Not only am I a fan of board games, but I am a BIG fan of little things that game designers and others in the process do to make their game just a little bit more special. To me, it really shows that they care about us little guys buying and playing their games. Isn’t that sweet? :’)
Well, wipe your eyes kiddies. And read on. Here are my top 3 little things that make a big difference to me in my favorite board games.
3. The Right Sized Box
Now, this may not seem like a big deal to some people, but some of us know the truth, it is. It’s probably one of the most annoying things in the world to have not only no sense of function in a board game box, but also just have it be so big that there is no point in even trying to create order. The sound of game pieces sliding around a box as I’m putting it away is like nails on a chalkboard. Having an awesome insert to organize all the components, or just enough pieces to exactly fill the box is so greatly wonderful and appreciated. Love it!
2. Themed Components
So, when you really get down to it, many games have basically the same components. Think about it; how often do you see meeple pieces, dice, cards, et cetera? All the time! Therefore, I absolutely adore when game makers create pieces specially designed to fit their theme. It doesn’t have to be extravagant Monopoly style crafted pieces, but you can tell when they went the extra step to make something special. For instance, Tiny Epic Western has meeples with cowboy hats and the dice are shaped like bullets! (Yes, you heard right, bullets. Also yes, they still roll fine). It’s that type of stuff that really makes me love a game a little bit more.
1. A “Going First” Rule
Yet another thing that seems like the tiniest of details, but this is most definitely my #1 little thing that makes a huge difference. (Don’t judge). This can be as simple as “youngest player goes first,” as themed as Millennium Blades’s “last person to open a booster pack goes first,” or as silly as Terror in Meeple City’s “whoever can do the best monster impression goes first.” Whatever it is, I can tell you that I love it. Ask anyone; I get super excited to find who in our group of players is going to go first. I love not having to choose ourselves, volunteer anyone, or decide by dice rolls (yes, I do always happen to roll low, thanks for asking). A ‘going first’ rule, to me, says that the designers put a little extra effort and thought into their game to make beginning just a little bit easier (or a little more fun) for their players. I truly appreciate that.
What little things in board games make a big difference to you? I’d love to know what other ideas are out there!