Thursday, August 09, 2007

Game Snobbery

Last night, I had a chance to play Igor: The Mad Scientist's Lament. I was discussing it later with my wife, and I said, "It's a good filler, but gameplay could get pretty repetetive pretty quickly. I don't think I could play it more than two or three times in a month. It's just too light and there are too few strategic decisions to be made."

She used one of her standard responses, "Game snob."

I always argue with her that I'm not a snob. That I'll play nearly anything at least once.

But she does have a point:

I don't generally like light filler games. Party games are playable occasionally. There are three games that I've rated "1" on the 'Geek. Two of them are party games, and the other is a filler.

There are faster-playing games that I like better than these.

Here are a few filler games I enjoy:
Mamma Mia! - It's fairly quick and simple. My group enjoys it. I enjoy it. It takes less than an hour to play, even with the expansion (Sole Mio!) mixed in.

No Thanks! - It's very simple. And extremely cutthroat. My group gets particularly ruthless at this game.

Coloretto - It's quick and simple and cutthroat. There's a bit of push-your-luck to it, but there's a fair amount of screw-your-neighbor as well.

Mmm... Brains! - I'm a fan of Knizia's games. This is something I taught my co-workers to play in less than ten minutes, and we'd finished a game in 15.

Each of these games plays in less than half an hour, and they're small enough I can haul them with me anywhere. Each of them also includes genuine strategic decisions. There's a fair amount of luck in each of them, but you can make decisions w hich decrease the impact of that luck.

These are what I look for in a game. I'm not a fan of "roll-and-move" games unless there is choice or genuine strategy involved.

It may be snobbery, but I consider it a matter of preference.

Also? I love my wife, even if we don't always agree.


  1. You mean, like this?


  2. VERY nice. Yes, much like that - I think you said it much better than I can: "There is always a trade-off. When you know nothing about art, you might like 90% of all art. When you know a lot about art, you may like 20% of all art. Net loss: the enjoyment for 70% of all art. Net gain: a deeper enjoyment of the 20% you now like. And, a realization that the 20% you like is still so big a field that you won't exhaust it during your life. So who has time for that other 80%, anyway? It also means that you now have to be passionate about finding that 20% you enjoy, because it isn't going to be available at Walmarts."

  3. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Eric, you lost me at that first "90%" :)

  4. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Whoops! I just realized that was a quote from Yeuda. My bad!