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The cute details that make an attentive gamer happy!
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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I don't know if you are like me, but I like to examine every little detail of a new game when I unwrap one. Occasionally, I discover little treasures of refinement, humor or both in the art design.

I start this first geeklist of mine with the hope that you will show your own little visual details that make you smile with the simple joy of finding that the game designers did pay attention to everything, even what could go almost unnoticed.
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1. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:87]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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The board of this fun game is full of microscopic details but amongst all of them, the one I prefer is the little imps playing Dungeon Lords, another of Vlaada Chvatil game.

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2. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:249]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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I really like the fact that the buildings with the highest number are visually more developed than the ones with smaller numbers. This gives you a better feeling of the city improvement.

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3. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:104]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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The designers of this game showed great attention to details on the tiles. For example, the location where your mice appear in the dining hall reveals a little carpet tunnel from where your mice could have come.

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4. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:164]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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I appreciate the fact that the illustrations on the tiles reflect the icons when they are present. The pond icon is obvious, but you also see an enclosed terrain on the tile where the panda cannot eat, and the bamboos are especially high, in comparison with the pavilion on the tile with the fertilizer icon.

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5. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:403] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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I find it very funny that you can see, in the background of this trickster card, a dinosaur and an alien flying saucer (two other existing factions in the game) fighting.

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6. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:90]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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Only one of all the camels in Jaipur transports a little panda (dead or stuffed toy?). I read on the blog of Bruno Faidutti that, seeing that Zooloretto had a big success, someone had said that you just have to add a panda to a game for it to work. Some European designers responded to this by adding a panda in one of their games. This is one of these games, Takenoko is another one and there is also Noah.

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7. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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I like the way the power plant cards for any given fuel type (for example, the coal plants, as shown here) start with a simple structure for the lowest-numbered plant and gradually add additional structures or components as you increase the base cost of the plants.

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8. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:106] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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If you check the box art closely, you can see that Dwarf has a snot bubble.
Nice accent from designer a little bit making fun of fantasy world.
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9. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:217]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Every card has an animal on it. The space station has a space shuttle.
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10. Board Game: Schnappt Hubi! [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3482]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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This is supposed to be

a) a kid's game with

b) an electronic device as the central element.

Now have a closer look at the walls you build the labyrinth of! All the details, old wallpaper, pictures, small plated, rugs, etc., the illustrators took care of!



Here you see the size of these details - microscopic!


One picture is a photo of Designer Steffen Bogen:

And yes! The ground under the walls is detailed, too !!!
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11. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1484]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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The Splotter classic for a geeklist like this! The board features names and quoted of and from boardgames of all kinds. Anybody wants to count?

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12. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:260]
Founding Fathers: try your hand at being President.
United States
Bay Area
California
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13. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:22]
United States
Davis
California
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The large hex tiles in this game are divided up into four seasons. Each has a unique illustration of a building and the land immediately around it. Each season's tiles has a common seasonal look. In the spring, there's lots of green. In the fall, the leaves are turning colors. In winter the trees are bare.

Also, each tile has a starting side and an upgraded side (with greater powers). The illustrations on each side are different. They show the same building, but the upgraded version has slight but noticeable improvements. It also looks to me like the advanced sides are slightly advanced in time. For example, in fall, the basic side might have a tree full of yellow and orange leaves. On the upgraded side, most of the leaves have fallen.

Each tile has lots of charming little details. One forest tile has a moose grazing. The fair has a couple of dogs checking each other out. Etc. It's worth the time to just sit and look at all of them (remembering to look at each side, because the buildings will have changed and there will be different critters wandering nearby).

Also, every player has a house-shaped player screen. These are also all unique illustrations, with lots of little decorating details on the interior walls of your house.

Very nice.
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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Caitlin Beck
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Who took the Bomp from the Bompalompalomp? Who took the Ram from the Ramalamading dong?
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Room tile where Bohnanza is being played.

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Keng Leong Yeo
Singapore
Singapore
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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Uwe and Klemens seem to have an affinity for rats.

Here is a geeklist collating a bunch of board games Uwe designed and Klemens illustrated that have rats on the game box front. They include Agricola, Le Havre, Farmers of the Moor, At the Gates of Loyang, Merkator and Ora et Labora.
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16. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:13]
Jaap K
Netherlands
Utrecht
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I always have the feeling, the BoardGameGeek (dude from the logo) is on one of the boards of le Havre. He did change some clothing, but he can't fool me! ninja



Also, the guy on the front cover of the game is carrying a wooden box full of Agricola games.
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Susie_Cat
United Kingdom
Oxfordshire
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I initially added this as a comment, but then thought it might be better added as an item.

There are a whole load of really cool things in this list by EndersGame, I heartily recommend it!

Susie_Cat.
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18. Board Game: Carcassonne: The River [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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My girlfriend, the artist, happened to notice the beach on the third tile from the left. Those details mostly escape me.
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19. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:93]
Tim P.
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
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All the regions are named for classic science fiction writers...Asimov Crater, Heinlein Plains, Van Vogt Mountains. As a massive fan of print SF, I loved that little detail.
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20. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
dagmar
Netherlands
Voorhout
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Goedemorgen! Guten Morgen! Bonjour! Good Morning! Buenes Dìas! God Morgon!
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I like that the insert of the box is shaped like a church-window.
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21. Board Game: Pastiche [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:774]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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The board where you pick the card of this "painting" game is a palette, and you can put your paintings in progress on a little easel. I like when the form of a game respond to the theme of it.

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22. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:114]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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Another correspondance between Dungeon Lords and Dungeon Petz, two Vlaada Chvatil games, is this golem that is an official monster garding your dungeon in the first game, and a baby of which you have to take care in the second. Cute!

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23. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
Québec
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In the French version, the images on the boxes of the first Dominion and of the second one, Intrigue, matches to form one big illustration. The following expansions however did not follow this concept.

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Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
European Union
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Another nice detail: personalized PAT (Players/Age/Time).
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25. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:123]
ENEMY OF THE STATE

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I think no game beats MtG for cool little details, both in the art and the text.


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