Reminds me of... Games That Make Me Think Of Other Games (My First Geeklist)
Kev Kelley

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Florida
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After reading countless Geeklists week after week I have decided to take a stab at writing my own.

One thing I find interesting are things that remind me of other things. I constantly bother my wife pointing out similarities in songs and movies to other songs and movies that I know. Unfortunately I can't really bug her with my comparisons of board games because while she enjoys playing board games with me, she does not share the same obsessiveness that I do - especially when I delve into the design aspects.

Anyway, through my research (and collecting) I have come across games that I found strikingly similar to other games, either in appearance, theme, game mechanics, or all three, and so I have decided to use my observations for the basis of my first Geeklist.

If you have any comparisons of your own please feel free to add... or not. The last thing I need is to become aware of even more games I wish to own.

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1. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:585]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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I came across this game in the past few months and have been dying to pick up but it reminded me of another game that involved transporting goods by placing pieces in a boat and moving product around - 1965's Mine A Million (a.k.a. The Business Game).

In Container players produce goods and ship them to a tiny island where they then play the role of the purchaser where the product on the island can be converted later on to help determine victory.

In Mine A Million players operate a mine and produce ore and must get their product to market. They must transport goods from their mine to a port where they can ship their goods (or that of their opponents) to an overseas port where it will be converted into dollars, which acts less as a currency and more as a determination for victory.

There is another game called Container on this website that also involves putting products in trucks and boats and the board set up reminds me of an extremely simplified version of the newer Container but since I don't know much about the game the similarities will be just that - placing cubes in trucks and boats.
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2. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:4623] [Average Rating:5.84 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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This is really a multi-comparison. Games like Zombies, Zombicide, and Last Night on Earth remind me of an earlier gem that I own - Knights of the Dinner Table: Orcs at the Gate.

I was a big fan of the comic Knights of the Dinner Table and when they came out with a board game my brother ran out and bought it. We got a couple plays in and the game proved to be quite chaotic and fun and it definitely conveyed the theme of the comics. It involved a lot of conniving and backstabbing.

Why does this remind me of these other zombie games?

In the zombie games, the games consist of tiles (some placed by players, some predetermined by game scenario), players either work cooperatively or competitively, they can search for items or equip their characters with things, like in Zombies!!! you must kill a certain number of zombies or get to the helipad (or in other games accomplish a certain set of goals) and oh yeah - the board fills up with zombies for you to kill.

In Orcs at the Gate the board is comprised of several tiles that are arranged to make the entire playing area. One player plays the orcs while the other players play various characters from the comic. Those characters can search buildings, collect items, and kill orcs. First player to reach a certain score wins, but there can only be one winner. Oh yeah - the player playing the orcs gets to put out orcs every turn eventually overwhelming the players, much like a bunch of zombies.

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3. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:591]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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I came across Tammany Hall a couple months ago after stumbling across the countless gripes from those who backed the product on Kickstarter and who did not get their game because of shipping delays and what seemed to be poor communication on the publisher's part. What initially interested me in this game was the design of the board, which was beautifully done, and some of the game mechanics. After reading about it trying to find some information it reminded me of another game that I own and had fun playing - Junta. There really aren't that many comparisons. I have yet to play Tammany Hall but there were a couple things that stood out to me that I found interesting.

In Tammany Hall the board is divided into sections and after elections a mayor is chosen and various positions are handed out, who in turn can use those positions to advance their standing.

In Junta the board is also divided into sections and one player is president who in turns doles out various positions and money to the other players, who could use their positions to advance their standing.

The games depart thematically from there.

Another comparison which my brother considered was Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, which consists of a similarly styled sectioned map where players compete for control of a city.
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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My brother introduced this game to me when I visited him for his wedding. The rules were simple. The game was pure quality. And the play was fun.

What did it remind me of that I have?

The Game of Uncle Sam's Mail

In Ticket to Ride you have an old-timey map of the United States with various cities connected by various paths. You draw destination cards and place trains down on the paths you wish to take.

In The Game of Uncle Sam's Mail, you have an old map of the United States with a lot of cities on there and a variety of paths. You must deliver the letters to the identified destinations by traversing the paths. Not entirely identical to Ticket to Ride but I found it similar. As a side note, it would be fun to merge the games. The old map for Uncle Sam is amazing and fun to look, especially when noticing some modern cities we all know and love simply do not exist (like Las Vegas or Miami).
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5. Board Game: Quoridor [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1024]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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I don't own this game but it looked similar to two other games that I own that involve walls, blocking opponents, and getting to a certain location to win - Kimbo and Blockade.

In Quoridor you must simply get to the other side of the board first but during your turn you can move your pawn or move a wall.

In Kimbo you got to get all of your pawns to the middle of the board but you can move around fences to block your opponent from achieving that goal first.

In Blockade, you have to get to your opponents starting place but during your turn, you can also move a wall blocking your opponent, hence the name.

They all sound like Board Game Brothers to me.
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6. Board Game: Metropolis [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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This game looks interesting to me because I love city-building simulations and real estate/financial board games. It also reminds of... Square Mile.

In Metropolis you have city blocks that you must develop into a thriving community using plastic building pieces.

In Square Mile you have a grid set up on a board and and you develop a thriving community using plastic building pieces.

I guess the similarities lie in the layout and theme - I own Square Mile but can't really find much about Metropolis but based off of what I have read I will assume that the game mechanics are very different.

