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Top sellers for the first half of the year were Patchwork and Sushi Go, both in short supply during the previous festive season so pounced upon when they returned. Then came two considerably larger games, Dead of Winter A Crossroads Game – zombie game of choice among the cognoscenti - and Castles of Mad King Ludwig, an excellent mid-weight game. In at number 5 was Harbour, another middleweight, less well known but a local favourite, followed by the ubiquitous Splendor. I have played it many times with a variety of people, have yet to win but am happy to keep trying.
Number 7 was Sheriff of Nottingham, a bluffing game very much in vogue last Spring, in 8th place was Star Realms, a very good deck-builder that is quick, fun and a lot more portable than the many (also good) alternatives. Machi Koro was at the height of its popularity; another game that I get consistently beaten at, but at least I can blame my famously bad luck with dice. Red7 rounded out the top 10, a card game with simple rules but quite fiendish to play.
So, a good mix with no real surprises, but it was all change for the second half of the year, except for Patchwork which retained its number 1 spot and was the runaway winner for the year. As a purely two-player game its sales might be expected to be restricted compared with the many good 2 - 4 player games, but it suits so many people – it is a gamer's game that also attracts puzzle lovers and quilt fanciers, and can be explained in two minutes flat.
Current second place goes to Codenames, a newcomer in October that immediately became the quick multi-player game of choice. In third place is Ticket to Ride UK expansion – we had a very successful launch day for this, which takes TTR to a new level. It would still be selling like hot cakes were it in print – tragically, Days of Wonder have been taken over and currently the entire TTR is unavailable apart from what we still have in stock. Hey, That's My Fish! is number 4, only missing from the earlier lists while it was being reprinted, the delightful Takenoko continues to be a steady seller and a surge in popularity takes it to number 5. Sushi Go has slipped to number 6, but as a good, quick filler game it is always up there somewhere. 7th place turns up a surprise: The Grizzled, a WW1 co-operative game giving a taste of life in the trenches, appropriate for the 100th anniversary of the Somme, but not exactly mass market. 8th is TTR Europe, on the back of the boost to Ticket to Ride following the UK expansion. 9th is the Salsa expansion for Concordia – we play Concordia in the shop at the drop of a hat so expected to sell a few of these, but it went well through mail order too. In 10th place is Spyfall, a competitor to Codenames, and while it lost that battle, it has still gone pretty well.
Looking at 11th to 20th makes interesting reading too, but this will do for now.
Spirit Games (Est. 1984) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 34 years
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