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13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

13 Popular New Product Examples in the + Billon Board Games Market

A New Generation of Games Brings in More People and Increases Enjoyment, Driving Market Growth

While chess, checkers, Monopoly, Scrabble and Clue regularly top the lists of all-time and perennial best sellers, innovative new products examples are recognized as important growth drivers in the $12B+ global board games market, including:

  • Gloomhaven (2018),
  • Pandemic (2008),
  • Azul (2017),
  • Wingspan (2019),
  • Settlers of Catan (1995)
  • Ticket to Ride (2004)

Board game market size estimates vary from $12B+ to $18B, with agreement that the market is growing at a healthy 7 to 11%.

New Product Examples, New Gamers, and Enhanced Gameplay Drive Board Game Market Growth

There are several factors driving board game market growth. Experts agree that new products and innovation are important, both by bringing new people into the market and by capturing more spending of existing gamers.

A survey of over 800 people found that several of the modern games are what “got” new players into board gaming. Of the top 8 games identified, six were modern games (shown in bold below):

  1. Settlers of Catan: 16%
  2. Ticket to Ride: 5%
  3. Monopoly: 5%
  4. Carcassone: 4%
  5. Pandemic: 4%
  6. Risk: 4%
  7. Dominion: 2% 
  8. Betrayal at House on the Hill: 2%

And, while classics like chess still reportedly sell 3 million copies a year, modern board games are allowing players to enjoy gaming and participate in new ways, such as with cooperative play.  While not a board game, the growing and enduring popularity of Dungeons and Dragons highlights interest in cooperative games.

Cooperative Play Expands the Universe of New Product Examples in Board Games

Winning the game is actually relatively unimportant to many game players who are more interested in a good social experience.  Favorite parts of a game are:

  • socializing (4.5 mean importance score)
  • learning the strategy (4.3 mean)
  • the game’s table presence (4.2 mean)
  • its art (4.1 mean)
  • completing it successfully (4.1 mean) 

By comparison, winning scores a mean of 2.9, and beating others is even lower at 2.5.

If you’ve ever played with people who just want to win, you can probably relate to my feeling that it’s not fun for a newer player to join a board game and play with those who are only interested in beating others.  I’m heading out to the Strategicon Southern California gaming conference over the Memorial Day weekend and am eager to try out some new board games, while seeking to avoid tables that are hyper competitive.

Modern games also keep players engaged by addressing many of the pitfalls of older games, even with competitive games, e.g., one person taking a large lead in a long game with no chance for other players to catch up.

13 Popular Modern Board Game New Product Examples

With over 3,000 new board games introduced each year, this article will focus on 13 new product examples that are recognized as highly popular.

For each game, we look at estimates of:

  • total number sold and associated revenues
  • who the game appears to appeal to (target consumers)
  • occasion the game appears to address (need state)
  • description (similar to tagline)
  • apparent positioning of the game based on its uniqueness   

Looking over the list, there are just two cooperative games (Pandemic and Gloomhaven), compared with 11 competitive games, suggesting untapped potential for cooperative games. 

As far as the situation or need state, two are party games with estimated play times of 15 minutes (Coup and Codenames) and four games are clearly for longer-play situations with estimated play times of more than 60 minutes (some at 120 minutes). These are: Scythe, Gloomhaven, Terraforming Mars and Catan.  

Not surprisingly, most of these popular modern games claim play times ranging from 30-60 minutes.  This middle timeframe can fit into more need states compared with longer gaming sessions or short, party games. In addition to time, the number of players that the game allows makes some games better suited to solo play, pair play, groups of three to five, or even as many as six or seven players.

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market
13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

1. Board Game New Product Example:
Catan (competitive)

Introduced in 1995, Catan is the oldest and most popular of the modern games studied, with an estimated 40+ million copies sold and revenues approaching $2 billion.   Catan commands a relatively high list price of $55.

Like other popular brand franchises, Catan has many expansions and spinoffs.

Catan is relatively easy to learn, taking an estimated 15 minutes to get it set up and going.   Compared with others in this studied group, Cathan has a relatively longer play time of an estimated 60 to 120 minutes, perhaps fitting into a game afternoon or game night, but not a shorter time slot.

One reviewer claims Catan is particularly appealing to younger players ages 18 to 35.  I’ve also heard for many years of Catan’s alleged popularity among Wall Street bankers, as this source mentions. 

