The Overlooked Value of a Game Review— Helping Everyone Have Better Game Nights

So last time we talked about what goes on in the brain of your gaming host when they are trying to decide what game to play. This time we’re going to talk about how valuable game reviews are. The two are related. Trust me. Let me explain:

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“What Should We Play?” When a Game Host’s Brain Explodes

So a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to email somebody on BGG who happened to live close to me, and I asked him to join me for a game. Since I did that, the rest is history. That email grew into a strong friendship with my co-host, Brian, and a thriving regular gaming group, the Janesville Pegheads.

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The Plague of the Unplayed Game

It’s been a year and a half since we seriously started board gaming and it’s been intense to see how fast our little collection has grown.  Before, we had maybe 50 games, all classics (and Ethan’s Hero Quest found in a beautiful bargain find).  Now looking at our board game collections (Ethan has the most up-to-date list, you can check it out here), we have 266 different games, expansions and promotional material.

This large collections comes with a price (let’s not talk about the literal price, that might make our wallets hurt).  We have a “pile of shame.”  This is what we call our unplayed game list.  It didn’t mean to come to this.  We had every intention of playing every single one of our games multiple times.  But then GenCon happened and there are lots of new and shinies there, plus, Kickstarters that I didn’t know were coming in the mail and the “OH YEAH THAT’S BACK IN STUFF ON COOLSTUFF” buys.  It just kind of happened.

This seems to be a problem with many of the gamers I know, there are games in their collections that they haven’t had a chance to play, or have only gotten to play once.  What is there to do about this issue plaguing gamers?  The first solution would be to, obviously, stop buying new games.  But that suggestion is utterly ridiculous and should be highly ignored. (Unless you’re my husband. Ethan, listen to this suggestion.)

What if the problem is that you just don’t have the right player count to play the games?  Then host game night!  We try to bring games we can’t play two players to our game nights, this helps with the pesky problem.  There are also times that the Pegheads host an “Unplayed Game Night” specifically for this problem!

What if there simply seems to be no solution for this problem?  Try as we might, we still have games we haven’t played; on my last count, we have 26.  We bring them to meetups, we try playing them at home, we simply just don’t get to them.  So, we’ve set them aside in a neat little pile right beside our game table.  You practically have to trip over them to walk into the room.  We’ve also said we will not buy anymore games until we get to less than 10 unplayed games (a rule in which I broke today, oops).  We’ll get this problem solved, eventually.  How do you deal with unplayed games?