I always say that not everyone will like every board game, but there is a board game for everyone. I suppose, I should concede that some people don't like board games at all. Our hobby isn't for everyone and that's fine, of course. However, in this article, I want to look at the sort of games that should suit most people.
It was going to be a real spectacle. The crowds had gathered to watch the masters at work and battle to the bitter end. Only one of them would survive. Then, as the match was about to begin, everyone hushed and an eerie silence filled the arena. It was time for the combatants to throw their dice and Str!ke by Dieter Nüßle from Ravensburger.
It was a sleepy village in the middle of the countryside. The residents were hard-working, cutting down trees for wood and digging up rocks to construct new buildings and planting and harvesting grains to feed the population. Over time, more people were attracted to the village as it grew and grew. Eventually, it was time to build a church in this little Hamlet: The Village Building Game by David Chircop from Mighty Boards.
The apocalypse has finally come. After the breakdown of society, survivors have formed gangs of motorheads, that scour the wasteland for rare and very precious petrol reserves. Their vehicles are highly tricked-out, finely tuned, heavily reinforced and equipped with a wide range of weapons. They will stop at nothing, which is exactly why a small number of the surviving rich elite have organised deadly races, where the gangs are pitted against each other to be the first to reach the finishing line and claim their prize - or be the last survivor in the arena of these Gaslands: Refuelled by Mike Hutchinson from Osprey Games.
A great fire engulfed the Whelming Matches factory. All the water in the world couldn't put it out, so hot it burned. When the flames eventually died down many hours later, one artefact was found among the glowing embers. It was cold to the touch and nobody knew what it was. Maybe it was one of the Matches by Daniel McKinley from Thing 12 Games.
I have often heard that board game reviews should talk about the price of games. If a review tries to help people make a buying decision, then that makes perfect sense. After all, the best game in the world may still just be too expensive and a game that's free may still not be worth it. Of course, there are many steps in between. So how much a game costs is clearly something people consider. Yet, I never mention the price of a game in any of my reviews and I don't plan on doing so in the future. Let me explain...
Sailing the winds in your sky pirate ship, you and your crew land on a different island each day, looking for treasure, adventure and glory. You need to be fast though, because you're not alone. Other ships in the fleet have followed the same course and they want their share of the varied loot. If the crew member you send to the island is too slow, they will not come back with valuable treasure, but with a terrible curse or worse, they will not return at all. Only the best pirate will make it in Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest by Paolo Mori from Stonemaier Games.
As many of you probably know, I am a very visual person. I love it when rulebooks are well laid out and have helpful photos that show how something works. The graphic design of game and player boards is also something I think is very important. A good choice of clear icons can really help with understanding how a game works and speed up the flow of a turn. Top it all off with beautiful board game art and you have the complete package, if you ask me.
Everyone in our hobby loves playing board games. That's by definition, of course. Additionally, there are a lot of board game adjacent hobbies that many of us enjoy, such as miniature painting, card collecting or trading, finding wonderful and usual dice and so much more. However, I think there is something else that many of us really enjoy doing and that is to do with the game before the game - but let me explain.
After Earth had been mostly laid to waste, major corporations took charge and colonized much of the Solar System. Interplanetary trade was the only source of money and therefore power. Earth's few remaining societies still held a fair amount of political influence, but controlling as many of the independent planetary parliaments as possible was probably even more important. If you timed it right and invested your money wisely, you could gain power in the Solar System's ultimate authority, the Plutocratic Council. After all, Earth's political systems had been replaced by a Plutocracy by Claudio Bierig from Doppeldenkspiele.