Andrew invited me over to play board games at Sara's today which was a lot of fun. We played a bunch of Hanabi, Galaxy Trucker, Ricochet Robots, Mutant Meeples, and Tier Und Tier. And one silly game Andrew really wanted to play... Zombie in my Pocket. It felt like a pretty big dud.
The game was introduced as a mostly cooperative game. The rules to the game stated in bold that it was a non-cooperative game. This may be a bit of the issue since for most of the game most of us were playing it as a coop game while Andrew was playing to score the most points. We finally got justice by killing Andrew off and then tying the game between the other three of us.
In a sense the game reminded me a lot of Republic of Rome. If everyone plays just to win themselves then the game is impossible and everyone will lose. If people actually work together completely selflessly the game is probably pretty easy but has no substance. Flip some cards up, see if the optimal but trivial play wins or not. The trick to this sort of game would be finding a way to make the 'stab for the win' part of the game interesting enough while not being blatantly obvious. I've yet to see that happen. Red November tried, but it didn't have it. Only a couple people could possibly stab for the win in that game which meant the 'right' play is to waste the early game trying to be one of those people which tended to mean everyone lost.
Maybe it's just playing these sorts of games with people like Andrew and Sky. They're practically unwinnable when we're all trying to find the way to screw the team over for the solo win. But playing this sort of game with true team players just means I either don't play for the optimal win or I screw them over time and again. Neither of those situations is very appealing either. I love winning, but I want to win games on the same terms as my opponent. Playing a different game and sneaking in the win isn't fun for me. But if we're all playing the same game we just lose. So maybe the real problem is playing this sort of game with people like me...