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Soren Johnson’s Board Game Buying Guide

August 26th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · Board Games

Prepare for some heresy.

On Puerto Rico: “To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I don’t want to play Puerto Rico with anyone else who wants to play Puerto Rico.”

On Caylus: “To me, it feels like slow-motion arm wrestling.”

Other games come off much better.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • malcolmm

    I was interested in Soren’s comments on various board games that I am interested in.

    Then I read his comments on History of the World – which he gave the highest score to. I never played the board game, but I bought the PC version, which I really disliked. If I remember the game correctly, you could be winning the game by a significant margin up until just before the end, then some random element set you way back. Terrible design – reminds me of PC racing games with catchup AI drivers – it doesn’t really matter how you do through most of the game.

    My favourite computer adaption of a board game is Avalon Hill’s 1830 – I played hundreds of games of 1830 with friends. Another favourite game of mine played like a board game, but was only on the computer – Mule.

  • Troy

    You didn’t like History of the World? I loved how it played. Once you understood the rules, it worked pretty well. I get what you mean about the catch-up mechanics, but that was countered by the knowledge about where and with what a certain power would start. There weren’t hidden mechanics, and a really strong player could make do with a crappy draw the next round or the round after that.

    The catch-up quality important for keeping players in the game. With some luck and a nice draw, you could recover from a disaster in the first two phases.

  • Michael A.

    I don’t know… having read hundreds of reviews on BGG, I’d say he is not even close to heresy. Agree with some of his assessment… but not all (Bang! and Citadels for instance). Taj Mahal is genius… Poker on Steroids.

    Competitive solitaire games can be (and are mostly) fun, but I don’t think (or hope – I much prefer h2h games) they’ll be more dominant than they are at current. Primal instinct, and all that…

  • Alan Au

    That brings up an interesting point: where’s the sweet spot between strategy and luck?

  • Scott R. Krol

    Whut? No consims? Fail. ;)

  • andy m

    BGGs encouragement of games that enforce everyone to sit at the table scratching their beards and bellies whilst having no impact on their opponents gameplay (outside of choosing a role, that is then denied to the other player, OMG CONFLICT!!) is a real impediment to the future development of boardgaming. Any young uns who may be tempted to play games are going to be instantly deterred by the parade snoozers aimed at middle aged fat men that BGG promotes.