Acquired Taste Games
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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With many games I find (or at least assume) that I can accurately judge my long term enjoyment of the game after one play, or at least I assume that I can recognize if it's worth playing again to find out. However, several times I have found a game that I hated at first, but now find that I really enjoy. If I hadn't played it multiple times to appease my friends, I never would have found those gems.

Are there other games you have found with this property? These aren't meant to be games you just didn't fully appreciate on your first play (there are lost of those) but rather games that you didn't like at all on your first play (but later came to really enjoy).
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1. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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Initially, I found the game too random and too long. However, after being cajoled into a few more games I have revised my opinion. Despite the superficial randomness, I find that skilled players usually win. Managing the politics and understanding the power interactions is much more important than drawing the right cards. Also, with a good group of gamers, the games tend to be much faster than my earlier games.

Perhaps I just had a bad set of powers on my first games, as some of them still feel pretty random to me. But I think that the game just took some getting use to (at least for someone like me who has a low tolerance for high luck games). Thanks to
Mark Bigney
United States
Kingston
Ontario
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for making me play it again (and again) until I liked it.

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2. Board Game: Entrapment [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:4694]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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I first played this game online when I was looking for a Quoridor clone to pass a little time. But then I found that I liked this game a great deal. I find that it is less computational than most abstracts, and supports much more heuristic reasoning than move-counter-move cogitation. As such, it appeals to me as a euro-gamer, despite the fact that it is superficially a pure abstract. But that depth and the presence of more than just abstract think-ahead wasn't apparent to me until I'd played 6-8 times. Good thing I had nothing better to do that afternoon, or I would have passed it by!

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3. Board Game: Stephenson's Rocket [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1021]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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When I first played, the game felt too complex and with too little ability to catch up if you fell behind. On successive plays, my opinion has come 180. It's extremely elegant and offer much better catch-up opportunity than other railroad investment games. I think this is my favorite game in that genre, and one of my favorites overall, despite my early bad impression.

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4. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:208]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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My first play felt painfully slow and random, with lockout galore. But on successive plays (mostly on the computer, where the game is much faster) I came to appreciate the strategy of the game. I still hesitate to play it in person because of the length, but I definitely enjoy it with computer support.

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5. Board Game: Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:875] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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My first play felt dry and simplistic. It felt like dominion but with fewer choices. However, after a few plays I found that there was a surprising amount of depth. Especially with the revisions in 3rd edition, I now find that this is one of the top deck builders. Fortunately, I didn't get deterred after one or two frustrating games!

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6. Board Game: Phantoms vs Phantoms [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2258]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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At first, this looked like Stratego with even less strategy. However, I later decided that it was Stratego that played in just the right amount of time. There is some real second guessing and deception, and the whole thing is over in minutes. If I hadn't played it a bunch when I had nothing else on hand, I never would have appreciated that it is actually a real game!

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7. Board Game: Go-Moku [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:5244]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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At first, I assumed this was going to be just as simplistic and broken as tic-tac-toe. But in trying to prove my superiority over even a simple computer AI, I found I kept losing even when I went first. This is actually quite a subtle game, and I keep coming back to it despite disliking most N-in-a-row games (and generally not like abstracts all that much). Fortunately, my stubbornness lasted long enough to make me realize that this was actually a good game.

And, since it can be played with a Go set, I didn't even need to buy a copy.

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8. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Robert Seater
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Massachusetts
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I bought this game on discount from a Toys R US that was going out of business. I assumed that it would be terrible and that I'd just use the minis for other games. But fortunately I tried it out before scrapping it for parts, because I found it to be really great. It manages to be an elegant game with tactical choices, while also having lots of special powers that give it a customizability that I find addictive. It took me a few plays to believe it was more than just a dice-fest, but then I quickly went from assuming it would be spare parts, to owning every single set.

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9. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:416] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
John Drake
United States
Midlothian
Virginia
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When younger, everyone I played with was MUCH better than I... thus I quickly tuned out whenever played it and just went with the motions hoping we could play something else next.

Then I logged onto Chess.com, lost a bunch, and found people as bad as me In 2-months, I went from an ELO around 500 to about 950 now.... I still probably suck but now I finally understand the game and can't get enough of it.
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10. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Fi Gnuts
United States
Reno
Nevada
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For me, RftG fits this bill; I hated this at first but now it is one of my favorite games. Mix in all the expansions and it is even better! I've tried to get into San Juan but it is just a watered-down version of RftG that I will never play again.
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