Board Games

The Best Family Board Games for the Holidays

No one wants to play Monopoly, but finding games that are easy and accessible for the entire family can be a challenge. Avid board gamers tend to get a little too optimistic ("Why not try a game of Eldritch Horror?") while Target-exclusives tend to be a mixed bag. But there's value in family-style board games during the holiday season: it gives you something to do besides fighting.

Is the Board Game Bubble Bursting in 2019? Rising Costs a Growing Concern

To say that board games is in a bubble needs to be qualified first: it isn't the act of playing games that's in a bubble. To some extent, it's not even the act of publishing games that's in a bubble. It is a specific type of publishing -- rapid, small print projects -- that is in a bubble, in addition to some of the culture that surrounds board games. Board game developers, publishers, and distributors are all feeling a crunch right now, as board games become more expensive to produce and yield a smaller piece of the pie to each one.

Women in Board Game Development: All About My Workshop

I have a tendency to do things that are both spontaneous and inadvisable. Recently, I wondered why there weren't more women in board game development. From pure anecdotal evidence, about 20% of the people I see at game shops are women, but only about 6% of the top 100 games are by women. When women do create games, few are solo designers; most are co-designers and usually with a man. But I didn't want to draw any conclusions, I wanted to find out more. So I decided to run a women's development workshop -- and the results were pretty illuminating in a way I didn't expect.

Women in Board Gaming and Tabletop: a Personal Perspective

As a video gamer and long time DND player, I'm accustomed to being a part of communities that weren't made for me. I've long argued that the lack of female perspective in gaming isn't indicative of inherent sexism, but rather market share -- and that the industry will change over time as women continue purchasing and engaging. But none of that purchasing and engagement happens if we don't all work together, understand each other's perspectives, and show compassion -- and even as a woman I can struggle with that. 

What is "Kingmaking" and Why Did Someone Just Flip the Game Table?

We were halfway through a game and one player had nearly lapped the others across the board. It wasn't that he was cheating or anything so crass. He just happened to have made an extremely good choice at the beginning of the game, which locked him into a very successful synergy. You could see the frustration in the other players' eyes as they struggled to catch up.

"He's clearly going to win," said one player. "There's nothing we can do."

Does Your Board Game Group Have an "Agent of Chaos?"

Board games are developed with the idea that players are going to try to win the game. Revolutionary, I know. When presented with multiple scenarios, it's assumed that a player is going to make the right choice for them. But not every player is a rational actor. Some players are "agents of chaos" -- they act randomly or even counterintuitively to their own goals.

Father's Day: 6 of the Best Board Games to Buy for Dad

Maybe your dad is already into board games, but he still needs to build up his collection. Maybe you just have no idea what he's interested in to begin with -- lawn care? Technology? Fishing? What does he do with his time? Regardless, a board game can be the opportunity to give your dad the gift that he really wants: more time with his family. Presumably. You might all be terrible. We don't know. 

Starting from scratch is difficult, but there are a few all-around games that can be fun for any family.


Top Solo Board Games: Where Should You Get Started?

There's a reason why "solo mode" is being tacked onto games: it sells. One of the biggest complaints board gamers have is that they can't get together enough players for a game. If you've tried to organize an event recently, you know: people are flaky and difficult to manage. So why not just play games alone?

There are hundreds of games with a solo mode, but not all of these games are good at being played solo. Here's what you need to know to get started in the world of solo board games. 

15 of the Most Popular Filler Board Games

A filler game is a light game that can be setup and played within about 30 minutes. Filler games are simple enough that you can reliably learn them on the first playthrough, but may allow for more complex strategies the more you play them. And though they can have a bad reputation ("filler game" itself sounds dismissive), they're actually fairly versatile. A filler game can be played at the beginning of a session, at the end, or as a palette cleanser. If someone only has a few games, they are likely to be filler games. 

The Evolution of Kickstarter in the Board Game Industry

Kickstarter is the largest venue for board game publishing. Even companies that already have their own funding and an established following are publishing their new games on Kickstarter. Large IPs use Kickstarter to gauge public interest and to obtain funding before the development of their project. Consequently, it's no wonder that problems arise -- such as the failure of the Evil Dead 2 game


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