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Old 03-21-2020, 02:58 AM
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So, what IS the worst game?


Just overheard from my daughter (playing various online games with her friends)

"I would rather die than play Monopoly. It's the WORST game."

Fair? I think so...
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:47 AM
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I think the worst game I've ever played is Neuland. It's amazingly frustrating.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:52 AM
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Monopoly is usually high on lists like this. I'm not sure it's the worst, but it surely is the worst among hugely-succesful, millions-sold games.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:06 AM
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I rather liked Monopoly back in the day . But then I like long, interminable games and we tended to add "house rules."

Among board games I played as a kid, I found Clue excruciatingly boring after I'd played it two or three times.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:08 AM
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Uno.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:34 AM
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:37 AM
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Monopoly is usually high on lists like this. I'm not sure it's the worst, but it surely is the worst among hugely-succesful, millions-sold games.
I love Monopoly. But I play by the actual rules. When you don't put $500 under Free Parking, and you hold the auctions the way you are supposed to, the game usually takes about an hour, and never more than 90 minutes, even with a lot of players. My cousins and I play it a lot, and we play it with 4 & 5 players all the time. We bring games in, in about 75 minutes.

If you put too much money in the game, no one ever goes bankrupt, and if you don't hold auctions, some of the monopolies never get sold, and then the game goes on forever. I have been out-voted into a few games like those in groups that like to use "house rules." At the two-hour mark, maybe half the people hold monopolies, but they can't bankrupt the people who keep landing on Free Parking (it's the most landed-on spot on the board), or landing on Go, and by another house rule, getting $400 instead of $200. The game is just going round the board passing money around, with no suspense, and at the two-hour mark, people decide to call it, with the winner being the one with the most cash-on-hand (not the one with the most assets, who is usually ME). And everyone is in kind of a sour mood.

When my cousins and I finish a 75 minute game, we frequently want to begin another one, especially if it was a shark-eat-shark ending. Our games are exciting, fast-moving, and suspenseful. They also require lots of strategy, planning and paying attention. "House rules" games are mostly luck.

Monopoly WITH HOUSE RULES is a terrible game. But Monopoly played BY THE ACTUAL RULES THAT COME WITH THE GAME rocks.

The worst games I've ever been involved in, to my personal taste, are some specialty versions of Trivial Pursuit. If you end up at the tail-end of a party, because your ride wants to stay late, and then everybody but you wants to play the Sports Edition of Trivial Pursuit, OMG, what a terrible evening.

But FWIW, I like the Genus Edition or Trivial Pursuit. And I played the Silver Screen (IIRC, it was called that) Edition, and that was fun. There are probably people who think the Sports Edition is the greatest game ever.

When I was a kid, around 7, I played a game that was meant for kids IIRC, 6-12, and was horribly unfun, called Uncle Wiggly. Something about getting an old rabbit to the doctor, who was a possum.

In general, I love board games. I can't think of too many bad ones. The bad ones don't stay one the market. Enough people must be playing Monopoly by the rules, that it's getting enjoyed, considering it will turn 100 in another 15 years, without ever being out of manufacture. Albeit, it has roots in a game invented in 1903 called "The Landlord's Game" invented in 1903, so really, it's over 100.

Clue (aka, "Cluedo") goes back to 1943.

Anyway, I think Monopoly is the oldest branded board game still in manufacture. Which is to say, of course, senet, chess, mancala, backgammed, parcheesi, etc., are lots older, but as a copyrighted game, with a name that is a word, which a company has exclusive right to manufacture, and whose originator and provenance can be documented, it's the oldest.

Which is not to say people haven't invented others, and there were some long before Monopoly, but they didn't last, while Monopoly endured. That's my point.

However, I will concur that, played by house rules, Monopoly is a terrible game.

TL;DR: Monopoly is fast, fast-paced, and exciting if you play by the enclosed rules. If you make up a lot of additional rules, and skip stuff in the official rules, like auctions, the game is not exciting, and goes on forever.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:08 AM
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I play on-line Monopoly a lot, against 3 opponents. It is laughably simple to win 90% of the time with opponents set on expert. My challenge is to see how quickly I can win, I've won a couple under 30 minutes.

