Memoir - the early years of gaming
Jens Stenström
Finland
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We played board- and cardgames when I was a kid. Mostly the typical ones, but I've always had the impression that we played more than most families did back in the late 80:s/early 90:s, at least here in Finland.
I always liked boardgames as a kid, but most of them always seemed to lack something, or were fun in the beginning but became dull very quickly. In either case, I still have very fond memories from the days back then, even though the actual games we played seems more and more blurry now that I've played a huge amount of these great modern games.

So, here's my trip through my memorylane...
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1. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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I used to play this quite a lot with my father (now deceased) even though I was very young and could hardly comprehend anything more than how the different characters moved on the board and what the goal was. I guess dad tried to teach me through educational play, because as I was getting better over the years, so did he, even though he'd played the game a lot more.
It was always tight and about half of the time I won. In the back of my mind, even as a young kid, I always knew that he "let" me win every now and then to keep my interest going, but he did it in such a subtle way that it didn't feel like a handover-victory.

Nowadays I play chess very seldomly and it is by no means one of my favourite games, but I'll always have the memories of playing against my dad on the bedroomfloor.
 
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2. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:15269]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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We used to play this at our cottage in the warm summerevenings. Mostly it was me, my mother and my two brothers playing, while my father was reading newspapers in his bed. I'll always remember how he sometimes helped me by shouting out the answers to questions like they were meant for him. It got on everybody else's nerves, but it was fun.
Also, before I had started school my parents made up questions solely for me so that I could have fun with the game with the others. Couple of years ago I found that old booklet where they'd written down all the questions and answers and I read through it with sentimental eyes.

This is still one of the only triviagames that I like to play.
 
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3. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15333]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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What would one of these lists be without Monopoly? Even though I completely hate the game, I can't deny that it is one of the classics. But "classic" doesn't have to mean "good". Just take Nine Men's Morris for an example... shake

We actually didn't play this game that much, since nobody in our family really liked it. Once and awhile it found itself on the table, with frowning and later bored faces around it. The only recollection I have is that I loved the pawns for this game as a kid. Still today I must admit that they actually are quite nice. The pawns, however, do not save the game.

Utter disgust gulp
 
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4. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:15003]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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...this game, on the other hand, was one of my favorites as a kid. It took the good parts (?) from Monopoly, made it quicker and had all those cool hotels and recreational-sites. It was stunning to look at and I always wanted to play. Problem was that nobody else saw the good in it, so it didn't get played as often as I wanted.

Today, it still feels a little bit better than Monopoly, but it's still an almost worthless game. I have it in my shelf (I admit) for nostalgia. blush
 
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5. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.35 Overall Rank:15229]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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Another one of those classics that we played a lot when I as younger. We actually played it (mostly me and my mum) so much that I at one point had to take vacation from it ... and no short vacation; many years.
Sometimes we pull this out with my girlfriend and/or my mother just to take a trip down memorylane, but I always get the feeling that my vacation wasn't long enough. I've simply overplayed it!
soblue
 
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6. Board Game: UNO Dominos [Average Rating:4.77 Overall Rank:14559]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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"If it says UNO, it has to be good"

Why the hell would it have to be good? Is it good? Was it good back then? No! But because my mum liked it really much we all had to play it. I think my older brothers got away more often than I and they always pinned me to the chair with horrifying hour of playing UNO Domino.

It still makes me shiver when I think about that game. yuk
 
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7. Board Game: Presidentti-peli [Average Rating:3.36 Unranked]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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Now this game was a real treat. Made by an insurance-company (if I remember correctly) and published quite early (mid-seventies I think) were the ingredients for this beauty. I actually really liked it. It works like Monopoly, but there's more stuff happening all the time. You're getting new jobs and earning money to get into parliament and the someone gets elected president of Finland - who wouldn't love that?
Who cares if it's not logical that one person, at the same time, is a teacher, busdriver, executive and in parliament?! That's completely normal!

