Kevin WhitmoreUnited States
One more installment of Games Gone Bye Bye - some chatter about some of the more notable titles from my 500+ purge list of games I once owned, but opted to remove from my collection.
Nuclear War - Hmmm, I suspect this may qualify as an obscure game these a days. I was introduced to this game back in the late 70's, and it provided many years of fun. Before we had all the wonderful games everyone celebrates on BGG, this was the sort of light-hearted, devil-may-care game we would play when we just wanted to goof off with friends. I even collected a couple expansions, updating from Saturn missiles to MX missiles. One cute bit about this game, is that you get population cards. The highest was a 25 million people card. We rather enjoyed asking, "Do you have change for 25 million people?"
Ohne Furcht und Adel - I suppose most people know this now as Citadels. We played this so much we bought a second copy when the first set of cards got worn badly. Initially I liked it a lot. Then I decided it wasn't quite so good with more than 4 players. And then I tired of it completely. But we sure got a lot of play out of this, so if you have not tried it, you might give it a shot.
Old Town - This is an obscure game I pre-ordered and picked up at Essen in 2004. (The only time I have or will attend Essen.) It featured a sort of deduction/induction game mechanic, where you ended up building the town based on the remaining liberties based on what clues/rules from previously placed buildings left possible. I played it a couple times, but it felt like more logic puzzle than game. For a better use of this idea I recommend Tobago.
Die Osterinsel - This is a trippy game. What do the giant Moai of Easter island do to pass the time? Race! I don't recall the exact particulars, but I do recall the intense plastic Moai playing pieces, dropping gravel into them, and comparing weights at the end of the race... I'm not sure what was smoked prior to designing this game, but it must have been good. Too bad the game itself wasn't as much fun as the theme.
Phoenicia - I wrote in an earlier segment of this series about Outpost/Das Zepter von Zavandor. Phoenicia also crossed my bow, and I was initially enthusiastic. But while you can see its connection to Outpost, I feel the game is cramped. I think the designer succeeded in creating a 2 hour version of Outpost. But it doesn't really engage me, and despite fond memories of its antecedent, I don't really care to play this shadow of what came before.
Piratenbillard- I had forgotten about this one! Yet another dexterity game. Take an elevated and segmented cross grid. Then put a lining of linen underneath it. Now drop some wooden balls into the grid work. Now, give each player a wooden mallet, and have them whack the bottom of the wooden grid. I've forgotten the exact objective, but you were trying to get your balls into scoring positions. Or in my case, all over the floor. Bizarre.
Polarity - This was a grail game for me. (It is much easier to find now. But for a long time it was in short supply.) I loved the concept of a strategy game using magnets. Until I played, and I realized that the game was not nearly as deep as I had imagined, and rather dull, despite the uniqueness of playing with magnetic fields. Worse, any jostle of the table meant every delicate magnetic field deployed might wobble and collapse. I now view this as a toy rather than a proper game.
Thanks for reading!