Well, Christmas is coming soon and I've begun my search for a few games I can put on my wishlist. In the past, this has been relatively easy for me but this year, I'm struggling. My game collection has reached the point that I have many games I rarely play, several games I've never played, and a few that have only been played once. For various reasons I'll not delve into right now, my opportunities for gaming have been dwindling and lately it's not uncommon to go weeks without playing a game.
In my quest for a few games this year, I'm only choosing games that I expect to get played multiple times. This may seem like common sense but in the past, I've been known to choose games that just looked good, had some buzz going, had high ratings, etc. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I'm now at the point in my gaming 'career' that I can no longer justify buying a game for the sole purpose of adding it to a dusty collection. As I perused BGG last night I've determined I have two show-stopper mechanics that turn a game that piques my interest into a game that I'll never buy and in most cases would rather not play:
I don't mind an auction/bidding mechanic if it's not core to the game as in Amun-Re and I suppose I'm a hypocrite because I do enjoy an occasional game of Ra but in general, I'm not a fan of outright auctions that you'd find in games like Power Grid. I detest the auction cards in Jambo so much that I've often thought of just removing them from the deck.
Negotiation/Diplomacy is a real turn off for me. Games where you strike verbal deals with other players only to renege later or games with open negotiation/debate about the merits of some play or trade just ruin the game for me. There's probably some social and/or personality trait, quirk, or gene that I lack that would allow me to enjoy games like Settlers of Catan, Bohnanza, and The Traders of Genoa. All that said, I greatly enjoyed my single playing of I'm the Boss (Kohle, Kie$ & Knete). We had a great time with the free for all nature of the negotiation.
Do you have any mechanics that instantly turn you away from a game?
Do you have any mechanics that you dislike but strangely tolerate some game that falls in that category?