Columbia Block Games only 99 Cents?!

August 8, 2011

I saw the following ad on BoardGameGeek this morning:

Try a game for only 99 cents!

I clicked the link thinking it was for a mobile version of the game. It took me to Columbia‘s page for Juluis Caesar with the following info:

Welcome BoardgameGeek User. How’s this for a fair deal? You get to try Julius Caesar for just 99 cents and we pay for the Priority Mail shipping! You’ll have the game in 2-3 days. Play it for a month! Your credit card will automatically be billed the $64.00 balance if you keep the game. Or return it with no further obligation. Credit card required. USA only. 1 game only.

Interesting concept. Board games are often purchased after someone has actually played the game. Once they know what the game is like they will be much more willing to put down the $40-80 a new game costs. The deal appears to work with Hammer of the Scots as well (possibly other games too?).

My personal theory is that it takes so long to put all the stickers on those blocks that by the time you’re done the 30 days will be up. In all seriousness, I wish them well. But I have my doubts. And what about those of us who take advantage of this offer and decide the game isn’t worth the $60-65? Will Columbia Games be offering a new “pre-stickered” version of their game with the returns?

Thanks for Gaming

December 1, 2010

I had a nice long Thanksgiving weekend visiting family and playing some games. My family has always played games during Holiday get-togethers. In the past it consisted mainly of card games with a sprinkling of party games. We still get in some card games, but have been playing more board games lately. I played a couple of favorites, but I was also able to try out a few new games. I also had a good experience with introducing a new game to my in-laws.

Russ and I tried a few turns of Julius Caesar. We were both learning the game for the first time so many mistakes were made, but I’m eager to play it again.

My little sister brought along Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know It. The four of us kids were each on our own team while my parents teamed up. This is a Trivial Pursuit game that is actually a blast to play. The questions are probably a bit easier than the traditional Trivial Pursuit games I’m used to, but it made the game move along. The betting mechanic adds a lot of fun. It keeps you involved through out the whole game. And who doesn’t like betting against their siblings.

The best of the new games was my latest pick-up: Dixit and the expansion. This game just won Spiel das Jahres (Game of the Year awarded by the German Press) and I think it was well deserved. The game play is simple enough for my 4 year old to play along, but it offers challenges for any age. The cards are beautiful. We used the scoring track for each game, but it seemed like it was just there to make it a ‘game.’ People kept wanting to play longer just to see the cards and be creative with their clues.

My wife loved the game right away and encouraged me to bring it along to her families’ Thanksgiving dinner. I should mention that my wife’s family doesn’t really play games. I can literally count the number of games I’ve played with them in the ~10 years I’ve known them on one hand. After dinner we urged a few family members to try a new game. After a few rounds we had several spectators and everbody was asking about this new game. I knew I had a winner when Great-Grandma B asked me to bring it along when we come for Christmas!

So this year I’m thankful for having a wonderful family and great games to enjoy with them.