Dice Wars is a unique new turn-based strategy game from Japan. Using nothing but dice and a randomly generated territory map made of hexagons, the game is similar in gameplay to that of the board game, Risk, though much simpler and quicker to play. The objective is to conquer all territories and eliminate all your opponents by attacking them with dice.
Why we picked it: This was, admittedly, an odd hodge-podge of a category since there were not very many tactical or strategy titles that we reviewed this year. I don't think there was any doubt which one would win in this category, but I felt it was necessary to give it some significant competition so that it would not appear as if it won by default. Dice Wars, created by the remarkably talented casual game designer from Japan, Taro Ito, caused quite a stir when it appeared in the summer of 2006 in the form of a browser-based Flash game with simple mechanics and addictive gameplay. It's one of those rare games that comes along that takes a familiar gameplay concept and perfects it. Its only shortcoming is the fact that it is a single player experience and the game's computer enemies do not pose much of a challenge after a while. That being said, Dice Wars quickly established itself as a classic and a household word among the casual game community, and has been played and loved by millions from around the world. Unanimously our pick for Best of 2006.