Every Old Game is New Again

About ten years ago I went into my FLGS (Functional Local Game Store) to buy some Magic cards. In the middle of the store was a gaming table, and some guys were playing a racing game that I thought looked pretty cool. This was the game:

I thought it looked pretty cool, and watched for a bit. The game is Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix and it’s a racing game in which you play cards that move all the cars, not just yours. The trick is to help others less than you help yourself. Here are the cards in question:

It really looked neat, and I wanted to play a bit of it, but instead I took off. I didn’t get to play it until later. Ten years later.

A couple weeks ago at Mike’s, I looked at his copious game collection, saw Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix and declared, “Dude! I wanna play that! I’ve been wanting to play it for years!” We did, and it was just as cool as I thought it might be. I had thought it was out of print, but when I was putting in my game order I found it could be had for twenty bucks. Sold! Last week I played it with the James Gang, who I think enjoyed it.

(We noted during playing that it’s a severely colorblind-unfriendly game. Parnell is color-blind and found the colors — which are the only things that identify the identical cars — to be a nightmare. To make matters worse, some cards switch colors on you, including the red and the green. We figured this game was immediately pitched by Wolfgang Kramer as “Go to Hell You Colorblind Bastards” and Mayfair rethemed it to auto racing.)

Also several years ago at Brian’s pad we played a game called Tikal, which originally came out in 1999. I remember looking at the cover and going, “Oooh, that looks awesome!” See for yourself:

The game bits themselves looked pretty sweet as well:

And best of all, I really enjoyed the game. I remember thinking, “Man, I’d like to get that!” And I’d see it in my FLGS (a new one, the old one was no longer Functioning at this point) and think about getting it but never did. Several years later, I play it again at James’, fall in love with it all over again, and it also made its way into my last order.

The game El Grande celebrates its 10th birthday this year. It’s been out of print for a while, but a new “Decennial Edition” was just released. I’d never played it; I’d just seen it on BoardGameGeek and thought it looked kind of cool:

It’s an area-control game (as is Tikal) where you try and get your little cubes to outnumber others little cubes in each region. The tower looking thing you can see there is called the Castillo, and it’s another region that you put cubes into SECRETLY.

I finally got a chance to play this at James’ a couple weekends ago (Al bought it) and really, really enjoyed it. In fact, after playing I got the inspriation for an artistic photo to be uploaded to BGG:


That one’s on the wishlist now.

Three games, all new only to me, but nevertheless new to me. And all are top-notch.

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3 Responses to Every Old Game is New Again

  1. Topher says:

    Was the time around when Cosmic Encounters was being produced at Mayfair? If you look at that edition (long before the latest mangled edition from AH), there are several colors that are very similar to each other: blue and off-blue, yellow and yellow-esque. Something about their president at the time having problems with colors. Hmm, wonder if there was any connection here or if I am simply commiting a Type 1 error…

  2. “Type 1 error: You have committed a Type One error if you have rejected the hypothesis tested when it was true.

    In a given statistical test, the probability of a type 1 error is equal to the value you have set for alpha.”

    I also got in a recent game of El Grande, documented here:

  3. pronoblem says:

    Yes, three great games. I think everyone enjoyed Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix. I would have played it this past week if we had more time. I don’t know if you’d played Java, Al owns it. I thought it was a bit more interesting and a deeper game than Tikal.