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Friday Question: Is There a Game You Refuse to Play?

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No one likes the wet blanket. The spoilsport. The poo-pooer. But sometimes a game is so insufferable that any sane person is given no choice in the matter. Which leads to today’s Friday question: is there a game that you refuse to play? A corrollary question: how do you get out of playing the game you hate? Answer in the comments.

@FarmerLenny answers:

There aren’t many games that I refuse to play, but a game that I hate is Apples to Apples. The game is subject to the caprices of the judge, who invariably is ill suited for that position (read: he doesn’t choose my card). I am also not a fan of Mafia. The game is mob ruled, and any player who uses logic is killed the first round. Or, he lives through the first round of killings, which goes against the “killed first round” normalcy and casts suspicion on him, making him the first victim lynched. (Read: I always get killed first and have to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the game.) I usually don’t refuse to play these games, but I try to steer the mob toward something more fun–which is almost anything.

@Futurewolfie answers:

I will pretty much play any game that a whole group wants to play, even if it’s not my favorite.  Aside from obvious no-nos like Monopoly, I am actually not much of a fan of Bang.  I try to avoid any game with player elimination (unless the game ends within 13 seconds of the first elimination) and in my experience, Bang either ends way too quickly with the death of the sheriff, or stretches on far too long after a few players are out and can no longer participate. Whenever a less-tasteful game is brought up, I either take the hit and don’t complain and just try to enjoy being with friends, or offer up a different game that everyone can participate in.

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

Discussion15 Comments

  1. Settlers of Catan. Way too many playthroughs have contained frustration, king-making, yelling and/or outright hostility between players. I do think that much of it had to do with the group I was playing with at the time, but the game just gives me a very unsettling (ha) feeling whenever I see it.

  2. I hate Munchkin. Most everyone in my group knows how badly I hate Munchkin, so this really helps it not be much of an issue. Plus, since I normally bring the games, I simply don’t bring it… because I think it’s horrible (I have said I would play it one more time, just to review it (which would be about a 1)… so maybe Mr. Jackson prefers that I not play it.)

  3. @Chris–My wife’s first experience of Settlers of Catan was awful, and she almost never gave it another chance. I think it’s a great game, but it can be a polarizing experience, and it’s usually not a game I’m itching to play. It’s respectable for you to swear it off. Also, nice pun. 🙂

    @Josh–Why do you hate Munchkin so much? (For the record, I’m not a huge Munchkin fan either, though I probably wouldn’t refuse to play it.)

  4. I don’t know – something about the complete randomness and stupidity of it. The only other games I’ve played that are in that category of my hatred are Killer Bunnies (absolutely hate the end of game when you determine winner) and Anti-Monopoly (which doesn’t ever have an end of game).

  5. That’s a good point–it’s frustrating when a game is predicated on randomness (which, from what I hear, is Killer Bunnies to a T). I like at least some facade of an equal playing ground. This is one of my frustrations with Cosmic Encounter, though I still (mostly) enjoy that game.

    My problem with Munchkin is the spite. But even then I can normally overlook it since the game itself is meant to be zany.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Josh!

  6. After a year in high school in which my circle of friends played Mafia *constantly*, I have developed an allergy to it. I’ll never play again.

    Also, Phase 10 is the death march of card games. There are so many better versions of Rummy, like Zion Check, for example.

  7. I refuse to play Killer Bunnies. I went through about 6 expansions hoping the game would improve. Trust me, it doesn’t. Not only is it unduly difficult to teach to new players, but the gameplay is absolutely broken. If you don’t get a bunny (or two) in your opening hand, you’re fooked.

  8. I generally enjoy Munchkin but i can certainly see why some really don’t like it. What annoys me more is the zillion different “expansions” and “versions” that are all the exact same thing.

  9. Killer Bunnies is getting no love here today. Will anyone be its champion? Or is it to be forever banished to the “will trade” pile on BGG? Who will come to its rescue?

  10. I generally avoid games that have mechanics that I dislike which include player elimination, blind bidding as a major mechanic, large doses of randomness that can’t be midigated, and heavy reliance on social interaction to be ahead.

    There are definitely ways to incorporate those elements in a way that I enjoy (Amun-Re, BSG) but I generally try to avoid games with one or more of those as a major factor (Revolution, Werewolf/Mafia).

    From time to time theme can be a major turn off as well (I’m looking at you Founding Fathers) but for the most part I will play anything regardless of theme.

  11. There are very few board/card games that I’ll refuse to play, because even if the game mechanics are flawed you’re still generally playing with people you like enough to spend some time around a table with.

    However, I’m done with First Person Shooters. Playing online can be fun with people you know, but unless you have a boatload of friends on at predictable times (or the wherewithal to pull off a LAN party) you’re gonna end up playing with some ******* who seems to rely more on psychological (emphasis on Psycho) warfare than actually playing the game.

    There’s just something about FPSs that draw the mean out in people. Maybe its the illusion of stressful combat situations, i don’t know.

  12. Risk. And don’t even TRY to get me to play Castle Risk… I will stab you in the eyes. I get out of playing these games by snatching up the pieces and grinding them in the garbage disposal and then using the leftover shrapnel to threaten stabbing the owner in the eyes. 😛

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