Are you sure you don’t own a prop from Parks & Recreation?
Never watched Parks & Rec, so… maybe?
I have the board signed by all the bar staff who served us on the Monopoly pub crawl, including a WPC who signed the get out of jail free card. That was a marvellous day. And night.
It’s now framed.
Interestingly, two of the games on your list were played by the folks I know over at Beer & Board Games…and after watching THEM play them, I decided not to buy them…
NOTE: I’m linking to a couple B&BG episodes below. Before you click on them, know that they are usually NOT SAFE FOR WORK and they’re filled with many inside jokes for those who have watched the show or other web stuff from Blame Society Films. And they post heavily edited-for-comedy (not for game continuity) clips on YouTube–you have to pay to watch them play/film the whole thing live…
Those two games from your list that they featured are:
(Full disclosure–if you watch this, you’ll see that I donated beer to them to drink in this episode… I gave them a lot of Pacific Northwest beer to drink last year…mostly because since B&BG are based in Madison, Wisconsin, they don’t have access to the beers from Washington State.)
So, I didn’t like “Funemployed” because it seemed to randomly gross* (I guess I think that CAH/Dick/Bards Dispense Profanity/Offensive Band Name Generator are some how less random?) And I already have a game like this that ISN’T gross that I like that does the “convince me with your creativity”…and that’s But Wait There’s More.
UPDATE: I wrote that after watching the “Funemployment 2016” clip…but I’ve just re-watched the OTHER time the B&BG gang played the game…and it seemed really fun. Perhaps this, like many other games of this nature is SO dependent on WHO you play with. So, if I could guarantee to always play this game with some brilliant improv players who don’t automatically take everything as dirty as it could go…I might actually consider it (though, again, I think I have many other similar/better options.)
And I really wanted to like Good Cop Bad Cop because I wanted a good police game…and I was actually at Aaron Yonda’s house (from B&BG) (to deliver some beer) when he’d just received “Good Cop Bad Cop” and I told him that THAT was the next game I was going to get for myself. Then, I saw the episode and I didn’t like ANY of it…and didn’t think that it worked**. (I also imagine that I wouldn’t like Cash & Guns or I’m The Boss…but not sure there’s really any strong connection between any of those games.)
**UPDATE: I wanted a game that followed the Good Cop/Bad Cop interrogation technique…not just another social deduction game (much less one where every turn, you have a one/three chance of deducing who someone is…) This game is not really “Good Cop Bad Cop”…it’s “Kill The People on the Other Team”. Meh.
(I also think that your description of Flash Point is accurate–but it still gets played in my house because sometimes the thing that game does is just exactly what we want to do. TANGENT: This is also why I wasn’t bothered by Paul’s take on Scythe. I think he described the game well in his review, both features and potential flaws. I’m still undecided about buying Scythe–I think it looks amazing but I can’t imagine wanting to play it with anyone that I know that plays games with me. Is it worth spending the money on a game just for its art direction and not the likelihood that it will be played or enjoyed while being played? But that’s a topic for another thread… )
I’ve never even HEARD of “Warlocks & Warriors”–and I grew up in Wisconsin (original home of TSR) during that time (yes, THAT old!) and did some minor playtesting for them once (WAY back in the day)
Yeah, I wouldn’t give THAT away either!
Mine would be Trivial Pursuit: 25th Anniversary Edition and Baby Boomers expansion. I can probably answer about 3% of the BB questions and 90% of the 25th Anniversary ed. Neither is fun.
I can’t get rid of them because my SO gave them to me and even though he won’t play any games with me and wants me to limit my game collection, he won’t let me dump these. They might go into storage.
You’re making me think of Game of Thrones in much the same way as you’ve described Galactica, now. I’ve always had a good time with GoT when it gets to the table, but the setup and mechanics are so laborious for new players that it frequently starts to sap my enthusiasm before I even suggest it.
Shelf space is too precious for Trivial Pursuit!
*Looks at three versions of Trivial Pursuit
I’ve only ever regretted buying one game. I admit it was a moment of weakness. I’m usually so good at not buying games without doing proper research first, so that when I buy a game I’m pretty sure I’ll like it. This time was different. It all started one fateful day when I went into the FLGS for a “browse”. I thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll just look at the small box games.” There it was. I hadn’t heard of it, but the box called to me. The art was beautiful and the components looked polished. The theme: traitors on a steampunk airship. “Now that’s cool!” I thought to myself. The game was clearly inspired by Citadels, a game that I really enjoyed and had been playing quite a bit of at the time. Even if they tweaked the game a little bit to tie it to the theme, I could be happy with that. Only $24. I caved.
I bought Mad Zeppelin that day. It was crap. It now serves as a reminder of my folly.
