By August 1, 2013

Left Behind

We play a lot of board games over here. Every Sunday at the least, and frequently several times a week. This means that we try out a lot of new games. Some of them make the cut, and some of them don’t.

What’s interesting, though, are games that decline from games that we used to play to games we never play any more. I mean more than out of rotation for a bit; I mean games we never play again.

Here are three games that other people seem to really like that we never intend to play again.

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Apples to Apples

Frankly, I’ve always hated this game. However, it was so popular with the casual game crowd that I kept giving it second, third, fourth, and hojillionth chances. I dislike a lot of things about the game: the content is trite and vanilla, the judge mechanic is fickle and dumb, and the people I know that really like Apples to Apples tend to think other board games are “weird.” Screw them, and screw Apples to Apples. In the face.

Smallworld

I reviewed this game almost four years ago. Despite being a darling of the gaming community including Wil Weaton’s Table Top Gaming and my StarCraft 2 commentator hero Sean “Day9” Plott, Smallworld never really clicked with me. It was too random and aggressive for me, and there is little strategy to the game, just some crude tactics. I played the game less than a half dozen times in the year that followed, and I haven’t opened the box since.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is another board game I reviewed a long time ago (2008). I liked it initially, and then took it to the comic book shop I used to play Magic: the Gathering at every Friday night. I left the game there, and it was about two years before I retrieved it. I guess that sums up my enthusiasm for this well-loved and approachable game about trains.

Yes, Ticket to Ride is a great way to introduce board game n00bs to table top gaming. It’s a simple, unassuming game that can soothe the souls of people wrecked by 12-day long Monopoly games they played as children.

However, I find it pretty boring from a thematic and gameplay perspective. If the other players at the table are assholes, it’s also quite easy to turn this cute cuddly game about trains into a total ragefest. I don’t think it should be so easy to completely disrupt someone’s train line, rendering flaccid their grand designs of linking New York City with San Francisco.

However, if you like trolling your friends with a single game piece, Ticket to Ride may be for you.

What are games that you dislike or stopped playing that everyone else loves?

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3 Comments on "Left Behind"

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  1. Jeremiah says:

    I agree with you on the original Ticket to Ride. Later versions, especially the European edition, came up with methods to alleviate the rage, mainly the ability to piggy back three times on another player’s line if needed. Still a bit formulaic once played enough times though.

  2. Rob says:

    Right there with you on Apples to Apples and especially the “everyone loves this so I guess I’ll give it one more chance…” But man alive is it stupid.

    Pirate’s Cove on the other hand I still haven’t gotten tired of.

  3. Tegyrius says:

    Long-time listener, first-time caller here. I have to agree with you on Apples to Apples. Cards Against Humanity is the exact same mechanic, but – as the box says – it’s designed for horrible people. Trite and vanilla it ain’t.