The description of Catan from BoardGameGeek is:

“Collect and trade resources to build up the island of Catan in this modern classic.”

Catan’s importance cannot be understated in bringing new players into gaming. Catan is the number one game that “got” people into board gaming and a great choice for many groups of mixed experience.

Among experienced gamers, however, Catan scores a 7.11 from Board Game Geeks 119,000 reviews, which is below the average for the 15 games studied here.  This is a good example of how a broadly appealing game like Catan is regarded by less experienced vs. experienced groups.

Let’s look at a positioning strategy template for Catan. As a reminder, there are five interdependent pieces of the positioning strategy template:

  1. To target [specific audience],
  2. For [defined] frame of reference,
  3. “Board Game Brand”
  4. is the [functional/emotional] point of differentiation
  5. Because [attributes] reason to believe

Catan’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Catan’s target is: “newer and younger board game players” 

2. The frame of reference is more in-depth board games (i.e., longer than 30 minutes)

3. The brand is Catan

4. The differentiation is that Catan is a reliable choice for a good gaming session with 3-4 players

5.  Reasons to believe are the mechanics, which include resources that are relatively balanced to start with negotiation needed

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

2. Board Game New Product Example:
Ticket to Ride (competitive)

With over 10 million copies sold and total revenues of more than $400 million, Ticket to Ride is also the second most popular game to get new players committed to gaming.  Introduced in 2004, Ticket to Ride’s list pricing is $54.99, similar to Catan.

Just thinking of Ticket to Ride brings a smile to my face, as I find it fun to think of the map of the US, and seeing colorful trains crisscrossing the board, along with a sense of taking a journey.  I enjoy games with overlapping color like Chinese checkers, Ticket to Ride and Azul.  

A session of Ticket to Ride feels much less intense than a session of Catan, and the shorter estimated playtime of 30 to 60 minutes is part of that.

According to BoardGameGeek, Ticket to Ride’s premise is:

“Build your railroad across North America to connect cities and complete tickets.”

Says Karim Lopez, board game conference organizer and experienced gamer,

Who doesn’t like trains? This appeals to the general public, both adults and kids.  It’s easy to learn with a huge amount of variety. A train game that’s extremely accessible, even though it’s not a  favorite of mine.”

Among the BoardGameGeek reviewers, Ticket to Ride scored 7.4 from over 84,000 reviews, which is a respectable score, compared with the overall average of  15 popular games at 7.65.

Ticket to Ride’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Ticket to Ride’s target is: “family gamers, including children 8+” 

2. The frame of reference is fun, easy to learn strategy game

3. The brand is Ticket to Ride

4. The differentiation is that Ticket is Ride gives all players the satisfaction of completing tickets

5.  Reasons to believe it looks pretty, is easy to learn and accommodates up to five players

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

3. Board Game New Product Example:  
Carcassonne (competitive)

Moving from a geographically-inspired map of the US in Ticket to Ride, the third modern board game new product example, Carcassone, is an imagined map of France.  Carcassonne was introduced in 2000. 

Carcassonne is described by BoardGameGeek as

“Shape the medieval landscape of France, claiming cities, monasteries and farms.”

With total revenues estimated at over $400 million, and an estimated 12 million copies sold, Carcassone’s list pricing is $34.99, according to BoardGameGeek.

Lopez explains:

“Carcassonne is good for people who like puzzles.  It’s a visual interactive puzzle that you are putting on the table.  New gamers and experienced gamers can enjoy it. New gamers can focus on building roads, and experienced players can be cutthroat. It’s like a puzzle on the table, but you get to choose what the picture looks like.”

One of my adult friends commented,

we have that game, and I can play it without having to pay too much attention and can be enjoying a conversation at the same time.” 

Carcassonne ranks fourth on the list of games that got people into board gaming and receives an average rating of 7.41 from BoardGameGeek’s 119,000+ ratings.

Carcassone’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Carcassone’s target is: “puzzle lovers and family gamers, including children 6+ ” 

2. The frame of reference is a fun, easy to learn strategy game

3. The brand is Carcassone

4. The differentiation is that Carcassonne is a visual, interactive puzzle 

5.  Reasons to believe it is simple and easy to play and looks different each time you play

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

4. Board Game New Product Example:  
Pandemic (cooperative)

Tied for fourth with Carcassonne on the list of games that got new players into gaming, Pandemic is the first cooperative game in this group of modern popular board games. 

