You gave that a WHAT?! (Largest Disparities in Ratings)
Dave Hamrick
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Moore
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Hey y'all,

Evadimus here. It's Saturday morning/afternoon and I'm sitting around doing nothing. Sometimes I like to pour over my collection to see if it's up-to-date and whether or not I want to change anything like ratings or comments.

Today the list is all good. Nothing needed to be swapped or revised. But if you notice, under STATS there is a "Largest Disparities in Ratings" section which lets you know, numerically, how different your opinion of certain games are.

So what I wanna know is what game have you grossly undervalued or horribly overvalued according to this stats list? Why do you think it's popular/unpopular versus your own opinion, and what made you have that opinion in the first place?

PLEASE REMEMBER Everyone has a different opinion about games. So play nice!

EDIT Sorted by game title.
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1. Board Game: Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1377]
Very Stout
United States
Back and to the Left-
Up a Bit, Perfect
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Not a fan. Rated it a 3 after many, many plays and felt that was generous. Delta 3.81.

Don't know what happened during the design phase, but the game turned out a complete waste. Molasses has a faster tempo, and is more interesting.
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2. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:913]
Joey Konyha
United States
Terrytown
Louisiana
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My Rate: 9 10; BGG average:7.12; Delta: 1.88 2.88

I know 1.88 isn't that much of a difference, but this game is a serious contender for a 10 rating from me. For reasons I have forgotten, I made a promise to not rate any games a 10, but I am considering changing that. This would be one of three games (TI3 and PoG being the others) I would elevate to that lofty perch. Anyway, this is an incredible game. It has the three things that make me love boardgames: maps, money, and cards. The planning, plotting, cajoling, and threatening make this game a step above. There is a crap-load of min-maxing as far as your purchasing phase, as a purchase of an advance means you can use it immediately, so timing can save you a few $$, and in this game, that can be the difference between a win and a loss. This game is such a brain burner, when you are done, a carnival chicken can beat you at tic-tac-toe, but it is so worth it.

Edit: Made it a 10, as well as Paths of Glory, Twilight Imperium 3rd., and Twilight Struggle for good measure.
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3. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1056]
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I figured I ought to offset all my negativity elsewhere (ahem) by posting another big discrepancy. Here's a game that the (oh-so) average BGG'er rates 6.6ish. I rate it a 9.8.

I could go into the various reasons why, but really it's about the STORY that the game creates. I said as much in my ratings of the game, and I summarize my feelings here:

Of all the games I've played, Android seems to come closest to the kind of writing I love; to the kinds of stories I love to read. The characters are neither good guys nor bad guys, they struggle as much with themselves as they struggle with the world, and although interesting plot-driven elements exist, in the end, the resolution of the external conflict doesn't matter. Things transcend themselves, and we are left after counting up VP, sitting in the dim light of a dirty cafe in New Angeles, sipping greasy hot black coffee, flicking ash, the smoke twisting from the end of our cigarette like the souls of dead android hookers. We order bad toast, wet eggs, cold bacon, and leaning back look out the window into the dark sparkling city, we see the 'stalk spiraling upward into the sky, not as a triumph, but as a worm, some vast malevolent parasite that has already eaten out the heart of the earth and now, bursting upward, is reaching for the fruit of the moon. And you know in that moment, looking at the worm, looking at your reflection in the filthy glass of the cafe window, looking at the robot waitress, looking at the headlines on the coffee stained newspaper, looking at everything and nothing, that the worm did its job well. It's all hollow now. You can solve a case, but you can't save anybody.
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4. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:3382] [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Ed
United States
Oakland
California
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I rate this a one, for a delta of 5.31. Some geeks will recall when this was in the Top 200. I never understood why. This game sucks.
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5. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:246] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Geek rating: 7.434
My rating: 10
Delta: 2.566


Well, the game just works very well. It helps if the player likes the works of H.P. Lovecraft (wich I do), but is not necessary to enjoy the game, as is full of decisions and theme. The downtime is low, as the turn is divided (everyone does the upkeep, everyonme moves, everyone makes and encounter). Also is a cooperative game, my favorite type.

