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!
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Rating: 3.3/5 (25 votes cast)
Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011, 3.3 out of 5 based on 25 ratings