Card Game of the Year 2016: Concrete Jungle29 Dec 2016 3
It’s been an interesting year for card-games. On the CCG front, Hearthstone is still the behemoth in the room but there are questions as to whether it’s beginning to stagnate. Competitors smell blood in the water and a dirge of rival “me-too” games have risen to try and become King of the CCG-Hill. Whether they succeed is a question for 2017, me thinks.
What has been amazing in 2016 however are other types of card games – games that aren’t built around the CCG formula but have a strong card-based theme, like Guild of Dungeoneering and Lost Portal, or even just strong card-driven mechanics like Twilight Struggle.
Concrete Jungle, by ColePowered Games Ltd., has managed to fend them all off however and claim our Card Game of the Year Award. It’s a fun deck-building game with a city planning theme, yet it manages to be one of the most fun and rewarding experience you’ll ever have.
The key to Concrete Jungle’s success is its design – very well thought out, with several modes and variations to keep you engaged through multiple playthroughs.
Our reviewer Nick has had nothing but good things to say about it since he submitted his review at the start of October, and he confirmed his unyielding devotion when we asked him to say a few words:
Concrete Jungle is my top pick of all that 2016 had to offer in the world of mobile games. It earned an easy five stars from me for its fun and challenging gameplay, attractive graphics, and amusing voice acting. You play as a brand new city planner in the up-and-coming Caribou City. You have a deck of cards that represent different buildings that can be placed on the game board to earn points. When you earn enough points in a column you clear it and develop deeper into the city. There's a lot of strategy and tactics in Concrete Jungle and several modes of play. The game features eight playable characters, each with different skills and a unique play style, and over 230 different cards to unlock through normal play. I can't recommend this one enough!
I don’t think there’s any more to say after that – a well-deserved victory. Let’s hope the genre can keep up the high calibre of games we’ve seen this year in 2017.
Runner-Up: Pathfinder Adventures
You may be surprised to see Pathfinder not winning the top spot – let me tell you, it was a very close run thing amongst the staff. Some games are just unbelievably solid, quietly dominating their niche without fuss or fan-fare.
Obsidian has been giving the card-game a lot of support this year so it’s gotten even better since Kelsey gave it a five-star rating:
I'm really enjoying Pathfinder Adventures, and I don't expect to stop soon. Not only does the game have a ton of content, but each scenario offers prosaic rewards which are sufficiently satisfying to keep me playing, but allow it to reserve the really special gear for rare occasions… If the bugs are squashed by November, I expect it to figure prominently in our Game of the Year discussions.
A very well deserved nomination and who knows? Maybe this game will crop up somewhere else…
Congratulations to ColePowered Games Ltd. and Obsidian Entertainment. Stay tuned for more GOTY coverage of the coming week.
To keep track of all the winners and runner-up’s during the 2016 Awards, please see the 2016 Awards Index Page.