10 Reasons Board Games Are Better Now
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I give ten reasons why modern board games are so much better than the classic board games most of us played growing up.
🛒 Amazon links to buy:
2️⃣Ticket To Ride –
5️⃣High Society –
6️⃣Heat: Pedal to the Metal:
8️⃣Isle of Skye –
🔟Sniper Elite: The Board Game:
11. Cascadia –
12. Clank! –
13. Dead of Winter –
14. Sagrada –
Top 10 Gateway Board Games –
Ultimate Gateway Board Games Guide –
Top 10 Board Games for Couples –
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An awful lot of thought went into this, and it was worthwhile – very interesting stuff. And well-presented. Thanks for all your hard work 🙂
It is not half bad, but somehow it feels like denying the importance of classical music, while advocating hip hop. It is more evolution and one can neither discard Mozart nor chess or go. Different, but brilliant. Brilliant, that so many new board games keep coming out. Not all of them will be remembered forever. Some are great when you lpay them with the perfect group, like harmony in music.
Keep on posting! 🙃
I love the gentle mix of humor you sneak into your videos. Keeps the videos highly engaging while not being so overwhelming as to detract from the main point of the video.
Actually, if you play Monopoly by intended rules instead of inviting house ones, it's not that long game. Sure, it's not fun, but it was designed to show how bad the capitalism is when it comes to monopolizing.
To be fair, Monopoly was very successful in its design. The game was trying to induce as much misery and frustration as possible on purpose. It was never meant to be a board game at all, let alone a good one
People saying „I don‘t play/watch movies/read books…“ also give me shiver. And now you made me understand why 😊. Thanks for another great video 👍
I find 'actualol' videos funny, and accurate but i have a problem with ever-returning sexual referencess. I cannot recommend it becouse of this. Thumb up anyway…
I'm amazed at your level of dedication and self-sacrifice.
You actually touched a box of Monopoly for this ?
I hate to say it but you have to make a sanity check at -5.
This video is such a mindblow, so many things suddenly make sense!
Fun and informative video, Jon.
I'm curious about your praise for Catan. In my eyes it's very much a rich get richer type of game where basically the most important part of the game is the initial settling right at the start. I definitely felt like I was just watching myself lose without much agency in Catan plenty of times and that situation is not improved by the fact the game takes quite a long time to finish after initial setup.
If you made a mistake in your initial settlement or just got screwed its super painful to play out the rest of the game.
You've put into words so well what makes board games different nowadays. Catan was definitely a gateway game for me, playing it around 2002 for the first time, and liking it so much. We used to play Monopoly maybe two times a year, but after being introduced to Catan we played it hundreds of times with friends and family, it was so addictive. My mom, who never used to play any games, even competed in the Dutch Catan championship one year. It really sparked my love of board games. I'm fortunate to live only 2 hours by car from Essen, so I've been to Spiel many times. Some of my best memories are playing games at Spiel all day, and eating out at restaurant Ponistra after the fair closes.
I enjoy how well thought out this video is, except that you use ticket to ride as an example of good design multiple times 😅
"in Catan you only make forward progress". Clearly, you have never suffered the devastating blow of the 4-point swing (of a 10 point game) suffered when losing longest road or largest army.
And you can "lose your turn" for multiple trips around the table in Catan if things go poorly enough. One of the biggest gripes of that game.
Also, in my opinion, the "modern" euro games where players can't hurt each other are the worst. Player interaction is a good thing. Let players hurt themselves and each other. Tigris & Euphrates, please.
Being punished like miss a turn for no reason in your controll i quite like when its done in a way that makes sence to the theme. But overdone in a game can be too much. Its about balance. Not always just removing mechanics because you dont like them.
I think one night ultimate werewolf fixes the original werewolf game
Videos about the game can provide an entertaining look at the game's features and content. :3
In your point about non-frustrating luck, there is one more thing you forgot to mention: cards are better than dice, because there is a specific number of copies of any particular card in a deck.
There are reasons why a particular old game is called "Frustration" in the UK and "Trouble" in the US. First of all, you need to roll a 6 on a single die to even leave the starting area. Last time I played it, my friend couldn't do it for about 10 minutes, because all the sixes were rolled by me! Secondly, if your opponent's pawn lands on top of yours, you are sent back to the start.