There are other real estate games that I also am reminded, such as Newtown, Sid Sackson's game of the same name, Metropolis, or the newer (and on my want list), Urban Sprawl.
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7. Board Game: Charge Large [Average Rating:5.07 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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I came across Charge Large in a clearance sale for $5 at WalMart one day and I picked it up. I thought it was refreshing to see a game that was not a form of Monopoly or some kind of movie tie-in and that seemed to actually have an ounce of originality. What I didn't know at the time was that credit cards have been the subject of a couple games in the past but one in particular that that stood out was Charge It!

Not much information is around for Charge It! (the 1996 version, not the 1972 version), but I thought it sounded similar. I don't think that the good people at the HasBORG collective were aware of these games when they published Charge Large, but I guess when making a game about credit cards there are only so many directions you can go.

In Charge Large you buy properties with a credit card and must balance funds. You basically have to acquire a bunch of stuff, have a bunch of cash, pay off all your debts, and obtain a special credit card (which I equate to a good credit score).

In Charge It! you buy items with your credit cards and achieve victory when you strike the right balance of cash, debt, and items.
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8. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:15439]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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Hotels was one of my favorite board games when I was little (despite only playing it once). In elementary school my class held a sort of "free" day and someone brought in the game Hotels. I played it with a couple friends and enjoyed it immensely. Maybe it was because my little boy mind was mesmerized by the 3D components, the ease of play, the similarities to other familiar rent-collecting games like Monopoly, my love of city builders (yes even back then), but that one play sparked an obsession.

I spent my time after that day looking for this board game. I didn't know the costs but I saved my money in the event that I would find one. I called Milton Bradley and wrote letters to companies I felt were involved in the publishing and distribution of the game. Eventually Milton Bradley informed me that they discontinued the game and that while they appreciated my interest I should maybe consider one of their other games for sale.

It wasn't until the era of eBay that I obtained my very own copy of Hotels. I played it at a family game night and everyone enjoyed the game. My inner child was satisfied.

So what does Hotels remind me of?

Prize Property.

I have 2(or maybe technically 3) words to say. 3D Buildings.

Yeah there is that whole developing properties thing going on but the design element is what sold me and when I saw Prize Property my inner child felt that magic from the first time he saw Hotels those many years ago. And after a play with my wife with Prize Property, it was a satisfying game too!
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9. Board Game: Words with Friends [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:13511]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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Do I even have to say what this reminds me of?

I enjoy Scrabble, even though my mind usually draws blanks and I resort to simple words lie "hat" or "axe" but when I was walking around in Walmart around the holidays and I saw a shipper of board games conversions of popular apps I had to do a double take. I think I may have shouted a "seriously" as I stopped in front.

I think I would be interested in this game only because it seems like a variant of Scrabble that may breathe new life into the venerable game. I also don't want to buy it because it is unoriginal. I used to play Scrabulous on Facebook because it made Scrabble fun until Scrabble had it taken down and replaced with their own crappy version. Then this game popped up and everyone seemed to have forgotten about all that, including the people at Scrabble. My guess is they didn't want a bunch of angry people mad that someone came around and made their game fun again so instead of fighting it they, like a good Borg, they absorbed it into their collective.
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10. Board Game: The Game of LIFE: zAPPed Edition [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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Again I was walking down the toy aisle of the local big box store when I saw this and again yelled "seriously."

Here we have a board game that decided to merge board games with an expensive hunk of electronics, presumably to make that $400 iPad into nothing more then a glorified spinner (and cost saving device for the game manufacturers). I bet the price to make the old plastic spinner was soooooo cost prohibitive that the only way future generations could enjoy The Game of Life would be to basically play a board game with a computer.

I am not necessarily opposed to the concept of merging tablet computers with board games (I enjoyed some older VHS or DVD games) but I tend to believe this latest development is less about innovation and more about corporate profits and other nefarious little things. I could just imagine playing one of these board games and then an icon pops up allowing me to make a micro-transaction allowing me to move my pawn ahead of my opponent.

So what does this remind me of?

It reminds me of the Magnavox Odyssey2 board game/video game combos from the early 1980s. The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt, Conquest of the World, and The Quest for the Rings merged video games and board games and were innovative at the time. Play a board game but involve a new and powerful computer to play a part in the game, whether in providing calculations and randomization or allowing players to move between the two mediums to aid the theme increase interaction.

These Odyssey2 games were exciting and added an element of originality and were copied in the future with VHS and DVD games, but in those situations the newer technology was integrated well. In the case of the zAPPed edition, I feel that the combination of the two serve no purpose. Why not just play The Game of Life completely on the tablet. Place that thing on the table, huddle around, and press the start button.
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11. Board Game: Oil Power [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
Kev Kelley

Orlando
Florida
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I recently came across this game online and was intrigued.

Randomized board, digging for oil, etc., etc. but upon closer inspection it reminded me of another older game I own that is thematically similar and shares the randomization aspect as well as a striking similarity between game parts.

This game I speak of is King Oil.
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12. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:189] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Billy the Hut
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Sit beside the breakfast table Think about your troubles Pour yourself a cup of tea Then think about the bubbles
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This game reminds me of Age of Gods.


Of the two I without a doubt prefer Small World and they are very different games with different feels. However they do have some things in common.

They’re each; area control games, with fantasy armies, special powers, and you’ll end up moving several of the different armies. They also can each handle more than 4 players.

As I said they are very different games and that in combination with what they have in common suggests to me that if you’re fond of one you’d enjoy the other. I know this is true for me.
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13. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1566]
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Reminds me of BRIDG-IT, which was published 2 years earlier.

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