My response here would be much longer if it were “Games you bought after zero plays or less”. So, this category mostly represents games I wasn’t sure enough about to buy blindly. But in other cases, it is games I thought I would not like and had a great time with (i.e. the point of the thread?)
Alchemists – I actually already suspected I would very much enjoy this game, so when a friend bought a copy on a whim, I was ecstatic to play it; I wouldn’t get a copy until much later and… as a gift, so I’m not sure it counts (but I did put it at the top of my wishlist due to my adoration for the game after just one play)
Architects of the West Kingdom – I had written off the entire <Blank> of the <Blank> series from Shem Phillips and his collaborators. But a friend was eager to play his new arrival so we set it up and I was pleasantly surprised with a lovely little twist on worker placement. My enjoyment of this game set me up to spend a lot of money on the all-in pledge when Viscounts of the West Kingdom was on Kickstarter
Champions of Midgard – Similar story to Architects above, same friend, same motivation (play the new game!). I expected a thin veneer of “vikings” on top of an uninspired worker placement game. But I found a thin veneer of “vikings” on top of an interesting worker placement and resource management game with some interesting push your luck decisions with risk mitigation effects. I bought it, but I also went in for the Reavers of Midgard Kickstarter in the process and… well, haven’t played that, but based on what I’ve heard about it it’s not much more than a large paperweight.
Evolution – Another case where I was already pretty sure I was going to love the game; when I was at a friend-of-a-friend’s house and someone else pointed at Evolution on his shelf, I was giddy with excitement. I went on to win that game and within the next week had picked up a copy of my own and introduced it to my partner.
Flamme Rouge – I had written off Flamme Rouge after SUSD’s review because I just don’t care about cycling. But after one play, I found it to be an absolutely fantastic hand management game with a theme that (still doesn’t do anything for me, but) integrates with the mechanisms of the game so well.
Pandemic: The Cure – I probably would have bought this eventually anyway? I tend to like “the dice game” versions of bigger games because they have a tendency to distill the essence of the game down into simpler and, crucially, more interesting decision points. I do think I prefer The Cure to regular, old Pandemic (which I’m sure will ruffle many feathers).
VOLT – I played this via Yucata with forum members and fairly quickly tracked down a copy.
Technical Inclusions for which I don’t have anything interesting to say:
- Fluxx (after playing base Fluxx and Monty Python Fluxx, we ended up picking up a few other iterations of it; and then we inherited a few free copies into our collection somehow? Star Fluxx and Firefly Fluxx are my favorite; my partner really enjoys Oz Fluxx, which is fine)
- Sushi Go Party! – we already had the non-Party version
Nippon Rails – I had actually received this as a gift (my wishlist had Railways of Nippon on it, the FLGS employee had never heard of that but suggested to my partner I might have meant this one). I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep it or return it; my then-neighbor offered to play a game with me using his copy. I immediately fell in love and shortly after bought all of the Empire Builder crayon-rails games; I did eventually track down Railways of Nippon, but so far it’s gone unplayed (and I also eventually got Age of Steam, which I think I’ll like better anyway). So one play saved it from being returned.
War of Whispers – I never played this before pledging for it, but I was (kindly) allowed to spectate a game played on TTS by some forum members. I thought to myself, “I will never be good at this game, but this is a game I should get”. I then pledged for the reasonably-priced base game + expansion on Kickstarter.
Dodged a Bullet!
There are games I’ve played once and promptly removed them from my watch/wish/to-buy list!
- 1889: History of Shikoku Railways
- Terraforming Mars