Looking back #1 : Cockroachs, Minions and Munchkins

It’s time to go back and look at five of the games I reviewed three years ago and add them to The List. Here you can visit the original reviews, find out if I’ve kept or culled them, and what I think of the games in 2021.

Today we’ll be looking at the first ever games I reviewed for the site: Cockroach Poker, Munchkin, Power Grid, Hanabi, Mechs vs Minions

5. Munchkin

Original Review

The further we move away from the release of Munchkin the further we are from it being a good representation of modern board games. Yet it still manages to capture an audience as a fun, quirky activity to do with friends.

I’m still not a fan.

I do find it interesting that a lot of what I dislike about the game – the randomness, the thoughtless take that has had an influence on the newer mainstream board games. Games like Unstable Unicorns, and Exploding Kittens use the same formula, with slight improvements, while still using the art as the defining feature.

In terms of overall rank, Munchkin claims last place for now. Though I can’t see it tearing up the chart any time soon. I don’t think it will stay in last for too long.

Initial Rank: 10

Kept or Culled: Culled

4. Hanabi

Original Review

My initial review here is again on point, people love Hanabi, but for me it’s the firework with the burnt out fuse. It’s a system that is too easy to break, it relies on people all to approach the game in the same way – whether super serious, or fun time only. Which if you’ve ever loved my fart loving friends, or my win-at-any-cost-family, you’d know that this game was bound to not work for me.

I can see it moving up a lot of places, but will end up towards the bottom of the list.

Initial Rank: 9

Kept or Culled: Culled

3. Power Grid

Original Review

Originally, I gave Power Grid a Critical Hit rating. Were I to review it again today, I probably wouldn’t. It’s still a great game, and it would receive a very good review. But it struggled to get any play at all over the last four years, and therefore has sadly left my collection.

Nobody wanted to sit down with pen, paper and calculator and figure out the most efficient routes for connecting power plants – and I don’t blame them. Nowadays, I’ve found the parts of Power Grid I enjoyed in other board games. Board games that have a more engaging theme, and therefore more likely to hit the table.

I think this is one game that we’ll see less of in the future. Which is unfortunate because with a bit of stream lining and some better art, I imagine this could make a huge resurgence.

I’m hoping Power Grid stays around the middle of the list when all things are said and done. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up a bit lower, not because it’s a bad game, but because there are too many other good board games.

Initial Rank: 6

Kept or Culled: Culled

2. Cockroach Poker Royal

Original Review

This was the first game I reviewed on RollToReview. It’s always a terrible experience to go back and read because I look at the writing and cringe, thinking, did I write that?

Anyway Cockroach Poker Royal still remains one of the games that I regularly pull out to play, when I want something quick, harmless, and to have a good time. The bluffing aspect is always fun and light hearted, and the chained bluffing brings additional hilarity.

Even though I love Cockroach Poker Royal because it’s a small game that executes one mechanic flawlessly. It limits how high on the list it can go, as it can’t compete with the full experiences that larger games bring.

Initial Rank: 5

Kept or Culled: Kept

1. Mechs vs Minions

Original Review

To no one’s surprise, I still love League of Legends.

Mechs vs Minions was the first campaign/legacy-esque game I’ve played, so I’m more than a little nostalgic about it. I hold the memory of us playing through it week after week pretty close. Though the memory is marred by the last couple of missions, where the game tended to drag on longer than our lasting enjoyment. It’s still an awesome game, and one that I hope to crack out with my family in the future.

It didn’t end up higher in the list because while great, it is certainly carried by having the best components of any board game I’ve played to date, having it’s story voiced by professional voice actors, and being a League of Legends game. This novelty factor definitely adds to it’s rank, but games above it didn’t need to have these novelties to shine. Still, I had a great time , and would recommend.

Initial Rank: 4

Kept or Culled: Kept

Next post I’ll be adding 5 previously unreviewed games to The Board Game List, be sure to follow to be notified when they get added!

David Norris

Lover of dogs, books, comics, movies, anime, television, video games and most importantly board games. My site is all about the latter, and my journey through the glorious hobby.

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