Many geek family or friend weekends are spent on large tables or sprawled on the floor, playing boardgames from sunup until sundown, sometimes even lasting until midnight and beyond. The novelty behind boardgames is that it is extremely engaging and can absorb you for hours and hours on end, most notably the games that come from the US.
These boardgames are commonly referred to as American boardgames, as implied by their origins. US manufacturers and developers of these geeky games have a lot of different views from their other counterparts – European boardgames. The following highlight several points that make American boardgames a favorite among certain households:
· Story – playing American boardgames is several steps close to actually playing a Tabletop RPG. Notable titles such as the Arkham Horror series or Twilight Imperium bring a rich trove of lore and plotline to its players that already capture their attention even just by looking at the game box itself. Taking up arms and combating H.P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos never fails to bring the action to the gaming table as players desperately roll for their characters’ success. On the other hand, playing in the galactic stage of Twilight Imperium brings the Star Wars or Star Trek fan within all of us squealing with delight. Story matters in American boardgames, and they never run out of it.
· Rules – open an American boardgame, and the first thing that will welcome you is its well-crafted, well-thought rulebook. While it can be intimidating that the rulebooks for these games span several pages and contain a mouthful of keywords and systems, one cannot argue that these rules have all been thought of carefully and meticulously by its designers. Boardgames that have been based off literature or movies have had its plot and action divided between phases to give players a better feel of the game experience and also to facilitate gameplay in a more organized manner. However, these rules are not as easy as sending a voice mail; a great deal of a learning curve stands in the way of beginning players, but once that wall has been overcome, it’s enjoyment all the way.
· Strategy – nearly every American boardgame revolves around strategy themes, whether in a cooperative or competitive context. From the moment the first turn begins, players are immediately thrust into the thick oplaying American boardgames is that it tends to run for really long periods of time, which makes it not so ideal for people that are constrained by tight schedules or personal deadlines. However, in the right hands and players, American boardgames can be a very dynamic and refreshing experience, with no two games ending in the same manner.