The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

This is little more than plastic Parcheesi with an apologetic stance. Frankly, if you're really sorry, you have no place in the cut-throat, little-metal-dog-eat-little-metal-dog world of board games. C-

"Battleship" wins the award for "most technological advances added to a game that can be played just as well on graph paper." You've got your Battleship, you've got your Electronic Battleship with explosion noises, you've got your 3-D CD-ROM Battleship with explosion movies, you've got your networked online Battleship. (I played online Battleship ten years ago. "Hey Dave," I'd say into the phone, "B-3.") A hundred millennia into the future, when we're all a cosmic hive mind communicating via subspace empathy bonds, I'm sure we'll be playing Battleship for Hive Minds with Explosion Vibes. C

I really love Scrabble. It's like "Battle of the Sumo Vocabularies." I get unpleasantly competitive. Triple-word-score squares tremble in my presence. I once tried to pass "ultrarunty" off as a legal word. This is a game I'd love to play online, except that the possibilities for cheating are incredible. I have no desire to be trounced by a ten-year-old with a Pentium II and a search routine. A

Mouse Trap
Great game, except for the fact that it never works. It just doesn't. The diving guy misses the tub, or the hand doesn't whack the bowling ball hard enough, and that's assuming you have all the damned pieces. At least most people are smart enough to not actually play the game; instead they just assemble the contraption, thus determining that it doesn't work in two minutes instead of thirty. D

Chutes and Ladders
Ooh! A morality play, set in cardboard! Save a kitty, go up! Steal money, go down! I think they should just admit that this is a religious metaphor and have a space where the losers burn in Hell. Or better yet, have "Chutes and Ladders, Dante's Inferno Version" where the players are struggling to escape such punishments as being immersed in excrement, trying to reach the first level where they can hang out with Virgil and Socrates in relative non-torture for all time. Take that, pre-school! B

The first thing one has to learn about Pictionary is that it's an incredible disadvantage to be an artist. Whenever I play, I end up trying to make pictures with perspective and shading while my opponent simply draws from the "hastily drawn stick figure" school of illustration and carries the day. It does have its rewards though, such as when my lovely tableau of Lincoln's assassination ended up winning for the clue "booth." B+

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