GoteborgsPosten's Yearly Boardgame Reviews 2007
Jens
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Once a year, the Swedish regional newspaper GoteborgsPosten (The Gothenburg Post) fills their two consumer-pages with board game reviews. Obviously, this is something all newspapers should be required to do by law. Sadly, mainstream media is never really a friend of us geeks. Every year, around Christmas time (apparently, November is Christmas time these days), I have become increasingly annoyed with the lack of serious games in their reviews and even more annoyed with the lack of respect for those that get any attention.

This year has been a slight improvement. Apparently, some board game geek (bgg:er or not) had some influence over the selection of games. It also appears that the test group wasn't a complete set of morons, although one or two had to be included to make it statistically correct.

Here follows my very first GeekList, with a list of highlights translated by me.

(A pdf of all 37 reviews, in Swedish, if any Swedes have the time to make additions.)

The reviews are copyright GöteborgsPosten. I have no affiliation with them.
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1. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1974]
Jens
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Score: (0/5)

Description: Strategy game where you shall conquer as much as possible of a new country.

Rules complexity: Super complicated

Adult review: For more than an hour we tried to bring clarity to the rules and the flow of play. We failed.

My comments: Isn't this the game with only two rules?
 
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2. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:314]
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Score: (2/5)

Description: Pitch wooden bricks with your fingers, along a flat car track. Least amount of pitches wins.

Rules complexity: Easy

Adult review: Fits the entire family. Rather pointless and gives you sore cuticles.

Child review: It hurt your fingers to drive. The most fun was to build the track.

My comments: Who's the undextrous wimp now, mainstream media? WHO, I ASK YOU!?
 
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3. Board Game: The Game of Life: Twists & Turns [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:9239]
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Score: (4/5)

Description: Gather life points by getting married, having children, winning the lottery, climbing mountains or through your career.

Rules complexity: Complicated

Adult review: Pretty original, but too little competition.

Child review: Confusing before you learn it, then its fun. Extra plus for the computer, "the life pod".

My comments: In real life, children aren't allowed to vote. Stick with that rule, please.
 
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4. Board Game: Portobello Market [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1711]
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Score: (3/5)

Description: Build market places and earn points. Similar to Monopoly, but without dice and money.

Rules complexity: Complicated

Adult review: Pretty fun when you have made it through the rules and started to understand the tactics.

My comments: I never thought I would get such lovely proof of the ultimate non-gamer stereotype in print.
 
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5. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:789]
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Score: (5/5)

Description: You are a general in renaissance Italy. Play cards that show your troops, try to trick your opponents.

Rules complexity: Medium

Adult review: Fun card game with good flow and pretty pictures. A plus for the female cards (heroines and courtesans)

Child review: Quick, easy to learn, good amount of tactics.

My comments: I interpret this as a proof of sanity, after all.
 
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6. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
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Score: (5/5)

Description: Gather points by building post offices in and around Bayern. Most points in the end wins.

Rules complexity: Medium

Adult review: Ingenious, addictive, fun and super good for two players.

My comments: This review was pretty satisfying too.
 
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7. Board Game: Wildlife DVD Boardgame [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:14068]
 
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Score: (5/5)

Description: Boardgame with dvd. The players answer questions about african animals and drive around a board in a jeep.

Rules complexity: Medium

Adult review: Fun, educational and varied. Challenges both your knowledge and strategical thinking.

Child review: Both the nine and thirteen year olds loved it. Nice movies, fun that you can stop the opponents.

My comments: Ok, this is where the good part ends. There is only one comment on BGG, but i trust it more than any of the above: "[...] The 8 9 yr olds struggled, but the 10 and 11 yr olds got maybe 60% of the qs. That is the good side; the game tacked on is awful, with take-that cards and a mechanism that sees the person who falls behind never able to catch up. There is a trading mechanism for cards, but because all players are heading for the same spot usually there is no incentive to trade. Unless we missed something. Was this ever playtested?"

I would have accepted a four (some kids seem to like it), but a perfect five!?
 
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