In our household, Pandemic is played the most frequently, because we have a player who strongly prefers cooperative games to competitive games.  We enjoy attempting to “cure” the disease outbreaks in cities across the world before they defeat us as a group. It’s fun getting new roles each time and working cooperatively, as well as choosing the level of difficulty. 

Matt Leacock, who designed Pandemic, says about cooperative play:

“I think the best thing about cooperative play is it promises a safe space where you can experiment without (those qualities) affecting actual life. But it’s not always true — it’s just the promise. Cooperative games are a way to go up against artificial enemies together, which is a good skill to practice. I kind of find it weird that so many games are competitive when in fact, in life, we cooperate much more than compete head-to-head.”

With a 45-minute play time estimate, Pandemic also hits the sweet spot by providing an enjoyable gaming experience that doesn’t outlast its welcome by taking too long.  Leacock explains,

“I chalk it up to timing. But also, the rules aren’t as complicated (as similar cooperative games), and a player’s emotions are manipulated. You’re also playing a reasonable time. You do need a clock. People don’t have patience beyond 60 minutes.”

Pandemic’s appeal is in part because it “offers escalating moments of hope and fear that really draw you and your team in.”   

Introduced in 2008, Pandemic has sold over five million copies with revenues of over $150 million. The list price is $44.99 on BoardGameGeek who describes it as:

“Your team of experts must prevent the world from succumbing to a viral pandemic.”

Pandemic achieves a 7.55 score from over 119,000 ratings on BoardGameGeek. 

Lopez comments:

“Pandemic is broadly appealing and not intimidating. It’s nice for people who haven’t played a lot of games. The company also has Pandemic Legacy for more hard-core gamers. Pandemic can be used as a team-building exercise and is more of a true team game. One of the problems with some cooperative games, not Pandemic, is you sometimes get one player who wants to QB and tell people what to do.”

Pandemic’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Pandemic’s target is: “newer players and people who are comfortable with card games” 

2. The frame of reference is cooperative games like D&D

3. The brand is Pandemic

4. The differentiation is that Pandemic is a fast paced and exciting cooperative game that will draw you and the team in and reward teamwork

5.  Reasons to believe it is takes only 45 minutes, is different each time and is relatively simple and easy to learn

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

5. Board Game New Product Example:  
Dominion (competitive)

Introduced in 2008, Dominion also draws new players into board gaming, ranking sixth on this criterion (and fifth on the list of popular modern board games).  Dominion has sold over 2.5 million copies and has estimated total revenues exceeding $90 million.  The list price is $44.99. 

Dominion is labeled as the originator of deck building games (as delineated from deck construction games like Magic the Gathering).

Among the groups we’ve introduced to new competitive games in our household, Dominion is easily the most popular (Pandemic is the most popular cooperative game).  The cards are visually appealing, and there is a large variety of cards to allow in the game.  

Moreover, Dominion has an estimated play time of 30 minutes, allowing new players to easily play two or three rounds.  I find new players often walk away intending to buy the game.

Lopez comments:

“Dominion is the granddaddy of deck building games. It has a big appeal. People who are more into card games and collectible card games and not quite into Magic like it. Deck building is an interesting concept that most new players don’t know about and get the hang of it quickly. I find in teaching games, the easiest to teach is card games (Uno, Poker). new players are comfortable with holding cards. Dominion is not hard to teach, maybe 5 to 10 minutes. Some games you focus on your first play to just learn mechanics. Whereas with Dominion, you can see strategy emerging from the first game.”

Among BoardGameGeek reviewers, Dominion scores 7.60 with more than 87,000 reviews.  BoardGameGeek says Dominion is about:

“Acquire the most valuable lands by building your deck with treasure and power cards.”

Dominion’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Dominion’s target is: “newer players” 

2. The frame of reference is fun, easy to learn strategy game

3. The brand is Dominion

4. The differentiation is that Dominion is easy to learn and highly replayable

5.  Reasons to believe it is takes only 30 minutes, gives a newer player a sense of mastery quickly, and is different each time

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

6. Board Game New Product Example:  
Azul (competitive)

With over two million copies sold, abstract strategy game Azul has estimated total revenues exceeding $65 million.  The current list price for Azul is $39.99.  Azul receives solid average ratings of 7.76 from over 79,000 reviews on BoardGameGeek.   

