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SUSD reviews you don't agree with

For a game called FUNemployed I'd say it's an inherently damning criticism - I wasn't talking in general terms.

While cute, I think that misses the point quite substantially.


Okay, let’s try again. The kind of people I know who would click with Funemployed are the kind of people for whom it is completely unnecessary: as a purchase it would add no value, and therefore is worthless. Like I said, I wasn’t talking in general terms - other games and movies I feel differently about, partly due to more interesting mechanics in other games and partly because movies are almost entirely different, socially speaking.

Me saying that I’d rather hang out than play Funemployed with specific people being generalised into a discourse about hanging out vs. doing virtually anything else is the logical chasm I’m stumbling into. Not everything needs to be dragged up to the level of trying to explain all social and group interaction.


And I’m saying I think this generalization about the game’s general appeal and value for people who aren’t you:

The kind of people I know who would click with Funemployed are the kind of people for whom it is completely unnecessary: as a purchase it would add no value, and therefore is worthless.

is a red herring. That there’s are more substantial problems with the game than some nebulous idea that people who might be interested in it are likely going to be more interested in just chilling out. I can’t speak for you personally, and I’m not trying to, but you’re quite explicitly NOT just saying that you personally would rather hang out than play Funemployed as per the above quote.

I’m pointing out that fun and value are complex enough that going 1) Funemployed is a game about improv acting with classroom-exercise style limitations, 2) It will primarily appeal to people who are good at making stuff up, 3) People who are good at making stuff up can generally amuse themselves with or without a game … is rather uselessly reductive and does not accurately model when I think are the main problems with Funemployed, does not account for people who enjoy improv but aren’t good at it, and does not account for people who enjoy improv as arbitrarily restricted play rather than just as a permanent anything-goes imagination game.

If that’s not the exact chain you’re following, perhaps you could be more specific with respect to Funemployed’s lack of added value. :slight_smile:


Me saying that I’d rather hang out than play Funemployed with specific people being generalised into a discourse about hanging out vs. doing virtually anything else is the logical chasm I’m stumbling into.

You misunderstand–“your saying” it has not been “generalized into” anything. Your post and others put me in mind of rhetoric that comes up repeatedly in these discussions and I was interested in expressing some thoughts on the matter. You’re not the only person who was here and I referenced things brought up by several different people, not just you. The specific logical leap you’re referring too was a small incidental figure of speech, not a logically structured argument that precisely represented my thoughts even in that small corner of a larger musing.

I suspect I disagree with SUSD's dislike of Yedo. It's a case where the oversized cards and overstuffed board overcome the basic worker placement rules.

I was just looking into this–when you point to the SUSD’s anti-recommendation, do you mean podcast #13? Seems like their big gripe was the potential for random game events to completely destroy plans? I didn’t get thatcomponents were at issue.

Though I own it, I don’t know Yedo. I’ve only ever set up a brief learning game (which I never finished learning), and have been curious about bringing it out to a game night. Unfortunately, my group has already played it sometime in the past, and I think had similar misgivings–they like their Euros hard and highly predictable.

I don’t mind a bit of crazy stuff happening, even if it crimps my game (a la Merchants and Marauders), but for a game you have to invest a lot of thought and time into, I can see it being frustrating.
@KeithBlock, sounds like you’ve enjoyed it?

Hmm…I think I’m wrong, then. They’re probably correct about it being too random.

I love playing Takenoko with my family and felt quite sad when they hated it so much. I thought the tone of the review was uncharacteristically sniffy too.

Apart from that I have always found the site very reliable, and I can tell whether I will enjoy a game based on the review. I did buy K2 (the other game mentioned a lot in this thread) based on SU&SD recommendation, and I liked it.

Ladies and Gentleman has to be the biggest disappointment to me. It's hard for me to even describe it as a game. I really wanted to love this. I even defended it a few times but on retrospect, there are no interesting choices to be made as the men at all and very few as the women. Maybe it's good as social commentary or to lead to a bit to lite roleplaying, but it's pretty uninteresting as a game.

Ok, but did you all talk in over-the-top Victorian accents? They left that one out of the rulebook, but it’s critical.

Not only, but I bought a dress for the occasion. And I bought my wife a suit. We had a terrible time fitting it all back in the box. But it’s about ready to go to the FLGS for store credit. It’s too bad, I really love the concept. Maybe I’ll try to make a game out of it.

In fear of being flogged in public, I really dont like any Vlaada games. Exept Space Alert. I just find his games too much like petting a porcupine. There's a clunkiness to the gameplay of many of his games that I just find unbearable. I hope I'll never play Galaxy Trucker again, ever.

On the other hand, I really love Lewis & Clark.

I find his games much more hit and miss than the SUSD crew too.

