Boardgames return !

We see articles popping around on the web and in the written press (at least in Belgium) about how cool it is to play boardgames. Yes, it’s true that this activity is trendy again in Central Europe (and across the world) but how come boardgames are coming back now ?


pic1900286_mdWell, a partial answer is certainly due to the fact that some people, I am talking more specifically about the generation of computer players in their 20’s becoming adults in their 30’s and doing something else than online play; see a new life & fun in opening their homes to another type of games … namely boardgames and RPG. Yes, this generation of PC’s and XBOX/Playstation eventually grow up to move on to something else. This is my personal case, but also the case of many of my friends. We’re all around the same age and eventually have a live filled with girlfriend or wife, kids and “adult duties”. Recognize yourself in this ? Probably some of you do !

So when you go to a shop, in place of looking at the videogames section, you might take a peak at the boardgames/tabletop new stuff and realize that some videogames franchises have been adapted to a tabletop version (Like Asssasins Creed or  Gears of War to mention just 2).

Another factor is certainly the number of videos and video reviewers that grow over time. Shows like Tabletop in the Geek and Sundry network is contributing also to the dissemination of information around boardgames. They are certainly not the only ones out there, if you type in the keyword “boardgames” in Youtube, you’ll have a list of results that will keep you awake for days if you want to see all of it. The point is more about the professionalization of doing boardgame reviews, when you look at Board To Death or Watch It Played who are getting partners in and around the boardgames sector to keep up their standard of quality in terms of video delivery including the material required to deliver a good show.

Let’s also admit that in people working in the press industry, being writers/columnist or just a magazine editor, are also willing to find topics that are different that the seasonal mainstream discussions. Yes, it’s nice to have something else to say and surprise your readers with an unusual article from time to time. To do this, boardgames are an excellent source of inspiration for a simple reason: the variety of games can appeal to any public – thus your readers. Don’t believe me ? Let’s take a quick look:

  • If your reader audience is in the 50+ age category you can bring up the aspects around “training and keeping your memory active while having some fun with boardgames”
  • If your reader audience is in the 20-30’s you’ll have all types of themes to attract them (Western, Zombies, movie or videogames related characters – like Laura Croft boardgames as example)
  • If your reader audience is between 5-15 you can appeal to the vertues of education (that should resonate with parents) on one hand, while getting a good TV series franchise or comics (Marvel license for Legendary – a deckbuilding cardgame as example).

Then  of course we can also move towards the core boardgames focus of family gaming nights. Just hit to get a glimpse about a few games worth putting on the table at Sunday night !

img_0228Last factor is certainly that boardgames players are going out of their houses, caves and gaming halls or backrooms from their favorite shops. Yes, by going out and playing in public places parks, restaurants and bars and putting your boardgame on the table, it attracts people – generate interests and helps promoting boardgames in the society.


Essen 2013 – Games Selection

You will have within this post the overview of all boardgames & game editors we’re watching out for at Essen 2013, This compilation holds a list of pre-ordered games that will join the collection of Boardgame Monkeys as well as the hand-picked list of booths we plan to check out during our stay. This might inspire you for your own list. The PDF version is available here.

By the way, you can find all the hall plans from Messe – Essen here to draft your route along the 3 exhibition halls.

1-A104 CZECH GAMES EDITION T-zolkin 35 € / Galaxy Trucker HIGH
1-C124 GAME SALUTE Storm Hollow (coop game) / etc.. HIGH
1-D121 QUEEN GAMES Speculation / Via Appia / Alhambra / Amerigo / Maharani / HIGH
1-D126 GRY LEONARDO Nehemiah LOW
1-D137 MAGE COMPANY 12 Realms LOW
1-F101 STRAGOO Mafia City Addon’s LOW
1-F131 KUZNIA GIER Kingpin: Cartel add-on (8 new tiles) LOW
1-F145 JIRASGAMES Nowheresville LOW
1-F160 TREEFROG GAMES Fields Of Glory (15€) / Discworld (The Witches limited ed. 45€) HIGH
2-F136 MERCURY GAMES The capitals LOW
3-B108 + 3-K106 ASMODEE / YSTARI Spyrium / Prosperity HIGH
3-B118 KOSMOS La Boca HIGH
3-D106 EGGERTSPIELE Rokoko / Time ‘n’ Space MEDIUM
3-D109 GIGAMIC Stratopolis / Color Pop / Marrakech MEDIUM
3-E100 THE GAME MASTER Countdown: special ops LOW
3-E102 DAYS OF WONDER Relic Runners (english version) MEDIUM
3-K103 ZMAN GAMES Robinson Crusoe / Glassroad / Tash Kalar HIGH
3-M109 IELLO Andor / Steam Park HIGH
3-M110 PEGASUS SPIEL Rialto / Dokumenta Art / Mage Wars / Mars Wurfel HIGH
3-N102 INDIE BOARDS & CARDS GAMES Gauntlet of Fools HIGH
3-O101 JAPON BRAND Love Letter (version Seiji Kanai) MEDIUM
3-P118 SIT DOWN /  GROSSO MODO Rockwell / Nosferatu HIGH
3-P118 LUDONAUTE Lewis & Clark MEDIUM
3-Q114 WHITE GOBLIN GAMES Artifact / Rattus LOW
3-R109 QUINED GAMES Carson City / Homesteaders / Reef Encounters / HIGH
3-S118 PASSPORT GAME STUDIOS Ace Detective / Cast-away (naufrages) LOW

Boardgames are “Trendy Again”

Did you know that in the last 2 weeks there was a few TV coverage on national television in France and Belgium about boardgames in society ?

BGFIn Belgium we had the Brussels Games Festival review done by RTL-TVI during both the 13H00 and 19H00 television news. This was then relayed via the written press in Le Soir and La Libre Belgique. If you don’t know yet what the BGF is about, have a look at the BGF Facebook for some pictures of this successful event ! Some nice videos made by Digital Transmedia are also worth seeing over here. If you didn’t make it this year, no worries because my little finger told me you will be able to make it up most probably next year.

France2-JeuxSocieteNow also in France you have some TV news around boardgames. On France 2 there was a dedicated topic at the 13H00 news (scroll through the video at 16:48 min). In this short sequence the journalist is explaining how modern boardgames are played by individuals, a family or group of friends.  Nicolas Benoist is interviewed and specify also that the company Asmodee is generating a yearly revenue of 70 millions euros in France (with a non-communicated net-revenue). While Asmodee is looking after a revenue of 130 millions euros this year on the global boardgames market.