User Profile for freechinanow
Crazy Adam
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Recent plays:

Check 'Plays -> Board Game Plays -> Chronological' for comprehensive entries.

Total games played (per year): 452 (2015) 355 (2014), 329 (2013), 260 (2012), 210 (2011), 274 (2010), 140 (2009)

Games/expansions owned (annual): 283/132 (2015), 255/84 (2014) 238/62 (2013), 195/47 (2012), 135/20 (2011), 95/8 (2010), 74/2 (2009), 54 (2008)

Review: Adam Allett (Crazy Adam), Board Gamer


My name is Adam, and I'm from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Games have been a big part of my child and adult life for the past few years. As a child, I remember being deeply affected by a commercial for HeroQuest, and I saved up my $5 allowance every week until I could afford it (I believe it was $24.99). Some of my other favourite games as a kid were Survive!, Jenga, Double Trouble, Mille Bornes, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Quicksand, Ulcers, Key to the Kingdom, Scrabble Junior, Shogun, Siege, Dark World: Village of Fear, Grabbin' Grasshoppers!, Commercial Crazies, The Mad Magazine Game, I.Q. 2000, Ulcers, Jig Jag Mic Mac, You Must Be Joking, Nickelodeon Double Dare, Tuba-Ruba, Pictionary Junior, Early Birds, Big Deal, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tower of Doom, Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Final Frontier, Dragon Master, Gauntlet and Jungle.

In 1998, my parents (with my permission - ugh!) sent all my board games to an auction house, where I'm sure somebody got the lot for $1.

I started collecting games again informally since 2002, trying to re-amass my childhood collection I so foolishly let go of a few years before. Some of those games were worth getting again, some were not. But everything I was going for was nostalgic, and often themed on 1980s childhood movies. And then on January 19, 2007, I took part in a spirited round of Catan (only casually hearing about it before). This opened my eyes to games completely different than what I was familiar with. A Google search of 'Settlers' brought me to BGG. That was the start of a ravenous hunger for all things cardboard.


Looking in this box I call home, the number one component you see are board games. I have an Ikea BILLY bookshelf with six shelves filled and a few games piled on top. An entire EXPEDIT 4X2 is filled, plus a 4X4, as well as 5 shelves of an EXPEDIT 5X5. All told, there are about 240 games and expansions in the open. In a closet close to the game shelves you will find an entire stack of another 100 games or so, all on shelves. These games are more of the nostalgic finds, but also there are coffin-box games that don't fit anywhere in the main room and other oddly shaped boxes that fit best in the closet. If I did have the choice, I would have everything displayed. In my bedroom I have hung up my lovely Muzzies Crokinole board. (My girlfriend's copy of Clue, Guess Who?, and The Hamburger Game are in her side of the bedroom closet.) Apart from board games, there are also collections of old vinyl, DVDs, books, video cassettes, vintage toys and 1980s robots. The rest of the components here are what you would expect in a 34-year-old's man cave.

Rules & Mechanics

I spend most of my week as a teacher. I am a special education teacher at a private school in the city, working with Grade 3 and 4 students. I am very happy in my job, although I have stresses that one would expect to come in a profession like this. It is my sixth year as a teacher and I really enjoy the humour and precocious wisdom of the youngins'! Occasionally, I bite off more than I can chew, but some how manage to scrape by at the last minute, making everything look professional while hiding the duct tape. On days that I am not wearing down my fingernails I am doing my best to play board games and engage in other various healthy escapist activities. I occasionally play with my sister and her husband and my lovely girlfriend, Jen. I am also a part of a weekly gaming meetup at a local board game store. I have met some solid people there, and try to meet weekly with game-meetup alumni Matthew so we can play some 2-player games that don't get to see much light in the bigger groups. Lastly, I also run a board game club at my school, which has about a dozen members, most of them girls! Good on them! I honour my previous board game regular friends: Chet & Keiko, and Tony & Sarah.

When I'm not playing games (the horror!) I am watching movies, catching up on old-school video games, reading, cooking, cleaning, adventuring in the outdoors, thrifting, or writing 'quick rules' to all the board games I own. I try not to vegetate a lot, and will rarely turn on the TV just to pass the time.

Summary (last updated February 16th, 2015)

My Top 10 are those games I'm buzzing the most about right now. My Hot 10 are those games that I want to purchase at some near point.

Games in 2014

Games in 2013

Games in 2012

Games in 2011

Games in 2010
(I was VERY happy to find out that this image was #6 in top images of 2010 and was once #16 in top images of all time!)

Games in 2009


10 - Seamless! The theme, the mechanics, the interaction, but most importantly, the sheer FUN and BRILLIANCE of these games blow me away. I would never turn down a play. They are as much board games as they are a statement on the art of gaming. Okay, games with that description don't really exist (nothing is perfect) but the closest I think it has gotten is Battlestar Galactica, so I've honoured it with a '10' rating.

9 - Solid! An uncanny game. These are the games that deserve to be on a pedestal of gaming. Smartly designed and bordering on unique, these games make me smile just by thinking about them. An immersing and rich experience. For all intents and purposes, these are my '10 star' games.

8 - Really fun! A well thought-out game, either in its design or its approach to existing mechanics. An '8' game has that special "something" that gives it distinction. There are few games out there that feel quite like this one. This is a hearty game, without being revolutionary in terms of gameplay.

