Totally Unfair Reviews of Games I've Never Played
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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I spend a lot of time on the Geek and listening to podcasts. As a result, I know a lot about games that I've never played.

In fact, I know so much about these games that I've started writing mini-reviews of games I've never played. I've added a few reviews below.

If you're as well informed as me, feel free to add your own reviews of game you've never played.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne: Catapult [Average Rating:4.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:4.91 Unranked]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, never will.

This is the worst expansion in the history of board games. The catapult doesn't even flick the meeples (that would be cool). It just flicks little cardboard discs. The catapult is hard to control, and takes almost all the skill out of the game.

In spite of its shortcomings, it is a marked improvement over standard Carcassonne.

Summary: You should never play Carcassonne without this expansion.
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2. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, but I will someday.

According to the box, "Over 642 Million Chinese play this game nearly every day."

I did some research and I found out that Over 642 Million Chinese also work in factories making lead based toys every day. *

I think we should just judge the game on its merits.

This game is just "Spades for Gamers". There's nothing inherently wrong with the game, but it's not that great either.

The real problem with this game is that the Tichu-ites are just irritating.

They're like werewolf players except that Tichu-ites come out during the day.

Summary: It's just a filler.


* I didn't actually do ANY research. I just made that up.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
By the way, I felt a little bit racist typing that "Chinese" comment above, but it's a quote from the box. I would never use that language. I know they're really called Chinamen.
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3. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, but I might someday.

This is the first worker placement game ever (that anyone cares about). People who are good at this game love it, and people who aren't so good, hate it.
Much like chess, the better player will almost always win.

Summary: Great game in its day, but it's been replaced by Pillars of the Earth (Which I've never played).
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4. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, but I may someday.

This game is basically a re-implementation of Caylus. Like Caylus, Pillars allows the players to make smug remarks and feel superior to other gamers.

To set this game apart from Caylus, Pillars is set in a fictional Medieval European town.

Summary: Good game, but it's been replaced by Stone Age
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5. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:623]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, never will.

This is as good of a strategic level WWII game as you're gonna find. It is the Macro version of ASL. I like this game, even though it's not really my cup of tea.

However, it takes 100 hours to play. In that amount of time, I could play between 50 and 100 other games. Given this "One versus the Mob" scenario. I'll take the mob every time.

Summary: Good game, but not as good as all the other games I could play instead.
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6. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1156]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Status: Never played it, but I will someday.

This is a pure Co-op.
There's no single winner.
There's no traitor.
You either win together or you lose together.
Everyone's on the same team.
You're working against the game.
It's like a multi-person puzzle.
You have to beat the game's AI.
You all have to work together.

Summary: Just like Pandemic, but instead of spreading disease, you're trying to spread food poisoning.
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7. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Status: Never played it, probably sit on my shelf for (more) years before I consider it.

What can I say. This was supposed to be the next great collectible game. You know, a game that had one print run, wowed some people, and faded into obscurity. Then, 10 years from now, my animeeple-pimped version in never-played condition would sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Instead, people actually played it and bought it and it is on every corner drugstore's shelves for $4.99. And it's named after a soft drink. I mean, really now.

Summary: If you're not snooty enough to insist upon speaking a dead language when talking about the game, you're not going to like this one.
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8. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Wendell
United States
temporarily Arlington VA
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Status: Never played it, never will.

Summary: When I was a repeat college drop-out, I worked a series of crappy jobs. One job, at a crappy restaurant with a somewhat-less-crappy self-image, had lots of brass in the restaurant. Lots. Like, a hundred yards or more of it, in the form of rails - and not the Ticket to Ride kind. And a couple of times in my stellar career at said institution of not-so-fine dining, I was given the job in the middle of a slow afternoon of polishing the brass. Lots and lots of brass.

It sucked. It was hard work, and I couldn't chat up the girls that worked there. The brass cleaner stank, and it made my hands change color. And it was hard to sneak back in the kitchen to snatch food.

So why in the name of all that is ludophiliac would I want to play a game that involves rubbing brass? Next there'll be a game about farming (dirty, back-breaking labor), and based on my brief experience of picking oranges, I will avoid that too.

If this game rubs your fancy, then play and rub Brass. I think I'll look for something better to rub.
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9. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:31]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Status: Never played. I'd like to, but probably never will.

It's a huge sprawling epic space opera that involves negotiation, confrontation, and diplomacy. It requires a huge time commitment to play a complete game. The game is an awesome thematic experience, but it is completely broken by one card that gives free points. However this card is apparently fixed in the expansion.

