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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Variant: The Over-Rated Game


Last week, we talked about underrated games.  This week, I thought we'd hit the flip-side of the coin.  Occasionally, I'll hear great things about a game.  I'll check out reviews and everyone seems to love it.  I might even hear from real people, whose opinon I trust, that the game is great.  Based on the strength of this information, how can I lose?  I go, I buy the game, and it just falls flat. 

For me, this happened with Lost Cities.  Lost Cities is very, very popular, and I know I may take some heat for this, but I just don't like it.  It was a two player game that many gamers played with their spouse.  I have a soft spot in my heart for the two player game, and was eager to try it with my then-girlfriend.  Not fun.  I tried it with my now spouse.  Not fun.  I tried it with another friend of mine.  Not fun.  I have about a dozen plays now because I really wanted to like this game.  But it just feels like two people playing solitaire.  And, despite the many claims of interaction and bluffing, I felt like there was almost always a "right" move to take at any given time. 

I know that Lost Cities is enjoyed by many fans, and there's certainly nothing wrong with it, but it's just not my cup of tea.  How about you?  What game have you been excited for that ended up pretty lackluster in your eyes?


  1. For me it's Apples to Apples. I know quite a few people who really like this game, especially as a drinking game, but it really just turns me off. It's basically a game with no rules, and the fact that it basically has no strategy other than playing to the judge annoys me.

    Try this the next time you play Apples to Apples: Set up an extra space at the table. Put a stuffed animal or something there. Each time players put in cards for a topic, submit a random one off the top of the deck as the stuffed animal or whatever's play. You might be surprised how well the random submissions do.

    If throwing cards in randomly can do that well, there is something wrong with the game.

  2. Yeah, Apples 2 Apples definitely sacrifices strategy and depth for accessibility. I like to play it with total non-gamers, and it's good for larger groups.

    But, the only strategy seems to be making the active player laugh.