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Subject: Games that didn't live up to the hype (October 2014). rss

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dennis bennett
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So i've recently had a couple of "not so amazing" experiences with games thta had received quite a bit of hype and i thought it could be fun (and informative?) to have a threas about games that received much hype but then didn't quite live up to it.

And a geeklist to go with the thread:
The Grumpy Badger's Whinery (Games that didn't live up to the hype)

Some of my most recent experiences:

Machi Koro

A cute little game. Emphasis on "little". Why the big box? this feels like it should have been a 10$ game in a tiny tuckbox. There just isn't enough game there to keep you interested for long. I got it because i thought it would be a good gateway game for some of my super-casual friends, but it just wasn't involving enough. The game is too random, small adavantages in the early turns can build up to huge advantages later on, or not, depending on random dice rolls... The game then ends really abrubtly when players suddenly make 15+ coins a turn, with no real way to hinder them.

I don't know, might get Splendor instead or build my own copy of Bazaar

Coup
After having played Love Letter, one night ultimate werewolf, resistance and bluffing games like liar's dice quite a bit this felt less exciting than i thought it would.
Sometimes too random, other times too deterministic, like the best thing to do wasn't necessarily the most fun thing to do.
Okay. Interesting. Maybe worth exploring more, but why should we, when we have the aforementioned games that we enjoy so much more?


Star Realms
After i finally managed to get a copy and also found the time to play a couple of rounds: "want to play another round?" "mhm... not really..." "Yeah, me neither... let's paly something different..."
Some things i liked better than i thought i would. The artwork is actually pretty good and consistent (though some ships are abit too similar...).
But then you only get 5 ships to choose from in the center row, too much randomness, too much "reacting" instead of being able to plan and develope your own strategy. Cards didn't feel balanced too well... The 50 point life scale felt clunky (especially with the cards to keep track of it).
Playing just didn't feel rewarding.

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mike
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Robotech RPG Tactics
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Caverna
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Brook Gentlestream
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For me, the games that didn't quite work for me were:


Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
I don't like how most of the objectives seem to come down to a race, with various strategies coming down to simply how to waste just one of the opponent's turns so you can ultimately win the race. The missions feel easily solvable to me. Many times I know what we should do to win, but this doesn't necessarily equate with what we thematically want to be doing.

Zpocalypse
As much as I think I would like a tactical survivors vs zombies game, this just didn't do it for me. The mechanics felt simple and contrived, and its most innovative mechanics such as tracking noise were simply a waste of time in most turns. Although I liked some aspects of its design, I just didn't feel like this was put together very well.

The Ares Project
This game is awesome. It is almost perfect for me. Almost, but for one annoying trait crucial to the game design: there's a large player shield in front of each player that blocks you from the other players. It's literally a barrier between you and the other players that gives the game a weird feel. I'm not very comfortable in playing because of the shields. And when we're in public, it looks silly.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Even with the expansion, this game didn't appeal to me. I think if I hadn't already been exposed to Ascension (with its expansions), I might have felt differently. The rules of this game seemed awesome, but I didn't like how the actual cards interacted. They were often simplistic. I also didn't feel many of the mechanics worked thematically. Most heroes, for example, have cards meant to be used inc onjunction with their own other cards rather than the cards of other heroes. I didn't feel many heroes were represented well. People who were meant to team up didn't actually make an effective team in the game. The colors were distributed almost randomly. (Rogue was able to drain herself of power in order to become stronger!) The whole game just didn't feel Marvel to me, despite the awesome rules and artwork and it ruiend the experience. I was much happier with the way cards interacted with other cards to form combos in other games.
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/|\ Roland /|\
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Five Tribes . An AP fest puzzle that frankly Istanbul does more elegantly and faster.
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Ray
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Sheriff of Nottingham. I love Dice Tower and Arcane Wonders, so I had a friend buy this and ship it to me from Gen Con.

The game delivers for fun banter, but I found it to be just easier to collect sets of legit goods and try to get people to search your bag by acting suspicious every once in awhile. I was a bit sad.
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I agree Coup fell flat. I didn't want it to and played it a fair bit...but in the end, ONUWW/LL/Resistance could all fire it, esp ONUWW.

Of the games I played recently, Terra Mystica fell flat, though that was partially because i couldn't follow all the rules. There's so much there that you need a few games to really get the feel for it IMO.
 