If you have the patience and the players to play something this long you owe it to yourself to try this gem out, but if you don't use the expansion it may be a complete waste of time.

Synopsis: If you're gonna put this much time towards trying a new game you might want to read a better review than this one.
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10. Board Game: Genji [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:4624]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Folsom
CA
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Status:Haven't played it. Prolly won't unless I get in touch with my anima. I enjoy wrestling bears and punching sharks, so this won't see any table time- a table, incidentally, I carved with a steak knife from a tree I felled with the same steak knife.
Afterwards, I had a steak that I tore apart with only my teeth.

Summary: Summery samurai scan with eye silky thigh.
Poetic courtesans politic courting scams.

pass
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11. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:134]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Status: Never played it . Never will. Haven't read the books either. Or seen the movie.

Dune is a old game. Not as old as Chess but older than Agricola. Probably about the same vintage as Connect Four.

Old dudes like to bang on about how great Dune (the game) is and how thing aren't as good as they used to be. They secretly live in fear of a reprinting where their old Dune set will no longer act as their superannuation.

Dune is about spice and worms. Neither are topics fit for polite conversation.

You should only play Dune if you like Frank Herbert and the though of Sting in Speedos does not offend you.

Summary: An immersive gaming experience that will change your life.
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12. Board Game: SPQR (Deluxe Edition) [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
vincit omnia amentia
United States
Howard County
Maryland
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Status: Read the rules and really want to play it; never will

As a classics major/buff/nut I would love to sample every game based around my favorite time period (776-31 BC) and see how well it simulates what I have spent too much time studying for absolutely no tangible benefit. Unfortunately, the first tactical combat game I bought was C&C:Ancients. I also know that nobody else would play this game with me and there's a lot of crap to keep track of so single player would be more like bookkeeping than strategerizing. If I'm going to do all that I'd at least like to have some cannons (which is why I have bought and will never play one of those "Musket and Pike" series games).

Summary: Playing this game would be like taking a fun thing I enjoy (Commands and Colors: Ancients) and adding a whole bunch of unnecessary crap to it that bogs me down with information for no discernible benefit...

and I've already got my degree so once was enough.

edit: so as not to add any other items to this list, let's cf: The Rise of the Roman Republic (status: owned, never played twice*) with Sword of Rome; all my reasons are the same.

*edit2: which means I have tried and failed to play it... twice!
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13. Board Game: Dominion: Alchemy [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Status: Never played, hopefully never will have to.

Dominion is fun. Light fun, but fun. Not as much variety as claimed, but fun. I mean, okay, it gets old rather fast, but still, all the fun of a collectible card game without the need to buy pack after pack after pack. And of course, once it gets boring (which is faster than you like), you can always buy the expansion Intrigue. Adds a bit to the complexity, and a bit to the variety. If you understand the rules of Dominion, Intrigue does not require much extra. Still, you find that even with Intrigue added, the game is hardly filling, and does not get to the table very often. So buy Seaside, the second expansion! Unfortunately, that one adds extra rules, making the game less suitable for novice players. With novice players you are stuck with the base game, which has really gotten old now. You dread it coming to the table. With Seaside, maybe. But even with the added rules, it remains the same old boring Dominion. Perhaps more variety is needed. And hey, there is a third expansion! Alchemy! You must buy Alchemy! You must... But no, hold off for a while. Alchemy won't change the game. I mean, not really. What is that on the horizon? Prosperity? What is this, a collectible card game? Do they really want you to invest again and again into a game that you find boring anyway? Don't you regret getting Seaside already?

Summary: Dominion outlasted its welcome quite a while ago, but the designers will not stop producing expansions. Stop buying them now, or regret it later.
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14. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:10952]
Chris Broggi
United States
Southwick
Massachusetts
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Status: Never played it, never will.

This is such a great game that it needs to be on every geeklist. In fact, a geeklist without Busen Memo on it is only half a geeklist.

Summary: You should never play this game, but add it to every geeklist you find.
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15. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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Status: Never played it yet, but I will soon grow to be sick of it.

This is the most amazing game in the world! It can be taught to drunken idiots in minutes and has more replay value than chess. It will bring your friends and family together, inspire humorous memories for years to come, and make your kids smart. This game can save marriages and bring a family together. It's better than therapy or religion.

There are no shortcomings in this game.

