What is the average boardgame like?

To answer this question, I took a look into a random selection of 64 boardgames to understand what is currently available within the market.

Using this competition matrix made up of 64 games, we can compare three factors: Game length, difficulty and player count. Risk, Monopoly and snakes & ladders have been identified.

These three games are considered classics that most would recognise just from the title. Interestingly, they fall to some of the extremes of the chart. This could possibly reflect public opinion of them as well from strong opinions of love/hate and even receiving cult followings.

  • Risk is known for its complex strategy, set up and long play times. For the casual player, this can seem daunting making it's set up and long play times a negative. Experienced players find the complexity a great aspect to the game and worth the hassle.

  • Monopoly, probably the worlds most recognised board game, causes the most controversy regarding when brought up in conversation. Its rise to fame came from the fact that it is easy to learn but hard to master. The main downside is the playtime and gameplay based on mostly luck.

  • Snakes & Ladders, one of the oldest games on the chart, is something nearly everyone has played due to its simplicity. Quick gameplay means that multiple rounds can be enjoyed in one sitting. However, oversimplified mechanics has reduced this to a board game that is meant for children. This causes many adults to laugh at the idea of playing this with anyone but a child.

With this in mind, the main aim would be to secure the gap in the market between short-medium playtime and a medium level of difficulty. This can still have the same effect as monopoly, being easy to learn but hard to master, whilst having the benefit of an enjoyable playtime such as Snakes & Ladders.

From this sample of games, we can also determine that the most common traits are game types that are Abstract, Drafting and Social Deduction. The most common themes revolving around Puzzle, Fantasy and Racing. Mechanisms that result in Multiple Choice on turns, Equal positions when starting and RNG (an aspect of random number generation is included).

The sample included the following games:

Monopoly, Game of Life, Chess, Checkers, battleships, poker, uno, go, Anomia, The mind, Modern Art, Railroad Ink, Codenames, The Chameleon, Dixit, Love letters, scrabble, cards against humanity, twister, exploding kittens, unstable unicorns, here to slay, welcome to the dungeon, welcome back to the dungeon, munchkin, king tokyo, odins ravens, mr jack, ticket to ride, catan, forbiden island, forbiden desert, pandemic, Carcassonne, jenga, risk, star realms, el dorado, dragonfire, coup, epick tiny quest, kodama, dune, cripid, blockus, tsuro, treasure island, frustration, takenoko, backgammon, the resistance, disney villains, king domino, Charades, trivial pursuit, Warhamer 40k, Klask, Captin Sonar, sushi go, Yahtzee, snakes and leaders, skulls, Jaipur, Camel up.