Board Game On | What type of board game is right for me?

There is a vast world of board games out there, ranging from very simple to extremely complex and intricate. Older types of board games, like the good ol’ Life Game, which I grew up with, are from the “roll and move” genre, the more simple and basic of board games that have been in existence since the early 20th century.  Life is a board game that was actually created in 1904!  

Some of these older types of games aren’t connecting to today’s sophisticated board gamers and the environment in which they desire to play. So the question is: “What types of board games are good to start within this modern and sometimes technical board game world?” Here are some game types to review and think about when choosing the right game for you:

Worker Placement games are games in which a player has a limited number of “workers” (tokens/ meeples) that must be strategically placed on a certain number of board spaces.  Players compete to get the most strategic placements of their workers.  Great games in this arena include Lords of Waterdeep: Command Dungeons & Dragons adventurers, Agricola, or Everdell.  

Co-Op games or cooperative games are where players work together to play against the game itself.  Great examples of this type of game include Pandemic, Castle Panic, Arkham Horror, and My first Castle Panic.

Deck Builder games primarily feature cards.  Players start with a set number of cards and are able to acquire additional cards, opening up more play options.  Games in the deck builder arena are Dominion, Marvel Legendary, Star Realms, and Clank!

In Area Control games, players strategically use their resources to maintain ownership of areas of the game board, while other players try to take it away from them.  Good example games include Bunny Kingdom, Kitara, Root, or Small World.

Legacy games are a newer style of board games that change as the game progresses. They can be any genre and they take on the legacy type only if they feature permanent changes play-to-play. Some feature serialized stories that unfold as the play progresses.  Legacy type games include Pandemic Legacy, Betrayal Legacy, and Werewolf Legacy along with Gloomhaven.

Mystery / Secret Identity games are where players engage in a little “Who done it?” detective work. Many modern board games have come a long way from Clue.  Games in this area are Paranormal Detectives, Chronicles of Crime, Sherlock Holmes.

Combat games are where the player controls forces and attempts to complete a scenario against enemy forces. Combat games are World of Tanks, King of Tokyo, and Munchkins.

This categorization can be helpful in determining the right type of game for anyone wanting to get into the gaming world.  Make sure to visit your local comic book store and check out some of these games, watch play, read boxes, ask questions.  Then indulge yourself and try a new game today!

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Dina L. Sauser
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