The Last Spike is a 2016 Mensa Select Winner

Monday , 2, May 2016 2 Comments

This was my reaction to Columbia Games’s The Last Spike back in March:

If entertaining non-gamers is something you end up doing a fair bit of, this a title you’ll want to add to your collection. For me, this is just the thing for situations when I’m short on time and want a solid gaming experience anyway. But I like it just as well for its capacity to show non-gamers what’s so appealing about the hobby games scene and also to show aspiring game designers how it’s done.

It turns out that I’m not the only person raving over this title as it has recently been honored in the Mensa Mind Games competition. And I have to say, being put on par with The List Spike is high praise. It would not surprise me at all if the other winners are worth a look as well.

Congrats to Columbia games for the achievement here. (And glad I can say that I told you guys you had a winner here!) If Splendor didn’t quite float your boat or if you’re looking to retire Incan Gold from rotation, this is one you might consider getting. Check it out!

2 Comments
  • LastRedoubt says:

    One I absolutely love, and that a number of non-gamers have also enjoyed, is “The Castles of mad King Ludwig”. It borrows a number of key concepts from Suburbia (which I would NOT inflict on non-gamer) but adds both simpler interactions between pieces, and geometry as a factor.

    Half our gaming club has bought their own copies, and it near guaranteed to get table play on any given day (we’ve had three games running)

  • Littlest Hellhound says:

    I love Suburbia, but didn’t get on with Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Unlike Suburbia, which is reasonably thematic, the room scoring in Ludwig is arbitrary.

    If you want a ‘non-gamer’ city-building game, Days of Wonder have just published Quadropolis. I’ve also seen Dice City and Machi Koro recommended. Most of Days of Wonder’s titles are suitable for non-gamers and include classics like Ticket to Ride and Memoir ’44 (Command & Colors for kids).

    The most success I’ve had with non-gamers is with Marvel: Legendary and its offshoots. It’s like catnip for comic fans.

    The best source of impartial non-gamer recommendations is probably the Spiel des Jahres (German Game of the Year award). We’ve enjoyed simple games like Qwixx, The Game, and Camel Cup.

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