Rather unusually, an older variant of the same game, "Sorry!", is considerably more fun! Movement is determined by cards instead of dice. You need to draw a 1 or a 2 to start. Since the numbers in the deck are distributed evenly, it feels fairer, even though sending other players to the start is done in exactly the same way.
There's another point you probably needed to touch on in more detail – player interaction in many modern games. "Monopoly" has been criticised multiple times for player trades being pointless. By comparison, when I play "Munchkin" with friends, we interact continuously – doing anything from helping each other fight to trading items and playing curses on one another. I, personally, don't care if we help or hinder one another, as long as we interact.
Great video. I don't fully agree with everything here, but generally it's on point.
You really don't seem to like Monopoly.
I hate this false narrative that modern hobby games (as an alternative to family games like clue or life or monopoly) started 30 years ago. They did not. the hobby side of boardgaming (the values you discuss) track back to the 1950s and 1960s to such companies as 3M and AvalonHill.
The 1960s and 1970s 3M games and designers such as Sid Sackson and Alex Randolph were popular in Europe and part of the Catan lineage.
Likewise the hobby industry in the US generate all the things we attribute to the hobby. Game collectors. game clubs. Game conventions during all those years.
The event of 30 years ago. Catan coming to the US from the 1981 founded hobby company Mayfair games was a great event for exposing family gamers to the hobby side but it was nothing new for the many hobbyists already in the hobby.
I think the only thing better than the recent board game renaissance we’re going through is the way it seems to be coupled with bashing monopoly. Because Monopoly is truly terrible.
So appreciate these videos. Thank you! Can’t wait until the next one
I LOVE this video. And your channel 🙌🙌
Very well written mate, keep up the good work
Great video, and I appreciate your caveat at the end. I would also add that there are many modern games that scale very well, or feel very different, depending on the players. Ticket to ride is a prime example. It can be a great family friendly game you play with your Nephew or grandparents… or it can be a brutally competitive game where you purposely block people once you see where they are going. Games like this are awesome as they use simple rules as a framework, and allow the user to feel like they are in control.
#10 reminds me of a game I love called Space Base that has this one single card that just ruins everything. While everything else is designed to move forward, this one card allows you to cause all other players to lose victory points and can somewhat easily be abused to keep everyone from progressing while that one person catches up. We all voted to physically rip that card up and never looked back.
Great video. Coincidentally I had been speaking to my father earlier in the day about how far board games have come since Monopoly – he allowed one game a year, on Xmas day and with a strict two hour time limit and a general sense of annoyance if he didn't manage to buy Park Lane or Mayfair on the first lap.
However, your video did remind me of a family game from back then that was (and still is) a firm family favourite. It was way ahead of its time and fulfils a lot of your criteria of modern board games: Easy Money.
It came out in 1988 and was a money based game (obviously), a kind of like a light hearted version of Monopoly – lots of luck, some push your luck gambling and absolutely loads of money – instead of Monopoly's single notes, you had thick wads of notes bound in the centre like bank vault cash, in values up to $1,000,000.
It has a single counter so everyone is involved at all times; it had an action on every single space (so no Cluedo corridor turns); you got a million for passing go and two million if you landed on it, to make up for the fact that there was no other action to take on that square! Every space involves at least two players, but usually all. The only 100% negative space is called Nothing, but even that doesn't single you out, instead requiring all players to lose some cash into two lottery funds at either corner of the board. Then on another turn, if someone lands on a lottery space, you get the chance to win it all back again!
The game also has a fixed end – when the cash runs out in the bank – and the final action is a huge lottery of the all money on the two lottery corners – so even if you've been losing, you can clinch a victory with a lucky number.
That luck aspect means it's more aimed for kids/families but my original copy still gets a lot of play time. Great fun, easy gateway family game – https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11147/eay-money
I agree that games in general are better now. But have to disagree and say Monopoly is an immensely fun game. It's just misunderstood.
1. Monopoly, if played by the correct rules, lasts about 1-2 hours. Things that slow it down are the house rules that are often used like the pot in the center of the board or not enforcing the auction rules for properties. Not negotiating correctly can also bog the game down.
2. Monopoly is about risk mitigation and rates of return. There's definitely luck, but a skilled Monopoly player will almost always beat unskilled players.
