Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011

I’m feeling a bit surly, as is my penchant on occasion. Also, I’ve been told it’s a cop out not to do negative reviews. (I write and record reviews and post them here and elsewhere on the internet). So, here is my rant-ish slam on some of the games in 2011 that several people worked very hard to bring to us. I’ll add 10. If anyone else wants to add more, feel free to do so!

San Juan Box Art

Number 10          Mansions of Madness:

I have never actually played this game, but for a while it was constantly set up at my FLGS. I  haven’t seen a game cause so much frustration and angst in a long time. I won’t go into all the issues as I’ve read a little up on them, and talked to some of my gaming group about it, but I don’t have first hand experience.


Number 9 Yomi

It could be that I don’t understand this game. I’ve tried it a few times now, and it’s just random rock/paper/guessing, with tons and tons of overwrought special abilities. Also, the full game is $100 for like 500 cards. Weak.

Kingdom Builder

Number 8 Kingdom Builder

Wanted to like this. Thought I liked it about half way through my second game. Then I ended up not liking it at all after my third game. Basically, it boils down to, “Which scoring card is the best? OK, do that.” And then I play on auto-pilot.

Caylus Box Art

Number 7 JAB: Realtime Boxing

This game isn’t really that “bad”. It’s just not fun after two or three plays. After that, it’s basically “been there done that”.

Tigirs Box Art

Number 5 Barons

I think the main let down for me here, was that Glory to Rome is so good, and this one is just very very very average. It is VERY luck dependent, but so is any card game right? Well not quite. This one seemed to be entirely driven by card draw, leaving me wanting for anything meaningful to do on my turn.

Number 6 NightFall

Very overrated in my opinion. The mechanisms feel clunky to me, and the sink the leader, gang up on player XYZ element ruins it. It’s not good at all with two players either. You can instantly get so far behind in a two player game, that there is no coming back.

Cargo Noir

Number 4 Cargo Noir

Horrifying. This game is so un-fun. It’s a very very basic auction mechanism that takes way too long to play.

Go play The Boss instead.

Letter's from White Chapel

Number 3 Letters from Whitechapel

Go play Scotland Yard instead. This is almost the exact same, but takes way too much time. It’s just covered up with a bunch of chrome. This game is “fair” with two. But really, you could just gussy up Scotland Yard and keep the same the good mechanisms from Scotland Yard without all the fiddly rules of Whitechapel.

Caylus Box Art

Number 2 Star Trek: Expeditions

Wow. This game is so anti-theme. Stay away from this one. You basically run around a planet trying to get a “number”. Ugh.

Tigirs Box Art

Number 1 Quarriors!

By far the most disappointing game of the year for me. I think if this game wasn’t being touted as “Possibly Game of the Year” when it first came out, I wouldn’t have been as disappointed. I gave this game an honest shot.

However, a game (even a filler) that has zero meaningful decisions is not a gateway game, is not a light game, and is not a filler. It’s just a bad game. There is good filler out there. To me this game was all about two words “Dice Building”. So it was a marketing stunt, in my opinion. A very well produced marketing stunt, but one none the less.

~ Joel Eddy

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User Review:
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Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011, 3.3 out of 5 based on 25 ratings

6 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011”

  1. thank you Joel for the anti-conventional take on the entire reviewing business! I won’t write my top ten of infamy, but I’ll share my number one: Bloodsuckers! Long and repetitive game with clunky mechanics, and then resolved entirely through luck. I mean, it even has “suck” in the name!

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  2. I think for something to be disappointing you had to have high expectations for it. There have been a few that I really wanted to like, and some you just knew going in that they were going to be bad!

    Mine is “War of Honor” (not because it was a bad game), but because I really wanted it to be something else then a showcase for the trading card game. I was so excited to play it and then realized the cards had number on them that you couldn’t use and the rules didn’t even mention some elements of the game. The rules were almost written as if you were a player of the card game already and you knew what everything already meant. I finally just didn’t want to play it after about three tries and moved on in frustration.

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  3. I still need to try War of Honor. We have a dedicated L5R group that plays at the store here, and they basically play one game and then go play War of Honor for the rest of the night, lol.

    But, like you said, you wanted it to be more than just L5R+

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