Board games!

I love board games. I really, really, love them. The chart below shows my least favourite game (Monopoly) and some personal favourites:

The chart shows the rating on boardgamegeek.com, the age range, the number of players, the approximate time to play the game (games with a predictable duration are better in social terms – particularly if you want to finish a game before dinner), and three other quality characteristics:

  • Artistic quality: I am rating this subjectively, but it’s always nice to have something beatiful to look at while you are waiting for your turn.
  • Educational value: Ticket to Ride and Pandemic teach geography, 7 Wonders teaches something about history (especially with the Leaders expansion), and Kingdomino teaches multiplication (I give partial credit to Forbidden Island for being a collaborative game, and negative credit to Monopoly for teaching that money is the most important thing in life).
  • Winning: ideally, all players have a chance of winning right up to the end (I give extra credit to Kingdomino for having a mechanism that helps players that “missed out” on a good tile, and to Pandemic and Forbidden Island for being collaborative).

It can be seen that Monopoly scores badly in every possible way: it can take forever; the artwork is poor; it teaches bad moral lessons; and players are actually eliminated from the game during play. That is why I dislike it.


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