$10.00
Tell your fellow geeks about you favorite 'Hidden jewel
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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I did this list last year and got a very good reception and since I got a geek mail with a request to do an update since old GL seldom get added too I figured lets start anew. Don't be afraid to add games all ready mentioned in the previous list. The point of a new one is to gain attention to all those not so known games
2009 edition- http://www.geekdo.com/geeklist/38499/tell-your-fellow-geeks-...
So as before...
I like board games as does everyone on this site. But of all the things I like about board games and there are many, the one thing I like the most is finding the Hidden Gem. A game that is not talked about much or is not ranked very high or even at all but is a ton of fun to play. A game that has a mechanic that is so unique that you say man that neat the first time you played it. A game that has such a crazy theme that you can't imagine what the designer was thinking but once you play brings a smile to your face.

I will add one or two of mine. Please add your own. The more of these that I can find out about the better.
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1. Board Game: Elk Fest [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:1877]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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A cool little dexterity game about 2 moose's trying to cross a river that you can fit in your pocket. This one is always in my jacket pocket so when we go to a restaurant me and the kids have something fun to do while we wait for our food.
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2. Board Game: Excape [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:1723]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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A little known press your luck game by Knzia. very cool little game that reminds me a lot of cant stop but with a smaller footprint.
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3. Board Game: Kachina [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2474]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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A tile laying game where you lay tiles in a scrabble like layout in an attempt to score points by being the highest numbered tile in the row. Sound easy but with all the special tile abilities this one can turn in to a brain burner.
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4. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:261]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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And I would be remise if I didn't add this brilliant little card game. Its basically For sale! the advanced version. The only auction game I've ever played that works wonderfully with 2.
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5. Board Game: Chicago Poker [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:4104]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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A fun little gateway game designed by the two Brunos. You play cards on various speakeasies to gain control of them. The best poker hand wins the joint. Different joints have different cards face up or face down.
Quick and easy and plays 2 to 6.
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6. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1265]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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This game is really a lot of fun. It's an exploration/civilization building game that takes about 90 minutes to play.

It has a nice little economic engine built into it, there's potential for conflict although you're not compelled to fight, there's enough luck to make it interesting, and the theme is beautifully expressed in the play.

Plus, not only are the designers notes a real pleasure to read, there's a bibliography of source texts to read more about the wonderful history behind this game.

I highly recommend playing with the Conquest of Paradise Expansion: Random Events Cards as they add some fun without either unbalancing the game nor making it longer - the latter being an extremely rare feature with expansions!

Did I mention it plays in about 90 minutes?
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7. Board Game: Sumeria [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1742]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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An excellent little area majority game that plays well from 2-4 players.

Although the board may be a little bland, there are some interesting mechanics that can make this quite a brain-burner...

Disappointing to see Reiver Games struggle after the publication of this game. Deserved better than this.
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8. Board Game: Qyshinsu: Mystery of the Way [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4911]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Decidedly beautiful yet very different abstract.

Not sure if it is really a brain burner or its just that I haven't figured out the strategy yet. Still having a lot of fun finding out. Great ebb and flow to the game as the board fills up and empties repeatedly throughout the game.

Easy enough to generate a PnP version, but the purchased game is worth it for the beauty of the pieces and board alone.

Equally at home on the coffee table or in the pub.

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9. Board Game: Mission Command Sea [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:4707]
Danger Mike
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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Fun game with some real decision points and an off-the-charts toy factor. The MC: Land game is a dud, though.
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10. Board Game: Yellowstone [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:8602]
Danger Mike
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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Hasbro should license this to somebody who can give it the full-Eurofied production treatment, and then sell in Park Service gift shops. Like chinese checkers with offspring, predators, and starvation. Fun.
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11. Board Game: Dinosaur Chess [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:5840]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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Still "hidden enough", I`d say, although there was a bit of "rumour" going on: Dinosaur Chess game sales
It was self-published in 1993, a not-too Chess-like game with differently moving Dinosaurs on drifting continents (the random spice here!) ...

Here a first complete overview:
Chess with a shift: A first introduction

Richard still sales away his last 150 or so copies, directly via his homepage. You better get one soon enough!
www.dinochess.com
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12. Board Game: After the Flood [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1119]
Roy Anderson
United States
Brownsville
Texas
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A small print run game, with a wierd reuirement for 3 players, and omly 3 players (no more, no less). Makes this incredibly hard to get on the game table. Truly though, one of Wallace's best, as players assume the roles of multiple civiliations over 1000 years of ancient history in Sumeria.
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13. Board Game: London 1888 [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:9410]
Roy Anderson
United States
Brownsville
Texas
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An import from France, that details the murders perpetrated by Jack the Ripper. Somewhat of a mashup between Arkham Horror, as everyone is struggling together to defeat the great evil (Jack), and at the same time Jack is trying to stay hidden, somewhat like Battlestar Gallactica. The artwork is fabulous.
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14. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:736]
Dennis Bingham
Germany
Herford
NRW
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I think this is underappreciated on the BGG. The game involves only very little luck and can be fairly deep in the strategy department. However, teaching it is dirt easy, it takes less than 60 minutes to play and always is being asked for when other options seem so-so.

