Butterfly0038's Top 10 Most Stressful & Frustrating Games
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
60 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
I originally was going to write about my 10 most stressful games but then realized I couldn't split out stressful from frustrating. I find games can be frustrating for several reasons:

1. Randomness - what is the game going to throw at us now? Generally, I dislike randomness in my games and seek games where it's low. Even so, whenever it's present I find it both stressful and frustrating.

2. Chaos - what are the other players going to throw at me? We've all played with people who make sub-optimal moves. Those plays generally suck whether the end result is helpful or hurtful because whoever wins, you feel like the game was thrown. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about when a player has several close-to-equal choices and makes the one that screws with you. Waiting for him or her to decide is stressful. Once the decision is made I can make the best of it, but the waiting --- argh!

3. Meanness - not the players but the game itself! I know games are not supposed to be mean, but sometimes they are. I suppose you can say the meanness lies in the mind of the designer, and that's true as far it goes, but when you feel like you just got kicked in the teeth and you look around the table and everyone else has the same look on their face? Yep, the game is mean! This can be different from randomness. The meannest games I know have no randomness or uncertainty in them. You just know when you sit down what's going to happen. By the end of the game, you're going to be holding your tender places, tears running down your face, and just happy it's over.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:889]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
10.

Fun is stressful. I'm not sure why people don't understand that. Factory Fun is fun because it's stressful. Sure, grabbing something someone else needs is always fun too, but trying to figure out which widget to grab so that you can place it and leave yourself some options is what this game is all about.... and then having some jerk grab it just before you figure out that "yes! that's the widget I need". Stress. Just plain stress....

and fun, don't forget fun! It's in the name after all.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:56]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
9.

I'm not a fan of worker placement and I'm not a fan of special power card games. However, despite having issues with both, this is a game I continue to enjoy.

For me, the stress in this game is 3 things. First is the standard worker placement stress: is the action I want going to be around the next time I go. The second is the standard special power card game stress: Damn, two good cards, which can I use better (and which will screw me worse if I don't take it)?

But the third stressor is why DS made it to the list. It's the stressor of seeing yourself safely off to one side, in a nice little niche built just for you, and then finding those damn birds flying over to you or those stupid arachnids decided you'd make a good lunch. This is a game of flying under the radar (just like evolution in general, I suspect) and then getting kicked in the nuts when someone notices you.
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:256]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
8.

Maria starts with the standard card-game stress of random draws and then adds in the standard Euro stress of trying to optimize your movement around the strengths in your hand. But unlike a simple race to lay down your VPs, Maria is a war-ish game. So you can't just worry about optimization, you also have to stress about the bastards sitting across from you. How aggressive are they going to be? Should you play to your hand strength or just make them think you're playing to your hand strength so that next round, you can trap them.

Maria has a lot of fiddly rules which makes it hard to just pick up and play. It means to play well, you need to play it repeatedly. So far, I have yet to win, but that's ok. Each game I play, I stress from the moment I get my first hand to the moment I groan as I watch someone else drop their last VP marker on the board. Definitely addicted to the stress.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
7.

So, this combines my two stresses... Stress of randomness and stress of meanness. Those damn card draws. You look at your hand of cards and think, how could I draw this badly?! and then you look up and your opponent is smiling and arranging her cards happily. This is going to be a really bad round.

The stress of getting beat up by your opponent is one part of why I love this game. The other is the stress of trying to arrange your hand in such a way so that even though this was the worst possible hand, you're still able to leave the round with a few shreds of dignity intact and Europe not completely in the hands of the infidels.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:277]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
6.

Now, anyone that knows me, knows I dislike coops. The alpha-player problem bugs me. Not just for those times when there's a bully at the table, but all the time. If there's an optimal move and one player knows it (possibly because they've played a few dozen more times than everyone else at the table combined) then darnit, they should say what the "right" move is. The object is to win, right? I know, I know. The object is to have fun and interact, but for me, coops just fall short.

Except for Hanabi. Hanabi removes the possibility of an alpha player. It challenges everyone to work together and it creates such delicious interaction. The look on everyone's face as they try not to show what the card/tile you just drew means to team's success is priceless. I especially love playing this with my kids and watching my daughter struggling to control herself. Such beautiful, fun, happy interaction.

