Top 12 Reiner Knizia Games
I'm a big fan of the game designer Reiner Knizia, and these are my favorites of his designs. Inspired by Chris Farrell's list of a similar name. No effort made to factor in popularity, historical interest, or complexity of design, or to provide a cross section of different game types. So, basically a list of no interest to anyone.
- •Blue Moon (2004)A Magic: the Gathering-type card duel, except with a limited pool of cards and more restrictive deck-building rules. His magnum opus — if I could only own one game, this would be it.
- •Taj Mahal (2000)Originally published by Alea. A game which has a perfect blend of short-term tactics, long-term strategy, and tense interactions between players.
- •Ra (1999)One of the great auction games, and incredibly replayable. Belongs in every game collection.
- •Amun-Re (2003)Knizia's last real "gamer's game", and one of his best. Also an auction game at heart, though it contains many other elements as well. Weaving hut not included.
- •Ingenious (2004)A perfect design — simple to learn, interesting, fast-playing, and scales well from two to four players. Should be sold in every toy store alongside Monopoly.
- •Qin (2012)An abstract tile-laying game which is similar in feel to Ingenious, but also completely original. Simple, fast, fun. I usually win.
- •Carcassone: the Castle (2003)Technically Knizia co-designed this one, as it is based on Klaus-Jürgen Wrede's Carcassonne. A wonderful two-player tile-laying game in which you try to have just the right number of irons in the fire.
- •Schotten-Totten (1999)A perfect twenty-minute two-player card game. I prefer this more streamlined and elegant version to the more complicated and unpredictable American version, titled Battle Line.
- •Times Square (2006)Yet another two-player game, this one a tug-of-war of sorts. Has a backgammon-like feel to it, in that players need the same blend of luck and skill to win. The rules are a bit unintuitive, but once you get them down the game is brilliant.
- •Ra: the Dice Game (2009)Basically it's Knizia's take on Yahtzee, plus Ra's elaborate scoring. The only dice game you need.
- •Tower of Babel (2005)A fascinating area-majority game in which players need to strike deals with the competition to win. Requires a fix to the rules, however: leave out the special blue cards, which were misguidedly added by the publisher and not part of the original design.
- •Tigris & Euphrates (1997)The now-classic game of conflict in the ancient world. It's a strange game, though, in that you can apply a great deal of thought to it, but underneath there's still a great deal of luck involved. Perhaps like war itself?