Azul’s premise from BoardGameGeek:

“Artfully embellish the walls of your palace by drafting the most beautiful tiles.”

Like Dominion and Pandemic, the playtime for Azul is in the sweet spot of 30 to 45 minutes for a satisfying game that isn’t a huge commitment.

This game is a favorite for teaching new players, particularly those who like puzzles. Lopez elaborates:

“Most people like a puzzle. It also seems to draw on a lot of people’s experience with board games as a kid. With the tiles, it’s tactile, reaching in the bag. There’s not a lot of bits like Scythe.  It’s easy to set up and go. Five minutes to teach. As you play, make strategy connections.   Easy to learn, and the strategy comes quickly and it’s right in front of you. It’s wonderful to teach.”

Azul’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Azul’s target is: “puzzle lovers and family gamers, including children 8+ ” 

2. The frame of reference is a fun, easy to learn strategy game

3. The brand is Azul

4. The differentiation is that Azul is tactile and visual and easy to learn and teach 

5.  Reasons to believe it takes just five minutes to set up, 30 to 45 minutes to play, and it gives a newer player a sense of master quickly

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

7. Board Game New Product Example:
Terraforming Mars (competitive)

Introduced in 2016, Terraforming Mars is frequently played at Strategicon, unlike several of the other popular games.

Among BoardGameGeek, it has the second-highest rating at 8.38 (second only to Gloomhaven), and well above the average for the 85,000+ experienced players who rated it.   It’s clear that Terraforming Mars is appealing to more experienced players.

The game description from BoardGameGeek:

“Compete with rival CEOs to make Mars habitable and build your corporate empire.”

With over 1.5 million copies sold, Terraforming Mars has a relatively high list price of $69.95 and estimated total revenues of more than $80 million.   

With a gametime of 120 minutes, this is for a more extended gameplay occasion. Lopez explains:

“Terraforming Mars is such a popular game that’s more for gamers. The theme draws people in, i.e., terraforming. There’s engine building with card play and resource management. Take Catan and add Wingspan to get Terraforming Mars. It has all these cool cards, and you can never play all of them. It takes 15 minutes to teach, a little longer.”

Terraforming Mars’ Positioning Strategy Template

1. Terraforming Mars’ target is: “experienced gamers” 

2. The frame of reference is challenging strategy games with unique themes

3. The brand is Terraforming Mars

4. The differentiation is that Terraforming Mars is the extraterrestrial theme and interacting with resource building and engine management 

5.  Reasons to believe game mechanics

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

8. Board Game New Product Example:
7 Wonders (competitive)

7 Wonders Original and Dual combined have sold over 1.5 million copies with estimated total revenues exceeding $66 million.  The 7 Wonders original list price on BoardGameGeeks is $59.99.

7 Wonders is well rated at 7.70 by over 99,000 BoardGameGeek reviewers. The game description is:

“Draft cards to develop your ancient civilization and build its Wonder of the World.”

With a 30-minute play time and up to seven players, this drafting game makes an attractive choice. Lopez clarifies:

“It appeals to everybody. Experienced gamers love it as a filler game.  It has some things newer players aren’t used to, such as drafting cards and building a tableau, similar to Catan getting resources, all based on cards. The goal is to build Wonders.  The game can play a large group in a short amount of time. It’s impressive to be able to play a seven player game of any complexity in 30 minutes.”

7 Wonders’ Positioning Strategy Template

1. 7 Wonders’ target is: “newer and experienced players

2. The frame of reference is strategy games that can be enjoyed in 30 minutes

3. The brand is 7 Wonders

4. The differentiation is that 7 Wonders is that game time goes quickly and increasing the number of players doesn’t increase the game time

5.  Reasons to believe everyone makes decisions simultaneously

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

9. Board Game New Product Example:
Wingspan (competitive)

From game creator Elizabeth Hargrave, Wingspan is known for its beauty and birdwatching theme. 

With over 1.4 million copies sold,  Wingspan is achieving its goal:

to draw people’s attention to the importance of ecosystems and the beauty of local wildlife.

At a list price of $79.99, this translates to total revenues of over $110 million.

Wingspan achieves ratings of 8.08 from over 79,000 reviewers on BoardGameGeek, and is described as:

“Attract a beautiful and diverse collection of birds to your wildlife preserve”

This is a game I’d enjoy seeing played at Strategicon, and since it was introduced in 2019, I’m hopeful it will be on the list.