I’ve got a few that I can think of. I mean, excluding the “I’ll put these up for sale eventually when I get round to it” pile. Of the ones I have no intention of getting rid of…
… I’d have to go with The Great Brain Robbery. I used to have so much fun playing this game, despite its numerous faults. It’s one of those games that looks really cool, has some hilarious rules (if the last carriage drops off the end while your zombie character is still inside then you are now deemed to be “running alongside the train”), and should be just a barrel of silly swingy fun, but every game seems to just not quite capture what the designers had in mind. I’m keeping it because I’m sure that, with a few well-designed house rules, it could be exactly that swingy fun beer game (and dammit I’m gonna find them!), and I’ve got such good memories of it. But even Cheapass Games have pretty much disowned it, with all trace of its existence having disappeared from their website, which is such a disservice. Shame.
A couple mentions of Smash Up already, but I think that’s got to be mine. Really early on in my boardgaming hobby-ness I played it at a friend’s house. It went over well. His sister who was not into games grasped it right away, and our other friends who were a little more experienced still had fun. This was a while after I had realized Munchkin was just… the worst (for me at least) but somehow Smash Up seemed more strategic, or at least more fun.
Fast forward a year or two, and I had all the expansion factions currently printed, and still had a great time playing the game. Then, one day, we moved past the regular 4 players, past our ttwice-tried 6 players, and hit the dreaded 8 player count.
Smash Up thrives in a speedy environment, and one (I find) where you enforce an ‘explain what’s happening in a narrative’ rule per action. It leads to a quick fun game where everyone’s having a group storytelling experience one or two sentences at a time.
With 8 players, everything crumbles. It’s slow, untenable in length, and just not fun. We couldn’t even bring ourselves to narrate our goofy actions by the end. That one session killed Smash Up for me. I always knew it was shallow, but now even the smallest games fill me with a dull grinding dread.
Smash Up is a pretty bad game.
It is still on their website!
It’s on the Boulevard of Broken Games, with a bunch of text saying that they don’t actually support it at this time, but still.
I think a lot of people (…a.k.a, hardcore gamers) might look at my shelf and say–“eww, Talisman? Really?” But if you think it’s crap, you’re just wrong, and I implore you to read of Rab Florence’s [two] (https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/04/cardboard-children-talisman/) definitive articles on the subject.
If you like fun at all–try it one time, with a fan (or better, fans) of the game. Use some sensible house rules, the right expansions, a time limit and unlimited drinks. Start the trash talk. Sure, you’ll miss a turn or two, but you’ll turn someone into a toad. Or kill someone with the Grim Reaper. Or better still, do those things back to someone who’s tried to do them to you (the game is as much about success as sweet sweet revenge)! And there you go, it’s as fun an adventure romp as is out there.
…so you stay away from my Talisman, thread premise!
But–it’s funny that this came up, as I just rediscovered a few titles I had stashed in my garage, and had nearly forgotten about. I ran across an old Looney Labs card game called Nanoficitonary which probably rises to the occasion here. Really, it’s a basic story telling game with cards–some are characters, some are scenes, some are complications–and it fuses those with a few elements of the fabled (and oft reviled) Fluxx games from the same publisher.
It’s all just an excuse to get some communal storytelling going, in the quirky, line drawing early Looney Labs aesthetic. It’s so innocent, it’s hard to knock for not being more sizable or complex–it’d be like criticizing a kindergartner for not appreciating Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
But still, because it’s wrapped in the slightly restrictive game structure, it can’t even allow the variety of imagination of something like Rory’s Story Cubes. And the “game” isn’t really there–you all vote for the best nanostory. Shrug. So any joy is in the story telling.
So I’ll ding Nanofictionary for that–it’s really a writer’s block exercise that’s infected a deck of Fluxx cards. Fun in some circumstances, but not really a good game, or even a game.
Why do I have it still? I played it once, when it was first released, at a Mensa Mind Games, and had a fun time with it there for 15 minutes. So it’s kind of a memento. Plus, it’s small, and nearly no one would buy it. So, likely, it’s going back in the garage until some garage-style fate befalls it (rain infiltrates its storage box, or squirrels decide to make nanofiction nests out of it). Or, I’ll give it to my kids, who actually now that I type this would probably enjoy it quite a bit…
Also–now we’re reaching back a ways here–but I also unearthed an old copy of Subbuteo from my parents’ house not long ago. For those who don’t know (and I only barely know) Subbuteo was the spawn of some weird melting of game nerds and soccer/football jocks back in the 80’s. And apparently, it was quite popular for a while, at least across the Atlantic, or so I’m lead to believe?
I have no idea, since it was mostly a curiosity of mine growing up. My friend would see it on our basement shelf, and say, “oh, that looks cool! What’s Sub-butt-ee-oo?” …snicker.
We’d take it out, I’d ask my mom to iron out what seemed to be permanent lumps in the tabletop-sized green cloth pitch that served as the game board, and we’d painstakingly work the two soccer teams out of the storage styrofoam slots, setting them in formation on their wobbly half-dome bases.
