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What's The Worst Game In Your Collection? (And Why Is It Still In Your Collection?)


#1

I just compiled a list of every board game that my family owns (and that was part of the reason for my dad & son’s “two player game day”…when I realized how many games we owned that we’d never played)…and a few games stood out to me. Games that we own…games that we know are bad.

…and yet, there they are. (The garbage isn’t THAT far away…and neither is the local Goodwill/charity shop.)

So, I’m curious…what is the WORST game in YOUR collection? And why haven’t you gotten rid of it yet.

For me, the answer is obvious: Clifford The Big Red Dog: You’re Invited!

This game is barely above Candyland level–but that’s not a dealbreaker (in fact, we STILL play HABA’s Monza, which isn’t much more advanced than that.) Each of 2-4 players gets to play as Clifford…and you want to invite all the other players to a party…deliver your invitations and get back to the party first and you win! The game even has a “Dice Tower” (or, more accurately, a “Dice Dog House Slide”) to roll dice with…

I know this is for young kids…but it’s tedious and awful. Its BGG score is 2.5. We played it three times in one day as a family…the first day that we owned the game…and we’ve never cracked open the box again. It sits in my son’s closet…on the bottom of a shelf where everything else on top of that shelf gets played with over and over again.

Now, we’ve tossed out other toys that Simon has grown up and out of…why is this game still in our house?

Simple. It was the first board game that Simon ever played…and we played it as a family. That’s it. Sentimental value…no other reason.

The question I have is…will that ALWAYS be reason enough to keep it? I’m not sure. It’s not like we’d ever drag it out and play it just for giggles, “Hey! Remember playing this?”. That’s not going to happen…so, I can see someday that this gets donated somewhere…so someone else might have twelve minutes of mild fun with it before tiring of it forever.

And THEN, when THAT happens…our worst game will be “Thomas & Friends: All Aboard Card Game”–basically, Go Fish with the steam team…which was Simon’s first card game (before Uno or Flinch.)

What’s yours? (Doesn’t HAVE to be a kid’s game…it just so happens that ours are…)

BONUS: Want to see some game play for “Clifford The Big Red Dog: You’re Invited”?


#2

I have Star Wars: Monopoly (the one where everyone complained that Rey isn’t in it). It was a gift from a well-meaning friend. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve kept it so that kids can play with it, if any are visiting.

Despite the simplicity of the game, there are numerous ambiguities in the rule book, including not even addressing what to do in case of a tie.

It’s better than Monopoly Party, at least, where you can end up in an infinite game because both players make more money than they have to give up as the game goes on. :confounded:


#3

I’ve got my Moms old copy of Trouble from the 60’s. We recently played it with my nephew and it may be the worst game ever made, but it’s practically an antique, so it stays.


#4

I’ve written about my continued, brutal culling of my collection, so the “bad” games that have survived have the grit of guerrilla resistance fighters.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill is one of them. Like Space Cadets it’s not a particularly playable game, but it’s so weird that it makes my collection more diverse and interesting.

Then there’s Monster my Neighbour, a card game so average that it produces an aura of mediocrity and makes any games placed near it more boring. But… it’s part of the same line of Z-Man Deluxe Card Games that includes Archaeology, Arboretum and Parade, with the same production values and the same sized box, and it looks so dang cute beside them.

Urgh. I’m such a fop.


#5

For me, it’s probably Elevenses. I’m a sucker for any ridiculous theme so a small box game about high society tea parties where you compete for sugar cubes seemed a sure thing. Plus I bought it in New York, so the store staff went ballistic over my peak English-ness.

I really can’t see where the game is. It’s a plateau card game where all the actions are so passive aggressive it feels like everyone is being far too polite to commit a vulgarity as repulsive as trying to win. Pass a card to your left, choose a player to take a random card from you, rearrange your plateau, show your cards to all players. There really doesn’t seem to be an action that lets you control anything - you’re ambivalently pushing cards around until the round ends and some joyless points get distributed.