Yes, is not very realistic (the nun attacking with a flamethrower) I give you that, and that may push away the hardcore fans of the short tales (wich have more investigation and madness than actual fighting). Tough as a game, and in the game, it works.

And, by the end of the play, you have a story to tell (not always with a happy ending); very few games can do this so well.
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6. Board Game: La Bataille des Quatre Bras [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:2556]
Mark Evans
United States
Berlin
New Hampshire
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I had a friend convince me we should try the La Bataille system. All he had was Quatre Bras. So I bought my own copy of Quatre Bras. I will very rarely not finish a game. I always try to muddle through a game the best I can.

BGG rating 7.76
My rating 2

I am sure that nobody really plays this game. When you talk to La Bataille players, all they can talk about is the beautiful components. When I asked some rather obvious rules questions on the forum, nobody, including the designer knew how to answer the questions.

I gave it to a friend, who was very grateful. He will grow to despise me for giving to him if he ever tries to play it.

Motto.

La Bataille is to be looked at, not played.yuk
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7. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:919]
Doug Bass
United States
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
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Current Geek Rating: 6.775
My Rating: 1
Disparity: 5.78

Not the board game, the card game. I cannot express how stupid and unfun I found this game to be (apologies to fans, not saying anything about them). After playing it once, I insisted that my friend take the game home with him (contrary to me, he did like it). Neither the theme not the game play appealed to me. Perhaps it is because I am not a fan of Magic, to which I believe it has been compared.

.....................................................................

There is one game I like better than the average (which would be another geek list):

Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth!

Current Geek Rating: 6.193
My Rating: 9
Disparity: 2.81

Love, love this game, gave it a 9. I like the way the wacky theme is combined with a Euro strategy game. Like it enough to spend the time to write this review.

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8. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:379]
WAN CHIU
United States
Arcadia
California
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My rating 1
BGG rating 7.15

Andrew Brown
United States
Summit
NJ
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saids it the best

Quote:
"Wow, do I hate this game.

I hate listening to endless attempts at negotiations.

I hate people who offer future promises of the second blue bean they draw when the clock is on an odd number as long as they have already harvested x. The ridiculous deals can be painful.

I hate people trying to take advantage of others and having to constantly run interference to keep one player from running away with the win.

God, this game drives me insane. "


Also I got so disgusted by players donating their cards to alpha girlfriends. It might not be their intention to king making but it sure does look suspicious.

Edit: typo i cannot spell
 
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9. Board Game: The Castle of the Devil [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1793]
Juan Carlos Goyes
Colombia
Bogota
Cundinamarca
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My rating :9.4
Geek Rating: 6.430
Delta: 2.97


What a GREAT game. First time we played few and the game wasn’t very good, but it really shines it you have 6 or more players on your hands. I have the game in a very high esteem and totally recommend it IF you like bluffing and secret roles games, which I love. This is a game heavy with negotiation and intrigue, I love how it let me manipulate other players and the tension during the game as many times you aren’t sure who your foe is and who is your ally.

Also this jewel is very cheap. Buy it now!!

It is currently in my top 10 games.
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:293] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
jflartner
United States
Conshohocken
Pennsylvania
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My rating - 2
BG Avg - 7.52
Delta - 5.52

Hopefully not too obvious a choice...(also hopefully not considered a duplicate - I saw Cities and Knights, but I will likely never play with that, or any other expansion for this "game")

I can not stand Settlers. Sure, I am thankful for what it did to popularize and spread the hobby, and sure, I was pretty impressed with it as I was being introduced to the hobby (though not as much as I was with Ttr and Carc)

Settlers is an exercise in frustration. Which is surprising for a "gateway game."

