Ten Euro-Games Every Board Gamer Should Own

The other day I started to look through my gaming shelf to see what my wife and I should play. While looking through, I realized that most of my collection was made up of euro-games. This really got me thinking about why this was. I then realized that by game mechanics, euro-games were way more fun to play. Even though they don’t have as great of a theme as ameritrash games do. I had a great thought that hey maybe I should put together a list of games that every board gamer should own in their collection. In this list I’m going to start out with the best gateway games and work my way to the meatier games, so here goes.

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Journey’s End

Despite all of this we loved the game, and I think there was more to this adoration than just being able to call one of your warriors Arsebum. The very fact the pace of the game was so slow allowed Tony, my brother and myself to play it together. We gave our characters personalities, argued over the way to go, shouted at the TV in unified anger when we had tripped over an invisible bit of stone in the maze losing 5 strength points, laughed at each other’s jokes during the dull slog looking for the Bridge across the river and cheered when we found the castle. We may have never actually reached the End but the Journey was fun in itself.

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Payday 2: The Heist

The most enjoyable way to play Payday 2 is with three of your friends who actually use microphones. When the missions are pulled off flawlessly you will feel extremely satiated as a player, but communication and precise planning are necessary, even on some of the easier and shorter selections. One stupid mistake can cost you an entire run, and this will happen 99.9 percent of the time you even attempt, making robberies that don’t end up turning into the last act of Dog Day Afternoon both extremely rare and immensely rewarding.

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Battle Chess

Battle Chess is obviously a chess game developed and released way back in 1988. The cool thing about it was that all the pawns where animated and you could see them killing each other in interesting and funny ways. When I was playing it I was still a kid so I didn’t know what I was doing but I was trying desperately to discover all the killing animations that were available.

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Gamer Profile: Ashly Burch

I really like games that are deceptively complex and that don’t hold your hand at all. One of my favorite modern games is Spelunky, as a point of reference. Harvest Moon is actually incredibly nuanced and difficult (I failed miserably the first time I played it), but — potentially unlike Spelunky — it’s an absolute joy to play no matter how well or poorly you’re doing. It does an awesome job of creating a simplistic but deep world that feels real and is filled with secrets and possibilities that aren’t apparent on the surface. Also, I think competing in festivals and courting a potential wife is empirically fun no matter who you are.

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Whomp ‘Em

Some of the stage designs are questionable. Among Let’s Players and others, the final level has gained notoriety for being rather difficult and just plain cheap. These design errors are evident elsewhere, though: Several areas force the player to make blind jumps, which is hardly ever fun. At least the player can aim the spear downward, likely helping the cause in these cases. There still remain, though, a few spots in which it is tough to tell which elements are mere background and which are needed platforms, along with dubious practices in enemy regeneration.

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Delve Deeper: Treasures and Tunnels

Delve Deeper is an excellent game. It’s smart, unique, easy on the retro-loving eye and, now that the Treasures and Tunnels DLC has been released, pretty huge too. Fresh off the indie forges of Lunar Giant and costing less than one (rapidly devaluating) dollar, Treasures and Tunnels extends the game with 10 new levels -including the brilliantly named Big Orc Candy Mountains- and 25 brand new relics; that is 50% more Delve Deeper maps, 30% more treasure and absolutely no extra fat. Oh, and apparently each level is custom-tailored to be tackled by different teams of dwarfs, whereas each new relic is designed to influence both new and old maps.

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Luigi’s Mansion

Puzzles are a mixed bag. The majority are nothing too taxing, but the way the game squeezes as many ideas as it can out of Luigi’s limited moveset is admirable. But occasionally you do feel the game is struggling to design a puzzle that is different enough to a previous one. This doesn’t really detract from the experience to any significant degree though.

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The Obsolete Gamer Show #36

This was a great interview. William started out in a band and then made his way to screen acting and then voice acting working on L.A. Noir. He has worked on a number of screen projects and was even a body double for Nic Cage. Not only is he a gamer, but he even invented a drinking game for the Atari 2600 classic game Warlords.

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Gamer Profile: William Watterson

4-player Warlords tournaments are the most fun you can have with any gaming system. That grinding sound effect and flashing screen when you toast someone? Brutal. Empowering. Priceless. Unforgettable. Just don’t get stuck being the purple king, you’ll never dig your way out of last place.

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First Time to PAX? A Guide to PAX and Other Large Gaming Conventions

This is when setting a schedule comes in handy – more so if you’re a reporter. Panels are great to attend – but you have to plan to be at them not only the time they’re at, but an hour or so earlier to be in line for that panel. For really popular panels, you may need to be in line earlier than that. I recall one year I had wanted to get into the Tell Tale Games panel. I found out that people had been in line for four hours. FOUR. HOURS. My mind was blown.

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Exploring the ColecoVision

Unlike the blocky, low-resolution games found on Atari’s machine, Coleco’s games were like having an arcade in the home thanks to the Z80A processor that powered it. Indeed, many of the games it hosted were arcade conversions and most of them were close to arcade perfect – a term that had to be invented for their machine.

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Stunt Car Racer

The raison d’etre of Stunt Car Racer is the tracks – glorious, insane, rollercoaster-like tracks that leave you gripping the joystick for dear life as you hurtle through the air after burning up impossible ramps, then gritting your teeth as you plummet back down, engine still racing, the screen cartwheeling as you miss the track by inches and smash into the dirt below with a bone-shattering crunch. At a time when racing meant dodging in and out of identical 2D cars, Stunt Car Racer did vertical – and how. There was even a loop-the-loop…

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Spelunker

I got this game for like .99 a while back. Thought it was worth the money just for the cool light on the cartridge:) Lights make everything better! The game is Spelunker made by irem according to the game case, but when the title screen loads up it says Broderbund Software….There isn’t much for controls, directional pad moves from side to side, A jumps and B uses your drill. Thing is it’s insanely easy to die, jump down a couple pixels to far, you are dead and you will be dying a lot. Check out my gameplay video…

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R-Type Dimensions

My past experiences with the R-Type games weren’t overly immense. A brief stint at a Timezone in Sydney back in the 80’s , the rental-to-almost-purchase on the Master System 2 in the early 90’s, and a sequel on the SNES (R-type 3). A frustratingly hard game? Some could say that, but I’ll go with exuberantly challenging. For those who don’t know what R-Type is, it is a side-scrolling shooter, think 1942 but with a side-on perspective. The storyline is that there’s the evil Bydo empire invading the universe, you are a pilot of a small ship sent to stop this evil.

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Magical Tetris Challenge

You weren’t warned. You didn’t see it coming. A freakish tetronimoe outcast, it could take one of many forms. A weird zig-zag abomination, a ridiculously long one block beanpole or a ‘screw you’ lardarse square spanning many squares in width. It could be any of these, and they all mess your game up like no-ones business.

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