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Subject: You probably won't want to finish Finish Lines rss

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Ben Lott
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When I was new to the gaming hobby, most of my purchases focused on party games. These games were great because everyone could quickly learn how to play, and we could play with large groups or small groups. One of the games that we played a lot at that time was Finish Lines. Unfortunately, playing it now I realize just how flawed this game is in it's current design.

What do you get with Finish Lines? Included in the game box is a board, 6 pawns, 1 six-sided die, a pile of little square wooden chips, and a box of question cards. Everything is good quality, and has held up to a lot of plays. But the box of question cards is packed a little too tight, and so the category dividers may get bent as you struggle to pull out the appropriate category question. This could have been simply remedied by just having all the categories listed on each card, like most trivia games, but they chose not to go that route which is unfortunate.

How does Finish Lines work? It couldn't be more simple. You roll the die and move your pawn. The player to your right reads the first part of a line based on the category you landed on (Timelines, Quotables, Literature, TV/Movies, Music.) If you can complete the line you get a chip that you place along the outside of the board on the colored strip that matches your pawn. If you can't complete it you get nothing. There are a few Special spaces on the board that cause you to give a chip, take a chip, lose a turn, etc. When you land on one of these spaces that action counts as your entire turn. So after performing the prescribed action or trying to complete the line, the turn passes to your left. The first player to fill their line with chips (I believe it takes 11 chips) wins.

What does Blott think of Finish Lines? As I said in the opening, we used to enjoy this game a lot. Looking back on it now, though, I find it tedious and not very enjoyable. It has a Trivial Pursuit feel to it. By that I mean you either know the answer right away, or you have no idea and you can only make a guess. It doesn't seem to cater to young people as many of the quotes are quite old, or come from books that they probably haven't read yet. Not to mention the fact that the game is just too long to remain fun. With a small group it's a bit more tolerable, because your turn comes a lot quicker, but with a full compliment of 6 players you will need to play for half the total amount of chips in order to keep this game from dragging on forever.

Who will enjoy Finish Lines? Some non-gamers might enjoy this game. We used to have a lot of success introducing it to people. However we have shown those same people many, better games and so now this is less accepted. Perhaps it could be considered a very first gateway game, as it steps people into the party game world with simple roll-and-move mechanics that they are familiar with. But I have a hard time saying that I would recommend this game to anyone. There are so many better options out there that there seems to be little reason to dwell on unpleasant games like Finish Lines.

Any parting comments about Finish Lines? It is also worth pointing out the disparity in how difficult the lines are in the game. Some are extremely basic ("The only thing we have to fear is...") while others are much more difficult ("Everyone should be respected as an individual...") This leads to those same complaints that you will see in other games in the trivia genre, where players argue about who is getting all the easy questions. So be forwarned, there is a lot to dislike about this game. If you want recommendations of some more enjoyable party games that are just as easy to teach and play, let me know. I'll happily steer anyone away from Finish Lines. Of course for the sake of nostalgia, I'll probably still play this game from time to time, but that's no reason to let others fall into the same trap.
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Billy McBoatface
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Blott wrote:
"The only thing we have to fear is..."
Fear itself. Whoo-hoo!

Blott wrote:
"Everyone should be respected as an individual..."
Ugh, that is hard. An individual turnip? An individual person? Nothing that makes sense flows decently. I give up.

Interesting to see a review of a game that used to be fun but doesn't seem so any more. Hate it when that happens.
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David Matchen
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Thanks, GROG!
 
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Ben Lott
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wmshub wrote:
Blott wrote:
"Everyone should be respected as an individual..."
Ugh, that is hard. An individual turnip? An individual person? Nothing that makes sense flows decently. I give up.


...but no one idolized.
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J Moravick
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I've played this game several times with family and friends and we've always enjoyed it so I'm not sure why you've given it such a harsh review.

And you might want to avoide "quoting" erroneous information in your blogs - I've searched and searched thru the game (and even in the booster card set) Mr. Blott and can not find that quote "Everyone should be respected as an individual..." anywhere in the game.

The game has a great mix of quotes and phrases for all different generations. I say "Try it.." Well, you know the rest!
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Ben Lott
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Gamegirl111 wrote:
I've played this game several times with family and friends and we've always enjoyed it so I'm not sure why you've given it such a harsh review.

I'm sorry, that our opinions differ on the game. However I hardly think this was a "harsh review". I even stated in it that I used to like the game, and suggested that some non-gamers also might enjoy it. I just personally don't enjoy it as much as I once did.


Gamegirl111 wrote:
And you might want to avoide "quoting" erroneous information in your blogs - I've searched and searched thru the game (and even in the booster card set) Mr. Blott and can not find that quote "Everyone should be respected as an individual..." anywhere in the game.

I was merely using that as an example of the disparity of difficulty between the questions. I never once stated that was an actual quote used in the game.


Gamegirl111 wrote:
The game has a great mix of quotes and phrases for all different generations. I say "Try it.." Well, you know the rest!

I'm glad you enjoy it. As I said in the review, I will even still play it from time to time for the sake of that nostalgic feel, I just don't see it as a top tier party game.
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