Wingspan is popular because:

“The rules are short and concise, making the learning process brief and painless. Wingspan is a great tool to introduce players to popular modern board game mechanisms, such as dice drafting, tableau building, set collection, contracts, round goals, one-time and ongoing abilities, and hand management.”

Lopez comments:

“Wingspan appeals more to gamers.  But it can be fairly accessible because of the bird theme drawing people in. You set it out, people are intimidated, but the cards and birds are so pretty and people fall in love and pick up the mechanics of the game. It’s not overwhelming like some games. It has a lot of table appeal (cards, eggs and birds) and teaches tableau building in an interesting way. You have three habitats and add birds in with the right resources. When you activate a habitat, it does something different.  Birds that are there prior may give you a bonus action. People really like that.”

Wingspan’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Wingspan’s target is: “experienced gamers and newer gamers who are attracted to the bird theme”

2. The frame of reference is challenging strategy games with unique themes

3. The brand is Wingspan

4. The differentiation is great table appeal and teaches tableau building in an interesting way

5.  Reasons to believe beautiful artwork, story behind the game that designer is a passionate ornithologist and seeming accessibility because the birds draw you in

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

10. Board Game New Product Example:
Splendor (competitive)

Splendor is an economic game that was first introduced in 2014.  With over one million copies sold and a list price of $44.99, the premise is that the players take the role of:

“Renaissance merchants race to grab gems, acquire property, and please nobility.”

Splendor’s total estimated revenue is $45 million.  The game gets a 7.43 rating from over 74,000 reviewers of BoardGameGeek.   The playtime is 30 minutes, making it perfect for many shorter occasions.  Lopez connects the tactile quality of Splendor’s jewels to the appeal of marbles and explains:

“Splendor is very popular and accessible, both for kids and adults because of the jewels involved. I like the Marvel Splendor version because I’m a Marvel fan.  It can be taught quickly, and it’s not intimidating. Just five minutes to teach and get going. Players can learn as they go. It’s resource management light. For gamers, it’s a filler game.”

Splendor’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Splendor’s target is: “family gamers, including children 10+”

2. The frame of reference is strategy games that can be enjoyed in 30 minutes

3. The brand is Splendor

4. The differentiation is it feels like you are earning something of value as you collect tokens

5.  Reasons to believe high quality pieces and appealing artwork along with different gameplay depending on the number of players

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

11. Board Game New Product Example:
Codenames (team competitive)

At just 15 minutes of play, and as a party game for two to eight players, Codenames has a very different feel from many of the other popular modern games.  

With sales of over one million copies, and a list price of $24.99, Codenames’ total revenues are estimated above $20 million.  

BoardGameGeek has over 84,000 reviews, and Codenames gets a strong 7.56 score among this experienced crowd.  The game description:

“Give your team clever one-word clues to help them spot their agents in the field.”

Codenames’ Positioning Strategy Template

1. Codenames’ target is: “family gamers and younger adult gamers”

2. The frame of reference is party games that are interactive and short

3. The brand is Codenames

4. The differentiation is one person on a team gives clues to the others on the team to find hidden characters

5.  Reasons to believe are simple to explain, easy to understand, fun to play, and draws people in

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

12. Board Game New Product Example:
Gloomhaven (cooperative)

Currently ranking as #3 of all board games (after spending nearly 6 years in the top spot) according to BoardGameGeek, Gloomhaven was introduced in 2017.

Gloomhaven is a cooperative game that, like Dungeons & Dragons, is a fantasy-themed campaign game.  With over 500,000 copies sold, at a list price of $165, the total revenues for Gloomhaven are estimated at over $80 million. 

Of the 13 popular games profiled here, Gloomhaven has by far the highest ratings at 8.63 from 58,000 reviewers on BoardGameGeek.  The description:

“Vanquish monsters with strategic card play. Fulfill your quest to leave your legacy!”

Not surprisingly, this game which takes a minimum of 60 minutes for one play, is designed to appeal to experienced gamers, and those who like to play over time in campaigns. Lopez confirms:

“Gloomhaven is a gamer’s game.  It’s for more experienced gamers who like fantasy campaigns. It’s an RPG, in many ways like Dungeon and Dragons. Players are working together in a fantasy world. The puzzle is complex, it’s quite deep.  60 to 120 minutes to play a game. To play the campaign takes a couple hundred hours.  The campaign itself is 95 different storylines and scenarios.  It’s a more immersive experience not for the faint of heart.”

