Games World of Puzzles December 2016


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…From the Editor

As the final days of 2016 draw near and we celebrate the winter holidays, we’re proud to bring you the year-end issue of GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES. This issue is packed with good stuff, much of it focused on the year’s best in games and puzzles. Starting on page 34, in what is becoming an annual tradition, you’ll find our longtime game reviewer Thomas L. McDonald’s picks for Game of the Year, both electronic and traditional, along with winners and runners-up in four different categories. If you’re still on the hunt for holiday gifts, we think you’ll find some ideas here.

We continue the theme with “Perspectives on Play” on page 38. Editor Raymond Simon surveyed a select group of men and women ranging from parents who create games to elite crossword solvers and beyond, asking them questions about the state of games and puzzles in 2016. Each respondent has something unique to offer. Be sure to check out their answers—you’ll gain some insight into their areas of expertise and, maybe, get some cool gift ideas, too.

Fans of “This Old Game,” Jonathan Schmalzbach’s monthly column featuring a different board game from the past, will want to check out his article on page 46. “The Game Collector” is a profile of Desi Scarpone, who has amassed more than 7,000 vintage board games. Best of all, some are for sale! If you’re a board game enthusiast of a certain age, some of these titles will lead you down memory lane.

And that’s not all. On page 64, you’ll find Scott Appel’s column “Your Word Against Mine,” in which he gives a detailed account of his experiences competing in two high-level Scrabble tournaments. Casual players, or those considering playing competitively, will find this a very interesting read.

Finally, in our Pencilwise section, we’ve got a treat for logic puzzle fans. “Birdwatching” is excerpted from the new book Montague Island Mysteries and Other Logic Puzzles, by none other than former GAMES editor R. Wayne Schmittberger. The book will be released on November 1 and is available at Barnes & Noble and

We hope you enjoy this issue. See you in the New Year!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor




The Year’s Best Games
And the winners are…
Perspectives on Play
A survey about the state of games and puzzles in 2016
The Game Collector
Meet Desi Scarpone and his impressive trove of vintage games


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Sole Survivor
A challenging chess puzzle
What’s Happening
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Contest:What the Hex
Contest Results:
New Role-Playing Connections (from May)
Try this challenge from Montague Island Mysteries and Other Logic Puzzles
Your Word Against Mine: Big Money and Madness
A report from the Scrabble tournament scene


  • 500 Rummy
  • Bar-Hopping
  • Code Crosswords
  • Double Cross
  • Matchboxes
  • Solitaire Hangman
  • …and More!