Board Games Frequently Asked Questions – You ask, we answer

Games have been around for millenniums, but the modern board gaming is a relatively new activity (having risen after WWII and really taking off in the last 20 years), and as such still relatively unknown to the general public. Too embarrassed to ask a newbie question? Here’s a frequently asked questions article to help present our hobby to new players and potential new players. There are examples and links to articles that digest the matter in more detail. And if your question is not here, ask below and it will be added.

What is the easiest board game to play?

The easiest board games to play are roll-and-moves. Games like Snakes & Ladders, Goose game, Pachisi, etc. Everyone can play those in a matter of minutes. However, when it comes to modern board games, there’s more than one candidate. In fact, a whole category of games, popularly called gateway games, are designed with the intention of bringing new players to the hobby. These games feature simple, intuitive rules, often introducing game mechanics, that will be useful to know later down the line, while still offering decent strategic depth and replay value. You can find 10 examples in our What is a Gateway Board Game article?.

What are the top 5 most popular board games?

According to BoardGameGeek, the 5 most popular modern board games are:

  1. Pandemic (cooperative struggle against four deadly diseases),
  2. Carcassonne (tile placement, set in a picturesque French countryside),
  3. Catan (economic set-collecting and colonizing),
  4.  7 Wonders (card drafting, building an ancient city, including mighty wonders), and
  5. Dominion (a deck-building game that started the genre).

You can see the full list of the Top 10 Most Popular Board Games here.

Board Gamed FAQ 7 wonders duel city
7 Wonders: Duel is a higly acclaimed two-player spin-off.

What is a fun board game?

Board games are fun when they comply with the following five reasons (read the full article here):

  • Theme and components that immerse you in the game.
  • Players have to make meaningful choices, that impact the gameplay.
  • There’s a random element, that adds suspense and excitement.
  • Game mechanisms should encourage interactivity among the players.
  • The group has to be right for the game.

To give you an example, one of the most fun board games you can get is Quacks of Quedlinburg. It’s a family-friendly push-your-luck game. You’re drawing chits out of your bag with the goal of creating the best potion. What makes it great is that you are responsible for building the contents of the bag and you decide if you will stop or draw just one more. Draw one too many, and your potion will explode, leaving you empty-handed … This creates plenty of suspense, forces you to make choices, has a strong random element, and is just all-around fun.

What is America’s favorite board game?

After many decades of presence in mainstream pop culture, Monopoly is still going strong when it comes to popularity in a common household. While many modern board games look down on Monopoly for its simplicity, ruthlessness, reliance on luck, and too long playing time, its economic success is undisputed. It has been and still is a gold mine for its publisher, and it’s no surprise it receives many reskins every year. Chess is another great presence. A several hundred years of age, this board game has seen several peaks and dips throughout its lifespan. With the show The Queen’s Gambit being highly popular, it looks like chess is in for another rise in popularity.

What is the most popular board game in the UK?

The answer here is similar to what I said about America. Monopoly still rules the sales charts.

board games faq monopoly-miniatures
Monopoly still rules the sales charts.

How do you pick a board game?

Anytime I’m looking for a board game, I take it game through 5 steps of recognizing if it’s a good game. These are:
  1. Looks and First Impressions – What drew my attention to it?
  2. Pedigree (designer and publisher) – What can I expect, based on their previous titles?
  3. BoardGameGeek – What is the playing time, player count, complexity, main gameplay mechanisms, and how do others rate it?
  4. Written Reviews – In-depth opinion of a trusted reviewer.
  5. Video Reviews and Playthroughs – To see the game in action.
With these five steps, my research is thoroughly complete and I can confidently claim whether a game is for me. As kids’ board games are simpler and cheaper, you can skip a lot of these steps and still get satisfactory results. You can also include social media, but those are normally not dependable sources of information. How to choose the best board game for a preschooler?

What is the board game of the year 2021?

It depends on who you ask. But there’s a silent consensus that Ark Nova, Oath, and Cascadia are definitely high up there.
In Ark Nova, you’re in charge of a zoo, while Oath simulates generations of political struggle for power in a fictional realm. Cascadia, on the other hand, is the most family-friendly. It’s a tile-placement game, where you build a lush natural landscape and fill it with animals.
board games faq Oath

What is a good board game for adults to play?

Scythe, a strategic engine-building game set in a post-apocalyptic diesel-punk Eastern Europe is a game, that is highly recommended for adults.
It features an excellent theme and components, the rules are intuitive, yet complex. It demands a high level of planning and there’s plenty of interactivity between players, including mech combat.
You can read the full Scythe review or our Top 10 strategy board games for adults, where Scythe came comfortably on top.

Is Bingo a board game?

Only one game has outlived chess, both in age and the years it takes to study it. The game is Go and it originated in China over 2500 years ago.
The rules are a lot simpler than in chess. Basically, it’s an area control game where you try to encircle enemy stones by placing them strategically. But the board is large and the strategy can often go layers deep, there are battles for local, as well as global domination. There’s a possibility to go deep into each other’s minds and masters study the game for their entire life.

What is the hardest game to master?

Any game that is played internationally on a competitive level is difficult to master (if we define master as a level where you at least understand what the best players are doing). Some examples:
  • Chess is an obvious example. You can play and study the game for years, but face a master and you’ll be humiliated. The same could be said about Go, which we mentioned in the above answer.
  • Poker requires an immense amount of mathematical and psychological knowledge, as well as rock-solid mental stability. Moreover, playing against the best players puts you at risk of losing some serious dough.
  • Moving on to modern board games, several of them are quite popular when it comes to tournament play, for example, Magic: The Gathering, Agricola, or Terra Mystica. These are perhaps the ones where the competition is the toughest, although many modern complex board games (i.e. Mage Knight or A Feast for Odin) allow you to dig yourself in and study their strategies for years.
board games faq odin
A Feast fo Odin offers immense replay value.

Is Azul a good game?

Azul, an abstract tile-laying game is an excellent board game. It’s easy to learn and it looks great on the table, which makes it excellent for families or casual gamers. Yet, it possesses that elusive ingredient of easy-to-learn, but hard-to-master, making it equally appealing to regular players.
It’s no wonder it came on to of our Best abstract board games article, as well as played highly reputable on our other lists. It truly is a game I can recommend to everybody.
If we believe, the board gaming industry was worth 7.2 billion dollars in 2017 and is rising. While this may seem a lot of money, it’s peanuts compared to behemoths such as PC gaming with 37 billion and mobile gaming at 77 billion (both 2020, statista).

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