Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Are Games looking Less Interesting or Am I getting Less Interested in Games ?

Well, we are one quarter into the year 2014 and I'm sitting in front of my office computer realizing that there are no new games that I am truly excited about or frantically doing any research on. And that, is a strangely curious thing. Coupled with my slowed down purchase rate of games for 2014, and I start to wonder to myself if I am getting burnt out with games or if its simply a case of many new releases being mediocre or extremely unappealing.

I know I had personally set a new year's resolution to buy less games in 2014, but honestly, I had expected myself to break that by the time March or April had set in. So far though, I think I have managed very well ( IMO at least :P )

My only purchases in 2014 so far...
1) Robinson Crusoe ( 2012 release )
2) Gringo ( 2011 release )
3) Origin ( bought from Eric / 2013 release )
4) Mad City ( thanks or no thanks to Tom Vasel & Joel Eddy / 2014 release )
5) Legendary: Paint the Town Red ( expansion - no count / 2014 release )
6) Hanabi ( to replace my disintegrating copy - no count / 2010 release )

So that's 4 new games in 3 months. Compared to my average in 2013 - 2.5 games a month - that's truly a resolution well kept. Haha. And of the 4 games, only 1 is a 2014 release.
Well, I know, its still early, so it's natural that many of the games bought so far can't all be 2014 releases. But even as I scour BGG for any great new and upcoming games, I could only find a handful that piques my interest enough to warrant me keeping an eye out for.

During episode 30 of our podcast, I mentioned I was looking forward to 3 games in 2014.
1) Argent the Consortium - I'm still looking forward to this. Hope it turns out to be a great worker placement game
2) Xia: Legends of a Drift System - This is already pre-ordered, so... it better be good :P
3) Sentinel Tactics - Its out now on KS, but the price point is a killer. Needs a gameplay video to convince me to dole out so much money. And I hope its not as fiddly as SotM

Other games that ( barely ) made the "caught my eye" list are below:
1) Planes - Only for its theme. Rushing through an airport to catch a plane? Ok, I'll bite
2) Attack Wing: Dungeons & Dragons - I played Star Wars X-Wing and didn't think that much of it. But DRAGONS !! Who doesn't love DRAGONS ??
3) Castles of Mad King Ludwig - Dan King & Eric Summerer raving about this made me place it on this list. And building up a castle does indeed sound like good fun
4) Abyss - Currently only because it's under the sea and pretty
5) Splendor - 1 of only 2 games that have actual rules and gameplay explained. Seems like a quick and dirty engine building game. Looks to play well with all player counts
6) Isle of Trains - Also has actual rules and gameplay video. The art is lovely and incorporates some of my favorite mechanisms.

So apart from Splendor and Isle of Trains, the other 4 games on my list are only there due to superficial reasons.
If I had to wager, I would say that I would possibly end up with at most, 3 of the 6 games on the list. Or 4 if you consider buying Attack Wing: D&D for the miniatures and not the gameplay as part of owning the game.

But honestly, that's quite a weak list. It seems like all the new games these days are following the same formula:
KS + Miniatures = Money
Old Game + New Theme / Reimplementation = Money

Personally, games with too many miniatures turn me off. I am ok when a character is represented by a miniature. But when I have hordes of them which have no purpose except to increase the types of enemies available to slay, or to keep track of how many enemies I am attacking, or just to make the game look busy, then you have lost me. That's too much plastic to handle and that probably equates to many more rules to follow and monitor. And judging by what I see of the 2014 releases, it just seems like a whole lot of them are games with miniatures.

Well, as of right now I'm plenty happy playing what I have. I'm just starting to wonder if many games are starting to look and feel samey for me to the point that I no longer find many of them interesting.
Marvel dice? Looks like Quarriors. Bleh. 
Praetor? Caught my interest for awhile till I read the rules and found that the tiles didn't have enough variety for my liking. 
Legendary: Villains a Deck Building Game? Sigh. I love being the villains but I don't love having to own both the original and this reimplementation. I hardly get the chance to table Legendary. So, no thanks.
Feld's La Isla? That board looks horrendous. I honestly don't have high hopes for it. Especially after the bad taste from Amerigo. Although most of his Alea line games have been good. So, who knows?

I will say though, if Portal released a MOTS ( more of the same ) expansion for Robinson Crusoe - more characters, more scenarios, more inventions, more tiles - I would be a tremendously happy man. Haha.
All that being said, I've been happily finding ways to pimp my games, instead of buying new ones. But that's a post for another day! Waiting for my goodies to arrive at my doorstep. :)



  1. Looking forward to Bruges expansion?

  2. Yes !!
    But generally expansions don't count. I tend to buy all of them esp if its a game i like

  3. surprise surprise i JUST played Splendor last night. There were 2 games of it going on concurrently and the other table played it 2 more times. Not a bad game and I think Jon will like it. Box a whee too big for what it contains but the poker chips used for resources is very good. Good heft and can be used for many other games!

  4. Check out Istanbul! A really neat game by Rudiger Dorn that has spatial elements, worker placement (of sorts) and best of all, not one but TWO spaces where you can push your luck and try to gamble!