Types of Boardgames

Types of Boardgames

Party Games

A great introduction to board games, party games are designed to be easy to learn and fun to play. Perfect for a group of family of friends, they usually require less setup than other varieties of games and usually don’t have much in the way of deep themes and strategies.

Where party games excel is in their ability to encourage interaction between a group and keep everyone engaged. This is why they are are popular not only in family environments but also amongst adults in a casual environment.

Popular examples of Party Games:

  • Whats your Meme?
  • Codenames
  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Gateway Games

Gateway games, as the name suggests, represent an introduction to the more complex varieties of board games.

Suitable for a wide range of ages and skill levels, they bring in elements from the more complex types of games while incorporating randomness to keep the games more even and fun for all involved.

They are generally fairly easy to learn with a simple set of rules and importantly are fun and engaging.

These games play an important role in the world of board games as are often the method gamers use to lure non-gamer friends and family into the deeper world of games.

Popular examples of Gateway Games:

  • Ticket to Ride
  • Pandemic
  • 7 Wonders Duel

Abstract Games

Many of the basic strategic games that have been around a very long time, such as checkers, chess, backgammon, and dominos, are classified as Abstract games.

Abstract games have no real theme or story and usually involve two players, each with a set of pieces or cards and some clear rules about how to win. While the rules are usually simple, these games attract some of of the most intelligent game players (think bridge, chess), as the lack of randomness and luck makes them the perfect place for a battle of two minds.

Popular examples of Abstract Games:

  • Chess
  • Quoridor
  • Blokus

Strategic Games

Strategy Games (or “Euro” Games as known in the board game world) includes most of the popular games within the serious board gaming community.

While on the surface these games may appear similar to some Gateway Games, in Strategic games the decisions and moves of a player have a much more direct impact on the outcome of the game. This means players usually need to think many turns in advance, analysing various possible scenarios well before they occur.

Strategy games can also less “family-friendly” with confrontation a key part of the gameplay and often players being eliminated from the game.

Unlike Abstract games (which do in fact fall under the Strategy umbrella), Strategy games incorporate a theme or story to make the game more engaging.

Popular examples of Strategic Games:

Thematic Games

Thematic (or “Ameritrash” Games) are similar to the Euro style Strategic games however the theme is usually held as more fundamental to the game than it is in the latter variety. In a good game, this shouldn’t impact the game mechanics, however many would argue that it often does.

Great thematic games will have a gripping plot full of twists and turns and keep you engaged throughout. Often set deep in a world of science fiction or fantasy, thematic games aim to drag you deep into another realm and then incorporate game mechanics to allow you to navigate your way through it.

Popular examples of Thematic Games:

  • Netrunner
  • War of the Ring
  • Scythe

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