Showing posts from 2016

The Game Mechanic - Hidden Roles

Hidden roles add a layer of social deduction to a board game. Players must try to analyse other people's decisions to surmise their secret role. Do you have the same objective as everyone else? Are you a traitor and do people suspect you? Should you make a decision against your objective to cover your tracks? The rules of the game should allow players to deceive one another, to form alliances based on trust and to do other events typical of social competitions.

"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." - Benjamin Franklin

MafiaMafia is a party game created in 1986. It has one group of players secretly be the Mafia and another be innocent civilians. Every night the Mafia take out an innocent civilian. During the day, the civilians must deduce which are hidden Mafia members. This is social deduction at it's simplest. Players begin wild unsupported accusations from the very beginning. Players are keenly watching others for reactions or lack of reactions. T…

Download Free Board Games - How to Play Mafia, Werewolf

Mafia and Werewolf are two names for the same game. It was originally called Mafia so this is how I will refer to it in this post. Mafia is a fantastic social deduction party game for all ages. One group of players are secretly the Mafia and the other group are civilians. Every night the Mafia take out one of the innocent civilians. During the day the civilians discuss who could have betrayed them. They must deduce who among them is covertly a part of the Mafia. By democratic vote, the civilians then eliminate their suspected Mafia member. Night and day continue until either all Mafia are eliminated or all the civilians.

    This is a simple yet satisfying game. You will wildly accuse each other of sabotage and betrayal. You will watch closely to everyone's reactions. You will be shocked when it turns out your kind friend was stabbing you in the back the whole time.

"This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, h…

The Game Mechanic - Dexterity

Dexterity in board games is about incorporating the real world as part of the challenge. The sweat on your palms, the strength of your muscles, the speed of your reflexes. These things are different for everyone and change regularly. Does relying on the dexterity of the player create too much chaos? Does removing abstract systems change the experience?
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent." - Arthur Conan Doyle

Jenga Jenga was made in the early 1970s and has players build a tower of unstable wooden blocks. It requires nerves of steel and a steady hand. The enjoyment here comes from the tense moments as the tower wavers when players remove and place blocks. All the blocks are the same, however subtle differences occur during manufacturing that mean every Jenga tower ends up different. It's these varying levels of friction and size that adds continued enjoyment.

Catacombs    Catacombs is an adventure game where heroes battle mon…

The Game Mechanic - Cooperative

Board games are currently in a time of renaissance. People around the world are realizing the best way to get people to talk, to challenge and to have fun together is around a board game. Cooperative games allow everyone to work together to beat the game. Does this take out the competitive element? Does working together make things easy or challenging?
"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Pandemic Pandemic was published in 2007 and since then has been the most popular and well known cooperative board game. This game turns players into a group of international doctors trying to cure the spread of diseases around the world. The game board is a map of the world. The theme turns people into saviors of the world, a last stand against total destruction. This brings people together to work on a common goal.


The Game Mechanic - Tile Laying

Some games create a whole new world to explore, one tile at a time. This is a great way to create a new experience every time you play. Each tile placed carves out a section of the world to discover. I want to discuss how tile laying changes the control of a game. How can tiles change how people approach games? Is it too random or too controlling?

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

ScrabbleScrabble is an incredibly popular board game where players lay tiles down to form words. It started in 1931 as a game called Lexiko and ever since then people have argued as to whether or not they can spell. The board grows as more and more words are added. This gives players new opportunities for words. Players become paralyzed analyzing their next move knowing that other players will point out the faults in their plan. They are competing both with other players and with the draw of the tiles.

Carcassonne     …

The Game Mechanic - Discs

Playing discs come in all shapes and sizes and have different effects in board games. I want to discuss the tactile feel and use of discs and how they can add a different level of experience in a board game. How can this small game piece add importance to a players decision? What games have utilised this to allow players to feel engaged?

"Touch has a memory." - John Keats

Pogs     One of the most popular games in the 1990s was Pogs, a game of smacking one Slammer into a stack of Pogs. I remember playing this game as a kid with my cousin and friends. We all loved it. Everyone had their favourite Slammer that they used and cherished. Most of the Pogs were different, each one containing colourful images of popular characters or a funny little brown hairy creature. This game became more than plastic discs. It became an obsession.

    Pogs could also be played for keeps. This meant whenever you played you risked losing some of your Pogs to gain some of your opponents. Players…

The Game Mechanic - Overview

Welcome to a thread of posts all about game mechanics and how they allow us to feel involved. Game mechanics come in all shapes and forms from tile laying in Scrabble to dice rolling in Monopoly. I will cover popular games which have shown these mechanics and innovative games trying new mechanics. I like to believe that game mechanics lead to fun.

    Game mechanics allows us to bring a spatula to battle. We just need to know is this a sword fight or are we making pancakes. Also trust me, it's really messy flipping pancakes with Excalibur.

    Everyone has their preference as to what games they like to play but why is it they like them? Is it their game mechanics? Is it their theme? Is it their shared memories with family and friends? Well let's find out.