Once you have a commanding position, the dice rolls are rigged to prolong game time, and it's not even subtle. I set 1 or 2 players on tycoon and 1 or 2 on beginner, and they play with exactly equal stupidity.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:30 AM
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My favorite by-the-book rule that no one enforces is the interest on un-mortgaging a property: most people I've played with react with surprise at its very existence. I don't like the idea of being able to treat your unimproved properties as a free source of cash with few consequences.

I'm not a fan of auctioning, but I think I've only played with it once or twice so I could change my mind.

I dislike overly-generous Free Parking, but don't mind tiny ones that just collect the card fines and not the board fines and don't have a $50 seed. Similarly I don't mind the jail fines going under Just Visiting. If they don't get ridiculous they don't prolong the game too much since a single landing on a hotel or 4-house property in the latter 2/3 of the board can eat all of it up in one roll.
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:30 AM
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I did kinda like Monopoly as a kid, liking it enough to rent the NES game a few times because it was a game you could play with a lot of people. Since it was computerized, I was forced to play by the rules.

However, having done that, I can't claim that the complains about the game are any less true, even when the game is played correctly. It still is quite long, and it is hard to actually get ahead. The winner is just the one who lucks out and gets a monopoly and thus can charge higher rent. You can trade, but no one but some little kid will trade to get you a monopoly unless you give them a monopoly.

People added those extra bits to the game to try and make it more fun, to mix things up. They stopped auctioning because auctioning isn't fun. Sure, it didn't work, but the fact people tried shows they thought he game needed things to spice it up. Hell, I'd argue that people must've thought they were more fun than the base game for those house rules to become the norm.

And I can see it. Free Parking adds the thrill of gambling or a lottery in the mix, and makes it where there is another source of luck beyond rolling the dice. So what if it makes the game longer? It's not like most people I knew played whole games anyways.

(My dad did, though. It was part of the fun to pick up the game where they left off and keep the same game going. Not everyone enjoys games to win them or get them over with. And that's why I think Monopoly took off--a different mindset than what we want in games now.)
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:37 AM
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Candyland is just drawing cards on a colorful background. Utterly boring and with no skill needed whatsoever.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:05 AM
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Risk.

First, someone takes over Australia and then just sits there for a long, long time. No skill, strategy, etc. required to merely stay in the game.

A couple people quickly get booted and they've got hours to kill while the game continues.

The game drags on and on until people just give up. Time to go home.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:14 AM
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We play Yahtzee a lot, I like the challenge or working the chances of making your point, or knowing what to try for, or burying your failures, it's fairly complex.

Back to Monopoly, I play only on computer, so I'm locked into board rules, and I'm fine with them, I wouldn't to ever want to see them change. I hate building lotteries or windfalls into it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:27 AM
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Candyland is just drawing cards on a colorful background. Utterly boring and with no skill needed whatsoever.
At the risk of sounding pedantic, no one on this board is in the target demographic for Candyland.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:31 AM
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Heh. I remember cheating at Chutes & Ladders so that I'd lose back when my kids enjoyed the game.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:34 AM
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Has anyone played the dice game - I think it's called Left-Center-Right?

We went to a small gathering of couples for game night and it ended up being almost exclusively L-C-R, which is the most boring game on the planet. Zero strategy, zero subtlety, zero drama.

To this day it boggles my mind how into it the other couples were.


mmm
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:35 AM
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At the risk of sounding pedantic, no one on this board is in the target demographic for Candyland.
I was 11 when Candyland was invented, so I was never in that demographic. But I loved Animal Rummy. I actuall played Monopoly at six, but probably badly.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:37 AM
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Yahtzee hack: Go in order.

Everyone must go for 1's first, then 2's...straight down the line.

It's a nice variation.


mmm

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Old 03-21-2020, 08:49 AM
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At the risk of sounding pedantic, no one on this board is in the target demographic for Candyland.
Candyland and Chutes & Ladders were the first games I thought of as well, as I have children almost 6 & 4. Forgot how horrible a game both are, but, well, they do introduce basic gaming concepts, so you've got to start somewhere.

