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11935June Top 10 Games....Including Fan Letters

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  • Craig Massey
    Jul 1, 2002
      Well, summer is here which traditionally has meant the
      new games have come and gone. Some stick around
      hitting the table with regularity and others get one
      or two playings and then fade to the back the the
      closet. This means that the summer months see a lot
      of older favorites come out as well as older games
      that were missed the first time around. That's
      certainly the case with this months all new, super
      exciting Top 10 Games Played List.

      I always say in jest that the UG readership is
      clamoring for this list. Everyone knows that the only
      clamoring is in my head. But, this month it seems I
      was off as I found my mailbox stuffed on a daily basis
      with letters from adoring fans. So after reading
      through the deluge, here are 10 letters that fit well
      with this months Top 10.

      Dear Game Snob.

      All I hear is that German games vastly superior to
      everything else. How can you be so myopic and fail to
      acknowledge some of the old classics. You're a jerk.

      Bad Mood in Beverly

      Well Bad Mood, it just so happens that I finally tried
      an old classic, playing Star Fleet Battles for the
      first time ever. I always avoided it given the
      volumes of rules, but after trying a 4 player team
      game, I was pleasantly surprised. The basic game
      wasn't all that complicated. I can see this getting
      played a couple times a year or more.

      Dear Egghead,
      Sometimes my group wants something light and simple.
      Even Crokinole is too heavy for us on occassion. I'm
      talking really mindless stuff. I'm just not bright
      enough to handle anything deeper. Suggestions?

      An Anal Moron

      Mr. Moron is looking for simple and it just so happens
      that I have the perfect solution. Try Mause Ralleye.
      Frank Branham suggested this last year so I got a copy
      and like an idiot, it sat on my shelf untouched for a
      year. All you do is try to race your mouse head
      around a pothole filled track. Each completed lap
      scores a piece of cheese with the most cheese winning.
      This is all done with a stick used to flick the
      pieces. Very little brain strain and loads of fun.

      Dear Mr. Hypocrite,
      Each month you invariably have an abstract game on
      your list despite repeatedly professing your dislike
      of abstract games. I'm sure this month will be no
      different you big phoney. I love your list by the way
      - keep it up.

      Signed The Cambridge Kasparov.

      I'm glad to see people pay close attention to the
      monthly lists. I do generally dislike abstracts, but
      always seem to find the exceptions. This month is no
      different. Richard S. introduced me to a 2 player
      dice game (yes, this really isn't a true abstract so
      it's an exception to the exception). The game is
      Saxum and its an old Sid Sackson game played on a 5x5
      grid with a bunch of stones and dice. Ask Richard for
      more details.

      Dear Big Loser,
      I tried Wallenstein based on its spot in last months
      top 10. I hated it. What are you recommending this

      Worked Up in Watertown

      I'm recommending Wallenstein again. I'm enjoying this
      more each time I play it. Anyone who doesn't like
      this is a mental case. Besides, there is almost
      always one game that carries over from month to month.

      #6 and #5
      Oh Wise One
      Your monthly list is a continued source of wisdom and
      inspiration for me. I can't imagine valuing someone's
      opinion any more. What games from the past few years
      see regular play?

      Signed, Bellingham's Answer to Hemingway

      Dear Old Man,
      Two games spring to mind - Ra and Web of Power. Both
      are seeing consistent play since they came out. They
      both provide a nice amount of depth in a short time
      frame and if I were to redo my all time top 20 games,
      they would both have spots. Web of Power now has a
      two player expansion (Kardinal & Konig: Das Duell)
      that works extrememly well.

      To Whom I May Concern,
      I'm on a tight budget. How can I maximize my gaming
      dollar and still have enough cash at the end of the
      week for shoes for the baby and smokes for the wife.

      Signed, A. Nonymus

      Your in luck. You can now get a classic gaming
      experience at a fraction of the price by buying Santa
      Fe Rails. This is a reissue of an older game of
      Alan's - Santa Fe. This one has been updated by GMT
      games. I've had the chance to play it twice now and
      in addition to enjoying it, I've discovered that I own
      Pitt in this game. Good times.

      #3, #2, #1
      Dear Mr. Nixon,
      Lighten up. You need to play more party games. All
      these strategy games on your list have you looking
      like Tricky Dick in wingtips at the beach. There is
      more to life than auctions and tile placement. You
      should be impeached.

      Signed, South End Party Animal

      Dear P.A.
      You're right - sort of. I have a long history of
      party game in the monthly top 10 list. To help prove
      it, I saved spots 3, 2 and 1 for party game this

      Reel Schpeel is more of a true trivia game, but one
      that is very accessible, especially for fans of the
      silver screen. It has a charades element that keeps
      it a lot of fun. This is an older game that as a
      movie fan, I should have tried much sooner.

      People Magazine Game (Pitt can confirm the title) is a
      two be released game that has a great timer. It
      combines charades, impersonations, and Password skills
      in a nice team game where you try to guess the famous
      celebrity/person. I'm looking forward to trying this
      one again.

      Abtracts is a game that pushes your creativity in clue
      giving beyond the norm. As a clue giver you try to
      get your team to guess the famous place, person or
      thing by providing clues such as "If I were a game, I
      would be a ????" This one has seen a lot of table
      time on the north side of town (we all know this is
      the cool side).

      That's it for now. Keep those letters coming.


      Craig W. Massey

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