But it’s a small box and doesn’t get in the way. Couldn’t sell it, and can’t think of anyone who would enjoy it to gift it to, so it sits there. Maybe I’ll crack it out for another go to try and find something (anything!) in the experience to enjoy. I mean, it’s 6.3 on BGG, someone must enjoy it…

To be honest, I’ve never lost any games from my collection. Getting to the point (30-40 games) where I need to think about getting rid of some games soon though. Games in the firing line:
Reckon King of New York will be given away next time someone asks me about what game to get their child. Earns the enviable accolade of being both too light and too cumbersome to play.
Eldritch Horror I’m umming and ahhing about - it’s too long for a game played on theme alone. Can never find a reason to break it out, and if I have 2-3 hours to play a game, I wouldn’t choose EH.
Letter Tycoon - I wanted a word game for those instances when I have grown up adults round who would usually just play Scrabble, but I don’t think this is it. Like Paperback the choice of words is too restricted by the letter cards. Buying stocks in letters so other players have to pay to use them sounds like fun, but rarely seems to have enough relevance to introduce strategy around it. I’m yet to find a letter game that replicates/betters the feeling of accomplishment in Scrabble.
Snake Oil - Tries too hard to be wacky (two random words shoved together does not make humour!). A good ~70% of people I played it with found it downright awkward. Funemployed is better in every way.
Bought Cards Against Humanity since casual folk enjoy it, but it’s reached the point where friends pick CAH over any of the other 30+ games every single time, and I seem to tire of it way before everyone else (…20mins vs 3hours). About 6 months ago I promised to give this to a friend who lives 100m down the road, but never gotten round to it. Should really pop it round soon.
NB: I’ve been political in giving it to a friend who we rarely hang out round their house, so chances of being dragged into CAH is minimal.


#6

No, its up to the players to bring the humour


#7

I’m that someone. And so are the people I’ve played it with. I wouldn’t say it’s the best game, but it’s a fun, light game and the mechanics are quirky and interesting to me.


As for crap games, I’ve never removed anything from my collection, so there’s definitely some crap in there that should go.

The Hobbit version of Monopoly should go, but the LOTR version is staying as it has cool custom pieces and some extra (thematically appropriate) rules that should actually make it more playable.

There’s a Doctor Who game and a Never Mind the Buzzcocks game that I’ve yet to play because they look a bit crap. But the DW game has a little electronic Tardis and Dalek pieces. And I can’t resist music trivia.

Hell, trivia in general! Which is why we have three different versions of Trivial Pursuit, as well as Disney Scene It and a Gogglebox game. That last one could probably go.

Super Munchkin should probably be kicked out as it’s as crap to play as regular Munchkin and the theme doesn’t save it (as much as I want it to). Related: Munchkin Loot Letter is fun to play because it’s Love Letter, but the theme kinda ruins it. I might get rid of it and get a new version.

RARRR!! is a game I’ve only played once and it didn’t seem great. But I think it needs another chance before I decide whether to get rid of it.

And Cards Against Humanity is still there because I’ve no idea what to do with it. I might see if I could add some of the black cards to Bring Your Own Book …


#8

But that’s the issue! Trying to make free flowing humour around two words without being irritatingly wacky or repeating the same style of joke is quite difficult. There needs to be something in the game to mitigate risk of awkwardness, but there’s nowhere to hide with two words. In structure it’s similar to Comedy Central’s Set List, and that has professional comedians struggling to be funny, using the tagline “Comedy without a safety net”. That’s what Snake Oil feels to me - when it works it works, but the game doesn’t make much effort to facilitate comedy.

The storytelling style of Funemployed is much more amenable to someone using their own sense of humour in the game. It provides enough structure to hang your own jokes on whilst leaving the freedom to use creativity. Far higher success rate in my experience. I also like how some responses can be a short sharp use of the 4 cards within a few sentences, or sprawling 3 minute monologues. It allows for so much more variety to the comedy.

Plus there’s awkwardness in pretending to be a sales person that just isn’t there in pretending to be in a job interview. It’s a strange issue that shouldn’t really exist, but I’ve seen it in a number of groups.

@bruitist You’re giving me hope! We started playing and couldn’t find the strategy to it. Will try harder next time.


#9

Generally it’s about working out where your cards are, then getting good stuff revealed while messing up others.

It also amuses me to think about these refined, high-society ladies sneaking into each other’s kitchens and stealing biscuits and crockery.


