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Aug 20

Board games rated

Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

HabMoo went into a major kick to buy board games before he went to war. Since I rate all the books I read on GoodReads and am kind of in the habit of rating, I thought I’d do so here. At least until GoodReads expands into GoodPlays or something.

My brother used to give my sister and I the best board games when we were young. It wasn’t until we were adults that we discovered that the playing pieces in board games were sold in packages. He must have played every game he gave us first. I understand completely.

I’m not including card games, customizable card games, or dice games here. For some reason I decided to allow a living card game.

Board games of my childhood

I don’t list here games like Password and Concentration, but I probably should. I liked both of them, but don’t think we owned them. There was also a game that had ghosts that glowed in the dark, I think. No one liked to play it with me.

Marbles – I think other people know this as Aggravation. Daddy made the board. Everyone in the family would play. We jumped the corners after a direct corner landing, and moved backward on every throw of a 4. I loved this game. *****

Battleship – I played this game most as a child, but I used to make an old girlfriend laugh by pretending to play “air battleship” where you just shout out random numbers and letters. I played the real game with a great-nephew who just liked to make designs with the pegs; he didn’t care if he hit anything or not. ***

Chess – I love many chess sets but play without skill. **

Masterpiece – Featured paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago. Daddy would play this game sometimes and he always bought the forgery. Mom always bought the Mary Cassatt. The artwork was great and the game play moved at a good pace. I didn’t really get into the role of an art dealer, however. *****

Clue – I never owned this game, but I usually won when I played. I liked the movie and I liked the game, but not enough to own. ***

Crazy Clock – Most kids grew up with Mouse Trap. I had Crazy Clock instead where you kicked the man out of bed. Much more fun. ****

Mystery DateI think this was the name of the game. I played it at one slumber party. It had a door you opened to see what your date looked like. Boring and the door didn’t seem to ever work right. Doesn’t deserve even one star.

Risk – I thought this was the best game ever until I played it a third time. It takes so very long to play. The artwork is nothing. **

Stock Market Game – I remember that taking the career of deep sea diving seemed to be our favorite choice. You could buy stocks from Alcoa, International Shoe, J. I. Case, Western Publishing. We played this a lot. *****

Stratego – I remember the TV ads for this. It was strategic and had fun playing pieces. ****

Big Business – The neighbor kids and I found this game in one of their closets and gave up on the instructions and made up our own rules. I’m going to withhold a rating, but we did play it more than once and even used a few of the written rules.

Monopoly – Protect me from this game. I love it that my husband also hates it. *

Parcheesi – Maybe if I had just fought in the Civil War, it would have seemed exotic and  I would have liked it more. *

Rock-O – Maybe shouldn’t count because it’s played with cards, but the cards have special holders and stand vertically, so I’m calling it a board game. The original game got boring, but then came Super Rack-O. ***

Tripoli – More of a card game, but ours came with a container for chips so I’m counting it anyway. It’s a card game so that gives it its stars. ***

Board games of my adult years

Apples to Apples – Only played this once with good friends. It made us laugh. That’s good enough for me. The only limitation I can see is the need to buy new cards after you learn how your friends and family think. ****

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer Deck building games don’t really have to have great back story, but this one suggests the existence of one without providing even a few paragraphs of flavor text. My husband sold this game; he should have asked me first. I might want to kill the cultist again one day. ***

Battles of WesterosThis should be the best game ever, but it’s not. You have to spend too much time fiddling with game pieces. It’s such a great concept, but just isn’t fun. *

CavetrollIt’s a quick playing strategic game. I like the hero and monster figures. ****

Chaos in the Old World – The artwork is great: it feels seedy and nasty.  Four races have different ways of winning the game. It’s challenging and competitive. *****

Chez Geek – Not as fun a Munchkin. You need to play with the right people who are willing to act silly. ***

Citadels – Easy to learn and quick to play. The artwork isn’t special but I do like how your characters can change each turn and you can temporarily kill another player. There’s some strategy, but no pondering or planning moves ahead required. ****

