Board Game Breakfast # 88 – No More Mediocre Games!

Views:19293|Rating:4.90|View Time:27:45Minutes|Likes:287|Dislikes:6
Tom Vasel takes a look at the news for the week, joined by a host of friends

Convention for Sam and Zee –

Show Notes:
0:20 – Intro
1:07 – Board Game News (contest)
2:31 – Kickstarter News with Board Game Brawl
5:30 – Whitleypedia
7:38 – Dice Tower Productions
8:47 – Head in the Clouds with Chaz Marler
11:37 – Gamers to Avoid
12:10 – Dice Dice Baby –
14:26 – Building Blocks
16:24 – Things that Tick me Off
17:13 – Board Game Baker
19:04 – Tom Thinks (Stop the Mediocrity)
24:04 – Snakes and Lattes
26:18 – Closing Thoughts

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21 Responses

  1. GrimsFedora says:

    You have a Rankin Bass stop motin Boris Karloff mask!? Like, from Monster Mash? 


  2. Kelvin Lau says:

    I was directed from a Chinese translated source and jump right to 19:04 – Tom Thinks

    BULLSHIT. The reason why games are mediocre now is not if they have poor marketing, poor rules writing (in which people can’t play it if the rules are that bad anyway, or they are just genuinely dumb if they just cannot understand the well-written rules and know the author’s intention).

    We had days back in 1995 where there is not much of the modern internet and games rules are not written that well. But every game is refreshing. The theme is refreshing, the mechanism is new, the parts are innovative, and popular games open a new field.

    And we are ok to fix the game if the rules are not that well-written. It has always been easy and obvious.

    It is the problem nowadays game publishers are not taking effort into making games. Yes, but not in the superficial stuff like not posting up a video or no marketing. People with a normal brain know how to google and eventually end up in BGG. In which they would know almost all news sources.

    The problem of mid 2010s games is that they are not new. They are of recycled mechanics. some of them are even an old game in disguise only packaged with a new theme and parts ONLY. Expansions are a bundle which adds trivial and incoherent, cheap and redundant mechanics which hardly have correlation with the base game at all. Or either there is no strategic depth because there are clear balancing issues that the authors and publishers didn’t bother to solve. Even average players would find out the loophole and abuse, making the game monotonic unless otherwise oddly forced not to do so.

    Or either, it is yet another "anniversary game" that publisher push it and ask premium without addressing gameplay or rules issues that have been plaguing the particular community for 10 years with tonnes of fruitful discussions and suggested solutions. They just do not care but money.

    How could those so-called tested games have obviously overpowered or flaws like the infinite VP bug in Caverna The Cave Farmers or +1/-1 development cards in RFTG: Aliens Artifact?

    Most only care about pushing games into markets before a deadline or financial year. They care about catering the casual groups only, as game qualities do not matter and they just have to fit a good theme with old mechanics to please them, which is the same as the video and PC game market, and obvious in the completely half-assed mobile game market.

    The community and publisher themselves should stop the positive praise circlejerking. Make real comments about the games and accept legit criticisms or otherwise the market would be saturated and become fed up with these recycled items.

    Stopped watching when I heard Ticket to Ride. It is a good example of mediocre game with a flat and repetitive gameplay early game and end game with not much involvement of strategies but fancy random mechanics to generate the otherwise not available game positions.

    And it was funny. If the publishers are not that bad that they write good rules and the post videos to teach people how to play, who would need these mediocre rule teacher and reviewers anyway? Probably those who enjoy fandom but cannot take criticisms. You have to entertain those who never win anyway to keep them flowing money to you.

  3. chanm01 says:

    That Snakes segment was… surreal.

    I can't decide if the border control agent was dense, if he was trying to determine if Steve was dense (and malicious), or if he himself sometimes questions the value of his function and is merely using the rigorous performance of his duties as ironic criticism of the entire situation.

    Also, Paul Tseng is in that segment (for like a second)!

  4. Keith Parker says:

    if people think a game is mediocre or bad…dont buy it!

    there will ALWAYS be bad and average games 

    Tom doesnt seem to understand that it takes a hell of a lot of  effort to make a good/okay game great…probably far more effort than actually making a good/okay game

  5. AlexeyTea says:

    You know what's buuuuuulshit?