Oh, where was I? Yes, yes. Frustrating and stressful. It feels like the entire time I play this game, I'm holding my breath. Will she understand what I meant by my clue? Can she read into the things I didn't say? Will she misinterpret what I said? Will the next guy say the other half of the clue that I couldn't give so she doesn't mess us up... so I didn't mess us up. Stressful, stressful, stressful... but oh, so fun. Still hoping to get over 20.

p.s. I absolutely love the deluxe edition. I got it for $35ish and it's worth every dollar.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:35]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
5.

Martin Wallace just has a gift for making games that kick you in the balls. Brass follows in the fine tradition of doing just that. Brass is all about the other players kicking you in the balls, overbuilding you, cutting you off, and shipping their damn Cot-4s to the DM instead of your little Port-2.

What's more, in addition to attracting more bastards as players, Brass has a lot more randomness. First there are the cards. Sure, you can play the odds, but Brass just likes to defy the odds. I often think every copy of Brass comes with a little hex that says give him the cards he needs to least. And let's not forget the damn Distant Market. Oh, you're going for Cotton, let's give you big numbers so you have to ship to your opponents' ports. Oh, you switched to ports this game? let's see if we can make all the zeros come out first.

Hmmph. I don't know why I play this game? Oh yeah. Because the one game in twenty that I win feels so good!
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:123]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
4.

Probably one of my biggest stresses with Tichu is trying to get it played. People laugh when I say that, but I find it easier to play 1817 and even Age of Steam than Tichu. My FLGS is not a big fan of card games and trying to get 4 people together to play a "simple" card game is a tough trick.

The four times I've managed to get Tichu played, I've loved it. The stress of guessing what your partner's got and how strong their hand is great. There's nothing better than watching your opponents call Tichu, get down to a couple of cards before you play anything and then calling Tichu yourself and going out 1-2. Embrace the stress!
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: 1817 [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:2040]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
3.

I wasn't sure whether to put this here or not because for me, it really depends on what table I'm playing at. I've played several games of this that are relaxing affairs. A few shorts during one stock round and the rest of the time, just running RRs.... of course, those are the most boring games.

The plays I like are the ones that I know I'm going to lose before I sit down to the table. The plays I love are the ones where the interest rate is hovering between 30 and 40 and you're hoping that it's going to go down and not pop up even higher, where you leave the OR or the M&A knowing there's no way that all the 3Ts are going to be gone before you operate again and then they are.

20+ plays and I'm still not sure I even know what all the levers and gears are, never mind how to pull and twist them. Nope, the only thing that's sure to get twisted are my guts when I play with the groups at CABS and CRGC (maybe I can add BGG.CON to my list this year).
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:274]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2.

Those people who know me know that I'm usually a fairly relaxed, easy-going person.... until I play R&B. Then I'm still fairly relaxed and easy-going, so long as no one tries to speak to me. My life partner has refused to play this 2-player with me for a couple of years because of how intense and focused I get when I play this (the only other game she's ever refused to play with me was Labyrinth: War on Terror).

Someone who hasn't played it, might ask, "why is it stressful? The entire board is laid out in front of you before you make your first move. What's more, negative interaction is minimal until late in the game." True on both points, but, oh my goodness, trying to figure out where to place what and how to optimize your supply train for the entire game before you even place your home? And then that frustration and stress as you realize, two turns in, that you miscalculated and it's going to take a lot of work to make it work... and meanwhile everyone else is doing great and you know you're going to lose (well, you knew that when you sat down) and there's nothing you can do about it... and where were you going to build that again?

arrgh! This is probably one of the very few games that still intimidates me.... but I still love it.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:120]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1.

When I heard about the Dice Tower podcast, this was the first game that came to mind. I was shocked when it wasn't there. I suppose it depends on which maps you play. Belgium can be a pleasant enough experience.

But China? Trisland? Soul Train? my privates tighten and my butt clenches at the thought of them. Players making you spend more money than you've got. The game making you thank it for the privilege of trading income for expenses. Players taking the spaces you were going to lay track on just to see you cry... and all the while, the entire board and goods are there to see, laughing at you.

"What? You didn't figure everything out before you started? Silly, silly boy." devil

13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.