These are games we’ve encountered with unusually weird themes or mechanics in 2010. See games for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005.

The list is in alphabetical order.

Barbarossa: A deck building game from Japan where cute German military girls rush against Moscow to defeat the evil magician Stalin. The cards alternate or combine shots of scantily clad anime girls against WWII military hardware. Another Arclight deck building anime game from 2010, Little Busters, has girls battling against each other armed with slapstick weapons like volleyballs, sea urchins, cats, and eel pie. What is it about Japanese artists and scantily clad school girls doing weird things?

De Vulgari Eloquentia: The players take part in the process of creating a new language so that sellers on the Italian fabric market can understand each other and artists have a language other than Latin in which to create their written works. Proof that you can make a game about anything. Anything.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Game: I didn’t realize that this was something to fear, but it’s based on a book of the same name.

Elf Defense: In the true spirit of Christmas, you’ve decided that your neighbors’ presents look better than yours, so you’ve recruited an army of elves to steal them.

Five Fingered Severance: Players assume the role of workers in a store that’s closing. It’s the last day of work, and you can help the customers or tell them go to hell, steal items from the store, and generally cause chaos. Guess which path you’ll be taking?

Genesis: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. It took him six days to complete his work, assisted by a host of heavenly angels doing his divine bidding. On the seventh day God rested and examined the result. Seeing that it was good, he praised the angel who had contributed the most. You play a heavenly angel vying to beat the other heavenly angels for God’s praise.

Göttinger Ploppfrosch: Adapted from HikMAN’s description on BGG:

The game consists of a metal frog which is put into a water basin and covered with water. The frog contains a hinge so the top part (the “mouth”) can open. Each player receives a long straw. The players take turns blowing air under the frog’s head. The aim is to be the last person to blow without the frog opening its mouth (thus releasing the air).

The frogs were handmade as art objects by Reinhold Wittig from scrap metal (small copies with soup ladles, larger ones with drinking troughs).

Munchkin Opposable Thumb Drive: Steve Jackson and his Munchkin crew are pushing the boundaries of Munchkin gaming in every conceivable direction, and some inconceivable directions for good measure. This time it’s a flash drive, which you can pull out once during any Munchkin game to fight against instead of drawing a random monster. The drive’s level is equal to the last two digits of the year.

Nuns on the Run: Novice nuns are sneaking around at night to eat cookies, upgrade their mattresses, take narcotics, or practice witchcraft. You play a sneaking nun or an abbess in charge of spotting and reprimanding them.

Santa Claus vs. The Easter Bunny: From the intro:

So Santa and the Easter Bunny were sitting down in a cafe, drinking lattes, and Santa casually mentions that Christmas is more exciting that Easter. To which the Easter Bunny says that Easter brings more joy and happiness than Christmas. Santa, slightly miffed, says “Oh, I doubt that!”. The Easter Bunny suggests “Perhaps a friendly contest is in order then. Let’s see who can bring the most happiness, joy, and excitement to the children this year!”. Santa chugs his latte and says to the Easter Bunny: “Bring it!!!”