Galaxy Trucker is 3 minutes of intense fun followed by 20 minutes of sometimes hilarious accounting. Don’t get me wrong i get it; I love making a shit-house spaceship on a time limit and there is such joy in watching it fall apart. It just fails on the ‘would this be better as a video game’ which I find to be disappointing. There could have been more put into interesting decisions as the ship falls apart. As an example once I made a ship with those thrusters that let you either inch up or down one row in an asteroid field and it was sooooooo much more engaging. It allowed me a small measure of control in the exact way my ship was torn to pieces - if something like that was more common to the game I think it would hold up better for me.

As an incurable Agricola fan I was excited by Dungeon Petz to look at another take on the worker placement genre. And then I was incredibly disappointed by how shallow it is. There is nothing like the depth or diversity of Agricola. This is made even more disappointing because there is a clearly stellar grasp of squishy human mechanics is these games that something like Agricola could benefit from. By that I mean having a bidding system to determine turn order in a worker placement game is solid gold. It allows you to capitalise further on the rock solid core of worker placement games; knowing what your opponent needs and what you need and where they overlap. The bidding also allows you to make judgments on the relative value of fewer high quality turns vs many low quality ones. Thinking about this mechanic made me ready to love this game but there is just nothing solid to sink your teeth into underneath. It didn’t matter if I didn’t get an early turn because raising my monsters was pretty easy.

Props to the best and funniest manual I’ve ever read though.

Space Alert, Pictomania and Codenames however (although I haven’t actually played any of them) all sound absolutely stellar.

My main disagreement was Tales of Arabian Nights. I'm normally a sucker for stories but the game just dragged on for ages and didn't seem to work at all. It was bad enough that I wondered whether we were doing things wrong! Checked the rules multiple times of course. Really bad, such a big investment of time and money...! Other than that just minor things, mostly I love the reviews.

Ugh. This sooooo much. I played with a good group of friends who were just willing to go for it and even spent the entire time just not playing and just being the story reader to speed things up and it took hours and was no better than being subjected to a random word generator. I get that making your overall story arc make any sense is difficult but even within any encoun

General Thought about Arctic Scavengers at my game club is that its a better ‘one box’ game than Dominion. Dominion + supplement increase in card variety will push it over into a better game, though at which point seems to vary from person to person. That said I never really liked dominion but rally enjoy Arctic Scavengers.

I can understand that. I think Dominion is one of the best games of all time; it has depth, replayability, and rewards mastery on multiple axes…but that isn’t true of the base set. It is only true once you’ve bought at least one expansion, which is a legitimate criticism.


In the meantime I have changed my mind about Spartacus. I don’t know why, but lately I’m just not having that much fun with the game. My current opinion of Spartacus is surprisingly close to the SUSD review, but what dissapoints me the most is the game length. Intrigue cards that take Influence points away from someone are dangerously close to ‘skip a turn’ mechanics. So you’ve won the Host privilege, conquered the arena and made a Champion? Great, now watch as the other players take your Influence, setting you back and making your previous turn, or turns, a waste of time.

It also dawned on me that every time I won the game, it was due to a good card draw and a late-game Intrigue-driven sprint to 12 points. I never felt like I’ve outsmarted everyone else, it was just a good card draw. It takes so much of the satisfaction out it’s not funny.


I think the biggie for me has been covered: Takenoko is a fab game for introducing people to the hobby and I don’t understand how the secret agendas make it bad, when they’re great in Ticket To Ride (which is also excellent).

Tales of The Arabian Nights is a game I have to be in the mood for (i.e. do I fancy a nonsense simulation for three hours). Not necessarily a disagree, not an agree either.

Escape: The curse of the temple is a game I bought on SUSD’s recommendation and… it just fell flat for me. It’s ten really stressful minutes but then the game kinda feels the same each time. Even with the curses. I think this is one of those games where it got a pass because of the feeling it evokes, rather than being necessarily mechanically sound.

Many, many bluffing games that they recommend don’t do it for me. Especially Two Rooms and a Boom, Coup (base game, Reformation improves it so much) and Cash ‘n’ Guns. These tend to be the bluffing games with elimination and lots (relatively) of downtime, or where you can get dealt into a position where an experienced played will immediately have more knowledge than you. I’m OK with that because as many bluffing games they’ve recommended have been super.

There are a few, rarer instances where I think SUSD are right for the wrong reasons. For instance the Problem Gamer thing a little while back felt like a massive bait-and-switch and didn’t really feel very helpful, although I understand their point. Maybe more controversially, I really can’t stand Cards Against Humanity for all sorts of reasons, but didn’t necessarily agree with everything that they say in the review.


I really like Cash and Guns but think the old divide-the-money-up system was better than the new editions set-collection mini-game. Also the special powers were much better. That said, it’s quite easy to replicate those features with a small bit of googling and anything from poker chips to monopoly money to, my favorite, galaxy trucker credit chips. :slight_smile:

Escape: The curse of the temple is a game I bought on SUSD's recommendation and... it just fell flat for me. It's ten really stressful minutes but then the game kinda feels the same each time. Even with the curses. I think this is one of those games where it got a pass because of the feeling it evokes, rather than being necessarily mechanically sound.