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dennis bennett
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Another one was Sushi Go!.
Cute. Cute art. Fun theme. Actual game play felt too random and not meaningful though. Just not engaging enough.

For a quick little filler or introductory game Love Letter is still my go-to game. Never seen new/casual gamers not like it. Always irritated at first (WTF? little red velvet pouch and the terrible name), then we all have great fun and everybody wants a token of affection... great!

I still have hopes for sushi go. It felt like there might be more there and maybe i'm just not getting it (same feeling with coup).

Just that after all the hype (or lets say at least quite a few positive reviews) i was expecting more of an "yeah, this is at leats an 8/10 and i can't wait to play it again" kind of feel, but what i got was more of a "??? really? oh well... maybe 6/10? 7/10? anybody want to play another round? not really? yeah... lets move on..."
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Wade C.
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lordrahvin wrote:


Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Even with the expansion, this game didn't appeal to me. I think if I hadn't already been exposed to Ascension (with its expansions), I might have felt differently. The rules of this game seemed awesome, but I didn't like how the actual cards interacted. They were often simplistic. I also didn't feel many of the mechanics worked thematically. Most heroes, for example, have cards meant to be used inc onjunction with their own other cards rather than the cards of other heroes. I didn't feel many heroes were represented well. People who were meant to team up didn't actually make an effective team in the game. The colors were distributed almost randomly. (Rogue was able to drain herself of power in order to become stronger!) The whole game just didn't feel Marvel to me, despite the awesome rules and artwork and it ruiend the experience. I was much happier with the way cards interacted with other cards to form combos in other games.


I find it interesting that you feel like having played Ascension made you dislike Legendary. I had kind of an inverted experience. I'd played Ascension but hated it, so I was wary of Legendary since they seemed similar in many ways. When I finally tried it, I found that I loved it. It fixes pretty much everything I disliked about Ascension (including drastically better art).

I do agree, though, that it doesn't always feel like you're playing in the Marvel U. It also is much better with the Dark City expansion (not sure which you played with).
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dennis bennett
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rayzor6 wrote:
Sheriff of Nottingham. I love Dice Tower and Arcane Wonders, so I had a friend buy this and ship it to me from Gen Con.

The game delivers for fun banter, but I found it to be just easier to collect sets of legit goods and try to get people to search your bag by acting suspicious every once in awhile. I was a bit sad.


Damn! I had high hopes for that one!
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Andrew Long

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The Gryphon edition of Bazaar is still available. whistle
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Darrel Johnson
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Munchkin

Terribly unbalanced to the point that I find it no fun to play.
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Eric Johnson
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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game was over-hyped for me. I like the game, but the crossroad cards only go off once in awhile (supposed to be revolutionary). The rest of the game is pretty good, but it isn't necessarily better than other thematic games. We'll see over time if this stays in the front of the shelf.
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Matt Brown
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blitzfatigue wrote:
Munchkin

Terribly unbalanced to the point that I find it no fun to play.


Considering the hatred on this site for it, there's likely not that much hype for it.
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Matt Brown
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Also, Coup has worked wonders for the people I have played it with. Yes, The Resistance is better, but you need 5 to play it as where Coup gets away with lower player counts.

The one that wasn't worth the hype for me is Splendor.
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dennis bennett
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matthean wrote:
Also, Coup has worked wonders for the people I have played it with. Yes, The Resistance is better, but you need 5 to play it as where Coup gets away with lower player counts.

The one that wasn't worth the hype for me is Splendor.


Oh dear, really? Have you played Machi Koro? Was Splendor worse than Machi Koro?

Yes, i see the point about player count for Coup... i think i might generally not be too bothered about playing that type of game with 4 players though...
 
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Alison Mandible
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dennisthebadger wrote:
I still have hopes for sushi go. It felt like there might be more there and maybe i'm just not getting it (same feeling with coup).


It's pretty fun as a 3-player when everybody has the same skill level, though still very much a filler.

But I very quickly burned out on teaching it, because an experienced player will crush new players. And since I got it because it was quick to teach, this has left it in limbo.

(I think the advantage that comes with repeat plays is less about strategy, and more that it's a lot harder to remember what's in which hand when you haven't played before. After a few plays, one can easily track how many shrimp and sashimi are left in each hand, for example. 5p is just random card-passing. I don't think I've played with 4.)
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Matt Brown
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dennisthebadger wrote:
matthean wrote:
Also, Coup has worked wonders for the people I have played it with. Yes, The Resistance is better, but you need 5 to play it as where Coup gets away with lower player counts.