7 - Neat-o! Either this is a great time passer, or it is a deeper game that has a lot going for it. These may have the smarts of an '8' game, but they lack the fluidity, mechanic brilliance or the special gaming experience found in their higher-rated counterparts. Regardless, '7' games are good enough that you can overlook the inconsistencies and just enjoy the ride.

6 - Good times. A '6' game is usually a passable longer game or a somewhat frivolous, but nevertheless interesting shorter game. These games usually have one or two good ideas. I would never condemn a '6' game, but I will sometimes pass up on an opportunity to play, as '6' games can sometimes be either too light or too clunky for that particular moment.

5 - Just passable. These ones consistently lack one or two essential parts. They may have some novel ideas which help get through them. These are most likely the games I'd bring out around younger children who don't have the ability to comprehend anything larger, or for adults who don't play a lot of games. Some '5' games might also be games that try to be more than they claim to be and somewhat fail in their execution.

4 - Baseline. There's something in these games that raises them above the common trash. But these are still ultra-light games that I won't pull out very often, unless I've been drinking or need a good laugh without much thought behind it. Conversely, these could be heavier games that appear poorly play-tested but with some heart nonetheless. Without a nostalgic connection, a '4' game is usually sent right back to the thrift store from which it came.

3 - Meh. These are games I don't think are really special. I might play if somebody else has a real hankering, but otherwise I would avoid and never recommend them. Not a lot of thought behind these games.

2 - Ugh. Almost defies the description of "game". Usually these are not really games, but are given a 'board game coating' to sell it at Toys 'R Us or Walmart. Often marketing tools or failures in board game thought.

1 - Boo! Okay - shit games get made; we all have to face that. '2' games are the type that we can blame the publisher for ever giving it the time of day. But '1' games are the ones where the blame lies solely with the designer. If it is your job to make games and this is the best you can do, immediately get out of the business. This is the product of zero talent and leaves me wondering if they would even add this creation to their resume. Boo to shit games like this! (I'm looking at you, Dancing with the Stars Card Game!)

I have recorded some songs and would like get around to it again sometime. Most likely in the summer where there are weeks to spend on huge activities like this. Recording takes a crazy amount of time. http://myspace.com/mattressfort

The 12 Steps of Board Gamers Nonymous

1: I admit that I am powerless over boredom -- that my life has become dull.
2: I came to admit that board games greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
3: Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to board games.
4: Made a searching and fearless inventory of my board games.
5: Admitted to my gaming friends, to myself and to my family the exact nature of my addiction.
6: Was entirely ready to have board games remove all my defects of character.
7: Humbly asked my gaming friends to forgive my shortcomings and explain the rules again.
8: Made a list of all persons I had defeated, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would defeat them even more mercilessly.
10: Continued to update my Wish List and when it was out of control, promptly admitted it.
11: Sought through emails and correspondence to improve my contact with my gaming friends, as I understood them, asking occasionally for knowledge of strategies and tactics and the power to carry them out.
12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I try to carry this message to gamers, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.
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User Details for freechinanow
Registration Date: 2008-01-06
Last Profile Update: 2016-02-24
Last Login: 2016-05-05
Country: flag Canada
State: Ontario
Town/City: Toronto
GeekMail: mail Send Private Message to freechinanow
Collection Summary for freechinanow
Board Game
Owned   439
Previously Owned   73
For Trade   14
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   1
Want To Play   61
Preordered   0
Wishlist   32
Commented   622
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   995
Board Game Expansion
Owned   145
Previously Owned   13
For Trade   1
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   0
Commented   157
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   189
Board Game Accessory
Owned   7
Previously Owned   1
For Trade   0
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   0
Commented   7
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   8
For Sale 0
Rating 0
Board Game Plays 2177 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Board Game Expansion Plays 64 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Trade Rating (1) Propose A Trade With This User
Board Game Ratings 833
Average Rating 6.79
10 1   (0.1%)
9 85   (10.2%)
8 187   (22.4%)
7 261   (31.3%)
6 165   (19.8%)
5 68   (8.2%)
4 38   (4.6%)
3 24   (2.9%)
2 3   (0.4%)
1 1   (0.1%)
Board Game Expansion Ratings 166
Average Rating 7.83
10 0   (0.0%)
9 52   (31.3%)
8 52   (31.3%)
7 49   (29.5%)
6 9   (5.4%)
5 2   (1.2%)
4 2   (1.2%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Board Game Accessory Ratings 7
Average Rating 7.29
10 0   (0.0%)
9 0   (0.0%)
8 3   (42.9%)
7 3   (42.9%)
6 1   (14.3%)
5 0   (0.0%)
4 0   (0.0%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Top 10
#1: Battlestar Galactica
#2: Dominant Species
#3: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
#4: Hive
#5: Commands & Colors: Ancients
#6: 7 Wonders
#7: Freedom: The Underground Railroad
#8: Jambo
#9: Dixit
#10: Dominion
Hot 10
#1: Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Twin Shadows
#2: Eat at Ralph's
#3: Stuff It
#4: Oh What a Mountain!
#5: Java
#6: Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas
#7: Feed Me!
#8: Kamisado
#9: Stuff It
#10: Keyflower
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