Why do new games suck?

Am I just buying the wrong new games?  Seems like all new games end up failing around here.  A few examples:

Mythotopia – One play from Zack and it is on the veto list.  Known end-game problems going in, multi-player bash the leader game.  I have had more fun with it than I might have expected, but I am doubtful this one has much more to show me.  The Monday night boys have enjoyed it, so I will likely play a little more of it.

Viticulture – It works.  But each game feels very same-y.  Alex suggested we cut the number of workers again.  Might help, worth another try.  But while the simulation value is decent, the novelty value is wearing thin, and I don’t see much else to keep me coming back.

Palaces of Carrara – I sold this one after it cratered at the club, and TG had a terrible time with it.  Definitely a game you can do yourself in.

Russian Railroads – Zack hated this one, Alex is ambivalent.  Why own a game no one wants to play?

Baseball Highlights – Whiffed with both Zack and TG.  I liked it and so did Alex, but I don’t need another 2p game, and this one loses utility if it won’t please the other players enough to see table time.

My track record with newer purchases is really sucking.  I am finding more enjoyment in exploring older cast off games that I don’t really expect to play much.  Like Silverton, which I would love to play, but don’t have much hope for ever playing very often with others, however, I may get some solitaire enjoyment out of.  Or Blackbeard, which I have been studying and may eventually play on Monday night.

The problem with the old games is my play shelf just appears to get more and more stale.  Power Grid, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico, Ra, Agricola – lots of good, old, games.  But when everyone has played them a couple of dozen times, there just isn’t much zip in playing them again.  Oh we do, and we have fun.  But the zest isn’t there.  I suspect this is why attendance has been slipping at game night.  We’re no longer on the cutting edge of new games.  Nor do I really want to be – the state of the hobby has moved away from my sweet spot.  But I admit I do miss some of the excitement of trying new cool games.



One Response to “Why do new games suck?”

  1. Rob Derrick Says:

    Thing is, I don’t think the best of the new games are necessarily worse than the old games, they’re just more homogeneous. Sharing bits and pieces, oh, this is like game X, that is like game Y, and they don’t feel new. And, the intake is flooded, and whenever anything reaches a certain critical threshold, Sturgeon’s law takes over — “ninety percent of everything is crap.” 90 is conservative. Old games aren’t better, and they feel old. But, we forgive them that. The same way we are starting to be forgiven for our idiosyncrasies. We aren’t better, but considering our vintage, we’ll have held up pretty good. Silverton is a clunky mess, and I Adore It. These days, I’ll settle for a bit of charm in a new game. It doesn’t have to WOW, just make me smile. Most recent smiley game for me is about growing chile. What could be a better theme than that?!

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