Games that aren't worthy of their beautiful bits
Todd Walden
United States
Minneapolis
MN
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Sure, there are lots of bad games out there... but usually they're poorly produced as well. Sometimes, though, you get a game that's just a beautiful piece of work, with wonderful components, but the game itself is just terrible.

What games have bits that are just begging to be scrounged for a better game? What games just don't deserve the beautiful components they have?
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1. Board Game: Mouse Chaos [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:15707]
Todd Walden
United States
Minneapolis
MN
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IMHO, the poster child for this list. How could anyone have put so much production into such a piece of crap? The bits are cute and fun, but there's just no game there. It's super lame.
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2. Board Game: Dread Pirate [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:15826]
the manatee
United States
Burbank
California
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Great cloth map, metal ships, glass gems, wooden dice, and real metal doubloons. Too bad about the game, though.
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3. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:642]
United States
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I like Mahjong. I really do.

I like handling the tiles. I like stirring the pieces around to shuffle. I like building the Wall. I like precariously picking my whole hand up on either end and laying it down for a win.

But it's hard not to notice that these are all due to the pieces.

For such a simple game, the rules are difficult to teach, and the various scoring systems range from merely excessive to positively impenetrable. It's a good game once you've jumped through all the hoops, but... well, I was really hoping those nice chunky tiles had a great game attached.
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4. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:15827]
Tim Thornhill
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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5. Board Game: Dragonology: The Game [Average Rating:4.51 Overall Rank:15944]
Dave Brown
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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This one came to mind when I saw this list.
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6. Board Game: Outrage! Steal the Crown Jewels [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:15849]
Dave Brown
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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and this
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7. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:4696] [Average Rating:5.84 Unranked]
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
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Great components, shit game.
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8. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:13898]
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
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All those plastic soldiers it must be a great game. OHHHHno!
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9. Board Game: Monopoly City [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:13575]
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
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This could have been Sim City the board game with all those great buildings, instead it's just another crappy Monopoly variant (and you don't get enough for that).
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10. Board Game: Key to the Kingdom [Average Rating:5.39 Overall Rank:15754]
 
Ir. Marcel
Netherlands
Meteren
Gelderland
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I've got this game for Christmas after playing a lot of HeroQuest with one of my friends. This game contains a beautiful big board with different sides to play: if you go through one of the gates, a part of the board gets opened or closed. The players get a nice hero figure and carry equipment like: sword, axe, knapsack, net, etc. and during the game you can collect magical items as well. There are also numerous of monsters to fight, but they are unfortunately only represented by cards and not by miniatures.
However where HeroQuest is a great game, this game is just an empty shell. All equipment is almost useless, just like the magical items which actually doesn't have any use at all. The monsters are fought by throwing a dice and then some arbitrary thing (like role 3 times and get at least x points). This might have been a nice adventure game, but it seems that it was published without finishing the rules for all the items.
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11. Board Game: Utopia [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2901]
Chad Coffman
United States
Timberville
Virginia
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Amazing components but a very lack-luster game.
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12. Board Game: Wadjet [Average Rating:3.85 Overall Rank:15963]
Don Weed
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
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I've heard that a lot of people picked this up because of the components. Now they wish they had a game to go with it.
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13. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2553]
Just Another User
United States
Mundelein
Illinois
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Similar to SM's Civilization listed above (same publisher...), AoM has very nice cardstock and artwork, beautiful player boards, and nicely-detailed figurines (lots of them!). But the game itself is a mish-mash of euro and strategy game tactics, and nothing works well. Even the figures are really not necessary for the game: there are no territories to take/hold, and combat is not the A&A battleboard-type (much closer to Civ's one-on-one combat). So you have a lot of components for a game that doesn't need them!
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14. Board Game: Paradice [Average Rating:4.74 Unranked]
Mike Young
United States
Sterling
Virginia
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Such beautiful components. Such a horrible game.
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15. Board Game: Dice Age Alpha Edition: Fundamental series [Average Rating:4.44 Unranked]
Mike Young
United States
Sterling
Virginia
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Beautiful die-like objects. Horrible game-like thing.
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16. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:205]
Matthew Tadyshak
United States
Dallas
Texas
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This game looks nice, but it's really just dice rolling for 3 whole hours!
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17. Board Game: Cthulhu Dice [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:15938]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Iaksakkakemshubbanikkurass! That's a fine-looking die. I'll buy it even if it doesn't have a game worth playing. As it turns out, I'm sure I can make a better game for it over lunch.
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18. Board Game: Cats' Mansion [Average Rating:4.89 Overall Rank:15232]
Julian Clarke
Australia
Melbourne
Vic
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Beautiful pieces & yet you play it with the feeling... is this really it?
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19. Board Game: Mouse Trap [Average Rating:4.08 Overall Rank:16037]
~~~Crazy Adam~~~ ~~~Mad Ayzarc~~~
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I'd say this is the original poster child. I don't think even children have the patience and stamina to finish a game of this, but they always complete the trap regardless!
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20. Board Game: Dreadfleet [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1899]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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A collection of wonderful miniatures that also happen to have some kind of rules that go with them.

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21. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:562] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
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Roll some dice and then you die. Ugh.

A totally stinking, fun-free waste of time buried under a pile of cool plastic.

gulp
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22. Board Game: Tower of the Wizard King [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:10518]
Chris Larkin
United States
Novato
California
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Going back to the early 90's is cheating I think because a lot of games back then had terrible gameplay and neat components. This one stands out for me though. It had a tower you put your warrior in, you pulled a lever and he transformed into something else.
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23. Board Game: Fireball Island [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2472]
Jestin Jund
United States
Sioux Falls
South Dakota
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Such an insanely awesome board that relies on roll and move gameplay. Even though I know the game isn't that great, I still really really want this.


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24. Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2046]
Kevin Lloyd
United Kingdom
Penmaenmawr
Conwy
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This is the game that immediately came to mind. Without the minis, I doubt anyone would buy it.
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25. Board Game: Napoleon in Europe [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3025]
Roy Hasson
Israel
Kfar Saba
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Amazing bits. The map itself would grace any wall if hung there as a picture. Lousy game.

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