Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Newest Publication: THE 100 BEST FAMILY GAMES

So, today brought a package from Green Ronin that, when opened, turned out to contain my contributor's copy of Jim Lowder's THE 100 BEST FAMILY GAMES. This is the follow-up to THE 100 BEST HOBBY GAMES [2007], also edited by Jim, and to which I also contributed an essay*. You can't very well follow up a book that includes "100 Best" in its title with another titled 'the next best' or '100 honorable mentions' or even '100 more games you might like', so I thought it canny of Jim to shift gears a bit and change the focus for this second volume in the series.

Even on a brief skimming, it's an impressive array of essays by an impressive collection of people; I'm honored to be included. The games featured range from universal favorites like RISK and CLUE and MONOPOLY and even BATTLESHIP to lesser-known cult hits like KILL DOCTOR LUCKY.

My own choice for a game that's a keeper for the ages was DOGFIGHT, one of the old American Heritage games from the early sixties and a longtime favorite of mine when I was growing up. I enjoyed Battle Cry (their Civil War game) and thought Broadsides (their War of 1812 game) fun enough,** but Dogfight, their WWI flying aces game, was always far and away my favorite of the lot. I just hope I was able to convey a little of why it was such a good game.

Kudos to Jim for having conceived of the project and brought it to fruition -- a herculean task that required co-ordinating a hundred freelancers. To do that once was impressive; to willingly do it twice a marvel. Here's hoping the book does well and inspires people to pull old games back off the shelf or try a new one they've never played before.


*on MYTHOS, the wonderful but alas defunct CALL OF CTHULHU ccg.

**though they carefully avoided telling us we LOST that war, something I only discovered years later. funny, that.

More forthcoming projects that are all done and awaiting publication (as opposed to those I'm still in the process of working on, like my Kalamazoo paper): an essay in a forthcoming book, a guest editorial in a journal, and two reviews.

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