your king has chosen you to take charge of a province on the border; you will manage your province and help defend the realm. To accomplish this, you must influence the King’s advisors and the Royal Family to obtain gold, wood, stones, and soldiers to expand and defend your lands. But you are not the only governor seeking the aid of the advisers! The other players also seek to collect the best resources for their own territories.

King Tritus is waiting for you. Will you be able to be the most influent and powerful governor of the realm?

The game of Kingsburg takes place over five years, a total of 20 turns. In every year, there are three production seasons for collecting resources, building structures, and training troops. Every fourth turn is the winter, in which all the players must fight an invading army. Each player must face the invaders, so this is not a cooperative game.

The resources to build structures and train troops are collected by influencing the advisers in the King’s Council. Players place their influence dice on members of the Council, and each adviser awards different resources or allocate soldiers, victory points, and other advantages to the player who was able to influence that adviser for the current turn. The player with the lowest influence dice sum is the first to choose where to spend their influence; this acts as a way of balancing poor dice rolling. Even with a very unlucky roll, a clever player can still come out from the Council with a good number of resources and/or soldiers.

At the end of five years, the player who best developed their assigned territory and most pleased the King through the Council wins.

 

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