I strongly believe that if you do not like a game after 1 play, you do not have to play it ever again. If you want to try it again, by all means, go for it! But if you’re only doing it because you feel like you “have to,” you definitely don’t have to!
When I dislike a game, I usually say I won’t be playing it again. And, I don’t know how many times I have been told that I “just need to give it another try,” or I “need to try this variant/home rule,” or that I “didn’t get it yet,” or “it’s better on the 2nd or 3rd play.” While all of that is great, if a game doesn’t ‘wow’ me, I just don’t feel like anyone should ever feel obligated to try a game multiple times if you didn’t have a good first experience.
With all that said, here are 10 games that missed the mark for me, and didn’t leave me wanting to come back for more.
10. Silverwood Grove
I was attracted to this game because it is absolutely gorgeous, there’s not discounting that. I also thought it had a fun and unique theme. But the gameplay just didn’t cut it. It’s kind of boring and repetitive overall, and having to spend action points to just spin your disk feels unnecessary and slow. The rules were also poorly written, which didn’t help as it left some things ambiguous and confusing. It was all just very disappointing.
9. Awkward Guests
I generally really like deduction games, but this was just a slog. It may have been partially due to a large player count, but the whole experience just turned me off from the game. It felt like it was just a game of hot potato, passing cards back and forth, and not getting enough new information each time, if any. It just dragged on, and didn’t feel interesting.
8. King’s Dilemma
Due to the nature of this game, I actually did end up playing it more than once, but I really did not want to, and I didn’t end up finishing the whole campaign. One play and I was pretty much over it, and subsequent plays did not improve my feelings. I was winning handsomely, every single game, but all I ever did was say “pass.” I don’t know how that resulted in multiple wins, but it did, and it was so, so boring.
I was excited for this one because of all the hype it has gotten. But it was just…fine. The theme sits a little on the blander side for me. And the game play didn’t feel like anything new or even exciting, so for me, I just wasn’t sure what all the hype was about.
This one definitely has a lot to do with the fact that I played this after I had already played a bunch of other deck building games. In part, it was also due to playing with someone who knew the game really well and absolutely demolished every other player at the table. I’m not a big fan of stagnant markets in deck builders, and the theme doesn’t do anything for me either. I know it’s a classic, but there are so many other deck building games that I would pick over this one any day.
5. Kodama 3D
I enjoy Kodama as a game, and I thought the idea of a 3D game in the same vein sounded like it could be pretty cool. However, it was not. Everything about the game was awkward and fiddly and it didn’t make the game it was based on better by any means, so it all sort of culminated in “what was the point?”
4. Firefly: Misbehavin’
I don’t have any attachment to the theme, but I still went into the game hoping for a decent game, based on a popular IP, especially since it is a newer game, and I played it not too long after it came out. But boy, was this one disappointing for being newer. You do so little every turn, and it’s just a race (and not a long one) to slap some cards out on the board quickly to hit the points needed to win. It’s just boring.
3. Escape: Roll and Write
Escape: The Curse of the Temple is an awesome game that has high tension, excitement, and never overstays its welcome. The roll and write game was just … the opposite. To me, this stripped out 2 of the most important elements of the original, first of all – the tension. The excitement and buildup just isn’t there, so it’s already a bit disappointing. Secondly, getting back the black dice when you roll golds. Removing that means that you can get completely destroyed because of your first few rolls because you can lock up a lot of dice before you get any power-ups. It fell incredibly flat.
I was “sold” this game as being similar to Mysterium, which was exciting to me because I love that game. I thought the idea of adding a traitor to that sort of mechanism sounded interesting too, because I tend to like traitor games (even though they stress me out). But it seemed like it was weighted heavily in favor of the traitor. Even if you make decisions quickly, it still gives you traps which make it so difficult to guess correctly. Plus, the traitor has a lot of control even when you vote them off. The grimoire also doesn’t know what other images are going to come out, so their clues can get completely thrown off, which kinda defeats the purpose of that role. It just seemed a little too convoluted in my opinion.
This game was just … ridiculous to me. Which I guess is part of the point? But that is just not the sort of experience I want when I play games. You have however much money you want to have and can bid whatever you want. BUT. If you have bid the most at the end of the game, you just insta-lose. The concept even sounds unbelievable to me! I played a game where people put absolutely ridiculous numbers down, which makes the game even more confusing especially when someone writes it in words and someone writes it in numbers. I just could not find any redeeming qualities about this one, so I never want to play it again.