Sometimes, we receive games that we only play once or a couple of times. That’s not enough information for a full review, but it’s usually very telling if no one wants to play the game again. Sometimes we really just don’t like a game, or sometimes a game just doesn’t hit for us, or sometimes a game just doesn’t stand out for more plays. Here’s a look at three games we’ve played in the last few months that we didn’t love. We’ll start with our least favorite and end with our favorite.
Quick Review: Tiny Epic Dungeons
This game was infuriating. The components are pretty amazing, with screen printed wood minis and linen cards…
…but the rulebook was horrible.
I rage-quit my first solo game because the rules were so bad.
I asked my friends to play a game with me and see what I did wrong: “Surely I was doing something wrong!” After playing through again, they had the same reaction: this rulebook isn’t very good and it seems to be missing information.
Andrew found a 14-page supplement (that’s right 14 pages!!) online to to understand the iconology of the game: this supplement was critical to understanding the game. Even with that, the game just wasn’t that easy to play, and it wasn’t fun.
Nobody in my group liked it: We’d probably give it a 3.5/10. It only gets a 3.5 instead of a 3 because the components were so nice.
We could be completely wrong on this one: The rating on BoardGameGeek was like 7.8/10.0 at the time of this quick review, but no one in my group liked this game. At all. I will probably never play this again.
Quick Review: Tales From the Loop
I played this one solo first to get a sense of the rules: the rulebook was “ok”, not great: it needs a better organization, but all the rules were mostly there.
Then, we played a 4-player game. The basic mood of the room was “Eh, it was okay”. We like the kid stuff the best (“do your chores sometime during the week”), but the game didn’t really hit us. I had seen the show, but my friends hadn’t: I had described the TV show Tales From The Loop as a “Twilight Zone meets spartan Scandinavian sensibilities”.
This game didn’t really convey that sense. I didn’t get the feel from the game, and my friends didn’t get that feel either. The game was ok. It felt like it would be a bit samey after a while. It was also pretty complicated too.
No one really hated the game, but no one necessarily would suggest it again. I think we’d give it a 5/10 as a group. If someone wanted to play, we’d play again.
Quick Review: Mortum Medieval Detective
So, this was a weird one. I was super excited to play this: me and my friends had played Suspects (the murder mystery game) over a few weeks (see review here) and this seemed to promise that same mystery (with three cases, just like Suspects), but in a Medieval setting.
Sounds cool! But the game wasn’t at all what we expected. It didn’t feel like a mystery at all! There were some things you had to figure out, but it was more like “explore until you find things”: I never felt we had a chance to uncover and follow the mystery, we either just got lucky or we didn’t.
We guessed at the solution and did really well, but it all felt too random: we don’t felt like we deserved the score we got: we felt like we just got lucky.
After playing, we realized that if we reset our expectations to this being a “story in which we explore in a Medieval setting”, then the game is much more fun! But with the word Detective in the title, we expected much more of a mystery like in our Top 10 Cooperative Detective Games. Of all the games here, we might play this one again: we were interested in trying it again after we reset our expectations: We’d probably give this a 6/10 currently. This one may still go up in ratings: we just don’t know what we think. It was a weird one.