You can lose the game before it starts if you choose your starting settlements poorly. Really, what other games can you lose before they start? (actually I'm curious) And if you say that players should learn the best places to start, ok...but even if you choose poorly, the player can still win, because...

You can win/lose the game by [not] rolling well. Yes, I have rated other games with dice much higher. No, these game do not depend on the rolling of dice nearly as much as Settlers.

You can sit for turn after turn with nothing to do (despite many people's claims that players are "always involved"). A game where on "your turn," you roll the dice and get to do nothing but pass the dice to the next player is not fun. I don't want to lose my turn simply because of the dice.

The Settlers of Catan is not fun. It is Monopoly without fun pawns. At least in Monopoly you get to move every turn and, at least for the first half hour or so, you get to make some sort of decision every turn.
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11. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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My Rating: 2
Geek Rating: 7.379
Delta: 5.38

I'm embarrassed but not alone on disliking this variation on Settlers.

This section of a review coincides with how I feel about the game:

"So do the changes found in Cities and Knights make Settlers a better game? Absolutely not! The game’s medium to medium-heavy gameplay is random, clunky, and full of rules exceptions. The game’s length is extended, there are several almost meaningless gameplay options, and even a few of the “good” features of the game were not implemented as effectively as they might have been."

What drove my rating especially down for me was that it tainted my feelings towards Settlers, like Godfather Part 3.
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12. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Juan Carlos Goyes
Colombia
Bogota
Cundinamarca
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My rating:2
Geek Rating:6.951
Delta: 4.95


Like Go I just hate chess. Never will play it again!
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13. Board Game: Chill: Black Morn Manor [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:5699]
Alain Baum
Luxembourg
Grevenmacher
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I have a bit of a history with this train wreck of a game:

3 years ago, on our annual visit to Essen, we tried the new German edition of this. First of all, the game explainer made a horrible job of explaining the rules - after a few minutes of checking the (admittedly bad) rulebook in between turns, I was already correcting him on significant issues. When he left us, we pretty quickly found out that it was a luckfest and decidedly un-fun. I later found out it was a design from 1985, not that it mattered much.

Fast forward 2 years later, I found out to my horror that one person from our gaming group purchased this, on the account that it played six people. After two hours of rules arguing, I definitely swore off this game.

My rating: 2 --- Geek rating 5.768 --- Delta: 3.768

The rules as written make it very easy to break the game. All you have to do is stay near the entrance and try to switch to the minion side. Then, you just have to pick up the correct item that is very probably lying at the entrance. I-win-button.

yuk
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14. Board Game: Cineplexity [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:9177]
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
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Me: 10
Geek: 5.71


I'll grab an underdog, and mention Cineplexity as a game I've played over 15 20 times. BGG'ers have a tendency not to tweak a game when they first play it. While this makes sense for non-party games, I've changed rules on the fly with Cineplexity to adapt it to the group's knowledge of films, from including television shows, to allowing films the judge hasn't heard of, to modifying the scoring, to making this a coop game where we'll be playing against the deck. I still don't recommend playing with fewer than 4 people, and the games I've had with more have always been a blast.

What I enjoy about the game is that it combines the frentic rush of trying to find that answer "on the tip of your tongue" with a short discussion about a movie or show you've never heard of. I've learned quite a bit about movies and movie culture with this game!
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15. Board Game: Classic Warlord [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:4620]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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I fell in love with this game when I first saw it (as The Warlord) in 1974. Too abstract for grognards, but too much a wargame for anyone else. I now own both the second edition (Warlord) and the third (Apocalypse), but not the original.

Apocalypse: The Game of Nuclear Devastation
My rating: 8.8
BGG rating: 5.866
Delta: 2.93
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16. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:418]
 
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Geek rating 7.45. My rating 1. Disparity 6.45.

I was visiting Essen with two friends when this game had just come out. We had some time left and passed the stand where the game was presented. My friends wanted to try it out, and I only observed.

Yup, I have never played this game. I only observed it being played.

