Designer: John-Michael Gariepy
Cover Artist: Gordon McAlpin
Year Published: 2022
No. of Players: N/A
Playing Time: N/A
Did you ever wonder:
♞ What makes Clue the best movie based on a game franchise?
♝ What does the doubling cube in backgammon do?
♜ How trains are even supposed to operate in Ticket to Ride: Antarctica?
♛ How the designer of the board game Pandemic feels now that he’s living through an actual global pandemic?
♚ Whatever happened to the Monopoly game show from the 90s?
Based on Ranker’s poll of almost 400,000 votes, these games define us. From multiple-award winning masterpieces of the past decade, to indestructible classics still going strong after 5,000 years of play, these are the games you must play before you die. Well, except for Sorry!. That game is a blight upon this list and mankind as a whole.
Excuse me. What I’m trying to say is that I wrote this book about games, and I thought you might like it.
I have read many books on board games. Board game design, production, reviews, history, and even some strategy. If it deals with board games, chances are that I will give it a chance. I read Winning Streak in a matter of 1.5 days, if you count the time I slept. John-Michael’s writing is witty and on point. The book is engrossing. Like the Kickstarter states, this is “Gaming History Meets Bathroom Reader.”
While I have not played all 40 games on the list, I own quite a few (21) and played even more (28). Reading John-Michael’s thoughts on each game and its relevance as a game and to the hobby was entertaining. He dug up some crazy things, like the failed Monopoly game show from 1990. While I am a huge fan of Monopoly, I had no idea that this show existed. And, I think I am better off not knowing about it.
The book currently features pictures that are free use. One of the stretch goals of the Kickstart campaign would allow for him to get better pictures for this engrossing compilation of stories. The ones he currently has as placeholders are fine, but I think the fact that this book is intended to be printed out in full color, some newer, brighter, better pictures would really make this book POP, like the Pop-O-Matic™ in the center of the Trouble board.
But, before the new pictures, the first stretch goal would allow him to hire a professional proofreader to read through the book. I worked off a PDF version that I know is not the final copy, but there were some errors. I understand his frustration of reading his own copy again and again and there still being errors. You know what you are saying, and your mind will read it that way. I get it.
Like I mentioned, I have read many books on the history of board games. I feel that while John-Michael Gariepy’s anecdotes made me smile and laugh, his inconsistency bothered me a bit. For example, instead of discussing Clue the game, he talked about Clue the movie. I love the movie, but it was an odd choice to talk about for 10 pages. As was the 13-page dissertation on the Monopoly game show. Some stories were personal to him, while others were just about the game. They also varied in length from 4 pages up to over a dozen. A little more consistency would go a long way. Yet, the chaotic nature of his writing fits the chaotic nature of the list he writes about. These games range from thousands of years old, to a decade old.
Winning Streak excels in being witty, educational, and worth the read. I encourage you all to click over to Kickstarter and back this project. To me, if you have an eReader, then back at the $5 level. Or, even if you have an eReader, I would personally back at the Glossy Color Paperback or Hardcover level. The photos deserve that. At the time of writing this, no one has backed at the black and white level, which is a good thing.
Players Who Like:
Learning about our great hobby, laughing while going to the loo