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Game of the Year 2019 guest list: Call of Cthulhu creative director Mike Mason

Creative director for Lovecraftian RPG Call of Cthulhu selects his tabletop games of the year.

Mike Mason is the creative director of Lovecraftian roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu and co-writer for several Call of Cthulhu sourcebooks including the Seventh Edition Keeper Rulebook, Call of Cthulhu Starter Set and Pulp Cthulhu. He has also co-written the Warhammer 40,000 roleplaying game, Dark Heresy.

Jaws

The designers set out to recreate the Jaws film in a game and that’s exactly what they did. Played in two halves, the game mirrors the action and progress of the film superbly. In the first game I played, all looked lost as the game neared its end, with what was left of the crew of the Orca on the last piece of boat not destroyed by the shark, we knew our end was nigh - but juts at the last second, we literally pulled victory from the jaws of defeat and won! As a somewhat massive fan of Jaws, the game was a must buy for me, and it didn’t disappoint. I strongly recommend it.

Rhino Hero: Super Battle

Here, you play a superhero tasked with climbing to the highest point of a structure you build through the game from pieces of differently sized pieces. It’s very simple, quick to learn, and great fun to play. A sort of Jenga mixed with combat, where the structure is bizarre and different every time. A great beer and pretzels style game.

Rhino Hero: Super Battle board game layout

King of Dungeons

A fantasy roleplaying game drawing on old skool play with modern rules dynamics. It assumes you already know about RPGS and that this isn’t the first dungeon you’ve delved in, so game play is pretty intuitive and speedy. Lots of fun if you like taking on dragons and goblins.

Takenoko

A board game were you build a garden and try to grow colorful bamboo plants. But, watch out the panda, who likes nothing more than eating your carefully cultured plants. A highly strategic game that’s pretty quick to learn, it plays in about an hour and is charming and delightful. Also fun. It’s family friendly but also has enough depth to satisfy most hardcore board gamers.

Takenoko board game artwork

SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1

A massive 352 page book drawing on the classic SLA Industries RPG. Here you have a detailed setting concerting the wild lands outside of the City of Mort, where unwholesome cannibal-mutant-machine things will eat you. The book covers skirmish rules for those with a love of miniature gaming, but also devotes a “wadge" of text to the RPG, and is compatible with Nightfalls forthcoming SLA Industries RPG second edition due out next year.

Read more of Dicebreaker’s Game of the Year 2019 coverage, including the Dicebreaker team’s personal favourites and more designer picks.

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