Games that I can’t get anybody to play (and I’m not sure why)

June 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Because they all look like fun to me!

Balloon Cup

Balloon cup is a neat two player card game about balloon racing, where a series of terrain cards are laid down (plains vs hills), and players get hands of cards with differing values which are combined into low or high scores – the player with the highest combination scores the hills, the player with the lowest combination scores the plains. To make things interesting, on your turn you can either play a card to try to improve your own route, or play a card on your opponent’s route in hopes of making it worse.
Although this game has a strong following, it went out of print a while back – as a result, I went and had a knock-off made up using artwork created by another gamer:

I’ve mentioned it to my wife a few times, no interest returned – which sucks because one of the reasons I went through the expense of having the cards made up is I really thought this would be one she’d enjoy. It’s been collecting dust on my desk for months.


Camelot Legends

A card game built around the King Arthur stories. Each player gets a hand of knights and other characters from the stories, each of which have unique strengths and weaknesses, and use them to complete a series of quests more successfully than the other players. Really interesting looking game, never been played.



One of the most popular games released in the last decade, this was given to me by my sister in law, one game was played between my wife and I. She decided she didn’t “get” it, wasn’t interested in trying it again, and it’s sat on the shelf ever since.
Dominion is a “deck building” card game, where each player starts with a small deck at the beginning of the game and over the course of the game uses money cards and various special card actions to gain income and more cards for your deck that you can create hands from. Hard to explain clearly but it’s a neat and fun type of game.



A game where players compete to loot an ever-changing (and slowly revealed) lair of treasure and make it out before being turned into DragonSnackinz.
Got about half a of game of this one in with the wife before she decided I was “being mean” (the game allows you to make changes that will mess up other players) and quit.
Hasn’t seen the light of day again, but it seemed fun enough that I hope it will some day.


Formula D

I’ve played this a couple of times at gaming conventions and had an absolute blast – this Formula One racing game is seriously one of the most fun games I’ve ever played.
Because I went on about it so much, my wife bought it for my birthday last year – and even played it with me once. However, we discovered that this game is pretty boring with only 2 people playing – up to 10 can play and there just needs to be more cars on the track for it to feel like a real competition.
So far I’ve had zero luck in getting anyone else to try it though.



A really neat looking game where the players run beer stands at a beer festival, and compete for ownership of table space, ownership of the various beer stands, and invest in the various breweries that they think will have the best sales at the festival. A very neat mix of investment and territory-grab gaming mechanisms.
Have had one person express interest in trying it out pretty much based on theme alone, haven’t convinced anybody else yet – and the game has to have at least 3 players, optimally 4 for the best experience.



GOSU (GOblin SUpremacy) is a card game about warring goblin tribes. Each tribe has it’s own central theme (fire, tech, magic, widsdom, etc) and each card (which represent individual goblin soldiers) have it’s own special characteristics that come into play when that card is played which can affect other cards being played.
I’ve played it quite a bit online, and although it took me a few games to get the hang of it, I ended up falling in love with this game.
After mentioning it a few times, I ended up getting it as a gift from my sister in law. My wife tried it with me once, declared the game had “too much going on” and never wanted to touch it again. It’s been collecting dust in storage since.


Last Chance

Last Chance is a sort of combination of a betting game and a yahtzee/press-your-luck dice game. I enjoy both types of games, so I figured having them both in one could be really fun.
One player gets a card showing a combination of dice that they must get within a certain number of rolls. The other players make bets on whether they think that player will actually be able to do it or not.
Have had it around at a couple of parties, zero interest shown for it.



I’ve gotten to play this one once, many years ago, and haven’t been able to get it played since.
In Metro players get random track tiles and try to create the most valuable routes while at the same time trying to keep the other players from doing the same. I recall that I quite enjoyed this one, but it’s been a long time.


Mission: Red Planet

In this steampunky-themed game players take control of various characters each turn as they attempt to use their abilities to make the most progress at getting rockets full of colonists fired off to Mars, after which there may be struggle for territory.
The game was designed by the guy who designed Citadels, a game which my wife has really enjoyed and it shares some of the same play mechanisms, but this one requires at least 3, so it’s sat on the shelf unplayed for months on end.



A card game about battles between vampire clans, I won this at a gaming convention a while back and haven’t gotten it played yet. Has some game play similar to Dominion (mentioned earlier) but with a much darker theme, and the ability to “chain” cards to create nasty combos.



This is a classic light/mini war game where one player plays a troop of soldiers, and other other player plays one solder: a huge monster war machine with insane amounts of weapons and armor.
I recall liking this the last time I played it – 20 years ago or so. I still have a copy, but haven’t talked anybody into playing it again.


