A Look at the Board Game Explosion and How Design Plays Its Part (video below)
We obviously love design at Fantastic Factory, but we also love board games! Yes, we are nerds. And in recent years, board games are making a big comeback!
In fact, board game sales grew by 26% from 2015 to 2017 according to the Toy Industry Association due to popularity for unplugged connection, new post moments for social media (…think Pie Face), affordable entertainment for struggling millennial parents and the belief that board games provide valuable life skills to kids. Remember the Game of Life?
Like we did with our April post, we first went to the experts for board games at the BoardGameGeek.com. Each year since 2006, they have been awarding the Best Board Games with a Golden Geek Award broken out into multiple categories. From 2006 till now, they have expanded from 7 to 16 different categories. For design, we focused on the top art & presentation award winners. For 2017, Photosynthesis won from designer, Hjalmar Hach and artist, Sabrina Miramon.
Looking back in the years, we started to see that board game designs were evolving the same time technology advancements did. Back in 2007, design winner BattleLore focused on an intricate, realistic feel compared to winners like Mysterium in 2015 that made you feel like you were part of a blockbuster movie.
All this innovation and design adds to the experience… the reason we love board games! The experience which we like to call “fun rating” is judged by the how many players are involved, how long it takes to play, the game’s complexity, the age level and the actual numerical ranking from thousands of fans on BoardGameGeek.com.
While we love playing the latest and greatest games that come out like Gloomhaven, we realized that majority of the world only focuses on the the most popular games in history like Hasbro’s Monopoly.
However, when we started digging into the actual rankings of these games throughout history, we realized people actually rated recent games extremely higher than older games like Monopoly. Out of 15,000 to 22,000 people, Monopoly was rated 4.4 compared to Gloomhaven score of 9.0.
Maybe it has to do with the utter despair families feel after playing Monopoly? Something this poor kid experienced as he was coined “The Monopoly Kid” on youtube. It doesn’t just stop at Monopoly, check out other games throughout history like Risk, Trivial Pursuit and more to know that our future is brighter each year board games are created.
If you do not believe us, check out our video for yourself! We urge you to try something new… if not for you, maybe for your family’s sake?
We will be back each month with a new theme and our Fantastic Factory spin!