I agree that Monopoly is a decent game when played by the rules. In high school, it was my favorite board game, and me and three other friends used to play the shit out of it. On average, yeah, I would say a game runs 60-80 minutes.

I was never fond of The Game of Life as a kid. I mean, it was fun maybe the first two or three times, then it just kind of sucked. And I didn't like how you can basically lose even at the very end because an opponent bet all their money on a number from one and ten and their number hit and they became a tycoon.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:56 AM
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Monopoly by the rules everyone played with when I was a kid. I don't often agree with Dane Cook (or think about him these days), but his take is spot on.

I have a vivid memory of playing Chutes & Ladders in kindergarten, and thinking "They're teaching us that life is random. There's no way to avoid going down, and nothing you can do to try to go up."

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Old 03-21-2020, 09:04 AM
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At the risk of sounding pedantic, no one on this board is in the target demographic for Candyland.

Iím sorry I didnít follow the rules for this thread. I just reread the whole thing but I didnít see where it was said that only games that are played by people on this board are allowed.
Iíll try to do better in the future. Sorry.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:08 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump:_The_Game
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:17 AM
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Machi Koro is the most disappointing game I've bought in a few years. The standard "in the box" version is totally broken from a gameplay perspective. The best strategy requires few of the cards or rolls and the best path is to just gather some lower end cards/powers and get to the end ASAP.

It's sitting on my shelf mostly unused.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:21 AM
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I love Monopoly. But I play by the actual rules. When you don't put $500 under Free Parking, and you hold the auctions the way you are supposed to, the game usually takes about an hour, and never more than 90 minutes, even with a lot of players. My cousins and I play it a lot, and we play it with 4 & 5 players all the time. We bring games in, in about 75 minutes.
Even with the proper rules, though, it isn't a well designed game. It's 98 percent luck, pushing 100 percent if your opponent(s) are not suffering from head trauma, and people can be blown out of the game well before its conclusion.

With endless money it's definitely worse. It's still bad, though.

I'd say "Game of Life" is even worse. I'm not sure anyone plays that anymore, though.

Often not mentioned in these discussions, though, is one of the most ill-designed and yet beloved games of modern times: Trivial Pursuit. I love trivia games, so I always liked Trivial Pursuit, but the design of the game is genuinely atrocious. The die-rolling and movement is an utter waste of time that adds a level of pointless randomness to the game. There is no reason for the Roll Again spaces to be in the game at all. The game is substantially more fun if you just throw the board in the garbage and count up correct answers. You can tell that the "Board game" element of the game was put together basically by guys says "well, board games have little pieces and dice, so I guess this game should have them too." Early versions of the game were also plagued with poorly written questions and answers of dubious accuracy, even though its creators apparently stole most of the questions.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:49 AM
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Even with the proper rules, though, it isn't a well designed game. It's 98 percent luck.
It really isn't. It may be so at the top tier of the game, but most people don't play Monopoly well enough to know enough. When playing games of four where folks are casual players, I would wager I win over 75% of the time. Most people over value some monopolies and under value others. They don't take into account state of the game and cash in hand while making deals. They don't take into account board position and dice probabilities when making deals. They don't know the %ages for which properties get landed on the most statistically. With that knowledge -- and it takes a lot of play and studying to learn it -- you can consistently end up on top in a game of four. The entire mechanic of the game is deal-making.

When I was a kid I would also play the C64 and NES versions of Monopoly and I just got tired of kicking the computer's ass almost every single time I played it. My win rate must have been around 90%. Bad AI, I know. (I would wager, though, that a properly designed AI today would kick my ass equally.)

But, yes, players of equal skill, then it does end up being a lot luck. I've just rarely encountered games where everyone has equal skill. Most people suck at Monopoly.

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Old 03-21-2020, 10:56 AM
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When playing games of four where folks are casual players, I would wager I win over 75% of the time.
(And I feel I'm being conservative here with my wager. My real guess would be closer to 85/90% of the time for truly casual players. In my group of four fairly serious Monopoly players -- like we played pretty much every day for a summer -- my win rate was around 60%).
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:59 AM
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War kind of sucks, when you are over 5 years old.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:03 AM
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Bad AI, I know. (I would wager, though, that a properly designed AI today would kick my ass equally.)
Any AI today that cannot kick anyone's ass at any game is not properly designed. That includes Rock-Scissors-Paper and high-stakes Poker.

