Most Anticipated Games of 2016

Review Corner Writers

Posted by Review Corner Writers on Jan 1, 2016

Well, it’s 2016. And here in Miniature Market’s Review Corner, we are already hard at work at providing you with lots of great reviews in multiple formats to help make sure that you spend those gaming dollars wisely. It’s shaping up to be an interesting year for new games once again, so I asked our writers to let us know what their most anticipated games of 2016 are. Some of these are available for preorder while a couple of them are hot off the presses- and you can bet that we’ll have top quality reviews for everything here as soon as these folks can get their critical mitts on them. Happy New Year and good gaming!

Michael Barnes

Editor-in-Chief, The Review Corner


Many a Hasbro game has died too soon, before it was really allowed to flourish (Battleship Galaxies, I weep for you still). So I'm doing everything I can to sing the praises of the Heroscape heir apparent, Arena of the Planeswalkers. The first expansion looks promising, packing a healthy dose of new plastic and card decks. It's also got a new one vs. all mode where players unite against the devastating Eldrazi Ruiner. It's exciting to see Hasbro boost the base game's content while not being afraid to mix things up right out of the gate. Keep them coming!


It's impossible to argue that Fantasy Flight Games hasn't done the Star Wars universe the justice it deserves. From the tense dogfights of X-Wing to the grand capital ship battles of Armada, their games have continuously increased in both scope and ambition and now Star Wars: Rebellion arrives on the scene. Players now get to take control of the entire Empire or Rebellion as they command whole fleets and troop battalions, manage hyperspace travel lanes, and bring entire star systems into the Rebellion...or under control of the Empire. It's a game as epic in scope as the entire original trilogy and I can't wait to deploy the heroes of the movies or one of TWO Death Star miniatures across the galaxy and determine the fate of the entire civil war.


The greatest thing about Doctor Who is that, while all fans share some ideas of what the show should be about, it really doesn't need to be tied down to genre. Gothic horror? Insane time travel? Historical character drama? All of those and more have been covered at some point in the past fifty-odd years. The same sense of freedom and the unexpected surrounds Time of the Daleks, a new Doctor Who game from Gale Force Nine coming out in 2016. As the first game in a series, it looks like it will use some common adventure tropes to bring the Doctor and his companions to life. But it will probably have plenty of things I couldn't predict as well. And future games in the series could go in any direction, all of which could be appropriate. All of this might seem like too big a task for a normal publisher, but Gale Force Nine has shown themselves more than capable of finding the central appeal of different licenses and creating a game that will thrill fans. Doctor Who is one of my favorite TV shows, so I can't wait to see how the people who have managed Firefly, Spartacus, and WWE can wrangle one of the most beloved cult TV shows of all time.


Ever since Sentinels of the Multiverse burst onto the scene in 2011, I've been a die hard fan. No other game really captures the feel of unique super heroes working together as a team to bring down a devious villain. And it does so while creating a totally unique property that is nevertheless engaging, endearing, and at times, heartbreaking. I have every Sentinels item and I'm looking forward to even more. And I'm especially looking forward to Villains of the Multiverse. The new expansion concentrates on villains, providing ten different villains who work together to take down the hero team. Each hero gets to pilot a villain as they work together to stop the cooperative heroes. My eagerness for this title is unparalleled.


In 1983 M.U.L.E. showed the world that pixel-based games could have serious depth when it depicted a futuristic alien colony with an amazing economic system, and the board game world has been struggling to bring its unique blend of supply and demand, honest dealing and fast-twitch sabotage to the game table ever since. Well now, it appears like mission accomplished, and I can't wait to see if the board game lives up to the electronic hype. If M.U.L.E. delivers the many routes to victory, the semi-cooperative world sprinkled with possibilities for market-cornering deviousness and the dynamic market of its classic namesake, it'll be my favorite game of 2016.


Since its humble beginning as a Kickstarter project, I have been enthralled by Ancient Terrible Things from Pleasant Company Games. I played it a few times when a friend came over to play, and immediately sought it out, but sadly, it had only one printing and was harder to get a hold of than an honest politician. It has the perfect blend of press-your-luck and strategy, all wrapped in an eerie Cthulhu setting, and it plays incredibly well. I am thoroughly stoked to see that it's coming back around, and now it even has an expansion to go with it. This is absolutely my most anticipated game of 2016, so far.


Like 2015's Bloody Inn, Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy would be a solid but unremarkable game were it not for its ability to create a story through card play. In this 2013 release from Portal Games, players represent the heads of noble families in 18th century France. Your goal is simple: marry well, produce many offspring, and ensure that your line continues through these turbulent times. In a mix of worker placement and hand management, the game covers three generations of unions and lineages, resulting in sprawling family trees that tell of marriages above and below one's station, made for love, lust, money or politics. Five Families expands this concept by allowing players to marry off siblings and cousins to the other families at the table, resulting in favors that can be called in later on. It also adds a new deck or birth events that replaces the base game's "complications" cards, which some players found too dark, and expands the solitaire game. I love introducing this game to new players and can't wait to add in the expansion.


I have an itch at the back of my mind I can't scratch. The prescription is more T.I.M.E Stories and A Prophecy Of Dragons is the next available refill. By taking the narrative to Fantasy it promises to introduce new mechanisms and interesting encounters that we haven't yet seen. Just like The Marcy Case, this looks to be very different in narrative terms and should bring the mystery. The possibilities are extremely tantalizing and the wait is excruciating. Anyone who's played this game knows that it's an addictive cardboard substance that only promises a new dose every quarter. Bring on the dragons.


Quite simply, the Dice Masters system is amazingly brilliant. Despite appearances its rules and mechanics are rather simple and straight-forward. At the same time, there is so much variety and so many possible combinations that the playground of experimentation is nigh endless. What it lacks in thematic congruity, it more than makes up with outstanding art, satisfyingly fast game play and the chance to lead your favorite super heroes and villains in knock-down brawls! Being a Marvel fan, I primarily stick with that IP. So I'm stoked for the series' fifth set, Civil War. It's fine enough that the release is sure to introduce a couple dozen new characters to experiment with. But to revolve around the franchise's best character (Captain America) and the comic's most intriguing story arc (Civil War) to boot? Now I can't wait to see what both the cinematic universe and WizKids do with them.


Well, I went last and my top picks were already taken- I couldn’t possibly be more excited about Gale Force 9 turning out a Doctor Who game and I’m practically salivating over Star Wars: Rebellion. And there are a lot of things to look forward to like the upcoming reprints of Knizia’s Amun-Re and the great Wolfgang Kramer game Mexica. But I think that Scythe, upcoming from Stonemaier Games has the look of a winner- and not just because it has a really cool, painterly illustration style. The setting is quite unique- it’s an agrarian/industrial 1920s “Europa” with mechs. The gameplay sounds like a cross between a fully featured resource management game and a strongly narrative adventure design. Jamey Stegmaier and his crew have impressed me in the past, and I’m hoping that this is the one that really puts this publisher on the map.