Cracked LCD Countdown: Top Ten Games Under $30

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bomb12That's right, it's time once again for the monthly Cracked LCD Countdown. And this one is really going to piss off you people who are totally OK with spending $100 on a board game. Because it's about being cheap, but smartly cheap. It's about games that you can buy for under thirty dollars are that are great. Somewhere along the way, the AT idea got mixed up with this crazy notion that games have to be outrageously overproduced in order to be good. That a game has to have piles of miniatures and streams of flavor text to be thematic. That's not my AT, and it never was for many in the early years of the movement.

Small, simple games that aren't crap are just as good as big, elaborate ones. No, you're not going to get a TI3-like experience out of any of these games but that's why we have TI3 and we also have stuff like BOHNANZA. I'd still rather play a big, complex, and detailed game over a lineup of short card games or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that smaller, easier to play games likely provide more value over time- particularly when they're under $30. I've played my copy of FAMILY BUSINESS many more times than I've played my copy of WAR OF THE RING. That doesn't make it a better game, but I've entertained myself and my friends more with a stupid $8 card game than a masterful $60 $80 game that stands as one of the best games of our generation.

So go on, now. And yes, RISK is on there. Unleash the hounds.

 Michael is a member of the Fortress: Ameritrash staff, and a regular columnist for Gameshark.

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Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

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