What I saw was a bare board of hexagons, with 8 small square chits on it, the chits bearing several numbers. I saw my friends, in turn, move some chits, roll some dice, and say "miss". That's it: "miss". Until, after about 20 minutes, one of my friends said "hit" and got to remove one of his opponent's chits. Or damage it, or something, but anyway, he was now way ahead in the game, and was very likely to win. Which he did, after about 45 minutes.

In my eyes, it was a terrible, boring game, with rules that were far too complex for what it came down to: the first person to roll a very high number on a d20 couple of d6's would win.

But the clincher was this: the person who presented the game to us was very enthusiastic about it, extolled its realistic representation of warfare, and stressed that this game was so realistic that it was actually used by the military to train officers. At which point I asked: "Does that make it fun?"

Look, I am certain that there is more to this game, and that the first introduction I observed did absolutely nothing to convey the richness of the experience. But if what I saw was the basis for that experience, then I am not interested at all.

What it probably comes down to is that this is the first wargame I saw people play. And I think I simply do not like such games at all.
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17. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1181]
Robert B
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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I only have two "10" rated games, and this is one of them, resulting in a delta of 3.3 from the average geek rating.

Why the difference? For starters, I enjoy ancient/Roman themed games, so that would skew my rating upward. This game has its share of critisms from other players, but I enjoy the dual track political/military aspects of the game. Bidding for alliances ensures the board is shaken up every season. And, having tons of cool bits to play with, such as gold talents, Roman legions and other military units, ensures a visually fun game, as well.
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18. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:584]
Q !

Alaska
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I don't typically rate games. I would rate just about anything I've ever played a 7 because I figure that just because I don't like it much, it doesn't necessarily mean it's BAD--it's just not my thing. By the same token, there are plenty of games I like a lot that don't score well here.

Key phrase in that last paragraph is "just about anything".

I've not even looked at what the actual rating numbers are supposed to mean, but from what I've heard, a "1" is meant to represent "This is even a game?"

This.....thing....would get a 1 from me. I fail to see how this is even considered a game. It's cold, dry, B-O-R-I-N-G economics mixed with....nothing. The one time I "played" it, the only mildly amusing thing that happened was when the other participants chuckled a bit when I said the green ship looked like it was slathered in Maalox.

Delta would be about 6.07.
 
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19. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1404] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
RJD
United States
Quad-Cities
Illinois
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People constantly rave about this game, how awesomely fun it is, the cunning required for it. Why, it's quintessential Ameritrash. Woohoo!

It's average rating on the 'Geek? 7.23 - which is a far cry from the "2" that I've rated it. I think they're all crazy. I don't understand why they like it so much. I've never understood why they like it. It's so, so arbitrary. So abstract. So mind numbingly dull. People praise the game's supposedly incredible theme in its various alien races and their interactions, but it still generally comes down to sitting there, waiting for your turn when it will be randomly determined who you attack, which will then probably be won or lost based on who all decides to gang up against either the attacker or defender, cheesy alien powers notwithstanding.

My 2-rating comment seems to get to the point of it:
"Annoyingly abstract, with long, boring gameplay with little strategic choice since you can't even attack who you want, and nearly every game of this I've ever had to suffer through was won by kingmaking. Yippee..."

I don't know. My friends have told me in the past that I'm too literal. Maybe I'm too literal for this game? Everyone else seems to love it, but I just can't stand it.
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20. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:425]
Angelo Nikolaou
Greece
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My rating: 3
Geek rating: 7.159
Delta: 4.16

Having played various Euros before Cuba, I was utterly disappointed. Tedious, noisy, very unintuitive rules (move on a straight line in your fiends???), random in a silly way, ends too early.

I've played it once with a friend at 2 players as a rules test. We both read the rulebook twice and were prepared for a nice Euro experience. The laws system looked promising. We ended up wrestling with the rulebook, burning out on role selection, fighting through annoying buildings and just when each one's machine started working, the game was over. 'That's it?' we both said. Never played again since then.

