Trick-Taking it to the Next Level – my fascination with trick-taking games (Topic Discussion)

As you probably know by now, I absolutely love trick-taking games. I have long wanted to share this love with other people, but found it can be hard to teach trick-taking to people who have never come across it. Luckily, in recent months, I have found one or two games that are great for introducing people to trick-taking. They have allowed me to share my passion for this genre of card games. They are great stepping stones. I can start to draw on this giant collection of games that are often great for all the family and key to many of my social interactions as a teenager - but let me explain.

Repeated Replayability – another look at games’ longterm interest (Topic Discussion)

I have previously looked at replayability in board games and I must admit, I still can't put my finger on why a game like Chess, which has no variability and no randomness, is so hugely replayable and remains interesting even after dozens of plays, while other games with variable setup, different factions and a large amount of chance are sometimes boring after only a handful of plays. So let me grapple with this topic in yet another article.

Fun to Lose – how opponents’ skill levels affect gameplay experience (Topic Discussion)

I don't mind losing. In fact, when I play with my weekly game group, I usually lose. There are very few board games that I am confident that I will win or at least have a good chance of winning. However, there is something interesting I noticed recently. Irrespective of whether you're a sore loser or gracious winner, I think it is true that gameplay experience changes depending on the skill level of the other players. Playing the same game with people who are as good at a game as you just feels different to playing it with people who are better than you or worse than you. In this article, I want to investigate this a bit further.

The Representation of Bees – the latest buzz in the board game hobby (Topic Discussion)

Here is another article inspired by the wonderful Bez from Stuff by Bez. She suggested I talk about the representation of bees. There wasn't any particular angle she wanted me to take, but the title alone gave me some inspiration. So in this article, I want to look at board games that feature bees in some way.

Working Hard – a look at worker placement mechanisms (Topic Discussion)

The genre of worker placement games is quite large and has evolved a lot over the years. Traditionally, worker placement was all about certain actions being unavailable to other players as soon as someone placed their worker there. At some point, games introduced shared worker place spots. Some games allowed players to kick workers out, returning them to another player who would effectively get another go. In this article, I want to look at the genre and pick out different implementations and variations on the theme.

About Time – time as a mechanism in board games (Topic Discussion)

Time as a concept, is something we are very familiar with in our daily lives. Sometimes time goes quickly, at other times it seems to almost stand still. Time is also a concept that appears in board games. There is the play time, of course, but some games also use time directly as a mechanism. I want to look at how board games represent time and how they use the concept in different ways.

Swords vs Words – the popularity of blogs versus other media (Topic Discussion)

Jamey Stegmaier's blog post "Is There a Future for Written Reviews?" inspired Adam Richards of Punchboard to write a little post on his Substack to discuss the visibility of the written word compared to video or audio content. That, in turn, inspired me to share my thoughts on the topic and as always, I invite your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this article.

AI Art – what it is, what it is not and what it could be (Topic Discussion)

Based on another suggestion from the wonderful Bez from Stuff by Bez, in this article, I want to look at the rise of so-called AI art. I want to describe what I mean when I talk about AI art, explain what I think it is not, despite people claiming otherwise and the creative potential of this new technology.