Gloomhaven’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Gloomhaven’s target is: “experienced gamers who like cooperative games”

2. The frame of reference is cooperative games

3. The brand is Gloomhaven

4. The differentiation is cooperative adventure with tactical card combat

5.  Reasons to believe “massive with 500 to 1000 hours,” popularity and high ratings, kickstarter success

13 Popular New Product Examples in the $12+ Billon Board Games Market

13. Board Game New Product Example:
Scythe (competitive)

Introduced in 2016, Scythe is another game targeting experienced gamers, with a play time of 120 to 150 minutes. The setting is a beautiful steam punk universe.

With 500,000 copies sold, and digital copies bringing the game to over one million sold, and a list price of $79.99, the total revenues are estimated at $40 million.  The game receives a 8.18 rating from BoardGameGeek’s 76,000+ reviewers.

Setup takes 30 minutes.

Scythe’s Positioning Strategy Template

1. Scythe’s target is: “experienced gamers who like wargames and engine building”

2. The frame of reference is challenging strategy games with unique themes that take several hours to play

3. The brand is Scythe

4. The differentiation is theme (steam punk) appeal post WW1 with huge mechanical mats 

5.  Reasons to believe beautiful artwork and high-quality components

Two additional popular modern board games are also new product examples.  The first one is Coup with sales of more than 100,000 units and estimated revenues of over one million dollars.  The other is Betrayal at House on the Hill, which starts out collaborative and becomes competitive.  Betrayal also has sales of more than 100,000 units and estimated revenues of over four million dollars.

Board Game Consumer Segments:
New & Experienced Gamers are Attracted to Modern Board Games

Many of these popular modern board games are designed to attract newer players in addition to more experienced gamers. 

Looking at the 13 popular modern board game new product examples, they can be broadly classified into the newer vs. experienced segments and those that position more towards family games.

More for Experienced GamersMore for Newer GamersMore for Family Gamers
Terraforming Mars
7 Wonders
Ticket to Ride  

With the player segments, there are also different game need states and situations, depending on the composition of the party and length of time possible.  For instance, experienced gamers may choose to play a shorter game such as 7 Wonders as a filler between longer games.

Why Modern Gameplay is Better for Players

The most popular new product examples in board games play better than long-time stalwarts like Monopoly and Clue for many reasons. 

In his video essay, Jon Purkis identifies ten reasons that “modern” board games like Pandemic and Azul outperform older games like Monopoly and Clue.  These reasons are:

  • Reason #1. Something for everyone.  Different types of games to suit every taste.  Some 3,000 new games are introduced each year, giving rise to many new product examples.
  • Reason #2. Friendly games help keep people invested in gameplay.   Newer games have less direct attacks, and some are also cooperative.
  • Reason #3Not as directly competitive and less combative. This is similar to reason #2.
  • Reason #4. “Good” use of luck
  • Reason #5.  Agency and better command of destiny with options.
  • Reason #6.  Variable setup. This gives the experience of a different game each time it’s played.
  • Reason #7.  Catch up mechanism.  For players who are not doing as well, this allows them to remain more competitive.
  • Reason #8.  No player elimination.
  • Reason #9. Every turn is fun.  No wasted turns, where a player is relegated to positioning with no action feasible.
  • Reason #10.  Game end timing more predictable and well defined.

Purvis provides examples of “modern” games that deliver against these reasons including several of the popular new product examples: Azul, Carcassonne, Catan, Codenames, Pandemic, and Ticket to Ride.  Other examples he provides are: Burgle Bros., Camel Up, Cascadia, Heat, High Society, Isle of Skye, Just One, Lost Cities, Onitama, Patchwork, Robinson Crusoe, Sagrada, Sniper Elite, and The Resistance.

After looking into all these board games, I’m excited to spend more time gaming, starting with Strategicon.  If I get through all of these, three other games that Karim Lopez recommended also sound appealing: Nemesis, Tainted Grail and New York Zoo.  And I’m inspired to create a game room area in my house similar to the great game room shown here.

(Insert photo)

For more new product examples, visit our resources page or join us at an upcoming office hours.