It just looks to me like a bad Puerto Rico clone. The market rule was pretty smart but still not done too well (easy to take advantage of the market) and the laws was almost good enough, but that doesn't save a mass of other rules that just don't make sense.

I could maybe be convinced to give it one more try. I'd play pretty much anything else instead.
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21. Board Game: Desert Shield: A Gulf Strike Expansion Module [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
Bill Bailey
United States
Sandpoint
Idaho
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Games I own that I like get a 10 rating, giving this a delta of 4.36.
Desert Shield is an expansion however.
The main game, Gulf Strike (10, of course) was next with a delta of 4.25.

I liked being able to simulate the actual war. I also had ideas for variants such as Saddam continuing in Saudi Arabia or Iranian entry into the war.

I only recently discovered on BGG that The General had printed Desert Storm counters and a map in one of its issues.
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22. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:51]
Mat Nowak
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Delta of 3.74

I really wanted to love this, I really did.

I rate this a 4. Mechanically the game works but it's just not fun for me at all. Whenever I play this I never feel like I'm controlling a certain species. It's just: put cubes in terrain where I can survive and be dominant, and then see what player-inflicted chaos will befall me. Grab a good take-that card and ruin other people's plans. Rinse and repeat.

Given the hotness of the game I expected this to be more thematic and for the different types of terrain to mean something other than a +X when scoring. The game feels extremely abstract overall. I'd rather play Primordial Soup which captures the struggle of survival and dominance in a more fun and faster package.
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23. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Michael Hovan
United States
Elkhart
Indiana
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Dumb Onion anyone? This masturbatory (the correct acronym is MWO, masturbation without orgasm) effort garners a whopping 7.913 from other geeks and a 1 from me. Is a zero possible?

I have been ripped many times for giving it a 1 and for having admitted to about 50 plays. I am sure to hear the same here. The number of plays just proves that I was willing to give it a try and have a friend whom I like more than I like the "game."

What a waste of time and money that purchase was. I gave it to the friend who loves it and play it on occasion because of our friendship. The "game" is solitaire at best. A race to see who can get lucky first is not a game to me.

Edited for typos.
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24. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:794]
Juan Carlos Goyes
Colombia
Bogota
Cundinamarca
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It’s true hard work never killed anyone, but I figure, why take the chance? - Ronald Reagan
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My rating:10
Geek Rating:6.814
Delta: 3.19


My number one game for 2 players. Each game is different than the last and it has many expansions. I love that it has next to nothing regarding luck (only in the random deployment of the rooms). Great fantasy theme (Dungeon Crawler). Always want to play it although be warned.. it is a brain burner.

To avoid a long play time, I recommend to play with the 2 minute per turn variant.

It has a steep learning curve but if you like games that made you think, I mean really think, this game is a must.....

Favorite Character: Thief
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25. Board Game: DungeonQuest (third edition) [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1314]
Rick
United States
Savage
Minnesota
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My Rating: 3
Geek Rating: 6.6
Delta: 3.6

Here's the comment I have in this game:
"Grab a d6. If you roll a 1-5 you die. If you roll a 6 you win. That about sums up how much fun this game is. And if you roll a die instead you'll save yourself 20-40 minutes."

A little background:
My two brothers and I went up to Fantasy Flight Games Event Center to check them out. They were demo-ing this game that day so we could play it for free. My older brother's wizard kept drawing chasms and dexterity/strength challenge type of tiles. Then he ended up stuck due to his tile turning so he couldn't get out. He died multiple times (we just let him respawn). My little brother meanwhile had made some progress and actually randomly drew a 200 gold treasure card. About two turns later he was dead. Seeing this I took my singl 60 gold treasure card and left. I "won" the game by doing nothing. The only reason this game doesn't get a 1 is because I think if I played it again it would be turned into a drinking game. Any time you die take a drink and continue. It would be a lot more fun that way...
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