So I found myself at a local store looking at all the different games available and found myself thinking, “What board game should we play?” There were many different games to choose from, including classic games and brand new games I had never seen before. So how do you choose from the plethora of games available to build your collection with?
The first thing to do is to figure out what kinds of mechanics are found in games that will interest you. Let’s take a look at some of the basic mechanics that are out there:
- Dice Rolling
- Card Play
- Word Play
- Auction or Bidding
- Risk & Reward
- Piece Movement
- Tile Play
- Capture or Eliminate
- Resource Management
- Cooperative Play
- Role Playing
This list is not all encompassing, but I think you can get the point. Looking at the above list what stands out to you? Make a list of your top 5 from the above list and put them in your preferred order. Each family member should complete this step on their own.
Now it is time to compare your lists. Put all the lists side by side and compare how each family member made their rankings. Now we are going to make a Master List based off of those following this simple method:
- Number each list in reverse, using 5 for the most preferred down to 1.
- Add up each different mechanic listed using that number.
- Make a new list using the mechanics in order from the highest to lowest.
Now that you have an idea of the mechanics of what your family likes there is one more thing to consider, Time. Board games can be from short & sweet to long & epic. Here are the time frames we will use for this exercise.
- Quick – 15 minutes or less
- Short – 15-30 minutes
- Medium – 30-60 minutes
- Long – 1-2 hours
- Epic – 2 hours or more
Again, have each person list the games in their preference and repeat Step 2 for these as well. You will now have a much clearer picture coming into form for what your family is looking for.
You now have a Master List of what your family prefers for gaming. This will help you make this crucial decision of what games you should have for your family to play. From what mechanics they like, to how long they like to play a game.
Now that you have your Master List done, you can start browsing for what to play. Take time to look at the mechanics & play time of each game and compare that against your list. The games that rank well with your Master List should be the games that you start growing your collection with.
So when it comes down to, “What board game should we play?” you now have a much better idea of where & how to start.
If you have any suggestions or tips of your own, please speak up and leave a comment below! Also, if you have any questions, post them below and I will make sure to get you an answer.
James W D