3. Monopoly is not a family game as it is marketed. It's very cutthroat negotiation game and not really great for kids or casual gamers.
What game is that at 05:10?
When you meet someone at a party and they tell you they don't watch movies or read books, and you realize they're a complete psychopath… Had me rolling with laughter.
I would add another reason why modern boardgames are better:
* Learning the rules is easier, because of better rulebooks (better graphics and design principles) and rules videos. You can also often solve rules problems by looking up clarifications or corrections online.
Someone has never played Mario Kart Double-Dash..
I think it's important to remember that a lot of ("old") games that use many of these techniques weren't designed to be, or derived from the sorts of games that weren't designed to be, or were designed in an environment/from design lineages that weren't primarily about fun. A lot of these games were originally supposed to teach moral or ethical lessons (this includes games like Monopoly – derived from The Landlord's Game – or Snakes and Ladders). (Even Mafia/Werewolf is decended from a social experiment – not an attempt at fun.) Some people not having fun or being treated unfair or being punished or not having agency was the point. It's not necessarily fun – but it was integral for the original/prior works messages. I'm not saying contemporary games aren't better designed for fun – but I do think it's important to understand why "old" games worked the way they did. They arose due to, or in relation to, a different design ethos.
absolute slander that chess plays the same every time 😛
Love this video share it already with friends
This is an excellent list of reasons!
I think you have missed a fairly important one in the age of covid.
There has been a surge in games for solo/solitaire play, or that can be done so:
Heroes of Normandy
Shadows of Brimstone
There are many others that have come out pretty recently.
Great video! From my own personal standpoint, it was a bit of a rub seeing him use Catan as an example of a great game. I have played the game multiple times and there have been multiple occasions where somebody gets locked into an area or their numbers just never come up and they end up quite a bit behind and essentially sitting out most of the game. It's even happened to me, more than once. Through some bad luck with dice rolls and or initial placement, we had too many games in which someone was rarely collecting goods and as a result, hardly participated for 30 to 45 minutes. Of course by the time their luck had changed, they were too far behind. We even tried a variant where if you did not receive any goods on a turn, you got a chip and could later trade in two chips for any good. Helped somewhat but there were still enough occasions where the game was not fun for someone. Happened a few times with some people that are new to gaming which soured the experience. As a result, my wife and I decided that we will no longer play the game for this reason.
I might be wrong, but the one thing classic board games have is professional play and championships with chess grand masters and pro poker tours.
Which games have the potential to bring that one day?
Instead of Clue, there is an interesting newer game that most haven't heard of, Awkward Guests. Basically, picture Clue with 2 key tweaks: 1. Every turn you get to ask for information, there is no roll&move luck. 2. Supplying information is voluntary and a trade. If you decide to supply, you must supply clue cards about what they ask, but they must give you back an equal or greater value in clue cards in return. Now, you still have the light deduction game like Clue, but the players have actual agency over what they ask, what they share, and how bad a trade partner to be.
Yet another example of why your videos are my most keenly awaited on YouTube. Please keep up your uniformly excellent work!
Great video again Jon. It’s between you and board game bollocks. I would like to be a patron but I’m trying to save every penny to get to Essen this year. And from OZ, that’s not a cheap prospect. I want to get there and afford to buy something as well. I just don’t know how much a ticket costs.
However you strike every nail on the head. Listen, f#*ck Monopoly! I love the themes in modern games. You can be transported anywhere through theme then there’s a puzzle and adventure and a contest.
I hate the knockers who think it’s kiddy but I have said what to those C*#ts do at the Casino? They’re playing dice and card games on a table top. Who’s knocking them.
A bit off-topic, but violations of the Geneva Convention are definitely not rectified by 'sending in NATO'.
Great video but SO many ads. 😩
The game that hits me across the face and calls me stupid is Azul when I take the last bunch of tiles that I can't put on any of my pattern lines so they completely fill my floor line. I might be able to work out how to select more carefully but I worry that I might come across as the AP player so I value swiftness of taking my turn over playing to win.
Some old games as skill intensive like Chess but more approachable, like Connect 4, and are often more fun with children.
Modern games are AMAZING though. Everything from gameplay to presentation has been taken to a new level. I couldn't be more thrilled to collect games and share experiences with friends and family.