Friday, April 19, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part Four (93-91)

Julie is right, Red7 should be higher in my Top 100, probably much higher, so should Sentient, and Jekyll Vs. Hyde. Initially, I just ran our collection through the ranking engine and then I started these blog posts. Upon review, some things just seemed out of place. I think that I made some decisions based more on how much I wanted to get a game back to the table, than on how much I liked the game. Julie pointed out in several instances, "But, we've only played that game once." It's true, we have a lot of games that we have only played once. Most of these I am excited to play again. But I probably shouldn't translate that excitement into how much I like the game. I decided to do some manual adjustments to correct some of the aberrations that I found, but the ones that I have already blogged about are locked in, at least until I try this list again in another 3 or 4 years.

#93 Scooby Doo! The Board Game

This is a game that Julie and I will agree to disagree on. She likes it, but she doesn't love it. I love it. Horrified didn't make it into my Top 100. Horrified is a great game, but for me, Scooby-Doo! completely replaces it. They are both "scary-season" appropriate cooperative games, and they occupy the same basic space in game complexity (if you play Scooby-Doo! on its hardest level.) But, Scooby-Doo! is Scooby-Doo! (I think that I just won my argument there.)

In Scooby-Doo! players take the roles of the iconic characters from the classic cartoon series. You can play Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, or Fred. The characters each have a special power that they can use once during the game by eating their scooby-snack. (Horrified doesn't have scooby-snacks. Scooby-Doo! wins.) Players move around the board collecting items to build traps to capture the big bad.

Movement is done through card play for both the players and the villain. The design here is such that moving from player actions to the villain actions is very intuitive and you'll never forget to take the villain turn (which has happened to me in some other cooperative games.) Movement cards also have an initiative value on them and this can be really important because you need to balance when you want to go compared to the other players and the villain. Timing means a lot in the game.

If characters take "damage" action cards are discarded. Running out of cards means running out of time and this is one way to lose the game. As the villain moves around the board they haunt the different locations. Having too many haunted locations will also lose you the game. For locations you have all the classics like the malt shop and the amusement park.

The board and components are beautiful. You even have the Mystery Machine that you can drive in (if you have gas!) I love Scooby-Doo! so much! It's so thematic and so much fun that it's my 93rd favorite game of all time! (Side note: there are a few Scooby-Doo games out there. If you decide to try this one, be sure to get: Scooby-Doo! The Board Game that is published by CMON. The logo is in the lower left corner of the box.)

#92 Copenhagen: Roll & Write

Copenhagen: Roll & Write is basically Tetris the board game. One player rolls a set of five dice with colors on them. The more colors that you can match, the larger Tetris sized pieces you can draw on your paper. The other player gets to choose among any unused dice to mark a different area on their sheet to gain special powers.

Tetris pieces that you draw have to start at the bottom of your grid area and go up. You can only place a piece if it can sit on top of another. It's very Tetris. You get bonus points for completing rows and columns. The game ends when someone hits a certain threshold of points and the person with the most points wins.

Copenhagen: Roll & Write scores high on the quick and easy scale. It's landing high on this list because Julie and I have played it quite a bit recently, and it's just so easy to get to the table. And yeah, the Tetris puzzle is really fun! That makes Copenhagen: Roll & Write my 92nd favorite game of all time!

#91 Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins is one of those games that I adjusted and pushed lower down my list to give other games a chance. I remember really liking my play of this, but we have only played Lost Ruins of Arnak once and it's been awhile. So, yes! I really want to get this back to the table. But, I can't remember enough about it to do it justice here. 

I remember that it's a worker placement game and that you use workers to explore ruins to gain resources to buy cards to gain powers to perform more and better actions to explore more ruins to get more resources. Doing all these things gets you points. The actions are tied to a cool "Indiana Jones" type theme and I remember really liking it. 

I have got to get this game back to the table! Who knows with a few more plays Lost Ruins of Arnak might become even better than my 91st favorite game of all time!

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  1. I love Scooby-Doo so much. I have Betrayal at Mystery Mansion and haven't even got to play it yet!! This one sounds great too. Also, LOVE Lost Ruins of Arnak. Great worker placement/resourse game.

  2. Oooh! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion sounds like so much fun! Maybe we could get together to play it when Julie and I are in town in a few weeks?