Board Game Review Review: “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Freddy Game”

(Originally written July 31, 2015)

Today’s review is of Matt’s review of “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Freddy Game,” which is one of my favorite board games. Of course, that’s not saying much because I don’t play many board games, but that’s just how it is.

Matt wrote his review for X-Entertainment (Despite its name, it is apparently not a pornographic website. So, please, tuck that thing back where it belongs).

This review requires a bit of background. What is the board game like? Gameboardgeek says: “A game where you use your wildest imagination . You put cards together to make up a story that moves you through Freddy’s house. You have to get Freddy before he gets you…the problem is you don’t know which player is Freddy! Collect weapons and special cards & see if you can do away with Freddy! 3 or more players.”
In the beginning, a player secretly gets a card that states he or she is “possessed by” Freddy. Interestingly, as the game goes on you have the opportunity to take other people’s cards, which means you have a chance of becoming Freddy mid-game yourself. If you have a Mirror card you can kill Freddy if he’s in the same room, but if you land on a certain space you can swipe that card away, too (which is especially good if you’re secretly Freddy). And the Freddy player can bide their time before revealing themselves as Freddy, which makes for an interesting dynamic. In order to move through the house you can either roll a die or “tell a tale” using descriptive cards and a destination, which is valuable if you want to avoid Freddy. You can also do this if you want to get different cards. Just tell your story, turn in the used cards and get some new ones. Freddy can use a player’s fear card to kill them off, but a player can kill Freddy off by combining certain cards, or if he or she has a mirror card.

Proceeding gracefully, I will just admit it: I largely don’t like Matt’s review because it negatively portrays something I like. However, I will make a few simple explanations as to why I think Matt is wrong. For starters, he says “good god damned luck finding more than a single other person on this planet willing to play ‘The Freddy Game.'” I can counter this rather quickly, by simply noting how I played the game with 3 other people just a few days ago, and we spent hours playing it. Someone liked the game so much that she wants a copy of it herself. We had a good time. And I occasionally used to play this game with my grandma (and others) sometimes. So there.

Matt doesn’t only say negative things, which shows he’s capable of positive statements. He praises the 3 dimensional look of the game, for example. However, he doesn’t elaborate well on why he still doesn’t like it. He just says the game is convoluted, saying “I’ve given it all I’ve got, and I still have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I’ve followed the instructions precisely, but I still don’t understand why people roll around the board for 50 turns, collecting cards and not ever using them for anything.” Incredibly, he contradicts this almost immediately by saying “Different cards do different things, of course, but different cards mean different things for different players under different circumstances.” That doesn’t sound like players never using cards for anything, does it?

But the game really isn’t that complicated, though. Honest! A 13 year old girl can understand it. Worst case scenario, you’ll occasionally have to look at the rules to make sure you’re on the right track. And the cards can be useful in this regard, too, as they often tell you how they can be used in conjunction with other cards.

So what do we have? A board game that combines classic elements of luck and skill.
Matt just says “I think I’ve committed a great injustice; I fear I may have made ‘The Freddy Game’ seem interesting. It’s not. It’s really, really bad and nobody should ever play it.”

I disagree, Matt. I think it’s a good game, and if people played it more often I think they’d be better off.


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