I have a problem, and it’s made of cardboard.
Like most kids, I grew up on family games like Monopoly and Sorry and absolutely lost my shit when someone landed on a property I wanted or bumped me off the board. We played Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Scrabble, and a dozen others, and I had a great time. As I got older, however, these games began to wear out their welcome as I realized that, boiled down, they rely purely on luck. Dice rolls, card and tile draws, what spaces you land on – all of these are completely out of the hands of the player.
Then about four years ago, I stumbled across this post on Game Informer. See that little bit about board games? Yeah, that’s the one. That’s what did it.
Having no idea what “Arkham Horror” and “Dominion” were, a quick Google search brought me to BoardGameGeek. Thus the floodgates opened. Here were games that rewarded careful planning and skill rather than simply the roll of the dice or the draw of the cards. These were games that relied on your ability to manipulate the situation before you while utilizing a bevy of mechanics from “worker placement” to “pick up and deliver”. It was a veritable utopia of gaming bliss.
I don’t know if my desire for a deeper game experience was compounded by an addictive personality or something, but four years later, my collection looks like this:
That’s a lot of games. You can see that there is very little room left on that shelf. But because I’m weak, I want more games, but my
nagging wife loving wife who understands financial responsibility better than I do has given me an ultimatum: I can acquire no more new games until I get rid of some of the games we don’t play very often. “But I love them all equally!” I said just like any lying parent would. In all honesty, though, I see the reasoning behind it. We don’t have a lot of space to just pile games up, and so a cull must occur.
Like some kind of really dumb Dr. Manhattan, I must now choose between my love of my current collection and the necessity to purge. My solution is going to be as follows:
Over the next several weeks (and months, probably) I am going to play every game in my collection. At each game ends, I will ask all the players their thoughts about it. Then, based on a combination of their opinion and my opinion, I will decide if the game stays on the shelf. Don’t expect any black-and-white, strict criteria for this decision. If the group likes a game, but I don’t, I may get rid of it anyways. On the reverse, however, I may keep games that the group didn’t care for. The group’s overall opinion will probably carry the most weight seeing as how these are the people I regularly play games with, and if they’re not having a good time, neither am I.
I plan on writing a post on each game detailing the consensus, divided into a number of categories:
There are a number of games I already know I will not be getting rid of, such as Puerto Rico, Lords of Waterdeep, and 7 Wonders. These are games that our regular group has played repeatedly and enjoy immensely. I will be including them in this project though, simply for the sake of completion.
So, there it is. If anyone is interested in viewing my collection, check out my BoardGameGeek profile for a list of games that I will be reviewing. If you’d like to get in on a game night, just let me know; we’re always down for more people.