I used to say that I don’t have a very large game collection because I live in a pretty small apartment, but I’m not so sure that’s a very accurate reason, especially since becoming a game publisher who works from home. I’ve got about 20 copies of the first printing of Forge War boxed up in my office, after all. If those weren’t there, surely some extra bookshelf could be placed in their location to house a larger number of games.
And maybe it is because I lack a good storage solution, but that seems like a pretty easy thing to solve if I had an inclination to do so.
I think the basic fact of the matter is that I don’t want to own a lot of games. I’ve talked at length about this before, but the basic idea is that there’s only so much time in the day to play games, so I don’t see much of a point in building a massive collection. I’m very happy playing the games that I have.
Well, I enjoy playing most of them. After the Gloomhaven Kickstarter ended, I took some time to clean up the board game corner of my living room which had gotten rather cluttered with prototype stuff. I looked at all the games occupying the shelves and floor and decided that some of it needed to go. So I sifted through the clutter and compiled the following list of games that I own but no longer wish to:
Okay, I suppose this is technically my wife’s game, but she gave me permission to get rid of it. We actually bought this together when she was living in Wisconsin (and I was in Indiana) so that we could have a board game to play together when I visited her. And I remember playing it with her in her apartment. It was fun.
But I’m not really a sentimental person and my tastes have since shifted. Not that it’s bad or not a fun game anymore, but I’d rather be playing something else. It just feels really random with the way money works. And since my wife realized she doesn’t have to feign interest in board games to make me happy, there’s no use for it on that front either.
Apples to Apples
This is another of my wife’s games that was absorbed into the collection when we got married. I think she got it as a gift, since she actually hates the game. My opinion of it isn’t actually that much better. It’s just sort of owned by default, and there’s no reason to keep it around.
I think this was actually my first adult board game purchase. I had been playing Settlers of Catan for a while and walked into my friendly local game store without any prior internet research looking for something new (I hadn’t discovered Board Game Geek yet). I somehow walked away with this. Looking back, I’m still a little annoyed at whatever employee directed me to this instead of a good Euro game, but I suppose it’s okay because I eventually discovered Board Game Geek and with it Puerto Rico, Agricola and all that other goodness.
Look, Blokus is a pretty fun game. I kind of enjoyed playing it against myself a lot when I first got it, but I’m just not attracted to abstract games anymore. It may not have seen the light of day for 10 years, so it’s gotta go.
Blood and Sand
I got this for free when I attended Geekway to the West a few months ago. Sort of one of those things where a publisher needs to clear out some warehouse space, I guess. Anyway, it’s a war game. I really, really don’t like war games. I decided that since I got it for free, I should at least try it out, but then I fell asleep reading the rules. A couple times.
Here’s a list of reasons I’m not a fan of war games. First of all, I just dislike direct conflict, and this dislike increases ten-fold when dice are involved. The rules are also incredibly nuanced not to make a better gaming experience, but a more realistic one. This may be synonymous for some people, but it isn’t for me. And lastly the quality of components is just not that great – paper boards, tiny chits, flimsy cards – none of it appeals to me.
The Colossal Cave
Ah, this is another game I got for free, this time from The Secret Cabal raffle at GenCon two years ago. My friend Adrian actually had his number drawn first and picked up Seasons. My number got called somewhere near last and this was about all that was left.
To be blunt, this is a terrible game. I’m pretty certain I would feel this way even if I had any sentimental attachment to the old text adventure that it is based off of. It’s just…it’s just bad. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.
Labyrinth the Card Game
I love The AMAZEing Labyrinth. That is something I do have great sentimental attachment to. I played it a lot in my youth and it is actually a terrific game for children. You’ve definitely got to have a good handle on spatial reasoning to do well, and we all know how much I love spatial reasoning.
I found the card game version of this at one of those touristy novelty game stores many years ago. You know, not like a real game store, but like a boutique toy store with a really crappy board game section. I saw this and thought, “Oh, yeah, I wish I had a copy of The AMAZEing Labyrinth, maybe this will suffice.” Turns out it doesn’t. Turns out this game is almost entirely random and requires very little spatial reasoning. Oh well.
One more game I picked up for free, this time at GenCon a year ago when I was demoing Imperial Settlers. Turns out the guy demoing the game was Chevee Todd, a designer who makes a game every year and distributes it for free at GenCon. So I grabbed a copy because, hey, free game, and proceeded to never play it. I actually feel somewhat bad about this because he only had a limited amount to give out and maybe someone who really wanted it didn’t get it because I took a copy.
So it’s a pretty simple card game of collecting money and stealing other people’s money, and it’s very social and “take that” and just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I suppose I could throw it in my bag and try to get some people to play it with me at game night, or I could instead play a game that I’d actually like to play.
This game was pretty prominently featured in an earlier blog post where I discussed games that I really wanted to own. And thus it remains my biggest embarrassment, because I really just don’t like it at all. I thought I’d done my research. I thought I’d pinpointed a game I’d really enjoy. But this game just falls flat with me.
Look, I’m sure if I gave it enough plays it could grow on me. There’s certainly potential there in the mechanics, but I just don’t think I can provide it with the proper environment to nurture my interest and allow it to grow. I’d need to play it a lot with the same group of people. Really get into it. Have everyone be on the same wavelength and all that. But I’m never going to find that group of people, especially because it takes a very specific kind of person to enjoy the mechanics of the game, and I just don’t know that many of that type of people.
Tigris & Euphrates
Another early purchase that has since become outdated and dusty. And I’m not even talking about the new Fantasy Flight edition. When I first really got into board gaming, this was number 3 on the Board Game Geek rankings, which is why it’s in my collection. But it just doesn’t get played anymore because it’s so abstract and outdated. There are just better games out there that I know I’ll have a better time with. It has since dropped to number 33 on the rankings. Why sit down and watch Ben Hur when you can watch Mad Max: Fury Road?
So there it is. My sad list of games that I have no more love for. I’m not even sure what I want to do with them. Should I put them in a math trade? What would I want to trade them for? Who in their right mind would even want a ten year old copy of Apples to Apples or a war game that the publisher couldn’t even give away? I fear some of these may be destined for the recycle bin.