Monday, December 17, 2007

The 30 Strangest Board Games From 2007

Here are this year's strangest games (so far; still 14 days to go): strange titles, strange themes, strange components, or just plain strange.

You may want to compare to 2006 and 2005.

Antler Island

The Lamont brothers bring us another game about animals mating. What is it with these Scotsmen? Only this time, after your stag mates with a doe, the doe disappears from the board. I guess they like it rough in the wild.


In Blasphemy, you take part in the fate of a would-be Messiah. Your aim is to convince your compatriots that your Jesus, and your Jesus alone, is the genuine article.

To accomplish this, your Jesus must cut as impressive a figure as possible. He must give stirring sermons, perform miracles, attract devoted followers, and generally carry on in a Messiah-like fashion. Your Jesus must make every effort to discredit his rivals, and in the end, he must get himself killed. Yes, alas, the price of fame was dear in those days. It was clearly written that the Messiah would come to a sticky end. Accordingly, you win the game if you're the first player to get your Jesus nailed up.


I remember tinkering with a similar design once, called "Court the Maiden". The NPCs in my D&D campaigns played it, and Tim "Fingers" Finnegan always won. The essence of the design: play cards to "win" girls with wildly-changing moods.

Bushwhackin' Varmints out of Sergio's Butte

No explanation really needed, here.

Cleopatra's Caboose

Nor here. An irreverent train game based in Ancient Egypt.

Code Monkey

Code Monkey is a cute short downloadable game based on the song of the same name by Jonathan Coulton. Be the first Code Monkey to win the heart of the Pretty Receptionist and complete two projects for Boring Manager Rob.

And oh yes: Jonathan Coulton? Best cover song ever.

Deer Hunter 2050

It is the year 2050, and radical animal rights activists have released dangerously intelligent, strong, fast, and aggressive mutant deer into the wild. Can you bring your quota to the Fish & Game Bureau before the other hunters? Suburbia is depending on you to protect them!

Don't Drop the Soap

Fight your way through 6 locations in hopes of being granted parole. Escape prison riots in The Yard, slip glass into a mob boss' lasagna in the Cafeteria, steal painkillers from the nurse's desk in the Infirmary, avoid being cornered by the Aryans in the Shower Room, fight off Latin Kings in Gang War, and try not to smoke your entire stash in The Hole.


Here's a version of Truth or Dare that skips straight to the dares. There are six types of tests: uncomfortable, revolting, awkward, mischievous, easy, and self-serving. Do you like snorting pepper? Here's your chance.


I actually covered this game on my blog when I first heard of it. You draw cards and try to get your dog - your real dog - to do tricks.

Funny Domino

After playing a card, you make the noise of the animal that has to be played next, and players race to play the card of that type.

Galaxy Trucker

This game was the second biggest hit of BGG.con, after Agricola. You play plumbers who need to install a sewer system somewhere in outer space. Can you build a space ship durable enough to weather storms of meteors? Armed enough to defend against pirates? Big enough to carry a large crew and valuable cargo? Fast enough to get there first?

Gassy Gus

This is just gross.

Ghost For Sale

The Italian translation of the marketing material is a bit hard to understand, but I believe your object is to populate your castles with just the right number of ghosts that will attract tourists but not scare them away.

Hats Off

Game requires you to balance one of your cards on your head while you play.

House of Whack

To quote from the opening description: Can you take a swig of Whack Juice and still fend off the Queen of Heartaches with only a Hamster Launcher while teetering on the edge of Inevitable Darkness?


Sometimes, you get tired of killing Zombies and get to wonder how the other side feels. Here's your chance. Poor Zombies are being attacked by the big bad humans.

I Don't Know, What Do You Want to Play?

A game created specifically to figure out what game in your collection your group really wants to play. You get a unique deck of cards that matches your BGG collection.


The purpose is to accumulate lamb chips, by purchasing shekels with dollars, and then using those shekels to purchase lamb chips. However, it is only when tithing on your income (paying 10%) that players are allowed to purchase lamb chips, which are tokens for caring for the poor. By Jawbone Productions.

Kill the Hippies

Yet another game intended to be as un-PC as possible. You play the rednecks.

Lawn Darts

I just can't imagine the need to turn something already so pastoral and serene into yet another dice-rolling game. Good lord. A lawn darts board game.

For what it's worth, this game is by Michael Bourgeois, whose first three games were all published this year, all of which made this list.

Leaping Lemmings

Each player controls a cloned clan of lemmings that have been specially trained to compete with the other lemming clans, all trying to scurry down a canyon and hurl themselves over a cliff. Distance and style points are important.

Martinis & Men

Less overtly sexist version of a "win the women" game, in this game you send couples to encounter each other where someone may get shot down or find true love.

Monster Tykes

In Monster Tykes, players lead a Team of young fantasy Monsters or Heroes who just can't wait to grow up and be like their parents. Too anxious to wait, they bully other Teams around the town, in schoolyards, and underground caverns. The first Team to send the other home "Crying to their mommies" wins!

Pigeon Poop

You play the pigeon. Poor Mr. Bones.

Shhh!...Mom's Asleep

It's afternoon and Mom is having a nap with Baby. Don't wake Mom & Baby before the chores get done.

This is a game where solutions arrive in the form of player discussions.

Supervillain University

Try to graduate intact by performing Evil Deeds.


Posts and articles about this game appeared all year long on the Net. You get the chance to compete to become the new Pope. The game appears to be fairly educational about the real process.

Whack a Catgirl

Neko-chan the anime catgirl, is cute! Therefore she must be pelted with various objects.

Zombie Baseball

It's Zombies vs Humans in a different sort of contest.



Dave The Game said...

Hey, I playtested two of those games! Guess that says something about me...

Mischa said...

I only playtested one of them. I guess that says something about me, too.

Anonymous said...

I designed one of them, and it's probably the tamest and most conventional one of the bunch.

Funny list. Thanks.