The one that wasn't worth the hype for me is Splendor.


Oh dear, really? Have you played Machi Koro? Was Splendor worse than Machi Koro?

Yes, i see the point about player count for Coup... i think i might generally not be too bothered about playing that type of game with 4 players though...


I haven't played Machi Koro, but it keeps in my head as kind of being a filler version of Catan and that might work for me, but I also want games that are more than merely decent. Coup has been bought by two different people I have showed it to so it is hard for me to really knock it. I fully admit that my initial impression was "So what just happened?" I've had it for like a month, and it has gotten the most plays this year. It is still one of my lowest rated games I own, but it keeps working.

EDIT: I see the inquiry about Splendor. I just think it suffers from not being memorable.
 
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Andrew Shegda
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Cosmic Encounter


^^ Absolute crap.
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Scott Nelson
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Wow. I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way on some of the .
beforementioned. Caverna, splendor, coup, all no wow factor for me.
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Randy Espinoza
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Is it perhaps your group? Most games kind of need to fit the group to feel like fun. Sushi Go!, Machi Koro and even Star Realms are mostly about having quick fun and with the right group are a blast; they are not deep by any measure and shouldn't be expected to be. I say try them in a different setting/group.

Perhaps it is simply that they cross your randomness threshold. I think Splendor is a great test. If that one also falls flat the common denominator is not the games but something else.
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dennis bennett
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Espinoza wrote:
Is it perhaps your group? Most games kind of need to fit the group to feel like fun. Sushi Go!, Machi Koro and even Star Realms are mostly about having quick fun and with the right group are a blast; they are not deep by any measure and shouldn't be expected to be. I say try them in a different setting/group.

Perhaps it is simply that they cross your randomness threshold. I think Splendor is a great test. If that one also falls flat the common denominator is not the games but something else.


You were addressing me?

Sure, i think sometimes it's the group, other times it's just the specific evening or occasion where games just don't seem to catch on the way they otherwise could.

In the case of Coup i was really surprised myself as we all really had a good time with Love Letter (mindless random game), ONU Werewolf and Resistance.
Machi Koro was probably the game where i disliked it the most while most other players had a good time but didn't seem too involved (nobody directly complained).
Sushi go (with 4 players) just felt pointless.
Star Realms was essentially "i see there are different cards and potentially different strategies, but none are available reliably so why should i bother?" and OMG did i hate the fiddly/clunky 50 life point cards. There is a reason why MtG only gives you 20 life to start with and most other values are single digit...
 
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dennis bennett
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Just added a geeklist:
The Grumpy Badger's Whinery (Games that didn't live up to the hype)
 
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King of Tokyo

No idea how your opponents are doing because the designer decided to waste money on personal spiny dials only you can see when a central track would be better. Not enough energy to get use of the fun part. One decision in the entire game (when to leave Tokyo). Randomness decides everything, cards like wings are bullsh*t while others are useless or boring.

In the SUSD video for kingdom builder one of the guys was trying to tell me how satisfying placing a wooden house on the board was and why that makes it a good game. I feel this game is the ameritrash version of that feeling and like kingdom builder requires several variants to be fun. Kingdom builder had no hype for me and was half the price.
 
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dennis bennett
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scott3387 wrote:
King of Tokyo

No idea how your opponents are doing because the designer decided to waste money on personal spiny dials only you can see when a central track would be better. Not enough energy to get use of the fun part. One decision in the entire game (when to leave Tokyo). Randomness decides everything, cards like wings are bullsh*t while others are useless or boring.

In the SUSD video for kingdom builder one of the guys was trying to tell me how satisfying placing a wooden house on the board was and why that makes it a good game. I feel this game is the ameritrash version of that feeling and like kingdom builder requires several variants to be fun. Kingdom builder had no hype for me and was half the price.


I like King of Tokyo because other people liked it... and what's not to love about being a big monster in Tokyo??? come on?! AWESOME!!!

But i agree with all your points and have houseruled that every player starts with an extra energy cube or two. In fact, i care so little for the actual rules of the game that you can just buy whatever power up you want or reroll your dice a 4th time. Who cares?

And yeah, why didn't they just ahve a scoring track around tokyo?
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