Yeah … I like the concept and I LOVE Space Cadets: Dice Duel and Space Alert, so when Escape! fell flat for me I felt comfortable saying it was neither the real-time dice element nor the timed chaos element. One of my key problems with it is the locking mechanic. I understand it’s designed as the glue that makes it a more meaningfully cooperative experience, but it isn’t well implemented. It messes with the natural risk-reward of exploration and replaces it with an altogether more fickle risk-reward system. Conceptually it makes a certain sort of sense, but in practice I didn’t find it at all interesting. I found needing to rescue a locked-in friend quite interesting! But all it did for the person in need of rescue was make everything either a) ten times as tedious or b) force you to travel in pairs which seems like a rather arbitrary necessity for the simplicity of most rooms.


I love Escape. It’s not the kind of game we’ll play all the time, but we got a huge amount of value out of it right after we bought it, and we still have a blast bringing it out to play with new players.


I can see the appeal and I really did want to enjoy it, but I guess it’s just not quite my cup of tea :).

Regarding the locking, I would tend to agree. Thematically it’s great but it’s just not quite what I was hoping it to be.

When it comes to Cash and Guns, I’ve heard the editions differ wildly. I’ve tried 2, didn’t love it but would be tempted to try out 1 :).


The editions are different in exactly the way I specified–special powers, if used, are different and the loot distribution is different. Instead of the set-collection you just have a random dealing of cash in the center in various denominations. The pot is split as evenly as possible between parties remaining at the end with no breaking of change being allowed. For example, if you have $20 in the form of 4 5s, three players each get 5 with 5 left over. If you have $20 in the form of 2 10s … no one gets anything if there are more than 2 players in the split. Leftovers stay in the middle.

If you know someone who likes Cash and Guns and has the second edition, it’s really easy to roll back the 2nd edition update without having to hunt down a first edition copy. I really prefer the second edition in terms of art and I do rather like the Godfather mechanic though I’m not sure how to fit it into the old loot system. I will say, that if you don’t like Cash and Guns across the board, the changes in second edition probably aren’t why. If it feels like there just isn’t enough tactics to the who-do-I-shoot bit but everything else was fine including the chaotic nonsense? Try out first edition.


I bought Concordia based on the fervency of Quinn’s review and because I didn’t have a single euro in my collection other than Catan and Archipelago. I felt like I needed something to bridge those two games and Concordia seemed the perfect solution for it. Unfortunately, it has flopped in every group I’ve played it with, the principal criticism being that my players felt completely bored by the lack of interactivity between themselves. Watching each other’s card purchases and planning their turns just didn’t provide us with the same thrill of discovering the Archipelago or wheeling and dealing in games like Chinatown.


That’s too bad. On the bright side, it should be easy to sell/trade given that it’s not available in OLGS at the moment (in the US, anyway).

Perhaps El Grande would work better on the interactivity front?


I’ve never played El Grande myself, but it’s a game that I’ve had my eyes on for a while, especially given my group’s warmth to Tammany Hall after our single playthrough. It’s just a little hard to justify dropping $70 for the El Grande big box after finally purchasing Kemet and Inis for my group to experiment with. I’ll just have to see how they take to area control. :stuck_out_tongue:


El Grande is great! I feel much simpler to teach than Kemet, or Inis too. I haven’t played any of the expansions for it, but if you can find it without the Big Box price it’s still worth it.

To stay on topic: I’ve had a great time with T.I.M.E Stories despite SUSD being cold on it. It wasn’t on my radar at all and I went to a Con last year where a friend recommended we try it out. We roped in a stranger and played a 3 player run through of Asylum and… wow! It’s my best gaming experience of last year!

I’ve traded for two of the expansions in the last couple of Math Trades I’ve participated in and am looking forward to playing again!


I saw this review a while back as well and we bought it for our school bgc based on this. It works well, but only if everyone is focused and the game goes fast. It has failed more than once with players who take too long choosing what they want to do, at that point some players get bored because they have worked out what they want to do whilst this player takes their time and then the other players slowly drift off, looking bored.

We found it useful to make people speak in monster voices when it is their turn. It helps create interaction when the other player is taking too long. The game keeps you involved when a bored player screams “Mechadragon will eat puny, weak Gigazaur if he not speed up his crappy turn!” Somehow, this works at speeding up the game.


Lol, this is a hilarious solution. I was going to say you could just add a sand timer a la Codenames, for people to use when someone is taking too long.

I now do this with almost every game that I play with my engineer brother-in-law. Watching him go through every possibility to work out the optimum move every turn of Dead of Winter makes me want to turn traitor far more often than I actually am one.


The two games Quinns gave a negative review for but I was left wanting desperately are Fief and Shogun. Every ounce of my being tells me that I would love Fief even despite the card shenanigans. Feudal politics. Check. Diplomacy. Check. POPERY?! Check!!