  6. Michael Sean O'Connor says:

    Did I dream or Tom said "Cut the corners !" and further up "Don't cut the corners !"  lol    Just kidding.  😉

  7. Doma Agape says:

    Tom I loved your rant on game quality. Some people here think you mean game component quality, but obvious you didn't mean that when you discussed other people who don't know the game testing it. This is for quality of play. I also know you don't want junk in components , as was kind of discussed in the round corners segment. I hope the industry takes this message and runs with it. Great segment, one of the best ever!

  8. Windrune says:

    I actually prefer for the spelling to be unique, not adding a symbol unique of course, it just makes it easier to google stuff, although adding BGG at the end is the way I google games now

  9. jpower2010 says:

    tom… i couldnt have said it better myself! game designers and publishers should concentrate on quality over quantity. i used to have a video game collection of over 500 titles! last year i sold them all because only a small handful of those games provided a memorable and amazing experience. i am constantly trimming my board game collection down after my lesson learned from collecting video games. its better to have a smaller collection of games you absolutely love rather than a variety of games which you like. thanks for putting this out there!

  10. 12thLevelSithLord says:

    If somebody sends a feedback e-mail to both Tom and Zee for both Breakfast and Blender, do they get entered multiple times into the contest?

  11. Misterboy says:

    At first, I thought Snakes & Lattes had picked up a hitchhiker on the autism spectrum!  For those who are being negative towards the border agent, he was just being thorough.  His job is to question people and it's often less about the question than how people answer it.

  12. Steve Gale says:

    Who's the arbiter of a mediocre game? Love Letter is a very successful game, but I don't know by what stretch the constant blind-guessing it offers could be called "great" gameplay. King of Tokyo has won Dice Tower's GOTY award, which is aptly described as being for the most part a reskinned Yahtzee. Many people are unabashed about their preference for simple and unambitious gameplay, just as when it comes to movies some folks love loud, formulaic CGI spectacles and treacly, by-the-numbers romcom's.

  13. Ezekiel Sprague says:

    Who knew Mice and Lambs looked similar. Apparently just Tom haha

  14. Jeff Blye says:

    A lamb?!?!

  15. Andrew Lynn says:

    Royal Game of Ur is a great 2 player game.  Give it a shot!

  16. Sava Veselinovic says:

    Is the comeptition for the US citizens only?

    Greetings from Serbia! 🙂

  17. ionas82 says:

    I do agree about the mediocrity, but the new-big-player publishers create many of mediocre and yet famous games. So I don’t get your point entirely. I have to say that to me the games get more shallow and less focused on great mechanics and more on being consumables you can purchase, consume and then “next”…

    At the same time some key issues with board games (like down-time, AP, social commanding issues) – well, not every game can be as good as Sheriff of Nottingham, Spyfall or the like, right?

    I am really looking for indie publishers and KS projects for new and innovative games. Sometimes those suck and sometimes those rock. Better than having most of the games of big publishers being … mediocre, satisfactory games at best at almost /all/ time.

  18. ionas82 says:

    I really don’t like all the self-reference-home-made-psychology going thus I was really happy to see the current week’s chayz to be back on track with awysome and strangye topycs!  Looking forward to pygg poggy4 – btw how long do you plan those episodes (e.g. concept, idea, scenes/cuts, etc?).

    Thanks for Gamers to Avoid again! Hope you can get the ideas coming for some time :)!

  19. Wonderful emir says:

    Pyqq Poqqy4

  20. silentdante otagi says:

    it might just be me, but there seemed to be a lot of pettiness in this episode, first the border patrol guy, why are we calling out someone doing their job? also, mysterium? the game is making a play on mystery, mystery is spelt with the y, and why do you care if people want to name their things weirdly, it might make it harder to search and you are just trying to help, but release a product first or at least try to understand all that goes into a product before you make fun of them. cleverness and pettiness seem to be on to close of a line lately.

  21. littleratblue says:

    I'm pretty sure the $1 card is a Rat not a Lamb. There's a picture of a hole in the wall as the secondary picture on the card.

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