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Articles

Articles by our editors about casual games and the board game industry.

Many casual gamers enjoy the casual gameplay experience of games like Poker and Blackjack. However, the stakes get higher when real money is involved.

Not having people to play with is perhaps one of the biggest obstacles which keep people from becoming truly engaged by the wide world of tabletop games. Lots of situations can prevent players from finding a good group to share their favorite gaming experiences. A recent move, a lack of “geeky” meeting places in the immediate area, or just general shyness about approaching new people, can all prevent gamers from finding like-minded players.

Most people can remember at least one pretty crazy or vivid dream they had in their life. Whether it made their skin crawl, or filled them with joy, dreams can be powerful things. For game developer P.D. Warne, dreams led him down an unexpected career path which culminated in the creation of his Kickstarter project, the Larklamp.

Have you ever tried to explain how a game works without any visual aids or a copy of the game itself? More often than not it was probably a pretty frustrating experience depending on the complexity of the game. Well the designers at Cheapass Games not only had to explain their newest game Tak in that way, but they had to explain it to its original creator, author Patrick Rothfuss.

I hate paper money.  Not American greenbacks, but rather the pink-backs, white-backs, blue-backs or whatever color money it is that comes with a particular game.  Inevitably, it gets bent, torn or mutilated.  Maybe all of the above.  Then, you are playing a great game with one of the major components in nasty shape.  I am talking about the aesthetics of playing a game.  Casual gaming with friends and family ought to be a great experience, not just competition.  Having nice components is like having great glassware — always using the same paper money for a great game is like always drinking wine from the red Solo cup.

Years ago, my wife gave me a card table. This wasn’t the flimsy type with the padded top our (or at least, my) parents bought; this has a resin top and folds in half. It was a great gift, since we have run out of gaming space once or twice during my group’s monthly gaming sessions. However, card tables aren’t always the best option, particularly for games with larger boards,  and so the question of “where do we set up?” arises. Size, shape, height and surface are all considerations.

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