Real Games You've Never Heard Of: The Best and the Worst of the BGG Database
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It's 4/1/08 and I've finally finished my 15 month project of scouring the games database for unknown gems. I've discovered a few stinkers as well.

I'm sure you know of others. Feel free to add.



Note: For some reason, the names for all these games are wrong as they appear in the database. I've notified the admins, I hope they fix them soon.



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1. Board Game: Science Fusion, the Elements of the Scienauts [Average Rating:3.45 Unranked]
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Monopoly: Quantum Entanglement Edition

Knizia's combining of the classic Monopoly mechanics with cutting-edge physics was pure genius. I hear this is now required playing at MIT.
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2. Board Game: Bajando el Puerto [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Puerto Rico: The Dice Game

Just got this in the mail today. I have to admit I've been a little skeptical of all the "dice" versions of popular games. But wow what a great game.
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3. Board Game: Bushman Exploring and Gathering [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Bush & Cheney: The College Years

This game has achieved the impossible: it's almost 100% theme. I have to admit this is my favorite game. The boozing, carousing, the grand designs for the future. It takes some real finesse to win as Bush, but I always love a challenge.
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4. Board Game: Crack Whore [Average Rating:4.71 Unranked]
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The Red Light District of Carcassonne

Day's of Wonder's first and only entry in the Carcassonne franchise. I can never forgive them for marketing this as a family game. What were they thinking?
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5. Board Game: Agri-hazard [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Agricola: No Country for Old Men

Another cynical attempt by Z-Man to cash in on a popular movie. Way too violent for my taste.
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6. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1187]
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Wasabi

(OK, I admit I made this one up. A whole game about sushi? Right!)
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7. Board Game: Saggsen-Gadan: De säggs'schn Siedler / Catan-OFFENSIVE in Chemnitz [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
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Settlers of Catan Gold Edition

A super rare, high-end collector's edition. Only 12 copies were ever made.

The solid gold pieces are magnificent, although quite heavy. But even better, it features tons of rules enhancements that make the game play much better and with less luck. Since you'll never see this edition I won't torment you with details. (I'm fortunate that my sister is married to the brother of Alfonso Teuber's wife, and I got to play this at a family reunion last year. Best Settlers ever.)
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8. Board Game: Global Survival [Average Rating:1.85 Overall Rank:15274]
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Greenhouse Planet

I got to play this at FoolsCon. Fantasy Flight Games has outdone themselves - I've never seen so many high-quality plastic bits.

In this alternate-history combat game you play President Al Gore leading an Independence Day-like defense against a race of hyperintelligent orchids from Venus (in cahoots with evil US oil companies) who are intent on warming up the planet in preparation for massive invasion/colonization. Scheduled for Summer 2009 release.
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9. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:82]
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War of the Ringos

In this very collectable game, you play as one of the Ringos (Red Ringo is pictured on the left) trying to lead a team of Beatles to victory. Employing a variable Phase Order mechanic, the object of the game is to convert your caballeros into party markers which in turn aid in building the cathedral. Once you're able to power up the cathedral the game ends and every player counts up their "meetles" to see who who won the Cold War. Or you can just capture one of the other Ringos and take him to Mt. Down to destroy him.

You used to see this game everywhere--garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, museum gift shops--but they seem to be very rare now. Last one on e-Bay sold for $40108 euros!!!
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