Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise, and it’s just about that time of year, when people from all over the world come together as one to count down arbitrary things from the past twelve months. And since every online board game media personality is contractually obligated to make at least one countdown list per year, I would like to take this opportunity to present mine: Chaz’ Official Top (And Bottom) Three Games of 2014. (No theme song for that, huh? Okay.) These games are the three biggest surprises, and three biggest disappointments, that I played for the first time in 2014. They weren’t necessarily released in 2014, but I played them for the first time this year. Alright, let’s start off at the tail end of the bottom half of the list. The number three disappointing game of 2014: Dread Curse.
In Dread Curse, players take on a varying set of pirate roles in an attempt to amass the most doubloons by digging from a bag of them, or stealing from your pirate compatriots. Each round, your role in the pirate crew, and corresponding special power, may change, so be sure to take advantage of your character’s ability while you have it. At the end of the game, the player who has collected the largest fortune wins. But beware the Black Spot, because if you end up with this cursed doubloon, you automatically lose, regardless of how much wealth you have accumulated!
My regular game group really enjoys deduction, role selection and hidden role type games like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Mascarade, Coup and The Resistance: Avalon. So I thought Dread Curse one would be a slam dunk. Instead, it was met with questions and confusion. Most of the problems stemmed from the rules, or conflicts therein. It seemed like every other turn, we had to consult the rulebook for clarification on an ability or timing conflict. But answers to our questions weren’t documented, so we had to come up with a house rule on the fly.
I could see Dread Curse becoming a lot more fun after two or three plays, after you get used to the rhythm of it, and develop a system for dealing with potential timing and action conflicts. I’d be willing to play Dread Curse again, and I’d like to. But, at least for now, the other members of my game group have moved on to other games, and this one hasn’t hit the table again yet.
And that’s why Dread Curse is number three on my list of disappointing games that I played for the first time this year. Next time, we’ll lighten the mood with the third biggest surprise I got from a game that I played for the first time this year.