As stated before - I really loved this game as a kid, but you'll have to use somekind of medevil torturechamber to make me play it again. zombie
 
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8. Board Game: Which Witch? [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:15082]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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Another one of those Hasbro/Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers-products that found it's way into my shelf of games (that btw. was a lot smaller back then). Of course, for kids, this game was really neat with all the traps and the glowing scull that you drop into the tower. Only problem was that nobody really played it! Everybody just played with it. Can't remember many times that we actually played this game using the authentic rules all the way through.
 
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9. Board Game: Chutes and Ladders [Average Rating:2.79 Overall Rank:15340]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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We had a Tom & Jerry-themed Snakes & Ladders at home and I remember so clearly when I played it with a friend of mine (who died of cancer only 15 years old) and my mother in the kitchen at home. Mum made us jam-sandwiches and we'd play this game for hours and hours. I think the joking around and jam-sandwiches were more important than the actuall game, but everytime I see this game nowadays I remember my old friend Karo. soblue
 
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10. Board Game: Reisen [Average Rating:4.07 Overall Rank:14338]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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I think this is the only game that I played as a kid that we don't have anymore, which is a shame. Especially as no-one seems to remember why or when it was thrown away. I actually liked it and it was quite an interesting game. I can't remember much details about it, more than that you collected tickets for airplanes, trains and busses to use to travel around Scandinavia. It was great fun back then and I'd happily play it again, but no-one seems to have this one anymore...
 
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11. Board Game: Trouble [Average Rating:3.74 Overall Rank:15334]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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Horrible... just horrible... gulp

No words can describe the nightmares I've had about this game - even as a kid.
 
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12. Board Game: Afrikan tähti [Average Rating:4.63 Overall Rank:15294]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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As a citizen of the great cold wintery country of Finland I have fulfilled my patriotic duty by playing the one great Finnish boardgame about a warm summary continent. This is probably to Finland what the Game of Life is to USA. Everybody's played it and almost everybody's got it. It's not actually too bad of a game and I could be convinced to play it still today. Let's go searching for that great big gigantic diamond! ninja
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13. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14516]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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Okey, so now we've come through the preteen-period and enter the teenage-age of me. Alot less games during this period, but a completely different world of gaming...

Risk was one game that we played through many many years and not much else than Risk. Now it was no longer with the family, but with friends and foes. Our games were almost always over four hours and the bigger portion of the game was all about diplomacy and (of course) backstabbing. Alliances were often formed between the smokers and non-smokers, because the smokers had to go on their breaks every now and then and those breaks were perfect opportunities to discuss strategy and bargain for peace.
In a way we made something completely different out of the game; we had our own terminology and had rules for the diplomatic part of the game.
It was all furious backstabbing, pleeding, hardcore strategy and endless dicerolling arrrh

(and btw, yes, sadly some of us started smoking at a very early age zombie )
 
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14. Board Game: Hearts [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1537]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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With the family at this time, we played mostly three kinds of traditional cardgames;

1) Hearts.

After a couple of years I grew tired of the game and haven't recovered since. This is one of the great cardgames that I rather not play anymore.
 
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15. Board Game: Spades [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1323]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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2) Spades.

Absolutely fantastic cardgame that got me hooked on that part of gaming, which is still my favorite. I love the tension of a good cardgame - trying to read the opponent or your teammate. This was my absolute favorite traditional cardgame until I played...
 
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16. Board Game: Pitch [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4067]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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... 3) Pitch.

We used to sit around the table for hours on end with this one. Mostly it was me, mum, my mum's boyfriend and my brother Mosse. Fantastic game, especially when played in pairs. I got my friend Daniel hooked on this one so badly that we had to come up with additional two-player rules so that we could play this more and more
 
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17. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jens Stenström
Finland
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And in the end, along came a game that hooked me on forever; Carcassonne.
My brother Mosse bought it and introduced it to the family. I liked it so much that I immediately started collecting these modern game, mostly eurogames, which leads us to where I am now; 200+ games and a mind full of great memories from my childhood.
 
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