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Old 03-21-2020, 11:04 AM
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War kind of sucks, when you are over 5 years old.
Oh, good Lord. Thank goodness my kid finally learned Crazy 8s (which is basically a regular card deck version of Uno.) I know Uno was mentioned upthread, but I actually do find it a fun family game. And Crazy 8s is great because you can start with simple concepts like wild cards (the 8s), and then add "skip" cards and "reverse" cards and the such (there's many variants) as your kids get used to the card mechanic. (Or, I guess, you can just get an Uno deck, but I like to teach on regular playing cards.)
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:05 AM
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Any AI today that cannot kick anyone's ass at any game is not properly designed. That includes Rock-Scissors-Paper and high-stakes Poker.
Yeah, the Rock-Paper-Scissors/Roshambo AIs are pretty impressive. I mean, relatively simple conceptually, but really shows at how bad humans are at being random.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:34 AM
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Heh. I remember cheating at Chutes & Ladders so that I'd lose back when my kids enjoyed the game.
Hmm, I cheated to win Chutes & Ladders when my kids were little. But, we played for money, so I had an incentive. Good way to get the chores done for free by winning back all their allowance.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:52 AM
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Machi Koro is the most disappointing game I've bought in a few years. The standard "in the box" version is totally broken from a gameplay perspective. The best strategy requires few of the cards or rolls and the best path is to just gather some lower end cards/powers and get to the end ASAP.

It's sitting on my shelf mostly unused.
The original version of Machi Koro is pretty bad. But the first expansion introduced new set-up rules which greatly improved the game.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:55 AM
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With Chutes & Ladders, I don't care who wins. I just want the damned game to be over. And every time it seems the merciful end is near, somebody keeps hitting those chutes in the top row dropping them down three rows (and the official rule is you have to hit 100 exactly to win, not go over), and then hits the chute on 87 which drops them all the way down to 24, and you're back down to basically playing another game of Chutes and Ladders.

What an annoying game.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:26 PM
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Hmm, I cheated to win Chutes & Ladders when my kids were little. But, we played for money, so I had an incentive. Good way to get the chores done for free by winning back all their allowance.
That's hilarious. And you are one cold kitty!

You're kidding, right?

ETA: The worst game, IMO, is singing, no, hearing "99 bottles of beer."

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Old 03-21-2020, 02:10 PM
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Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, and Parchisi, were all dull board games I played as a child. The Game of Life was better and Monopoly evey more so, but in high school, we all started playing Risk. It's not a difficult game, but it taught me more about how to align yourself with or against other players as a strategy so that I could sometimes win or come close to winning. Mille Borne is a game I enjoyed for a while but I couldn't ever find enough other players.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:16 PM
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I bought it in the 90s for $5 marked down from $50 on a whim. It's actually much better than monopoly, despite his fucking face being on EVERYthing.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:23 PM
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...we all started playing Risk.
Yeah, Risk was kind of fun. It made me aware of the strategic importance of the Sinai Peninsula.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:23 PM
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Scribblers 8 can bring down nations with how awful it is.

https://tv.avclub.com/eagleheart-bri...nju-1798173247
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:24 PM
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Risk.

First, someone takes over Australia and then just sits there for a long, long time. No skill, strategy, etc. required to merely stay in the game.

A couple people quickly get booted and they've got hours to kill while the game continues.

The game drags on and on until people just give up. Time to go home.
I actually like Risk, but that is the issue. If you play a five player game (which seemed typical for us), typically, you'd have two players go out in the first hour or two, and then the other three would battle it out for the next three to five hours or so (depending on how much you're drinking and bullshitting). The Australia strategy isn't even necessarily the best one; I believe I've read that objectively South America is the better place to get a foothold, especially if you're playing with Australia-strategy folks. I find it reasonably fun, but if you get a shit draw of countries to start with and can't get a continent relatively early, you're out pretty quickly and just watching from the sidelines for far too long. (ETA: Actually, the numbers simply appear to be, in a 4 player game, 35% win chance for the first person to grab a hold of a continent, and 40% if that continent is Australia. So the game theory here with me is, most folks know about Australia and there's usually some bloodbath going on there, so I try to get South America if it looks like there's just going to be a free-for-all there.)