#10

The definition of “worst” is always tricky. I have a couple old games from when I was a kid…maybe they’re poor games (The A-Team and The Dana Girls Game) but they provided me with hours of entertainment so that must count for something. And there are some bland “family” games that I have lying around, like Sequence. But that’s different than games I bought expecting them to be fun, of which the worst offenders might be a couple of old Cheapass games, Nexus and Timeline (not the put-historical-events-in-order Timeline)…but I haven’t played them in years so maybe they’re better than I remember!

However, going by “I’ve never had fun with this and I don’t expect anyone, even small children, to ever play this game and enjoy it”, I’m going to say The Very Hungry Caterpillar Card Game, which I own for the simple reason of: it’s a pile of cards I can give my two-year-old to play with when she gets overly interested in whatever game I’m playing! :slight_smile:

Which also explains why it’s still in my collection!

(All the other bad games are mostly because I have a strong antipathy towards getting rid of things. I do hope to slim down my collection slightly this spring but most of my worst games will probably stick around, because they’re hardest to sell/give away!)


#11

Munchkin, just because a friend really loves it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a criticism of it I disagreed with, but neither have I heard one that couldn’t be countered with “yeah, but look how happy she is”.

It’s the most extreme representative of a large chunk of my collection: maybe I’d rather be hunting genestealers through the depths of a space hulk or leading a conquering army across Hyboria than building a farm or trading indigo, but I know which most of my friends will enjoy more.


#12

Oh boy, this is true for me too. I’ve taught a lot of people Elevenses knowing full well it is not a very good game. I particularly like playing it in settings where it is inappropriate. It was a smash hit at Blizzcon a few years back. If there is ever a new game about competing tea parties, I may drop it. Otherwise it stays.


#13

I have a few games (including Munchkin) that I mentally categorize as “a bad game that’s sometimes fun anyway”.

Which makes me question my definition of “bad game”.


#14

The last time I was in England, I found a used copy of that and brought it home with me–though, the box didn’t make the trip because it didn’t fit in my luggage. I’ve never played it either…but I’ve always liked the show.

In fact, I’d always defined “success” for me, as a stand-up comedian, as getting the chance to be on a UK panel show. Never got there (and have wanted to create my own over here…still working on that)…but a friend of mine did manage to get onto 8 Out of 10 Cats.

(And yes, I have the board game for 8 Out of 10 Cats. And, now that I think about it, I should combine that game with my copy of Countdown…)

…I bought that for my wife, because that’s our term of endearment (long story.)

We haven’t played the game either–it’s just sitting on her desk…so she can always know that her big monster of a husband is always willing to crush buildings for her.

(See…I thought it was romantic.)


#15

My sister gave it to me at Christmas. Not as a gift, but just because her family had found it too hard and they knew I liked music and board games. I haven’t tried it out yet.


#16

I generally try not to buy games that I have any doubts I’ll like, so I have almost nothing in my collection I’d call bad. Almost. The thing is, I was such a fan of Sentinels of the Multiverse (and still think it’s amazing), that I was absolutely on board for Greater Than Games’ next Kickstarter project, Galactic Defense Force. A coop sci-fi deckbuilder? Sure, absolutely. And…there are things I like about it. But the problem is, the math just doesn’t work. Because you can’t engage multiple ships at once, you will either whittle the enemy down to nothing over time (if they spawn fewer ships than you can engage in a turn), or you will keep one sector clear pretty much guaranteed, and then have an all or nothing confrontation with the boss. Because shields are a flat reduction to damage and are not used up (though they can be damaged IF you take damage), you can pretty rapidly gain enough shields to never take damage from a single ship again short of the boss, and then because there’s no way to ever be pitted against more than one ship, you’re invincible and can just keep racking up more shields until you’re incapable of losing to the boss either. There are effects that do automatic, shield-penetrating damage, but not frequently enough to counter the rate of gain. It’s probably possible to lose if you play badly enough or get really unlucky with draws, but it’s still mechanically broken. The fact that they haven’t tried to expand it strongly suggests that I am not alone in this assessment.

I haven’t gotten rid of it because I am too lazy to sell it (and frankly not sure who would want it, other than maaaybe a friend I haven’t seen in a while who was also a big Sentinels fan and is curious).


#17

Hmm. While there are plenty of games in my collection that don’t hit the table enough, relatively few of them don’t deserve to.