Also, it costs less than $20, so there's another big advantage right there.
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15. Board Game: In the Shadow of the Emperor [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:540]
Hugues Paradis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I would consider this my hidden gem. It's a great 4 player area control game that keep people moving. Lots of strategy in this game and it's the same price as carcasonne.

Some people hate the graphics, I love them, but I would definetly put this in the hidden gem category.
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16. Board Game: Cornerstone [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:2416]
Jay Sheely
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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This is my hidden gem. I've brought it to several gamenights and thus far, haven't met anyone who's even heard of this game. It is very fun and players are usually pretty positive about it after playing. I could play every night and be ready for more.

I emailed Tom Vasel a year ago suggesting this game and a month later he reviewed it and liked it quite a bit.

Try it if you can find it! It's one of my favorites.
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17. Board Game: Hippos & Crocodiles [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5767]
Spencer C
Netherlands
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While I haven't played a physical copy of this game (it's on my oh-so-long to-buy list), I played it many times on igGameCenter and can wholly recommend it. It's a really great tile-laying game that really taps into the spatial side of the brain.

A runner up would be Scrabble Card Game, which is basically Scrabble except quicker and more fun.
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18. Board Game: Maelstrom [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2660]
Hunter Shelburne
United States
San Marcos
Texas
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Tough decision,but Maelstrom is a great meld of tile laying with Magic the Gathering type creatures and abilities, dripping with theme and a ton of fun. The fact that its OOP makes it harder to find the expansion flats for it, but its well worth the effort.

Honorable Mention would have to be Fjords, such a fun 2 player game.
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19. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:637]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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This is hidden because it's Japanese and OOP. That said, you could play it with a Sticheln deck or DIY. OR Z-MAN COULD REPRINT IT AND MAKE LOTS OF PEOPLE HAPPY!! (See, no good deed goes unpunished -- you hook us on clever Japanese card games and then we bitch when you don't instantly reprint every good one...)

Parade has displaced "Loco!" as my favorite "does so much with so little" design. Very portable (small deck of cards in a tuckbox). Scales well from 2-6. Simple rules, some tough decisions. I suck at it, but still love it.

Basically, it's a set non-collection game where you try to avoid getting stuck with cards, but once you do get stuck with some cards of a particular color, it may be in your interest to collect more. While you can see what everybody has collected over the course of the game, you don't know what you'll draw -- nor do you know what your opponents are hoarding
-- either to discard or to play at the end of the game.
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20. Board Game: Einauge sei wachsam! [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2672]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Since my previous entry was so hidden you probably can't find it, I'll offer up another as well. One-Eye is a fun little set collection game with multiple currencies. And pirates, in case that's a selling point. It's an import if you live in the US, but it's in print and some of of the online stores in the US seem to be carrying it regularly.
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21. Board Game: Fjords [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:829]
Joe Thomas
United States
Coshocton
Ohio
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This is a neat little 2 player game.
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22. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:671]
T. Nomad
South Korea
Gyeongsan
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Condottiere may be a top-500 game here, but I don't see it mentioned as often as I'd expect, given the brilliant game play. I suspect this is in part due to the FFG reprint, which doesn't seem to get the love the way Eurogames' edition does.

This has been a top-3 game at my game group the last couple months, holding its own against shiny newness like Tobago. One veteran gamer called it "a nest of vipers." Condottiere is a top-notch, what-will-s/he-play-next, thrust-and-parry game. Among the best card games I've played, it is stylish, atmospheric, and full of viciousness. Dull with 2P, good with 3P, great with 4P, and maybe the best 5-6P game I know, period.
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23. Board Game: Light Speed [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1691]
Chris
England
Harrow
London
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You have ten cards with one ship each. Each ship has speed, lasers and hitpoints, some have shields.

You have as much time as your one to three opponents will allow to place your ships by pointing the laser beams so that they mine the asteroids, destroy your opposition and don't shoot your own vessels. Once your finger is off the card it's placed. Once the first player to place all his cards calls stop, that's it.

So far the fastest game I've played has taken about six seconds to place (but that was unsatisfying). The shooting/scoring generally takes longer than the placement but that's half the fun, seeing how your carefully placed ships have destroyed the opponent in crossfire and are now shooting each other.

A gorgeous light real-time game that's all over in a few minutes, just be sure to sleeve the cards if you can find a copy.
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24. Board Game: Kriegbot [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:4921]
Chris
England
Harrow
London
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This is not what I'd call a hidden gem but then I'm not hugely fond of diamonds either. I don't really like it that much but I know there are those who think it's just fab and others might too.

What I gather they like about it:
* You get to design your own war machine. (You get to choose your own weapons (each side has the same set of hardware to select from), power source, defenses, auxialliary systems.)
* It's somewhat asymmetric as their are six templates and each kriegbot template has distinct hardware slots, firing arcs, speed, hit locations.
* The science is cool (I agree with that).
* The mechanics aren't hard, the rules are mostly straightforward and most of what you need is printed on the bot or systems cards.
* Variability in design and tactics makes for large replayability.
* It's plain old fun.
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25. Board Game: Genji [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:4530]
Bruce Padget
United States
Claremont
California [CA]
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Gorgeous art, a unique theme (courtly love in Heian period Japan), and mechanics that stay wonderfully in-theme.

And ya gotta love a game where a key strategy is getting "cuckold bonuses."
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