Topic of the Week: Your Worst Game

What’s the worst game in your collection? Why is it there?

Of course, define “worst” however you see fit. But curious about games in the collection, not languishing in a backroom cull pile.


Azul: Master Chocolatiers - if this is normal Azul, I would have sold it, as I have played this so much. But the Masters Chocolatiers is a pretty game :relieved::relieved::relieved:


Friday. It’s a simple maths puzzle that’s massively stacked against you and… that’s it. Once you play it you realise that’s literally all there is to it. Win enough challenges to build up your strength before they get too hard or… don’t. It turned up on some “top 10 solo games” lists and I do not understand why.

I kept it anyway because there’s a chance I’m wrong and I should dig it out occasionally to check.

But the actual worst one is the Vampire: The Masquerade kickstarter card game Prince’s Gambit, which is so bad I’m annoyed they were allowed to charge money for it.


Depends how you define worst

Lowest Geek Rating: Tatari, it’s only in Japanese, and bit odd. But Knizia PYL, better than HeckMeck IMHO

Lowest Average Rating: Gang of Dice, not available in the USA. But Knizia PYL. Better then HeckMeck again

One not in my BGG collection: The Business Game/Mine a Million. Memories of playing at my Dad’s

Personal least favourite: Escape from Atlantis. Kids love to gang up on me and I now own the all plastic 1980s edition.


I think Guillotine is probably the worst I own. Decisions are trivial but present. Exceptionally arbitrary and planning between turns is non existent. However it stays due to the fold out guillotine and for those not deep in to rules and hobby games it makes sense and they can learn and have fun quickly enough that it’s often a hit. I think of my sister and her friend many years ago who wanted to play games but as they weren’t au fait with the concepts they loved this one best as it felt least like work for them and they could delight in collecting heads and laugh gleefully when a card got a big score or pissed off another player. So sometimes it’s the best game in my collection.

Quarriors could get a shout as it can frequently result in a boring game state. Where no one’s rolling anything interesting or even worse one player is rolling consistently well and everyone is rolling consistently badly. However when it hits it’s so much fun and in addition I like the push your luck vibes of try a strategy and it may or may not work without your skill being particularly important. And the dice are fun if you can remember not to eat all the hard cube sweets in front of you.


I can’t remember whether I still have it, but Munchkin Axe Cop actually matches the gameplay to the theme (a webcomic written by a five-year-old and drawn by his twentysometihng brother). “But suddenly, competely unheralded thing X happens!” It’s the only Munchkin I’m willing to play.

In terms of pure mechanics Firefly is probably not great, but I still love it because the thematic integration.


Like an anti-train game


There have been games we’ve bounced off of pretty hard: Arkham Horror 3rd Edition (way too much rules overhead for what is essentially a dice-chucking game), Pandemic Legacy Season 1 (too much faff setting it up and putting it away for not nearly enough payoff compared to the base game, and it actually put us off legacy games in general), but I wouldn’t call them bad games, necessarily, just games that didn’t work for us.

But the objectively worst game still in our collection has gotta be Full House (Full House Deluxe Edition | Board Game | BoardGameGeek). ZERO meaningful decisions, no strategy, just… Nothing. It’s a slightly more tolerable Monopoly, because it’s at least shorter.


Games that I still have, that are rated terrible by me and also BGG…

  • Chez Geek: keeping it out of nostalgia. We had good times back at uni… when we were assigning characters to our friends.
  • The Isle of Dr Necreaux: one of the first cooperative games I encountered. In the end we mathed it out. It’s been going back and forth between keeping and going for years now.
  • One I haven’t played yet but has been rated 5.7 on BGG is “Raid” a kickstarter by a couple first-time (and probably last-time?) designers. It took a long time getting to me. And now I don’t feel like even checking it out… one of those. It looks pretty though. Ah those were times I backed weird kickstarters. I have some regrets…

But none of these are really “in my collection” … nostalgia doesn’t quite count and neither does unplayed.

So the worst-rated-by-me game I have that I really want to play again is Black Angel. I railed at it for being incoherent and having too many moving parts and was mad that the cool mechanic from Solenia and the beautiful Ian O’Toole art were drowned into disparate minigames.

