So, it’s April Fools Day. Sometimes I do a fake post here. This year, I think I’m going to continue my series of Games I Haven’t Played by looking at the worst of the worst. The lowest ranked games on BGG. The games so universally despised that scores of BGG users have ranked them a 1. I’m starting at the bottom and working my way up. Rankings are accurate as of March 31.
LCR (Uncredited, 1983, #20472) is a dice game. You roll three dice. If you roll an L, you give a chip to the player on your left. If you roll an R, you give a chip to the player on your right. If you roll a C, you put a chip in the center of the table. If you roll a dot, nothing happens. The dice are passed around ad infinitum until someone is the only one with chips. The goal in this game is to be the best at rolling dice. There’s no choice at all, and I am very glad this is on my unplayed list.
The Oregon Trail Card Game (Uncredited, 2016, #20464) is a game based on the popular computer game. Basically, you’re trying to play trail cards in sets of five to make it to the end of the trail. You can die of dysentery randomly, or you can have trail cards that don’t line up. The rules are a busy mess of eight bit graphics, and the game sounds completely random. Like many kids that grew up in the 80s, I played a lot of Oregon Trail, so I’m sad that this game seems so bad. I imagine other people’s similar disappointment has led to it being the most recent game that is so badly rated.
Battle of the Sexes (Uncredited, 1997, #20462) is a party game that pits men versus women. You’re asked questions the other gender should know, then you move across the board if you get it right. It’s a party game, so I’m out from the beginning. But it also seems very sexist. I can’t think of anyone I would play with who would WANT to play this, even those who like party games.
Roulette (François Blanc, 1796, #20457) is the classic casino gambling game where a ball is placed in a spinner, and people make bets about where the ball will land. It’s not really a board game, it’s an activity you can do while in a casino. I can’t imagine anyone buying themselves a roulette table and playing casually, especially if money isn’t involved.
The Game of Goose (Uncredited, 1587, #20456) is a classic roll-and-move type game that is probably responsible for inventing the genre. You roll dice, you move the indicated number of spaces, unless you roll certain combinations of dice, in which case you move to other spaces. Some spaces have specific instructions, and the object is to hit space #63 exactly. There are no decisions, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to anything, and it looks like something I’d never want to play. Nice art, though.
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game (Uncredited, 2001, #20454) is based on the popular book series. Basically, you’re given a situation and you have to determine the best response. Get it right, move ahead. Get it wrong, your opponent moves. I’ve heard plenty about this game and have no desire to try it. Not even ironically (which is sometimes the best way to play games like this).
Monopoly Junior (Uncredited, 1990, #20453) is the kid’s version of Monopoly. The theme is changed from being a ruthless real estate tycoon to building an amusement park. It works like Monopoly, except there’s no Jail or Community Chest, and train spaces are roll again spaces. It seems to take out the interesting parts of Monopoly (acquiring and trading property), and dumbs everything down for the children’s market. Interestingly, it is higher ranked than its older brother. Go figure.
Anti-Monopoly (Ralph Anspach, 1973, #20451) is, as its title suggests, a game that goes against the principles of Monopoly while basically being a clone. In essence, you’re a lawyer going around trying to bust up monopolies rather than acquire them. It doesn’t matter, still doesn’t seem like something I want to play.
Fact or Crap (Uncredited, 2001, #20443) is a trivia game where you decide if something is true or false. Speed is important as the first person to get it right gets two tokens. Anyone else who gets it right gets one token, and anyone who got it wrong loses a token. You win by having the most tokens, or by being the last person with tokens. I got this for Christmas several years ago, but never played. I don’t have it anymore.
Pay Day (Paul J. Gruen, 1975, #20442) is a game that is played over the course of 31 days. You have to deal with bills and other expenses as you try to make property deals and earn more money. At the end of the month, you get paid, and then need to pay off all outstanding debt. It’s an interesting idea, it’s just marred by standard roll-and-move mechanisms, and apparently there’s not much choice.
Jumanji (Uncredited, 1995, #20439) is based on the 1995 movie, which in turn was based on the 1981 book by Chris Van Allsburg. The story is about a board game that comes to life, and has to be finished so all the animals will disappear. The game in the movie is a typical roll-and-move no decisions game, and the real life game seems to be the same, except without the excitement of having animals pop out. I guess a board game tie in with a movie about a board game is obvious, but it seems like they should have put more work into it.
Boy, Uncredited designed a lot of games on this list, didn’t they? I’ve played too many of these low ranked games, partly because most of them are considered to be the cream of the crop in the mass market world. Here’s what I have played: Tic Tac Toe, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Bingo, War, Trouble, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Operation, Go Fish, Mouse Trap, Old Maid, Sorry!, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Cootie, Pachisi, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Battleship, Pick Up Sticks, Twister, Barrel of Monkeys, Guess Who?, Checkers, Connect Four, Top Trumps, Memory, Hangman, Perfection, Simon, Blackjack, and Solitaire. Do I think all of these belong on the bottom of the list? No, not at all. A lot of these are just easy to pick on because they are so well known. Hungry Hungry Hippos is fun, if not really a game. Go Fish is an excellent game if played with the three-card set rule. Monopoly is not as bad as its reputation. Candy Land…well, no, Candy Land is terrible. So is Old Maid. Just remember these rankings are from a certain set of people, those who consider themselves above such drivel as is listed here.
OK, that’s enough terrible for today. Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading!