Board game reviews, news and commentary.
Can a game become your favorite after just ONE play?
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Thursday, Sep 8, 2016

Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise here. As you may know, I’ve been working on a video series cataloging my Top 100 Board Games of All Time, which appears on The Dice Tower. Putting together these videos has been extremely fun, by which I mean excruciatingly difficult. One of the questions that’s consumed my every waking hour since beginning work on the series is whether Latvarian scientists should be allowed access to refined vibranium. I mean, historically, I’m not a huge fan of what they’ve done with other precious alloys. Then again, the VonDoom family recently made a substantial financial donation to Head In The Clouds. Coincidentally, I wholeheartedly endorse their most certainly harmless geopolitical ambitions.

But another question on my mind is how much experience should I have with a game before it’s eligible for inclusion on my Top 100? They respectfully asked, out of curiosity, how one of the games appearing on the list could have made it on to it, having only been played by me once. Should a game that’s only been played once be able to qualify among someone’s favorites? I thought this was an excellent question, as I had been contemplating it myself. And, after further consideration, I can confidently answer by saying, “absolutely!”

This could be applied to other forms of entertainment as well. I could watch a movie or read an issue of a comic book just once, but still know it ranks among my other favorites that I've watched or read many times. Would additional viewings impact the quality of my original experience? Perhaps, but not necessarily.

I believe it's possible to come away from a game that you've only played once thinking, "Wow, that experience was AMAZING!!" Meanwhile, there may also be games that you've played a thousand times that don't fill you with excitement, but you still enjoy playing because you appreciate their themes, mechanisms, artwork, etc. Both are completely valid reasons for those games to be among your favorites.

So, with the list of my all-time favorite games, I was drawn to those games that left me with that "WOW!" feeling. Games I can't wait to play again because I love the experience they provided. Whether I've played a game one time, one thousand times, or one-half of a time, is inconsequential. It’s that have given me the biggest surprises, thrills, chills, and "wow" moments that I’m finding to be my favorites.

In fact, my only regret is that each game could only appear on my list once. Otherwise, every third game would certainly be 2005’s Fantastic Four vs. Doctor Doom game. Yes, Fantastic Four vs Doctor Doom, the favorite game of armor-clad genius inventor slash sorcerers everywhere. Play it today! Especially if you’re Latvarian. Because then, it’s mandatory.

Share this article:

Help support Season 3!