$10.00
Really Great "Fluffy" Games
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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There's ten to start with, in alphabetical order... but there's more coming!

But first, my criteria for choosing them:

1. COOL BITS
There's no sense being fluffy if you can't do it in style.

2. A SMIDGEN OF DECISION MAKING
I don't want to play on auto-pilot... I just don't want to take things too seriously.

3. WHIMSICAL THEME
Who needs another political game? Or, if you need a political game, can it somehow involve how the Wookie Party took over the Senate?

4. CONSISTENTLY PROVIDES ENJOYMENT
Not that the game is bomb-proof, but that it's got a very good hit/miss ratio with a variety of groups.
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1. Board Game: Ab die Post! [Average Rating:5.28 Overall Rank:9954]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Who can say "no" to the Orkan shaker (ok, hurricane smiley-faced cloud) and the First Passenger (covered with postage stamps)? Well, OK, a lot of people, but I find this game strangely compelling. It's kind of like Blackjack meets the mother ship from Starfarers of Catan.
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2. Board Game: Die Osterinsel [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:6329]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Racing Easter Island heads... yep, there's a grabber of a theme. But make those heads hollow and have one of the game mechanisms include dropping rocks into those heads (bag of rocks included) and you've got yourself a winner.
 
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3. Board Game: Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4947]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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The Battle of the Dinosaur Riders... it's like playing Risk in the Land of the Lost with the miniatures guy from Games Workshop. In fact, it's EXACTLY like that. The game is enhanced by the plastic volcano and electric red lava rocks.
 
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4. Board Game: Galopp Royal [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:6154]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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One of Teuber's most neglected creations - a sedan chair racing game that's really about auctions & bluffing. The Goldsieber production is over the top... but that's the way, un uh, un uh, I like it, un uh, un uh!
 
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5. Board Game: In Teufels Küche [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:5545]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Any game that includes small demons with removable chef hats, a plethora of cooking pots, and a pop-up Uberteufel (a la Don't Wake Daddy) is just weird enough to win a place on this list. And to top it all off - the game's pretty good, too.
 
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6. Board Game: Kapitän Wackelpudding [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4023]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Remember Blockhead? Now try moving the tower of blocks around a board that came from some warped German humorist with a love of puns, and add an action card deck that throws one monkey wrench in the proceedings after another. Not the best stacking game ever (that title belongs to Bandu/Bausack) but it certainly gets played the most around here.
 
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7. Board Game: Midnight Party [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1597]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Call it what you will (this game has had numerous names), it's a hoot. It plays well with up to 8 players, making it a great small party game. Hugo (the ghost) glows in the dark, sort of, but that's not important for game play. The real joy of the thing is causing mobs of people to vocally root for a particular dice roll - Midnight Party does this as well if not better than any other game on the market. "Come on, Hugo!"
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8. Board Game: The Great Balloon Race [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4032]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Nik Sewell (the designer) is a master of fluffy games... not all of them are good (Web of Gold and Sufferin' Spirits come to mind) but they are certainly fluffy. The Great Balloon Race is quite good, however - an Undercover-like game with a gorgeous board & cool hot air balloon bits... and quick, enjoyable play for kids & adults.
 
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9. Board Game: Thunder Road [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1932]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
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The only American game on the list... somebody at Milton Bradley saw Mad Max one too many times & managed to create a masterpiece of a racing/shooting game. This is Car Wars & Dark Future distilled to their essence - roll dice & try to knock other cars off the road. Nicest touch: burned-out wreck pieces!
 
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10. Board Game: Viva Pamplona! [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2725]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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A close cousin to the aforementioned Midnight Party, Viva Pamplona makes the running of the bulls into a hilarious gaming experience. Pushing, shoving, balancing the race to the stadium with the need to challenge the bull head-2-head... all on a quest for honor. (One as yet unexplained question: how is it that you receive honor/courage points for pushing & shoving others?!) Whatever - it's a personal favorite.
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