So I gave the game to friends who wanted to try it saying “you can keep it” … only they returned it to me a few months ago. They had never played it.

And now I am kind of keen on trying it again. It’s been a few years and I am maybe a bit more objective because the stakes are lower (I didn’t just spend a lot of money on a pretty Ian O’Toole cover, a cool name and a unique mechanic that maybe doesn’t shine as brightly off-center)

It might still be the terrible hot mess I thought it was last time all those years ago. Or maybe not?

Oh and as I write “hot mess” I am reminded of Tindaya, that one is really a hot mess rules-wise. Black Angel is nothing against that one… but as it is on the “need to get rid of this asap” pile it also doesn’t count.


I think I managed to give away Quarriors while my partner wasn’t looking.
But his dice fetish has other options like Rattle Battle Grab the Loot. That one is worthy of a lengthy post I guess… or not. I can’t give it away. It’s so uniquely bad…

edit: as far as I remember… it’s been years: In Rattle Battle…you throw a bunch of dice into the lid of the game and where they land in the lid and whatever face they show determines what happens. Obviously everyone is on a pirate ship that is trying to rattle and battle and grab some loot to make it a better pirate ship… the dice throwing mechanic has to be among the weirdest stuff we have in the collection. The stuff one tries and buys at SPIEL… :sweat_smile:


I remember consistently seeing Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot! on sale on an online marketplace for really cheap, and while somewhat tempted to just give it a go due to the very low price figured it had to constantly be at a low price for a reason and avoided it.


Looking at my collection on BGG… the lowest-rated game I own is Rivers, Roads and Rails, 5.413. Which is a sort of domino like game: each card has one or more of river, road and railway track, and you’re extending the path by matching those. It’s not a masterpiece, but there is a game there.

The Bird Told Me To Do It, 5.439. I’ve played it about twice, but I quite enjoyed it.

Hipster Dice, 5.451, isn’t much of a game; I got several copies when I was demonstrating for SJGames.

Statecraft,5.441, I thought I could build a better version of the thing. Haven’t done so.

Cats’ Mansion, 5.466: N cats, N toys, your goal is to get your cat to your toy but you can move any of them and which one is yours is a secret. Quite fun.

Make It Happen, 5.487: ex-demo copy from Essen, haven’t looked at it.

Go 500, 5.503: there’s a variant rule set on BGG which is much better.

What’s Human Era doing down at 5.511? That’s great fun! Witching Hour, 5.515? You BGG people are weird.


Python-opoly: a gift from a friend. It’s like Monopoly but without the auctions, and therefore objectively much much worse than Monopoly. The theme cannot redeem it.

Oh, wait, missed the thing about “in collection”. I don’t have a backroom or a cull pile, but among games that actually get played, it’s:

Anywhere Doraemon, Japan Travel Game, bought by my wife for the kids. It’s a roll and move, which is fine for the intended age range, but the die is a spinner that lands fairly predictably, and the board requires you to buy 7 souvenirs, each from a different region, on the way to the goal. Each souvenir is tied to a specific location within a region, and when that souvenir is bought, that location becomes useless to everyone else. But there’s no way to mark that - the souvenir cards are in separate piles off to one side that you have to search through to find the matching one. Also, the production is awful: perforated sheets for the cards, in this day and age? Just, awful.

If I restrict it to games for adults that I actually like:

Bunny bunny moose moose. People just don’t seem to click with this, for some reason. I still think it’s good.


Ignoring my children’s games (why did I buy my daughter Mouse Trap, oh why), I’d say my worse game is 3 Wishes.. Got it in a Secret Santa a couple of years ago within our local gaming guild, and since I got it I have played it twice with the children, and refused to join any more Secret Santa since. I still got it because I cannot see how much I can get for a second hand $10 game, and I cannot be bothered to give it away. Plus it is a tiny game, so it doesn’t bother me terribly for storage yet.


I’m mostly pretty picky so I don’t have a ton I’d describe as outright bad, even if I have a fuzzy spot in my heart for them (Talisman, say. Don’t own it, do have massive fondness.)

