Hot Games

Monday, 9 April 2012

A-Z of Games, Caches & Songs – ‘A’

A weekly A-Z of Games, Caches & Songs through the alphabet. 5 games, 3 caches and 10 songs. This week it’s ‘A’.


  • Acquire – Sid Sackson
  • Agricola – Uwe Rosenberg
  • Airlines Europe – Alan R. Moon
  • American Rails – Tim Harrison
  • Automobile – Martin Wallace


  • Aladdins Cave - Northking
  • A(queduct) Ray of Hope - Roobydoo
  • Are you game enough? - Hanando


  • 'A' Bomb In Wardour Street - The Jam
  • Absolute Beginners - The Jam
  • Acquiesce - Oasis
  • Action Packed - Jonathan Richman
  • Alison - Elvis Costello
  • All Around The World - Lisa Stansfield
  • All the Same to You - Laura Cantrell
  • All The Young Dudes - Mott The Hoople
  • All Woman - Lisa Stansfield
  • Alright - Supergrass
  • Anarchy In The U.K. - Sex Pistols
  • (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes - Elvis Costello
  • Away From The Numbers - The Jam
And in more detail ...


My 2 favourite games and 3 other very strong ones.


I’ve only recently discovered this classic Sid Sackson title, originally published in 1962. It is basically a stock trading game against a backdrop of hotel growth and takeovers. It plays like a new Euro and I’m looking forward to lots more plays of it.


Whoever thought faming could be fun? An ‘event’ game – the experience being more important than the winning. The sheer number of cards means that each game will be fresh for years to come. My second favourite game after Automobile.

Airlines Europe

Acquire meets Ticket to Ride? Well almost – stock-holding certainly meets route-building but this is a very strong game in its own right. This is Alan R. Moon’s latest re-working of Airlines and Union Pacific and therefore has a pedigree dating back to 1990.

American Rails

Another stock-holding and route-building game – a theme seems to be emerging here. Similar to both Chicago Express and Steel Driver, but superior to both.


Martin Wallace’s finest moment and my favourite game. Excellent theme and straight-forward gameplay. Often wrongly dismissed as overly maths-heavy, it contains many of Martin’s favoured mechanics and can be wonderfully confrontational. As Kenny Rogers sang in The Gambleryou got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Except in this case, it’s all about car manufacturing …


Aladdins Cave

Sadly recently archived. This was a simple puzzle cache in central Nottingham with the final in a large ammo can in an army surplus store! The reasons why the cache was outstanding was the enthusiasm of the store owner who we discussed caching with for more than 30 minutes and also the store itself – the best army surplus store I’ve ever been in (“hey make sure that you give a discount to my geocaching buddies”).

A(queduct) Ray of Hope

The primary reason why caching in Swindon is in such good shape is one man – Roobydoo (Keith Shailes). He has placed more than 200 local caches (at the time of writing I’ve found 199 of them) and really gave the hobby a boost. This is one of his best – the cache was placed in a pipe with a hidden entrance so that you are literally standing on top of the cache but can’t understand why you can’t find it. The other end of the pipe is close by though so you can use this as a guide to discover the main entrance.

Are you game enough?

A fun local puzzle cache that combines Euro gaming with caching, how can it not be on the list?


A distinctly punky edge to this first batch. There are also 13 tracks – I was unable to pick out a favourite ten.

'A' Bomb In Wardour Street - The Jam

A song that captured the mood at the time. One of the stand-outs on All Mod Cons. I first heard it at the Brunel Rooms on a mini-tour to promote the forthcoming album.

Absolute Beginners - The Jam

With its soaring brass, this was a forerunner of the direction for Weller post-Jam. Also a great book by Colin MacInnes.

Acquiesce – Oasis

Superior ‘B’ side of Some Might Say.

Action Packed - Jonathan Richman

From the 1989 Jonathan Richman album. Recorded some great stuff around this time.

Alison - Elvis Costello

Seminal single from first album.

All Around The World - Lisa Stansfield

I’ve always had a soft spot for Rochdale’s finest. #1 hit in 1989.

All the Same to You - Laura Cantrell

Along with Jonathan Richman and Erin McKeown, Laura Cantrell is one of my favourite singers. Taken from the 2002 album When The Roses Bloom Again, the album that got me into her work.

All The Young Dudes - Mott The Hoople

Bowie written song from 1972. One I remember from the youth club, still sounds great today.

All Woman - Lisa Stansfield

Incredibly just a minor hit in 1991.

Alright – Supergrass

The feel-good summer track of choice.

Anarchy In The U.K. - Sex Pistols

I first heard (and saw) this on an EMI promo video in Harrods Music Department in December 1976. Great sneering vocal, although it sounds a bit twee now.

(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes - Elvis Costello

From a time when EC was routinely churning out fantastic pop songs. I love the lyric Oh, I said "I’m so happy, I could die”, she said "drop dead," then left with another guy.

Away From The Numbers - The Jam

Apart from In the City, the standout song from the first Jam album.


  1. I can't wait until you get to the letter X.

  2. XYZ together - already thought that one through.

  3. Well come on, slow-poke - WHERE'S B??!!