I think the games in my collection I have the least desire to play are:

Funemployed. I’d much rather play Mysterium, Dixit or Monikers (well, old school “edition”) from my collection or at a stretch Mad Scientist University from outside my collection. Funemployed helped me realize that my trouble with CAH wasn’t just the South Park its-funny-because-political-correctness-is-meanbadwrong-and-we’re-edgy aesthetic just like Mad Scientist University helped me realized my problem with this style of game isn’t just the improvisational humor. These games really demand that you buy into their card sets and build a humorous geography around them–and that means despite being short phrases or even just individual words, you need to have a good relationship with the writing style that produces these cards, with the writing style that would happily produce results that amuse the creator and their friends from this jumble of words. And it turns out I just don’t have that relationship with Funemployed’s creators. At all. I have the distinct impression I wouldn’t find a lets-play of the creators playing their game very funny just like–despite finding those involved to be funny people in other circumstances–I didn’t find the SU&SD lets play of it very funny. Also it has some rather unfortunate cards in the deck and the cards smelled like a toxic waste dump and left a weird residue on my hands when I tried to sort through the cards to find the not-shitty ones so Funemployed managed to be a pain in the ass even when I was just unboxing it. :stuck_out_tongue: Someday I’ll give it away to someone who has played it and liked it but doesn’t own it because I wouldn’t want to subject a new player to it again.

Spyfall I know! I know. But the thing is, once someone watching us play A Fake Artist Goes to New York remarked “So it’s like Spyfall without the social awkwardness.” And they were precisely correct. Spyfall is a lovely concept that’s quite fun to play, but also quite nerve-wracking and difficult. It doesn’t quite work, is the thing, it’s not quite a good game despite being fun and clever and hilarious. From the awkwardness of trying to guess where you are without knowing the options to the extreme difficulty of playing the spy in almost any circumstance to the awful rule whereby you have to guess where you are before getting caught to the mind-numbingly long eight minutes you’re supposed to survive … and some of this can be house-ruled into smoother function. But A Fake Artist Goes to New York already has the more sensible rules for what happens when the spy is captured, already makes it less socially intense to make things up on the spot, is fresher and faster and weirder and more clever, and is about equally hilarious in practice despite being less so on the surface. Being a bad game isn’t quit enough on its own. Spyfall’s sheer comic audacity powers through it being a rather poor game most of the time I’ve played it. But being so closely replaced by a superior, simpler, smaller, cuter, less awkward game means I’ll probably never play it again. But getting rid of it isn’t so easy because … well I do actually like it.

Battlestar Galactica This is another one that takes a bit of explaining. BSG is a pretty well respected game that does this hidden-traitor-co-op thing better than anyone–better than Shadows of Camelot, Dead of Winter, Archipelago. Archipelago has plenty else going for it and Resistance is almost too different a thing to count here, so that’s not supposed to be damning of the games in that list other than Shadows over Camelot. But the rising dread of not just not knowing there’s a traitor but knowing there will be eventually and might already be blows every other will-they-won’t-they-are-they-aren’t-they hidden role experience out of the water. And then you have the President and the Admiral thrown into the mix, positions where a traitor can do an obscene amount of damage, and then you have the reveal system whereby you can KNOW someone is a traitor because you have literally seen their card and they can still ruin your day until you manage to stuff them in the brig, whereupon they can promptly fuck off and ruin your day from a distance. And … then you have the awkward space combat system and the weird pacing that comes from the jump mechanic and the weird moments where a Cylon reveals (or has to reveal) too early and the game isn’t chaotic enough for the revealed Cylon to actually have any fun whether or not they can be effective … and somehow despite getting the most important part of the game more right than most of the other big players in that mechanical space it screws up pretty badly elsewhere and makes an awkward, long, and often frustrating experience that I struggle to recommend or, for that matter, play. I may never get rid of it and I even bought an expansion for it, but I may also never play it again. :frowning:

Android It’s … it’s a remarkable thing, isn’t it? But … yeah.

Android Inflitration It’s a bit crap in practice, but it’s a nice idea that almost works. All of the mechanical systems are spot on it’s just … not balanced right. It’s too consistent about how far into the facility you can safely get and it’s too impossible to escape from deep in. It just doesn’t actually work as a push-your-luck game, more of a personality test. But it’s one of the only non-chess games I got my chess buddy to play with me and enjoy so it stays.

