2017 Mid-Year Awards
At the end of each year, we do our yearly awards, letting everyone know what the best of the best is in a variety of categories. While we will be doing that this year as well, I thought it might be good to have a mid-year roundup as well. It can be easy for games, comics, and movies to be overshadowed or somewhat forgotten later in the year, so let’s give these early risers their due. But that’s enough fanfare and explanation. You get the point.
2017 Mid-Year Awards
Best Board Game
This was a hard choice to make as there have been tons of great board games released so far this year. Sword & Sorcery, BarenPark, and Rum & Bones: Second Tide just to name a few. But we have to give the nod to Gloomhaven, the incredibly ambitious legacy style dungeon crawl games from designer Isaac Childres. Gloomhaven has players controlling a variety of fantasy heroes as they completely missions, unlock new content, and change the world as the campaign progresses. While the game isn’t cheap, there is nothing else on the market quite like it.
1-4 PLAYERS • AGES 12+ • 60-120 MINUTES • $120
Best Card Game
Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
Another hard choice, but I had to give the nod to the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game. Ignoring the fact that I’m a massive fan of the Dresden Files books, the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game is actually an incredibly well made game. It has an almost puzzle-like feel to it as players have to wisely use their limited resources to solve the cases as they progress through the various Dresden Files books. While you don’t have to be a fan of the Dresden Files series to enjoy this game, it sure helps.
1-5 PLAYERS • AGES 12+ • 30 MINUTES • $34
Best Video Game
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This was probably the easiest choice on this list. No game has enthralled me like Breath of the Wild did. I probably put close to 100 hours into the game and still haven’t discovered every secret the land of Hyrule holds for me. Nintendo created a game in Breath of the Wild that will be talked about for years to come, and, to be honest, I will be shocked if Breath of the Wild doesn’t also win our Year End award.
System: Switch, Wii U • Rating: E • $60
Best Tablet Board Game
Race for the Galaxy
Sometimes an app developer gets everything right and Race for the Galaxy is a prime example of that. The app is smooth, polished, and plays the game perfectly. While Race for the Galaxy is a great board game, it’s heavy use of iconography makes it hard to get to the table. With the app, I literally have nothing to complain about in its conversion from cards to digital bits. In fact, it’s so good it has killed my desire to ever even own the tabletop version of the game again.
Offline vs AI, Online Gameplay • $6.99
Best Mobile Game
While it was a bit rough around the edges since its release, Prison Architect has had a few updates that went a long way into smoothing out the gameplay. And when it comes to the game play, Prison Architect is an incredibly fun game. I have spent countless hours running various prisons and trying to figure out the best way to do everything. If you are a fan of simulations, this one is worth owning.
Free to Download and Try, $15 to Unlock Everything
Kill or Be Killed
For the best comic, I wanted to choose something new. While it would have been easy to go with Saga or The Walking Dead, as those comics have been strong and entertaining for years. So when it comes to newer books, I’ve really been loving Kill or Be Killed. I won’t spoil much for you, but the basic premise is a 20 something get’s himself into a bit of trouble and now he has to kill someone, someone who deserves it, every month or he will die himself.
Publisher: Image • Rating: Mature • $6
Best TV Show
Better Call Saul Season 3
So far this year, I haven’t been exactly blown away by the TV shows I usually watch. Homeland, House of Cards, and even The Americans were all good, but not as great as they have been. Billions was close to getting the nod, but at the end of the day, I have to give it to Better Call Saul. I have been absolutely loving that show. From the storytelling, to the characters, to the cinematography, I looked forward to the new episode each week. Even if you’ve never seen a single episode of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is absolutely worth checking out.
For this difficult decision, Spider-Man: Homecoming barely, and I do mean barely, edges out Wonder Woman for the best movie so far. Both were absolutely excellent movies, and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. However I’m giving the slight edge to Spider-Man because Wonder Woman faltered a bit in the third act. Her super-showdown with Ares wasn’t without it’s issues, while Homecoming hit its third act with both feet running and never looked back. Regardless, you should definitely see both movies if you haven’t.
For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2
As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s really hard to do an award for a book. Since there are just so many genres and styles, how do you pick one and say “this is the best”. Well, since this is a site dedicated to promoting geek culture, I’m going to stick to the scifi genre for now, and in that realm, I really enjoyed the second book in the Bobiverse series. It has some great action, interesting technology, and even some touching moments. I’m really excited to see where this series goes.
Could there be any other choice? The Nintendo Switch has been hard to find since its launch in March and Nintendo is still having a difficult time keeping up with production. This was the console Nintendo has been trying to build for a decade, and it’s what the Wii U should have been. Gamers finally don’t have to choose between playing at home or taking their game on the go. It works great, has had some fantastic releases already, and is the best at what it does right now.