And then we’d set up a game, flick the guys at the way-too-huge–for-scale soccer orb, and try to score for a bit, impotently flailing the little goalie on the stick to block shots, but more often knocking the little plastic goal over entirely.
But after 15 minutes or so, any fun kinda wore off. You flicked, and your opponent flicked back. The ball never ended up where you wanted. Little non-descript soccer men careened wildly off the table, plummeting hundreds of scale feet to their apparent doom (where was this stadium, in Macchu Pichu?).
All the little rule nuances (what rules there were to handle penalties, offsides, whatever…) were lost on us, and the inevitable question came: “hey, let’s play real soccer outside?” “…okay.” Hard to argue when the sport was so much more effortless than the board game version.
I still have it, and have tried to play with my 5-year old son–but the effect is the same. 10 minutes…“Dad, let’s play catch!” “…okay.”
It’s possible my son will be into it when he’s older, but by then, I’m hoping we’re into Cube Quest or Catacombs. Why settle for sportsball when there are castles to raid, dragons to slay?
Sorry, my copy of Subbuteo, but I think your life has been wasted on the wrong side of the Atlantic, with a boy more interested chasing grails than sports cups. Maybe in your next life!
Every Anglophile knows and dreams about Subbuteo! (Kind of heartening to know that it ain’t all that, clg6000!)
In any event, here are my favorite songs with references to Subbuteo!
First off…The Undertones with “My Perfect Cousin”…
_He always beat me at Subbuteo
’Cause he flicked the kick
And I didn’t know…
And Half Man Half Biscuit with “All I Want For Christmas Is a Dukla Prague Away Kit”
So he’d send his doting mother up the stairs with the stepladders
To get the Subbuteo out of the loft
He had all the accessories required for that big match atmosphere
The crowd and the dugout and the floodlights too
You’d always get palmed off with a headless centre forward
And a goalkeeper with no arms and a face like his
And he’d managed to get hold of a Dukla Prague away kit
‘Cos his uncle owned a sports shop and he’d kept it to one side
And after only five minutes you’d be down to ten men
‘Cos he’d sent off your right back for taking the base from under his left winger
And come to half time you were losing four-nil
Each and every goal a hotly disputed penalty
So you’d smash up the floodlights and the match was abandoned
And the dog would bark and you’d be banned from his house
And your travelling army of synthetic supporters
Would be taken away from you and thrown in the bin
…ahhh, rites of passage that we Americans and Canadians will never quite understand.
(And what did WE have? Jarts? Husker Du?)
I think the worst game on my shelf (as opposed to my crates of when-are-you-going-to-get-around-to-selling-these games), is probably The Order of the Stick Adventure Game. In some ways, it resembles Munchkin, namely it’s a dungeon crawler where players can negotiate and “collaborate” but the winner is the person who satisfies the victory condition first. While Munchkin relies on puns and getting revenge to keep the game entertaining, OotS has more depth. But like Munchkin, the reason it’s bad is because it’s long, grindy, and kinda repetitive. Also, it’s made longer by the questionable inclusion of PvP combat and a mechanic where players may need to travel back to the surface to heal then walk back to the action. You know how most expansions add to a game? The expansion to this game – OotS: the Shortening – is intended to shorten it, that’s how long it is. It’s still on my shelf because my brother and I like the webcomic, he gave me the game (he didn’t have the time for it), and the game does at least capture the characters fairly well. I don’t have the expansion, but I hold out hope that it or some similar changes will make the game playable.
I have a number of other games with questionable design decisions that I’m on the fence selling. Luftschiff and its family of games attempts to be an accurate model of flying a zeppelin. The problem is that it also attempts to accurately model other aircraft (meaning doing the bookkeeping for their fuel and ammo), except their behavior isn’t believable. That part of the game would greatly benefit from streamlining and abstraction. I also have Ultimate, which is a tabletop game of ultimate (frisbee). The game is long, and movement system makes it very hard to implement real-life tactics, and so it fails to capture the dynamics that make ultimate a good spectator sport. But as far as I know, these are the only games on this topics, so I still have them stashed somewhere.
Maybe not the worst, but the one I should definitely get rid of. I know a lot of people love Fief, and that’s fine, but I just can’t seem to find a group that’s in to it. I think it’s probably the fact that many of the rules are arcane and kind of hard to intuit, and those crowded reference cards put people off from the start. Nonetheless, the theme is so strong and the ideas at play are so interesting that I refuse to give it up for a bad egg, hoping one day to find just the right combination of friends to make the thing come to life. I just cart it from place to place hoping people are willing to make it happen. I’ve taken to laughingly telling people “or we could play Fief if you guys don’t want to play a fun game.”
Ice Cool is Subbuteo with penguins!
Yes. Subbuteo was rather popular over there if I remember correctly. I remember seeing it in a shop in Amman, at least. I never played it, but I’ve since watched it being played and I think…no, I’m certain my reaction would’ve been the same as yours.
…needs more tanks?