This is more a session report, being an experience with the book, than an attempt at a comprehensive review.
I ordered the book sight unseen. I read it pretty much from the time I got it. It's a hundred short pieces on favourite games, mostly by Americans involved in the hobby game industry.
Initially I was a bit disappointed-- I tend more towards eurosnootiness, and only about a dozen of the games were euros. Most are war games, with a solid smattering of RPGs, CCGs and miniatures.
What's great about the book is that the writers are all passionate about the games they've picked. The editors allowed a lot of latitude in defining "best", so what we get is games that people all really care about.
Even, and perhaps especially, when the contributors are writing about genres I'm not really interested in (like RPGs) it makes for very interesting reading.
The most interesting thing to me is that most of these games have been played by their champions hundreds of times. Even when they don't play the game any more, playing that game defined a chapter of their life. This makes for good reading -- people trying to work out what made their favourite game so compelling.
And I think this is why euros aren't as well represented. Most eurogames don't get played 100s of times. I (and I'm sure many, if not most, eurogamers) tend to prefer to play many different games rather than playing one title again and again. The only game in my collection that is worse for wear is Cosmic Encounter, which I played through university. (CE is the topic of the chapter by Bruno Faduitti.)
It's a good read. Recommended.
Location: 3' from my actual position.
I'm about halfway through it myself. I think the thing is we're hearing from a lot of people who have been in the industry since way before Eurogames were widely available or available at all.
It is as you said though a great insight into the industry and its history.
tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Never heard of it, will look for it, thanks for sharing.
Sounds like Cosmic Encounters represents those good times back in college when we had more time for games, and long games at that..................
Very good point.