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The Best In Tabletop 2017 – Unfair

The Best In Tabletop 2017 – Unfair

We’ve been lucky in 2017, with amazing games hitting store shelves and our tables. We saw some of our favorite developers hit the shelves yet again with a couple of fresh faces thrown into the mix. It was hard to choose just 10 games to spotlight on the list, and here is one of them.  Stay tuned to see the other games on this list and for the full list.

Civilization building is a popular theme with gamers, but what’s more fun than building your own amusement park? Whether it’s the classic video game Roller Coaster Tycoon or the steampunk-semi-real-time board game Steam Park, players will never tire of building their dream theme parks from the ground up.

Unfair is Cool Mini or Not (CMON) Games’ foray into the theme-park-building genre. Unlike CMON’s miniatures-heavy games, Unfair only has a single mini: the turn tracker is a fun little nod to the game’s theme. Players attempt to build the most successful amusement park filled with rides, attractions, and concession stands. They’ll have assistance in the form of staff members and fortuitous events during the game, but they’ll need all the help they can get: living up to its name, Unfair packs quite a bit of take-that as events and your opponents try to foil your grand plans.

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Each round players draw cards and attempt to play them using the money they’ve already earned. Up to five rides and attractions make up each player’s amusement park tableau and upgrades, features, and themes played onto these will increase their scores at the end of the game. Scoring is based on each column in the tableau; more points are scored by having more icons in each column via upgrades, features, and themes. Players also have the option to buy blueprints for additional points; however, like destination tickets in Ticket to Ride, points are lost for any blueprints not completed by game end.

Veteran gamers will immediately recognize Unfair’s strong hand management mechanism: with several decks of thematic cards to choose from, the game offers lots of variability. Each player chooses one deck that will be mixed into the game: Pirate, Robot, Vampire, Jungle, Ninja, or Gangster. As decks are shuffled together, gamers will start to figure out which cards can create the synergy needed to outwit their opponents. Unfair is a game that rewards multiple plays; as familiarity with the cards increases, so does the knowledge to work the combinations offered by the variety of cards.

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While the take-that may be off-putting to some players, it’s a part of the game that affects everyone and there are cards that can be played minimize the damage. In the case of the event cards, there’s a choice between helping yourself and going after someone else (or protecting yourself against them), so the amount of take-that can be dictated by the players.

While CMON is best known for miniatures-packed classics like Blood Rage and Zombicide, it continues to release terrific games without their hallmark figurines. Unfair joins The Grizzled, Potion Explosion, and Ethnos as CMON’s growing stable of games that are more accessible and affordable without sacrificing engaging and thoughtful gameplay.

What are your favorite games of 2017? Tell us in the comments!

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Image credits: Ruel Gaviola

Ruel Gaviola is a writer and educator based in Southern California. He loves board games, books, cooking, traveling, date nights with his wife, and Star Wars. He reviews games and reports news for iSlaytheDragon.com and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter.

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