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Q1 Shelf of Shame Challenge Update

Cascadia Box Art
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At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to play every board game that had been stuck on our shelf of shame. I don’t think I had any clue how many games that was until I created the post that listed each one of them. It was my goal to write a review and post it on Oh My Meeple for each game as we liberated it.

With the first quarter of the year behind us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at our progress. I’m going to list the board games we’ve played so far in order of least to greatest enjoyment.

Atheneum: Mystic Library

In last place is Atheneum. We actually enjoyed this game quite a bit. It’s a very simple game where you collect books to organize on your shelves. There’s fun card drafting and some puzzly mechanisms in the game. We also upgraded our copy with some more realistic spider tokens for extra enjoyment. The only real con for this game is that it’s pretty light weight and I’m not sure how it will stand the test of time!

Tumble Town

We absolutely love Tumble Town. What a unique game! Players draft dice, and then use the physical dice to construct buildings. It’s tactile, strategic, and lots of fun for all ages. We love the art on the cards. We love all the chunky dice. This will definitely have a permanent home in our collection.

*If you can get the Tumble Town playmat, it really elevates the theme of the game!


Karuba is a perfect game for families. The directions are so simple. Setup is quick. Playtime is quick. It’s not particularly fiddly. The theme is integrated well enough to appeal to kids. Can’t say enough good things about Karuba. The only downside, it is on the light side, which is part of the reason it’s so appealing for families! Trade-offs!


I truly enjoy Cascadia. We played a lot of Calico last year, and loved it. Cascadia has very similar mechanisms, but it’s a lot more relaxing to play. Both games are hits, and I’ve been working on our print and play version of Verdant with enthusiasm. Will Flatout Games have three solid hits in a row?

I will say that since I wrote our review for Cascadia, I do have a complaint. The wooden animal tokens are boring. I wish the screen printed images on them would have been more interesting. Or maybe just bigger?

Taverns of Tiefenthal

I was pretty surprised by how much we all enjoyed Taverns of Tiefenthal. I think this board game takes a lot of abuse because it has a wildly successful older sibling (Quacks of Quedlinburg). Taverns is a relaxing deck building, dice drafting game with some pretty interesting strategy. I love the theme and I won’t say no if you ask me to play it!

Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

It’s absolutely no surprise that Ares Expedition is my favorite game from Q1. It has everything I’d want in a game. Pretty components that are fun to play with. It’s an engine builder with lots of great strategy. You can teach this to new players with ease. And playtime is quick! I really have no complaints. This is an all around, solid board game with a theme I particularly love!

Thoughts on the Shelf of Shame Challenge

I’m not going to lie. This challenge has been difficult. The real problem is that the challenge only includes games that were in our collection at the start of the new year. Since then, I’ve purchased a few new games, and several kickstarter games have been fulfilled.

I find myself staring at the boxes for Meadow, Cellulose, Creature Comforts, Canopy, and a few others with bit of sadness. All of our time is spent playing these older games in our collection. There’s no time for the new ones. So now all of our new games will sit collecting dust. It’s a vicious circle!

Also, I underestimated the time it would take to write a review. In order to have something worthy to say, you really have to play each game several times. And you really need to play them at different player counts to get the full picture of what a game can provide. At this point we’ve posted 6 reviews for games on the Shelf of the Shame. There are at least 5 more games from the shelf that we’ve started playing, but we’re not ready to talk about them quite yet!

Score: 6 out of 31 games played. Quite a few more to go!

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