Cosmic Encounter – One of the alien races is a whiner—it can whine for power. Who wouldn’t want to play that character? I seem to win at this without actually trying, so I love it. You can pick on other players even though the game randomly decides who you attack. There are plenty of races so each game is different. This game’s strategy might not work for the next game. *****

Cranium – I could do without the cards that require you to hum. I haven’t played a game yet when I didn’t laugh at someone. I approve of that in game play. ****

Cyclades – You bid for the favor of the gods. That’s pretty cool and I usually get nervous and don’t enjoy bidding. The map and artwork are fun. It seems well balanced. You can hold a conversation while playing, but it does require long and short term strategy. ****

Dark TowerThis almost fits into my childhood when I look back at the technology involved. The game was monitored by a small computer inside the black plastic shell of the tower and suddenly brigands would attack. I still remember the sound for that. It was a lot of fun one summer, but it went out with the trash eventually. **

Descent: Journeys in the Dark –I don’t have much experience with this type of dungeon crawling game. Lots of pieces to manage. I’m reserving judgment for now.

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon – Just started playing this cooperative adventure game. Aside from the nasty rolling boulder that follows you around like a puppy, it’s been fun. The odds of winning or losing seem pretty even. The artwork is OK. ***

Five Straight – My parents introduced me to this game. We played it often. ****

Fury of Dracula – Who doesn’t want to chase Dracula around Europe? I’d give it another star if it was more fun to play without five players. It feels a bit like clue, but with more strategy and one person gets to be Dracula. ****

Game of Thrones – We played the board game once and were not hooked. The LCG is much better. **

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game – This living card game is too complicated to just play for a lark, but it’s very interesting and challenging. I need to spend some time with it, build my own deck, and then learn how to win with it. But I’m not going to go play with the game designers like Alex has. I’m a graceful loser, but I don’t enjoy getting my teeth kicked in repeatedly.

Huggermugger – Very good word games. The board element of it wasn’t quite as good. ***

Ingenious – I suck at this game because I really just want to make pretty patterns. I also suck using the iPod app. But it involves strategy so I enjoy it. ***

Lord of the Rings Trivia Game – I played this two or three times. By trivia, I mean trivialities. One question asked if someone turned left or right at the top of the stairs. As much I love LoTR, I got rid of the game. *

Mancala – Yah, yah, yah. It just doesn’t have enough variation. *

Memoir ’44 – This game lets you recreate and play key battles in Europe in 1944. I assumed that meant I’d be bored by the game. But the game play is great. It involves strategy and the luck of cards. It’s so well balanced that HabMoo and I sometimes play one scenario twice in a row. We just switch roles. The map is a simple game board, but you build upon that with extra squares so it is easily customized. Except for my issue with not being able to easily distinguish the gray figures from the green figures, I love this game. The expansions are just as good. *****

Munchkin – The fun depends on the players. I’ve really had fun playing it and I’ve been frustrated playing it. If your players are comfortable with the game and are willing to be a bit silly, then it’s a great game. ****

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game –  An enjoyable game if the game doesn’t beat you too badly.

Ticket to Ride – The geography of this game drives me crazy. It interferes with the game. But it’s easy to play and involves secrecy and messy up the plays of other people. **

Sequence – Feels a little like a card game. It’s fun and easy to play but not something I really want to play again and again. ***

Settlers of Catan – Easy to learn, competitive, can screw with other players, and can carry on a conversation while playing. ***

Small World – I really enjoy this game. It’s not your typical world domination game because the world is just so small. It’s a fantasy setting that doesn’t take itself seriously. It never plays the same way twice. *****

Thunderstone – A deck-building game that I really enjoy. Sometimes the random draw of monsters and heroes really screws you over. But sometimes it’s fun to yell at the game.

Upwords – I do not play Scrabble and don’t care for Boggle, but this game is fine. I enjoyed playing it while watching TV.  **

Warhammer: Invasion – I’m not very good at this game. Nevertheless, it moves fairly quickly and is probably well balanced. It looks dirty and