Themes That Become Roadblocks
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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By this, I mean games that are enjoyable, but whose themes make them a bit of a "tough sell" when trying to get people to try them. (This is by no means a complete list, just the first ones that came to mind.)
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1. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:367]
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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This is the all-time champion. Almost no one with whom I have played it has had less than a great time, but getting past that initial reaction of "It's a game about ... bean ... farming ... ???" and convincing them to play for the first time is always difficult.

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2. Board Game: An den Ufern des Nils [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:5146]
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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A game that I think deserves to be a lot better known, but "game about farming onions in Ancient Egypt" is even a tougher sale than the "bean farming" thing. And this isn't one of those games where the theme is lightly pasted on and can be easily ignored, it's one where the theme is strongly followed through every step of the way.

 
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3. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:186]
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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If you don't yourself live in Germany, trying to get gamers to invest 4+ hours of their lives in a game revolving around the German electoral system can be a bit of a hurdle. Maybe even if you do.

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4. Board Game: Ever Green [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:11798]
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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The world's greatest game? No, but different enough to be interesting once in a while. However, the pasted-on theme (which seems to be there solely to keep this from being an abstract) combined with a name that seems irrelevant to the ostensible subject matter make this difficult to get people into.

 
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5. Board Game: Wongar [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3899]
Alan Turniansky
United States
Lake Worth
Florida
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This was the one where I finally gave up on trying to justify the theme to my group. My explanation of the game began: "It's supposed to have something to with indigenous Australians. Except for the pictures on the board, it really doesn't." And we all had a wonderful time playing.

 
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