Book Review: Winning Streak by John-Michael Gariepy

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 lived 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. 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

John-Michael Gariepy is a true gamer. His book reviews the top 40 games according to’s poll, The Best Board Games of all time, in 2015 when he started writing this book. That alone was interesting especially since I have never heard of many of the games and enjoyed others. But he also writes about history as well as movies based on some of the games.

I agree with many of his points. For example, we have played Catan a few times over the past couple of years and though I enjoy the game, if you don’t start in a good position, you’re sunk and there’s really no way to recover. I don’t agree that Sorry! is “a blight upon this list and mankind as a whole.” It’s not my favorite game, but it’s fun to play with kids.

I got a kick out of the author’s discussion about the movie Clue. The first time I watched it (not in a theater), I would have enjoyed it with just one ending. I was surprised and delighted when I realized the movie wasn’t over after the first ending.

I enjoy John-Michael Gariepy’s writing which is engaging and humorous. It’s obvious he’s done a lot of research along with playing many of the games. If you enjoy board games, you can’t miss with this book. It’s a good read and you might even find your next favorite board game!

About the Author

Hi! I’m John-Michael Gariepy. Over the past decade I played and reviewed over four hundred board games for three podcasts, as well as for my personal blog. I also produce the movie/media conversation show, Popcorn Roulette, edited Stephen Albair’s jewelry and tableau photography art book/memoir Spectacles, and direct and produce the medical audio drama Say Hello to Black Jack.

I have a wide range of interests, a tremendous love of learning, and a goofy sense of humor. It shows in my writing.

You can follow me on Twitter @JM_Gariepy or Instagram @johnmichaelgariepy, or check out my blog at