Board games are an investment, given their price and quality. Plus the element of risk: Generally, you won’t know how fun (or not) the game is until you’ve bought it and played it with your friends or family. To help you decide if the P4000+ game you’re eyeing is right for you, ask yourself these things:
1. Who will play the board game?
It’s not enough that you find the game interesting. How about those you want to play with? After all, the point of these board games is to make everyone have fun. Also, this basic question helps you think about the number of players the game allows. If it can only have four players but you want your family or barkada of five to play it, it likely won’t be a good fit, since one person will miss out.
2. Is it travel-friendly?
If you want to play games out of town—and likely with a few drinks, too—you’d want a board game that doesn’t have a lot of important pieces. Or if it does, it shouldn’t be a big deal if a token or figure gets lost. When it comes to traveling with a board game, losing something in it should be a risk you’re willing to take.
3. Is it too complicated?
Some board games have a lot of rules, and these can take at least an hour to teach other people. Do have the time (and patience) for that? An alternative, though, is having your friends do their homework—make them watch a video explaining how the game works. Another thing: If you have younger siblings or cousins you want to play with, check if the game is suitable for their age, because it could be too difficult (hence not fun) for them, possibly making the game work against them.
4. Will everyone find the game’s concept or theme exciting?
A lot of board games base their rules or gameplay on their concept—surviving a zombie apocalypse, merchants trading resources, leaders building a civilization, and so on. Sometimes, no matter how interesting the game works, if your friends aren’t feeling the theme because they find it boring, that can bog them down and affect the entire game. Make sure to choose something that all players can be into.
5. Does it have an expansion?
Some expandable games let you play with one more person, while others add an extra twist to the gameplay itself. If you don’t want to pass up on a board game for its limited player count, or you want to have more variety especially for bigger get-togethers, a game with an expansion is a total plus.
6. Does it take forever to finish?
Look for games that fit into your schedule and your friends’. Some can take three hours or more to finish, and not everyone has the time for that. Even if you and your barkada can play a board game all night, consider first how often you can actually (and are willing to) do that. If you’re on a budget, have a curfew, and want a game that’s worth every cent, choose one that takes about an hour to finish, because that means you can play it regularly.
7. Is it different from the board games you already have?
We don’t just mean a different concept. Assess if the game you want to buy boils down to something you already have. For instance, The Resistance and Avalon are essentially the same game; they just have different themes. It helps to know the different board game genres or types to ensure your library isn’t redundant. Are you looking at another deduction or bluffing game? Do you really need another resource management game? Have you tried a worker placement board game before? It’s good to have board games from different genres so that you have a game for different moods, parties, and players. More importantly, having a wide selection of games lets different players win, since each of us have our own strengths that make us play a game better than others. With that, for sure people will want to play with you.