Are we having fun yet?
Tom P
United Kingdom
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I'm always interested when a game polarizes opinions.

Tokaido seems to be doing that at the moment, perhaps disappointing many who thought it was going to be something it isn't.

But one of the most interesting things I've noticed is people stating 'lack of meaningful decisions' as the first and main reason they dislike the game.

For my part, I agree but my first comment is 'I enjoyed playing it. I had fun'.

I'm curious therefore to ask: What one aspect of a game is the most important in determining what you think about it?

I know there are usually multiple, but go on, pick one. And for fun, add the converse, too.
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1. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1681]
Tom P
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I'll start. The main criteria is always 'Did I have fun?' That's pretty broad, and encompasses a lot of things, and may even depend on factors outside the game, but I'm sticking with it to start the list

The flipside would obviously be if I came away feeling bored.
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2. Board Game: Controlling Interest [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Lloyd
United Kingdom
Camden
London
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crazylegs wrote:
What one aspect of a game is the most important in determining what you think about it?



Are the things I'm doing in the game interesting?


I think this is my main way of deciding whether or not I like a game. I hate Arkham Horror because I feel like all I'm doing is rolling dice, I hated Smash Up! because I wasn't even managing a hand of cards, I was just slapping cards down on the table when I had them (I won).

My top rated games involve simultaneous role selection (and the guesswork that comes with it) in things like A Castle for All Seasons, I love the manipulation of the market in Hab & Gut, the layers of lies and deception, plus the analysis of those lies in The Resistance.

The decisions don't have to be particularly complex, but as long as each one is interesting, then it's fun for me.
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3. Board Game: The Swan of Elegance [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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It's not the be-all and end-all, but I am far more likely to enjoy a game if it generates interesting decisions from a simple and elegant ruleset, rather than a bunch of exceptions and chrome.

This is the main reason Knizia is my favourite designer.
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4. Board Game: Goals And Glory [Average Rating:3.67 Unranked]
Kirk Thomas
United States
North Kansas City
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Certainly one thing that warms me up to a game fast is whether what I'm trying to accomplish is clear, not only by ruleset, but also as I delve into the mechanics. My favorite have-a-blast-even-when-I-lose-big game is El Grande for this reason - you score points by having a majority in an area, and the mechanisms don't lead you out into little side paths. Whether I do it well or poorly, I have fun trying to manipulate the mechanisms - when I'm clever, it's really great, and when I'm outsmarted, it's easy to admire.
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5. Board Game: Interaction [Average Rating:5.29 Unranked]
Kirk Thomas
United States
North Kansas City
MO
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Almost without exception, high interaction games are more fun for me than low interaction ones. While not guaranteed, high interaction drives many characteristics of a game that I find fun - you have to play offense and defense, you have to guage other players' intentions, the possibility of negotiation, and a much higher likelihood that game-to-game variations in how things play out will occur.
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6. Board Game: The Long March [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Darrin Williams
United States
Allen
Texas
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Is the game too long?

I've been playing Dominant Species lately. It's really long, but it doesn't feel long when I'm playing it. Throughout the game, I'm trying to build stuff and it feels like I'm moving forward.

The game seems to be the right length when I'm playing. Of course that's completely subjective. I'm sure the game seems too long to a lot of people.

I don't like games that last longer than they need to.

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7. Board Game: The Looney Bin [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:10533]
eric hogan
United States
Salem
Oregon
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This game always ends up on the polarity type lists. It's a real love or hate type game. The upside is that it is easy to learn, fast to play and tremendously fun. There is plenty of action going on constantly and little downtime. With high player interaction and a workable randomness seldom seen in any other game. Play is very well balanced as everyone just slams the leader. The downside is the theme and the art, some people are repulsed by one or the other or both. The art, the theme and the mechanics all integrate smoothly to give a real off the wall experience.
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