Flash Point There’s nothing wrong with Flash Point. It does what it says on the tin. It works. It’s an excellent solo game and a passable co-op game. It just … doesn’t feel very exciting and I really can’t put a finger on what it did wrong. My best take on it so far is that the fantastic fire-spreading mechanic is just a hair too swingy. It’s easy to get games where the fire it too controllable and where the fire is impossible to stop. But in both of these moments it still does what it says on the tin. It is by no means an accurate simulation of being a fire fighter, as a non-fire-fighter it feels like doing my job rather than playing an action hero. It doesn’t feel like an action fest, and when I get a slow fire I have to cautiously put out while I rescue everyone that still feels … correct. When I get an insane fire that cannot be controlled and I have to save who I can and retreat? That still feels correct, too. So again I have trouble saying it should work differently it’s just often not all that exciting and I’m rather spoiled for choice.

Guts of Glory is a surreal and delightful game. It’s a simple game. One could easily argue it is a terrible game. But it’s amazing and I love it and I will fight you.

Good Cop Bad Cop This one sounded good on paper. I was intrigued. I went for it. I just … it’s just … would you like my copy? I don’t feel bad about giving this one away but hot damn was it a miss for me.

Ugg-Tect Ugg-Tect is a great idea aside from the aspects of it that would make you average anthropologist vomit and attempt to murder the designer as soon as they got control of their stomach. But there are just too few cards. If there were maybe two or three more blocks per player and at least three times as many cards instead of the useless inflatable clubs, we’d be in business. As it stands it just … doesn’t work. You play it once or twice at best and you’ve seen all the tricks it has to offer and neither team is especially challenged anymore and the mechanics are just a little too clunky and awkward to quite work as a straight-forward racing game. It’s supposed to be clunky and awkward! That’s what makes it funny! But it just needs a bit … more. Not more mechanics, just more variety in the buildings and–if necessary to achieve that–the blocks. Imagine blocks of a color you don’t have a word for, so you have to refer to the block based on where it is haphazardly stacked next to blocks you DO have a work for and then use verbs and such to say where to put it? There’s a lot you can do without making the reference sheet more complex and I really wish there was more to the game in that sort of way.

Yomi Fortunately I only sprung for the PnP and only printed two decks. It’s … not terrible. It’s a fine filler if two people are waiting for another game to end. But there are better fillers I’d rather play and a lot of people seem to find this game much more aggressively boring so I’d hesitate even in the situation where it works best for me.

Whew! That was a long-ish list I suppose, but it’s long-ish collection.


#18

…and then, we held hands turned out to be incredibly judgmental in concept and execution. It’s not nearly thematic nor mechanically complex enough to appeal to regular gamers, but it’s still somewhat difficult to teach to someone not as steeped in the hobby. And if you’re not able to play well or correctly the first time, you feel rotten. Oh, you didn’t make it? Huh…I guess you guys have some problems…

Bang! is, well, Bang. It’s a hidden role game with elimination that takes forever to finish because of the replenishing supply for both players. I’d rather play Monopoly instead of this.


#19

Not sure how other people divide up collections, but my kids have a couple shelves worth of games that I don’t consider part of my collection. So I’m going to exclude Sorry, Trouble, Disney Princess Chutes and Ladders, and the rest. They’re bad, but they serve a purpose for their age.

My wife got me Adventure Time Monopoly and I have as much love for Monopoly as everyone else here, but when we eventually play it at least it’ll be the best version!

Smash Up with a couple of the expansions is up there on the bad list. It’s pure random chaos in a box, but I still enjoy it quite bit. It’s easier to defend than say Fluxx, but not by much. I volunteer at a youth group and young teenage boys think it’s awesome. Since I never matured much past that point it may explain why I like it. It hasn’t seen the table in a looong time though, so we’ll see how long it hangs in there.


#20

We have some of the usual suspects in our collection that we don’t find necessarily enjoyable like Monopoly Millenium Edition and Uno and I don’t particularly care for Ticket to Ride, but I think the absolute worst in the collection is Warlocks and Warriors. It’s an ‘introductory’ role playing game by TSR that came out in 1977. The game has mechanics of the worst of board games (roll to move, simple linear path, then random rolled events) but I just can’t get rid of it at this point. I’d never be able to replace it and I’ve owned it almost my entire life.