Summary: Any American that does not have this game in their closet is unpatriotic. *



* Made in China.
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16. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:52]
Rob Miller
United States
Mishawaka
Indiana
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Status: Never played it, never will.

Now here's a great idea! Let's take the shitty card system from M44 and then, to rub salt in the wound, we'll print the dice results on the cards!

Burn this trash.

The only thing worse that I can conceive of would be the CoH series, and I'm not sure which one I'd pick if I absolutely had to.

Thankfully, my ASL collection is extensive.

Summary:

No strategy, no dice, no tanks?

No thanks.
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17. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:122]
United States
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Status: Never played it, Never will

Won't play it because the person that spends the most money on cards wins. How about we just have a game and we each take out our wallets and who every has the most money wins. Then we give all the money to the next person that walks by. And I'll never play because I am jealous I didn't think of the idea first.

Summary: Hard to hate this game, its kept a lot of FLGS in business.
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18. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:126]
Gregory Wong
United States
San Jose
California
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Status: Never played it, never will.

"ASL"... what a dull name. It sounds so clinical... like something out of a government publication. What does it stand for? American Sign Language? No, something even more dull...

"Advanced Squad Leader"

What marketing genius came up with that? They could have called it, "Bam! Rat-a-tat-tat! Kaboom" or "Ker-chung! Wheeeeeee! Blammo!" But nooooo, some pencil pusher thought, "Advanced Squad Leader. Yeah, that'll sell hundreds of copies." He's probably the same guy who came up with other evocative trademarks like, "Symphony Number 5 in C Minor," or "TRS-80," or that marketing disaster known as "The White Album."


Summary: Hundreds of people play this game. But hundreds of people also fill out Form 1040.
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19. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:124]
United States
Brown Deer
Wisconsin
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Status:Never played.

Clearly this game is utter detritus because of the legal practices of the company that makes it. Furthermore, all games that this company licenses out to other companies using the same IP are utter cow feces and should never grace the geek with their presence ever again. Furthermore, because this company has lawyers it means they are inept at making games. Furthermore, this game is terrible simply because I hate this company.

I hear the gameplay is pretty good though.

Summary: Lawyers make games suck.
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20. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:361]
Evan Derrick
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
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STATUS: Never played it but hope to play it hundreds of times!

This is one of the all-time-great feel-good games in existence. Not only will it challenge your noggin in a positive way, but it will strengthen your relationship with your spouse, your mother, your children, your best friends, and even deepen new relationships with people you barely know!

It only takes 30 minutes to play so you can bring it to the table time and time again, and it's not uncommon for players to experience the "group hug" syndrome afterward (where the positive energy surrounding the gaming table is so overwhelming that everyone just finds themselves in a massive hugging session with everyone else).

Family gatherings, church potlucks, nursing homes, orphanages, prison game nights, Middle Eastern peace summits... there's no location or situation that this game isn't perfect for! Heck, take it along on your honeymoon and watch the marital bliss sky rocket to heights you never dreamed of!

SUMMARY: The only game that actually has a chance of bringing about world peace!
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21. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Status: Never played it, never will.

I know it's cool to be all hip and dark and edgy, but you can only take Batman so far before it's not interesting anymore. There's no way a board game can accurately portray Gotham City in the throes of an asylum breakout, and in fact, 100%* of the people I asked about this game told me it had NOTHING in common with any of the Batman franchises I would have been familiar with. First they license to board game makers, then they strip the series of any notable connection to the initial series? I pass!

Summary: Batman is not from the 1930's, but this game should be.
*Nobody


Edit: Speaking of edgy, Dr. Octopus never looked like that. These crossover period piece experimental comics have gone too far!
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22. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:692]
Ze Masqued Cucumber
France
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Protze et Chniaque !
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C'est le Gomazio à crête mordorée, dont le cri annonce le soir...
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Status: Never played it, never will.

There's quite a few food- or wine-themed games around. This one's just one too much.
The theme could have been much deeper : why only mayo, when there's béarnaise, bourguignonne, roquefort, etc.? Non-french sauces could also have been included, such as curry, ketchup, and so on.
Another issue : I'm OK with alternate history, but this one's too far-fetched : the game takes place in Spain, while any gourmet knows that true mayonnaise is from Dijon, France.
The box contents is great, though, two beautiful jars full of decent quality mayo are provided (did I mention it's a 2 player game?).

Summary: Could have been a good game, but lacks a bit of spice.
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