Hello, I’ve recently come across a format that I really enjoyed. I was watching a video over on the Quackalope channel on YouTube and they produced a video about the worst games in their collection. I really liked the video, so under cover of darkness, I Tom Cruised* into their studio and helped myself to the format and brought it back here to Meeple Gamers.
With a little help from one of my fellow writers we’re going to see if we can replicate this in our own weird way. I’ve reached out to the others and Matthew has bravely stepped up to pitch in for this one. If you enjoy the format here, I recommend checking out the most recent video over at Quackalope.
For those unfamiliar with the format I will briefly describe what we did. I sent Matthew an inventory of all of my games. He combed through the list trying to find five games that he felt I shouldn’t have, wrote up a brief reason why I should cull the game from my collection, and sent it to me. I then took the list, curled up in the fetal position crying, and then wrote a response to each of his criticisms.
We hope you enjoy it.
Note from Legal It is to be noted that Steve did not Tom Cruise into anyone’s home/office/or studio without their consent. He sent a politely worded e-mail. Any actual Tom Cruising was done by other parties and was only referenced here by coincidence. Thank you.
First off – soooo many games! How are you able to play them all and enjoy them? Not to mention the sheer amount of storage space and shelving to handle them all! What were you thinking? A true gamer only has a few tried and true games in his collection that are received while young, passed on from the illustrious older generations, or handed over by a mysterious, bearded man sitting in the corner of the local pub dressed in robes and pointed hat.
Now to the collection and what can I say but…
Wheel of Fortune
Let’s start with an oldie but a goody — Wheel … of … Fortune! You do have games with taste and sense of history. The cover sports the neon white smile of none other than Vanna, er, White and it’s based upon the grand-daddy of game shows. You’d never know the game was older than me because games on the verge of half a century are still all the rage. Watch out that a dusty, smarmy Pat Sajak pops out and starts smacking you down for buying all the vowels and you still can’t solve that puzzle. Good luck with that!
I’ll admit that this isn’t a fantastic game. It’s very straight forward and there for me to play with family and non-gamers. Apparently, you’re one of those folks who only play with real gamers. Yes, this game is so old it requires a person to Host the game who knows the puzzle and can turn the letters for the players; making them a Voltroned version of Pat and Vanna. All that said it’s held up rather nicely considering its age. The wheel, cards, and stand up puzzle board are all fantastic. However, I admit I could probably find an electronic version for the Switch or PC that I could use instead that would allow everyone to play.
SPANC: Space-Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls
What did I just uncover with SPANC? Space, pirates, aliens, ninjas, cat people all rolled into one? What kind of kitchen sink monstrosity is this? The box cover on this one is the ever-alluring and by no means PC subject of this game. Her milkshake will bring those unwary preteens to her yard even though it’s for more “mature” audiences. Steve Jackson, you evil genius. This card game has gangs of risque feline femme fatales armed with stabby and shooty things, pulling capers, and all manner of hijinx. Thankfully this is a game that is hard to get being out of print.
I’m not going to try and convince anyone that this is a great game, it’s on the same level as Munchkin for humor and complexity. I’ll even cop to how problematic the theme and style have become since the game was released. I got this back in the 2005 when it first came out and it’s been sitting in my mini-games box since then. However, the mechanics are okay, the humor of the game is satirical (its okay if you didn’t get that, satire is a clever persons humor) and I enjoy it though not everyone will. The biggest point in this games favor however is Phil Foglio, the artist. While not for everyone I love Phil Foglio’s art and have mostly kept this game because of how much I enjoy it.
Orcs Must Die! Unchained
So you’ve got Orcs Must Die? Really? Apparently not only are you have an unseemly fetish for alien cat people into martial arts and mayhem but also orc-ist? Our porcine-like humanoid brethren are people too (so-to-speak). They have every bit as much of a right to exist as you. They just want to loot, pillage, and destroy like the rest of us and you should let them. For shame!
I get the swipe at Orcs Must Die, I really do. The theme is weird, the tone overly hostile, and the idea behind it is weird especially when you consider it’s a licensed property. However, I adore the PC game OMD, I even liked OMD Unchained! The ill-fated team based, online, competitive, attempt at an e-sport. I’m even excitedly waiting for OMD 3 to come off of Stadia so I can play. The game itself is a fun puzzle where you have to balance weapons, movement, and trap placement against a massive horde of orcs, trolls, elementals, and assorted other baddies coming for you. I’ve even grabbed the Order version of the game where you play as the orcs defending against waves of humans. So in answer to your main criticism, I don’t hate orcs…I hate crowds.
So there is Gloomhaven, the game for all the cool gamers who couldn’t hack it playing DND. So what made you pick up the love child of Descent and Seafall? Was it the nostalgia for Choose Your Own Adventure books (ya know they have those games too)? Or is it the fact that it won a bunch of dusty, has-been awards? Then there is BGG’s ranking… really? It’s no #1 game, more like #2 at best. Better watch out, you might be considered a bandwagon fanboy.
In a lot of ways I did bandwagon Gloomhaven. There was a time when I thought I owned enough dungeon crawlers and didn’t want to get anymore. I can think of four others that I own off the top of my head that pre-date Gloomhaven in my collection. I didn’t get Gloomhaven when it first went on Kickstarter and wasn’t planning to. However, the continued support, attention, and Rhado’s videos on the game got me to jump back into dungeon crawlers. In fact this was one of two games that really got me to start looking at the genre again. So yes the bandwagon criticism is valid. However, I promise you I will never regret getting back into crawlers with this game. My game group has put at least 100 hours into this game. It’s my most played board game, and it ranks up in my top played games of all time with traditional RPG’s like as Dungeons & Dragons, Through the Breach, and X-Crawl. Gloomhaven deserves its place in my collection.
Monopoly: Muppets Collector’s Edition
Now for the most unforgiveable entry in your collection: Monopoly. Not just Monopoly but Muppets Monopoly. What’s wrong? You too good for the teapot, racecar, and Mr. Moneybags? Gotta get some Kermit and Ms. Piggy to fulfill your deepest, most miserly desires? Have fun conning your fellow players out of Fozzy or Gonzo. sigh I guess there is no saving you now.
You were warned.
Readers, there are three games on my list that have a little asterisk next to them. That asterisk is connected to a note at the top of the page. However, Matthew appears to have ignored that note.
You see, between the ages of 5 and 7 my niece started saving her allowance to buy Christmas presents for people. She knew I liked board games and wanted to buy me a board game that we could play together. She also knew I liked the Muppets. When she found Monopoly: Muppets Collector’s Edition she decided it was the perfect game for us to play together. Is Monopoly a good game? No. It’s fine, but by no means good. We play this from time to time. We play with a time limit, and we don’t use the Free Parking house rule. After an hour we see who has the most money and they win. Also, now that she’s older we play different games, we played Chronicles of Crime and Grimm Forest yesterday. However, I still keep all three of the games she bought me when she was younger out of a case of sentimentality. So, yes, I have 3 different Monopoly games my niece bought me in my collection that I will most likely not play ever again. But I just can’t make myself get rid of them.
See You Next Time…
Well folks there you go. I hope you enjoy the article. If so let us know in the comments down below what you thought. Also if you get a chance I highly recommend the original channel that inspired the list over at Quackalope. I’d also like to thank Jesse for letting us borrow his format. I hope we didn’t get to much crude all over it. If you’re ever looking for a game in Dayton, Ohio hit me up and I’ll see if I can hook you up.
Until next time, stay safe and be well.