Release Date: 2019
Authors: Owen Duffy, Matt Thrower, Teri Litorco, Richard Jansen-Parkes
Publisher: Clyde & Cart Press Ltd.

I am making a slight diversion from my usual reviews and am looking at a book instead. However, it’s The Board Game Book, so don’t worry, we’re still on topic. It’s not the first book all about board games of course, but it certainly stands out, because it counts a number of professional writers among its contributors. So the quality of the writing is high, and the editing and production are also excellent – but let me start at the beginning.

I backed this game on Kickstarter, back in 2018, and it took just over 2 weeks for it to fully fund, which was no surprise. When the campaign finished, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, but of course, the book was still being written, edited, laid out and generally worked on. There were also some minor delays, but when it arrived in the post, I was immediately impressed. Mind you, hardback books are always impressive, mainly due to their weight, but The Board Game Book was different.

As I flicked through the pages, the high quality of the layout and general production of this book became immediately apparent. There are clearly divided sections, and each game page starts with a photo heading, followed by the game specs. The text is nicely broken up with high-quality photos, and the whole finish feels very professional. To top it all off, the new book smell was amazing – or maybe that’s just me.

The book immediately draws you in and as you start reading, you don’t want to stop. The introduction is well written, and every game is well explained, followed by an interview with the game’s designer or another related person, which is very informative and insightful. Most games cover a double-page spread in the book, so it’s easy to read about just one more game – exactly like it’s very easy to have just one more crisp – and it’s too late when you realize you’ve finished the packet – or maybe that’s just me too.

The book covers a huge variety of modern tabletop games, so even if you know very little, or maybe nothing, about the hobby, you can quickly find a game or two that might suit you – and you can learn more about the history of board games. The editing is also really good, which makes it really easy to read.

If this book was a game, it would come in a giant box, with dozens of miniatures, metal coins, realistic resources and a giant, cross-fold game board. It’s ideal coffee table material – and wouldn’t be out of place in a posh hairdresser or beauty salon, or a hip cafe. In fact, I reckon it would suit the waiting room of my dentist really well.

It is no surprise that the book quickly sold out at UK Games Expo this year, and that Asmodee are its UK distributor. You can already buy it from Amazon UK, and if your local bookshop hasn’t got it, they can easily order it for you from the biggest book wholesaler in the UK, Gardners Books. The book is also available in other countries around the world, so you’re really spoilt for choice.

Of course, this is just volume 1 – and the next volume is already in the works. The editor already has a few ideas of what to include in the next instalment of the series, and I can’t wait to hear more about it.

Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • I backed the book on Kickstarter and paid for it myself.
  • At the time of writing, neither the authors, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the book supported me financially or by payment in kind.
  • I will get a very small percentage of the price of the book if you buy it from Amazon UK using the link in this article.

Podcast Review

Music: Piano Ambient by AShamaluevMusic


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