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Game of the Year 2019 guest list: Sushi Go! designer Phil Walker-Harding

The mind behind Bärenpark, Imhotep and the delicious card game series picks his top five games of 2019.

Phil Walker-Harding is the creator of the deliciously popular card game Sushi Go!, its delectable sequel Sushi Go Party! and spin-off Sushi Roll. He’s also designed board games including Imhotep, this year’s Adventure Games series with Matthew Dunstan and Bärenpark, which has the greatest box art of any board game according to Dicebreaker’s own Alex Meehan. We asked Phil for his favourite games of 2019 - here's what he picked out...

Just One

The best party game since Codenames! The rules couldn't be simpler, but every session produces funny and surprising moments. This feels like it could have been a parlour game a hundred years ago.

Just One board game layout

Tiny Islands

A fantastic flip 'n' write game which, while unpublished, has been made available to play online by the designer. I love the combination of filling in your grid with scoring icons while also periodically surrounding parts of the grid to form islands, which also influence scoring.

Fantasy Realms

An intriguing exercise in minimalist card game design. Each card in the deck is unique and scores based on the other cards you have collected. Short, sweet, and addictive.

Fantasy Realms board game layout

Don't Mess with Cthulhu

One of my favourite social deduction games and also one of the most approachable titles in the genre. We had a great time playing this with our friends' kids on a recent holiday. Every turn has so much riding on it!


The fact that every deck is unique got all the attention (justifiably), but I think this succeeds on many levels as a clever and really approachable CCG-like experience.

Learn how to play Keyforge in Dicebreaker's handy beginner's guide.

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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About the Author
Phil Walker-Harding avatar

Phil Walker-Harding


Phil is a board and card game designer from Sydney, Australia who hopes his games are accessible, intuitive and engaging for people of all ages. After self-publishing from 2007 to 2014, he is now focusing entirely on designing. Phil has recently enjoyed working with some great publishers all around the world including Kosmos, Gamewright, Z-Man Games, Abacusspiele and CMON. His most popular games include Sushi Go!, Imhotep, Bärenpark and Gizmos.

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