Dedicated to Corinne of Games & More! in Des Moines
Steve Bennett
United States
Grinnell
Iowa
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Some people are just good ambassadors of the gaming hobby. Corinne Harrison was the manager of Games by James at the Valley West Mall in West Des Moines. Last year they closed that store and opened a new one in the new Jordan Creek Mall. Corinne took her knowledge and love of games and opened her own store, Games & More! at Valley West.

She has always surrounded herself with knowledgeable and passionate people. She treats her customers right. She gets to know them so she can make worthy recommendations. And she has encouraged me in my own game design efforts. Her store has a well-stocked game closet where you can pull out a game and try it before you buy it. They are now hosting game nights every other Sunday at 4:30. I'm hoping to go to tomorrow's (April 3, 2005) session.

This list is made up of games I own because of Corinne and her staff, both at Games by James and her new Games & More! Thank you, Corinne.
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1. Board Game: 10 Days in the USA [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1793]
Steve Bennett
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Knowing that I have a daughter with Down Syndrome, Corinne recommended this one and even loaned me a copy to try out at home. It was a hit, and we now own it.
 
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2. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1587]
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She loaned me this one at the same time. Lo and behold, it was part of my Christmas haul.
 
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3. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:317]
Steve Bennett
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I became immersed in games when I designed a couple of party games and decided I needed to learn more about the state of games today. I found Boardgamegeek, and then I went to Games by James to buy some of what I was reading about. I have fond memories of that seminal visit. My wife was away on business. As soon as the kids got out of school, I loaded them up and we drove the hour to the game store. I went in with a list of games I wanted to check out. I emerged with 3 things that weren't on my list, all based on store recommendations. We endured a blizzard to get home and then spent the next several days in repeated playing of this game and the next one. I love Citadels.
 
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4. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:897]
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Part of the same visit as above. This is a game my daughter can compete in. She doesn't always play the games we play, but this is one she never passes up.
 
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5. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:369]
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This was part of the same haul as above, too. However, we have never had a satisfactory game of this. I think we need to try it a larger group and with some people who know what they're doing. I guess it's supposed to be kind of interactive, but it's pretty sedate when we play it. Oh well. You can't win on every game.
 
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Steve Bennett
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This is another game we can play with our daughter. Usually, though, it's just my wife and me. We introduced it to friends we play with, and now they own it, too.
 
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7. Board Game: Democrazy [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:12896]
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By virtue of turning me on to Bruno Faidutti and Citadels, they managed to sell me Democrazy. It's one we enjoy, but we need more people than we usually have available.
 
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8. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1001]
Steve Bennett
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Knowing we had a 13-year-old son, this one was recommended. He's a fan of Fluxx and likes the chaos in Guillotine.
 
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9. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
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This is often the first game people cite when they talk about their rebirth into modern gaming. It was merely part of the progression for us. It's one we play a lot.
 
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10. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:519]
Steve Bennett
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Grinnell
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They had a demo set up in the store. Corinne was effusive in her praise of Blokus. We don't bring it out as often as we should, but it's a good game that we enjoy. And it's one our daughter can play on even terms with us.
 
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11. Board Game: Odds'R [Average Rating:4.59 Overall Rank:14762]
Steve Bennett
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This is an odd one. Pun intended. The lottery is too extreme. The game takes too long for the type of game it is. The questions aren't particularly well written. Still, we've had some good fun with it. One session stands out. We were playing with our two kids, 13 and 15 years old. One of the questions was about how many college women prefer doggie style. The answer was some ungodly high number like 85%. My son's eyes got wide and he almost wet himself he was laughing so hard. It flew right over my retarded daughter's head. We haven't played it with the kids since.
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12. Board Game: Like It or Lump It [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Steve Bennett
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Grinnell
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My daughter's favorite game. There are no right or wrong answers; it's all based on the opinion of the judge. It's a great one for getting to know people.
 
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13. Board Game: Things... [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2969] [Average Rating:6.13 Unranked]
Steve Bennett
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Grinnell
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My favorite game. We played it with our friends and then went to Corinne and bought our own copy. We played it just last night and had as much fun as ever with it.
 
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14. Board Game: Coda [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2886]
Steve Bennett
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Grinnell
Iowa
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Coda is one my wife bought based on Corinne's recommendation. It hasn't been a big hit because our daughter often gets mixed up about putting the black numbers before the white ones. Plus she doesn't think too logically about number sequences.
 
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