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Hobby Games: The 100 Best [Paperback]

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Item description for Hobby Games: The 100 Best by James Lowder...

In Hobby Games: The 100 Best, the top designers, authors and publishers in the hobby games field write about the most enjoyable and cleverly designed games of the last 50 years. Their essays cover the spectrum of the hobby market, from role-playing games to collectible card games, miniatures games to wargames to board games, with titles both familiar and esoteric. Writers include such legendary designers as Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons; Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering and Larry Harris, creator of Axis and Allies; best-selling authors R. A. Salvatore, Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, and Michael Stackpole; computer industry notables Bruce Shelley of Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires) and Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes); as well as dozens of other noteworthy and award-winning creators. Hobby Games: The 100 Best also features a foreword by board game legend Reiner Knizia and an afterword by wargame legend James F. Dunnigan.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.7" Width: 6" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 29, 2007
Publisher   Green Ronin Publishing
ISBN  1932442960  
ISBN13  9781932442960  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Lowder

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Lowder is the author of several fantasy novels, including the Ravenloft¨ novels "Knight of the Black Rose" and "Spectre of the Black Rose."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Reference
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Essays > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Hobby Games: The 100 Best?

A Must Buy if you Love Board Games  Jul 4, 2008
Board gaming has been undergoing a major renaissance over the past 5 years. The sheer number of excellent games of all types and genres is just staggering. If you've fallen away from the hobby, now is the time to strongly reconsider jumping back in with both feet! There's a tremendous amount of fun to be had.

Hobby Games: The 100 Best is a book whose purpose is to expose gamers and newcomers to that wide world of excellent games by taking a look at classic & favorite games through the eyes of famous game designers and writers. While people might endlessly debate if these 100 games are truly "the 100 best", that's not the real point of the book. This is purely a look at great games (many of which you've probably never heard of) and the reasons WHY this collection of all-star designers/writers really love these games and feel they're worthy of merit. That insight and passion is what makes the book a GREAT READ.

I found this book to be educational, funny, insightful, and something which really stirred my personal passion for games. With chapters that run 3 to 5 pages long, each devoted to a single game, it's an easy read. It's also a book that let's you jump around -- you don't really need to read it in sequential order from page 1 onward.

For you curious types, this book will stimulate you to investigate and perhaps go out and purchase some of these fine games. Frankly, I sincerely hope that Green Ronin (the publisher) puts out a second book (perhaps 100 More Great Hobby Games?). I would snap that up in a heartbeat.

Well done and highly recommended.
A sincere but not sentimental collection of essays on favorite games  Jan 20, 2008
I love the premise of this book: Get 100 games designers, publisher, editors, inventors and so on to write a short essay about their favorite game.

And in that, the book delivers on its promise. That is exactly what you get here; a collection of very short essays (roughly 2 1/2 pages each) that most often give a short background of the game being praised and then reasons for the praise.

I have already learned about several games I'd never even heard of, including one that completely escaped my radar over the years: Fluxx. Suffice to say I've now ordered a copy from the publisher of that game. :)

Where the book falls sort (I feel) is in two places:

1) There are no pictures, graphics, illustrations of any kind in this book. It's all text. While I realize fancy images might have added to the length and therefore the cost of the book it might also have been nice to see some sort of visual representation of what are often very visually-oriented games.

2) There are no "old favorites" in this book. No one (apparently) loved Monopoly, Scrabble, Stratego or even chess enough to write an essay about it. While you could argue that many of the games included in the book are more advanced/mature that the short list of examples above, it's also true that old favorites often get to be that way for a reason.

Overall though, I found this to be a very entertaining book. The structure (the short essay-style) makes it easy to pick-up, read about a few games, then put it down until next time. There's no need to read the book in order to get some satisfaction out of it.
Great for what's meant to be  Jan 15, 2008
This book does a great job given that the author has a wide scope of all hobby games - board, role-playing, cards, etc - and that he takes an unusual approach. He has different designers choose and write a few pages each about their favorite game by another designer. This has the interesting effect of having author names both as authors of sections of the book and listed as designers of another (and sometimes a number of others) game in another part of the book. I think the approach serves well to reveal some insider history to game development and how ideas for different games came about.

There seems to be a good balance here right down to the intro by a well-known Euro designer, and a postscript by a well-known wargame designer. Throughout the book there are a wide variety of different hobby games as noted above and all the types seem to have their fair share of coverage. Any fan of games will find there is a glaring omission of what they would think should obviously be in a book called '100 Best', but that comes from the nature of a hobby where preferences are so divergent.

Where I think the approach may have a few glitches is in how it reflects the title '100 Best'. Of course 'best' is going to be very subjective no matter what. But for example among the wargames represented, there were a good number of great games. However I found most of the wargame selections were of older titles where the games had particular mechanics like the hex and counter variety, and very recent titles where the games are card-driven point to point types. This would follow a misconception that older wargames are hex and counter, while newer ones are usually card-driven with point to point maps. But the reality with wargames at least is that both these types make up a good number of great games both old and new. The reason I mention this is I didn't notice this discrepancy of choices with the other types of games, although perhaps it's because I'm not familiar enough with them.

Despite the one criticism, I really enjoyed reading about all these games from designers' points of view. I got the book for a Christmas present, so it was a great holiday read!

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