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Old 03-21-2020, 02:31 PM
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The above is from a sampling of 1000 actual games mentioned here, so it may not be definitive. I'd be curious to see what an AI would determine as optimum strategy.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:29 PM
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According to boardgamegeek.com which has a ranking of 18,694 games, the 18,694th best game is tic tac toe.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:05 PM
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According to boardgamegeek.com which has a ranking of 18,694 games, the 18,694th best game is tic tac toe.
The only winning move is not to play.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:11 PM
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According to boardgamegeek.com which has a ranking of 18,694 games, the 18,694th best game is tic tac toe.
I didn't even consider tic tac toe, Candyland, or Snakes and Ladders because those games are to teach children how to play games. It's unfair to judge them by the standards of real games.

Risk isn't a very good game, either.

Back in the 80s there was a board game called Poleconomy. It was invented in New Zealand, but I played the Canadian version. It was like Monopoly in that you tried to buy properties - actually they were all corporations, not real estate,. and they were real companies who'd apparently paid a little money to be in the game - but it also had a parallel game where you tried to be elected Prime Minister. My best friend was a huge political nerd and desperately wanted this game to work, but it just didn't.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:00 PM
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Space Base is much better than Machi Koro IMHO. With MC you can have turns where you get nothing (or go backwards). In SB you will always get something. Still plenty of luck but it feels better to mak SOME progress.

Any long game with player elimination is bad IMHO. Unless you lose on purpose to get into a better game

Brian
  #45  
Old 03-21-2020, 10:02 PM
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(Duplicate Post)

Last edited by N9IWP; 03-21-2020 at 10:03 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-21-2020, 10:47 PM
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How about that game where you take turns kicking each other in the balls, and the winner is whoever lasts longest?

Risk isn't actually a bad game. It's a pretty good computer game. Its problem is just that it was invented before the computers to run it. Take out all the tedium by automating the die-rolling and counting of armies, and a game lasts maybe a half-hour total.

For a couple of serious answers, Martian Chess, invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and that weird checkers game with the multi-level plastic board invented for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Star Trek one, either side can trivially easily force a draw, and nobody can ever win, unless their opponent does something colossally stupid. The Martian one, though, actually manages to be even worse: Not only can both sides easily force a draw, but if your opponent isn't willing to draw but you are, you can trivially easily force a win.
  #47  
Old 03-22-2020, 12:58 AM
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I work in an elementary school and have to play a lot of Candyland. It improved immensely when I accidentally "lost" all the candy cards into the trash can. No more getting almost to the end and then someone draws the Cupcake card and ends up back at the beginning and has a tantrum.

Also, Guess Who is awful for kids with any kind of language or cognitive disorders. Such a deceptively simple-looking game with nice pictures and a fun board, until you try it with children who don't have a solid understanding of various vocabulary (e.g. blonde=yellow, 'red' hair=orange, beard vs. mustache), yes/no questions, negation, etc. and it falls apart. These same kids can grasp games like the aforementioned Candyland, or Zingo, or Chutes and Ladders, or Hi Ho Cherry O, or Trouble, or even Memory, but Guess Who is a real bugaboo.
  #48  
Old 03-22-2020, 01:12 AM
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Tic Tac Toe is the stupidest, most pointless game of all.

American football is the most evil game.
  #49  
Old 03-22-2020, 01:55 AM
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Not that I would know personally, but buz kashi has nothing to recommend it. Repulsive.

Bullfighting, cockfighting, dog fighting, and bear baiting are not games, not sports. They're nothing but organized crime.
  #50  
Old 03-22-2020, 07:00 AM
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For anyone else not familiar with buzkashi, it apparently consists of men on horseback dragging a dead calf or goat around a field, while fending off opposing men and horses with whips and sharp boots. It sounds like the sort of thing that Scott Adams would have invented for Elbonia, but so far as I can tell from a quick Google, it appears to be real.
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