This Game Is Not Yet Rated

About a month or so ago, I traded for the very excellent game, Imperial. I’ve played twice now, with another game to come this weekend. So far, I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen. It’s tight, nuanced, intense, and very rich. It’s got loads of interaction, but it’s not so open that the game is fragile. So as I do with any game that has gotten a few plays, I go on Boardgame Geek to rate it, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what rating it should get. Continue reading

Blurring the Lines

My love of video games stopped in about 1992. Most of the recent video games I’ve loved have fallen squarely in the footsteps of franchises established in the 16-bit generation. I still really love Mario and Zelda, and so forth, but a lot of the stronger story-based video gaming has eluded me. Not that such games aren’t good, I just never really got into them. Because of that, I never really identified with the video gaming culture. Instead I hitched my wagon to hobby board gaming, which is decidedly less cool. It’s interesting, because the two fields were kind of parallel 30 years ago. But since then, video gaming has become really big business, and board gaming has remained stuck in its niche. I don’t really have a lot of reasons for that, but it’s definitely the truth. Continue reading

Some Important Gross Generalizations

So far, most of my readership has consisted of my friends. Maybe there’s some boardgaming bigwig who’s reading this (fingers crossed!), but if they are, they aren’t coming in droves. Most of my friends enjoy playing games, but they aren’t really hobbyists, and because of that I wanted to lay down some context for the sort of games I’ll be talking about. Continue reading

Going With What You Know

When you first get into hobby gaming, there is a predictable arc that your enthusiasm will follow…

1. Discovery: You discover your first non-mainstream game. (For me, this was The Settlers of Catan)

2. Exploration: You enthusiastically embrace the hobby lifestyle, and start buying up a ton of games based purely on what you read on boardgamegeek.com.

3. Revelation: You realize you have way more games than you can play with any sort of regulartiy.

4. Dissatisfaction: You discover that, for all the games you own, you only really love half of them, and that only if you’re lucky.

5. Burnout: You get tired of playing the same basic game remade several times over.

6. Rediscovery: You find that you enjoy playing your old games instead of newer flashier ones.

At least, that’s how it went for me. I guess I shouldn’t have made that sound so universal… Continue reading