Many modern games come with what is, for most of us, a hefty price tag. £30 to £45 is not uncommon and some of the more epic games can be nearly double that. If you only anticipate playing the game once a year on Boxing Day, you might think twice about shelling out for something four times the price of Monopoly.
However, we should first say that we think Monopoly is a terrible game (for reasons expressed elsewhere on the site) and most of the modern games you could buy, if you choose carefully, will encourage more regular play. You’re not paying the price for a once-only experience, and indeed, many games reward you the more you play them.
But obviously something like A Feast for Odin will still set you back a bit, so why invest in something as trivial as a board game?
We can’t argue a ‘fun’ comparison with other expenses, as people value fun in different ways. But we can make a financial and time-based one. At time of writing I can go to my local football club (four tickets) for about £50, take a four-person family to the cinema for a similar amount (if we skimp on the snacks), or go out for a meal for anything from £20 to hundreds of pounds, depending on whether one goes to a Michelin-starred restaurant or a KFC. And every parent knows that a day out to a theme park or similar puts a real dent in your purse.
Board games can’t take the place of those family experiences, but the examples above are a one-time experience, whereas board games – most of them – give you the opportunity to play again and again. Sure, some games will pall quicker than others, and as much fun as Looping Louie is for twenty minutes, I don’t want to play it every week. But I’ve played many short and silly games multiple times – Fuji Flush, 6Nimmt and NMBR9 to name a few – and tried multiple strategies in longer, more involving games such as Railways of the World, Scythe or Macao.
simple yet addictive – NUMBR9
(Some games even allow you to play a campaign or legacy of multiple adventures where your progress – or lack of it – in the previous one affects the parameters of the next. These often have a shelf life of a set amount of adventures, and therefore can’t be played infinitely – a separate discussion and a side-note to our argument here)
Many games just keep on giving, though, in a way that really does justify the price tag – long after you’ve spent the money, you’re still reaping the returns.