Tips for Choosing Board Games

Choosing what game to play can be a daunting task. We have observed that it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide which games from the library to play during your visit. Our library breaks games down by section, and we have a staff recommended section, and “popular games” section, but many great games go unnoticed. We want to better connect you to those games. So, we’ve broken down best steps to get you there. Here is what we came up with:

THE RULES BARRIER

The most common barrier we see when trying new games is the process of learning the rules. Some rule books are over thirty pages long – great games don’t always make themselves the most accessible. Cards Against Humanity or Jenga are so easy to pick up again because they’re very easy to play. Here are some tips we suggest for overcoming this obstacle:

  1. We are creating quick-rule guides for our games. Look for this section in the café.
  2. Browse our game library online, choose games in advance, and Youtube the rules. We do this all the time. It is more accessible and often entertaining. Tabletob, on the Geek and Sundry Youtube channel is one of the most popular.
  3. Ask the staff about the basics. The fact is, there are numerous games to memorize. The staff knows a considerable amount about most of the games, but sometimes the specific nuances we can forget. However, we pretty much know all the basics, leaving you only to fill in the blanks.

BOARD GAME VOCABULARY

What mood are you trying to achieve? Avid board gamers have vocabulary to describe specific genres and mechanics, but not everyone speaks the same language, so it can be difficult to put what you want into words all can understand. Do you want an RPG, a deck/dice builder, worker placement game, victory point based, city builder, bluffing, co-op, hidden role, role and move? If you know what some, or all, of these are, you’re already ahead, but there’s lots to learn. Try researching some new board game vocabulary online. We have broken games down by keywords like these in our games list section of this website. Also, you can offer some to staff when seeking recommendations to get better custom results.

BREADSTICK GAMES

These are warm-up games, usually lasting thirty minutes or less. One or two of these before a “meatier” main-play (entrée) builds momentum, and creates time to decide what lengthier choice will be. We understand it is difficult to find the ever-illusive “perfect game” in one swift go, so a breadstick game is useful in settling everybody in for instant-good-times.

EXPERIMENT

One of the beautiful things about a board game café is that you don’t have to make a serious investment in a new board game before you try it. You have the freedom to try new games. If you like it, that is great news, if you don’t, that’s okay too. Variety is the spice of life. The more you mine, the more often you’ll strike gold. Some of the newest games I’ve played, have become all-time favourites. Looking back now, it’s hard to think I lived without them all those years. I’m certainly happy I opened my mind to them in the first place.

It’s not always easy to choose a game. The purpose is to have fun, not be perfect. There is more to cover, but these guidelines might help. Relax, experiment, and streamline your board game gold-mining.