That said, I think the obvious pick is Myth. The rulebook was infamously so bad out of the gate that it was not really playable as written, with notable mechanics entirely omitted and what was there messy as hell. And the game underneath that was basically roll-your-own-Gauntlet, which wasn’t really what I had signed up for. Still, the card play and classes and threat mechanic and such were all promising enough that I signed up for Journeyman, which was a mistake as the company went out of business midway through, and have been waiting for years more in the hopes that as Ulisses Spiele picks up the pieces and revamps, the version they end up releasing will realize that promise. It definitely seems less completely roll-your-own-game, which would already be a huge improvement. (I also went in on their sci-fi game Mercs Recon, and it was fun but nearly as messy and I ended up giving it to a friend that wanted to use the minis in a tabletop wargame, as well as paint them.)

Next to that…The Ares Project - being honest, I’ve never even opened this. It was on sale at CSI or Miniature Market for like $10 and there’s probably a reason it was that cheap, but asymmetric conflict with one of the factions being a giant mech sounded really neat. But also, it probably is bad in some way.

And Eldritch Horror - I really enjoy this game but it’s random as hell and there’s too much of it and it takes too long and there are better Lovecraft games by a long shot.


My worst rated games (by avg vote) are Scarab Lords and Minotaur Lords at 6.02 and 5.94 respectively. I thought this is a cool mid-way between Battle Line and Blue Moon.


Maybe Murder of Crows. I think it’s a really bad game and I have no intention of ever playing it again, and yet it’s a tiny box with really pretty cards, so I haven’t gotten rid of it either.


Not in my collection any more, Scythe is the worst game I’ve ever owned. I just don’t get it.

However, my ire is reserved for Space Base. I’ve played this monstrosity 10 times on BGA. So many people I have shared game taste with love it. It’s just… rubbish. Maybe too much Machi Koro previously. I really dislike variable markets in games, but chuck that on to the banality of the gameplay and I’m lost.

I’m mid cull at the moment, so all of the games I don’t enjoy are actively being sold.


I don’t think I dislike space base as much but I also don’t get the love. Also it’s an aesthetic monstrosity and looks like clip art.

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So, for me, (i) leaving aside games that will one day - hopefully, before too long - get culled (Munchkin, V-Commandos which I’ve never really gotten along with, among others), (ii) looking at what what I have listed in my collection at BGG, (iii) counting only games that I currently own, (iv) excluding expansions, (v) sorting by their Board Game Rank, Geek Rating or Average Rating, and (vi) considering titles that I will keep at least for now … two titles seem to come out among my bottom “Worst” games as ranked - yet I still enjoy them:

Deadwood (First Edition) is a fun little game where you play jobbing extras for a schlocky film studio and try to compete for roles to earn the best money. One of the first CheapAss games I bought as I did like it but haven’t played it for ages.

Cards Against Humanity which still gets social (!?) table time with the right group although obviously it’s not for everyone.

Also low on those listings is one of my favourite titles, Statis Pro Football, which is a strategic simulation of American Football but long since out of print (last released properly in the early 1990s). It remains popular among diehard fans, who have kept the game going with each new NFL season by releasing new player cards - and helped inspire the development of my own cricket game (still to be finalised).

If “worst” is definited in terms of what I have and I will keep but am the least likely to physically play, that is a tough question. Leaving aside a few games that I own but have yet to try out, in fairness, probably it might be Fortune and Glory. I love its theme and gameplay - even its unnecessary randomness - but its setup time compared to solo game time means that it’s hard for me to get it off the shelf, especially compared to A Touch of Evil or Eldritch Horror.

Note: I would have listed Night of the Living Dead: A Zombicide Game which I find a real chore but it’s only had a couple of solo plays and I will probably sell it - the overhead of managing so many characters was frustrating - and if I keep it it may only be because of the minis. Perhaps a possible question for a future weekly topic is about zombie games, as I’d still like to find a good and more manageable solo one (pending my first playthroughs of Carnival Zombie when I get the chance).