Tutor Know How: Board Game Categories
So you have been looking into the emerging board games scene. You may have noticed a booth at a convention, or maybe you were even asked to back a new game on Kickstarter, but what are all these games even about? And how do you know which ones you are interested in?
Though you won’t ever be entirely prepared for every game that crosses your path, knowing the larger categories of board games will help you find what you like much faster.
Euro games are most likely the reason for the current Board game renaissance. Euro games are known for their deeply embedded mathematical and mechanical game play. Most times they don’t have a strong theme and are luck free. I believe these are becoming more mainstream because they involve adult level thought processing and provide a fun challenge. Warsaw:City of Ruins is a great example of a standard euro game. It involves area control, tile placement point gathering, and complex strategies as the game progresses through several different stages.
These are the games that you played as a child or have seen in Walmart and Target. Box store games are popular because they are easy to produce and easy to learn. The strategies in box store games are often as simple as rolling a die and moving a pawn that many spaces. Companies can quickly make reprints with new themes and players can quickly learn them making these the most popular games.
Thematic games,or as some call them, “Ameritrash” games are the combination of strategy and theme. These games are recognized by their heavy use of themes and high quality art. Although these games have higher strategies they are not as involved as Eurogames. Good examples of a thematic game is Legend of Korra: Pro-Bending Arena . Thematic games are often where players enter the board game universe. Which leads to the final category…
Some might argue that Gateway games are not a category of board game, mainly because a gateway game can come from any of the previously mentioned categories. However, Gateway games often have traits that make them a unique genre. This might include the combination of luck and strategy in the same game. And they often include a moderate game play time with simple uses of advance mechanics. Games like Codenames These are important games for any game shelf as they tend to spark the interest of new players.
Any questions or concerns? Comments are most welcome. Feel free to drop one here, Facebook, or email!