Open Rails Origins

This is a “print and play” game that acts as a sort of entry-level introduction to the variety of popular “railroad tycoon” type board games out there – it has somewhat simplified rules and a relatively small board which gets in the basics in a relatively short play time (allegedly around 40 minutes or so as opposed to the 4-6 hours (or sometimes even longer) that the more advanced games take).
I found the idea so interesting that I hand-built a copy from files on the internet – printed out the map & cards on cardstock, mounted board, created and painted my own wooden cubes, etc. I also played a hand in editing an even more newbie-friendly copy of the rulebook.
In this game, like most train games, players take on the role of railroad barons or investors, making bids to get shares in companies, and then once having enough shares to take control of a company, do the best job of laying and upgrading track, as well as buying and upgrading trains to create better income opportunities, in hopes with ending up with the most cash made from your investments by the end of the game.
I explained the game concept to my wife, and she made a sarcastic comment and walked off (apparently anything even touching on an investing or business theme, she is solidly not interested in).
Have one friend who said he’d be interested in checking it out, but when I suggest giving it a play it never seems to actually happen. We’ll see.


Pizza Box Football

This is a fairly simple game where the two players try to out think the plays that the other is likely to go with, and then roll a set of dice to see the results. Sort of like a board game version of the many football video games that have used this type of play theme.
Thought for sure I’d get one of the guys to play this – hell, it’s about football.
But no, it’s been mentioned a few times and I’ve seen no interest expressed for it.


Roller Coaster Tycoon

Got to play this one once, a little over a decade ago.
In this game players bid to get the best rides and then try to get the most business.
Another fun bidding game with cool 3D rollercoasters, but haven’t gotten it back to table yet.


Scotland Yard

Another quite popular game where one player plays the role of a criminal moving secretly throughout the city, and the other players play police inspectors who have to follow clues to hunt him down before he gets away.
I’ve never had a chance to actually try it, but I consistently hear good things about it.


Small World

This is another game that I played online a few times, loved it, and immediately went out to buy it.
A little bit like Risk, but in this game players play with a series of randomized races (each with their own abilities) and randomized special powers – for example you could end up with flying dwarves, or seafaring wizards or alchemist amazons or any of dozens of other combinations, making the game different every time, and some of the combinations can be downright entertaining.
Although I think the game is great, I’ve yet to convince anybody else of it, and it’s sat on the shelf unplayed for a year or so now.


Stack Market

Stack market is a dexterity game that has a light business investment theme pasted on.
Essentially, players over a series of turns try to create the tallest stack of dice (wooden cubes with pips painted on to appear a bit like skyscraper windows), and how high that “building” gets determines how successful that company is and how much money you make from it.
Looks/sounds like fun to me, but haven’t gotten anybody to try it, possibly a little bit due to the business theme. Haven’t even bothered to open up the bag of cubes yet, and I’ve had it for a couple of years now.


Sucking Vacuum

In this game, players are on a space station on which a disaster of some sort happens causing them to have to make a run for it – but there is a shortage of space suits. Players compete to get that suit, having no problem with tripping each other up along the way in the process.
Have had it for years, never found anybody who had an interest in playing it – possibly because it’s another game where you can be “mean” to each other.



Survive is a game from the 80’s that is recently enjoying popularity again due to a very nice reprint edition that came out a couple of years ago. In this one, players are attempting to rescue people from an island that is slowly collapsing tile by tile, and the survivors attempt to make their ways to sounding safe islands without being attached by roaming sharks or sea monsters.
I seem to remember liking it when I was younger, would like to try it again. Haven’t convinced anyone to join me yet.



Wiz-War has had a cult following for decades, and was out of print for at least one of those decades if not longer. In this game that was one of the first to be dubbed a “beer and pretzels” game, players each play a wizard in a maze, who are trying to steal treasure chests from each other while going at each other with spells which are played from a hand of spell cards.
I seem to recall playing it once, a long, long time ago, and enjoying it. But it’s been well over a decade since this one has seen the table.


Wizard’s Quest

This is an older game that I actually picked up only a few months ago, though I’ve mentioned it a couple of times and have gotten no interested reactions.
Has some play that again seems a bit “Risk like,” but in this game players play adventurers racing to find a trio of treasures spread out across the board, while along the way having to fight off hoards of orcs, occasional dragon encounters, and random, sometimes good, sometimes bad, interference from a wizard.
It looks really neat, and I’m hoping I’ll actually get a chance to try it sometime.



This is one that I think may cause it’s own issues between the name and the “is this a kid’s game?” image on the box cover. However, it’s been described as essentially “Zoo Tycoon the board game” and is supposed to be quite good (the name comes from it using some of the mechanisms from a card game called Coloretto).
With this one I thought my wife might be interested due to the “cute animals” themeing, but no such luck. It’s been a dust collector on the shelf.


  1. EDB said,

    But I have video games….

  2. shadoglare said,

    Meh. Video games bore me – even if I find one I kinda like, I’m usually done with it within a matter of a few days if not hours. I think the last one that actually held my interest long enough to complete the whole game was Portal, and that was a while ago.

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