Spreadin’ the Hate!

It’s been like a month already, but on the second episode of the new podcast Wooden Cubes and Iron Soldiers, they talked about games they hate.  It got me thinking, so I thought I’d spew some hate of my own and give some of y’all a chance to join in on the fun as well.

They actually had 3 categories of hate, which I’ll follow as well:

  • Games we hate, but are pretty sure everyone does too.
  • Games we used to love, but now hate.
  • Games we hate that everyone else seems to like.
A Game I Hate, But Am Pretty Sure Everyone Else Does Too

Cthulhu Dice
– I mean, it making a buck really worth prostituting yourself by re-“theming” LCR as something to do with Cthulhu?  I actually bought this as a “that looks cool!” impulse buy, thinking, “what could it hurt?”  But believe me, it hurts.  I hate it because it’s a completely random waste of a gorgeous die and a great-but-over-used theme. 

But thankfully, someone actually designed a simple storytelling RPG to redeem the die and give it new life (and which I really need to try out sometime).   

A Game I Used to Love, But Now Hate

Il Principe – This was actually a pretty hard category, because I tend to have pretty realistic first impression of games, and honestly, I couldn’t think of anything that I really “loved” but now hate.  But Il Principe comes to mind mostly because after both the first and second time I played it (which were a year or more apart), I thought it was pretty good.  When I finally re-played a 3rd time soon after the 2nd, however, I and everyone else at the table quickly came to realize that there really wasn’t much at all to the game.

It is, to me, probably the prime example of a game that is “too” balanced.  Almost no matter what you do, you’re going to score points that are relatively equivalent to everyone else.  So in the end, the actual winner seems to be determined sort of arbitrarily based on some random or almost insignificant factors.  And what makes me really hate it is that I really do feel deceived by it, since so many of the mechanics have so much potential and seem like they should form a good game.  It’s just a waste, daggummit! 

A Game I Hate, But Everyone Else Seems to Like

Wow, I have a lot of contenters for this one.  I almost chose Carcassonne, Defenders of the Realm, Long Shot, or Galaxy Trucker, but in the end, it had to be…

Power Grid – I was so sure that I would love Power Grid that I had bought 2 expansions before even trying it out.  But then a month of slogging through boring game after boring game of it beat any respect I had for it right out of me.  Like a lot of people have said before, there are a lot of really good elements to the game (like the fuel market), but the continual need for calculating and recalculating lots of mundane connection costs to be even somewhat efficient in your play just makes me freaking hate it! 

If you want to know even more about why I think Power Grid sucks, you can read my full review of it, which also continues to be the most-thumbed review of it on BGG. 

The light at the end of the tunnel for Power Grid, however, is actually the new game Power Grid: The First Sparks.  First Sparks takes what is best about Power Grid, boils it down, removes most of the boring part, and delivers a really nice game in less than an hour.  To me, of course, I had resisted playing it because it bore the name of the accursed, but I want to encourage all of you who feel as I do to let down your guard and try it out, because you too may be pleasantly surprised. 

So, what are your most-hated games?  And what do you think of mine?  Anyone care to share? 

At least I got a few cool pictures from some of these sucky games…

Note: Links to these games were intentionally not included because, you know, I hate them and don’t wish to inflict any sort of pressure upon you, my fine readers, to actually go and look at them further.


  1. Benny

    I hate Catan and Monopoly. Monopoly because it took forever to play during my childhood and I always ended up giving up before the game ended. Catan because I hate getting hosed for resources on four consecutive turns. Can’t build with no stuff.

  2. Chris Norwood

    Yeah, Monopoly is an easy one to hate on, for sure.  So many of us have had bad experiences with it growing up.

    Catan could have been a contender for “Games I used to love, but now hate”, but I can’t honestly say that I hate it.  It’s more just a feeling of general malaise rather than hate when I think about it… 

  3. HA! I can’t say I’m surprised by your Power Grid mention. Carc couldn’t have won because it’s absolutely atrocious – nobody (should) love it! Games I hate along with everyone else? Anti-Monopoly and Stargate SG-1 (also called “train wrecks”). Games I hate that other people like for some sickening reason? Munchkin and Killer Bunnies.

  4. Jacob

    Urban Sprawl, how I hate thee.

  5. Chris Norwood

    That game definitely seems to be a “love it or hate it” kind of thing.  No one owns it locally, but I don’t know if I’d even be willing to invest the time to try it out with all the mixed reviews I’ve heard.

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