Board gamers aren’t known for responding with half measures. When a game comes out that is kind of a big deal, mildly positive reviews are rare. The game cannot merely be good, it has to be a new benchmark for game design, a perfect 10. It shoots to the top 10 on BGG, and then comes the people who complain about how good the game is. It’s only after about a year or so that we step back and realize that while it may have been pretty good, that’s all it was. We are forced to admit that we were swept up in the frenzy of enthusiasm, and hindsight reveals little persistent flaws that have dampened our enjoyment.
Whenever an old game from the 30-40 years ago gets reprinted, there will always be a chorus of people who just don’t get it. Maybe their tastes just don’t jive with those of the 1980s, or maybe they just get tired of hearing people gush that their favorite game is back in print. Either way, the complaints will eventually migrate from griping about luck and game length, and eventually they will start to complain about the game’s fans. What moron would like a game like this? Why did we wait so long to get this game back in print? Why are people so excited? They are clearly blinded by (cue dramatic sting) NOSTALGIA. And sometimes, it cuts the other way. If a reprint contains a couple dramatic changes, fans of the old game will complain about the new changes. Fans of the new version will again say that the old guard is complaining just because of nostalgia. Call the former “Talisman Syndrome” and the latter “DungeonQuest Syndrome.” Continue reading
There are times when reviews are easy to write. That’s usually when you really love the game, or when you really hate it. The point is, it helps to have very strong feelings one way or the others. The real challenge comes when the game doesn’t have an enormous impact. This is especially true for those reviewers (like myself) who tend to write more emotionally. When you aren’t moved strongly either way, it’s difficult to come up with a review that is anything like interesting. Continue reading
Good afternoon to you all. I’m a little behind this week, so here’s an older review that was published to Boardgame Geek, but not to my blog. It was originally written in December 2009.
These are golden days for the old guard. Numerous older games with a high pedigree are getting reprinted in special expensive uber-editions, complete with new art, cleaned-up rules, and fancy components. Space Hulk, Cosmic Encounter, Talisman, and Titan have all been given the re-release treatment, and all have been very well-received both by new gamers and by the already-on-board fans of the games. Continue reading