What's in a name?
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Choosing a name which developing a game should not be taken lightly. This becomes the identity of the game. It’s important to use something common enough that people can spell and remember it, but not so plain that it has no meaning. Sometimes a single word is enough and sometimes it is best to use a short phrase. Before deciding on one, you should at least search for it on BGG and search engines to see if there are similar or identical names. Speaking of searching, it needs to be easily found when searching the web or online retailers.

I realize there are some popular games listed here and I certainly don’t mean to insult anyone’s favorite game (or the designer or publisher for that matter). I’m simply pointing out things to consider when choosing a name for a game. I've not played any of these games, and I might even enjoy them if I did. This list is simply about the names given to these games and is not a reflection of the mechanics.

These are just a few of my observations; feel free to comment or add your own.
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1. Board Game: Things... [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2965] [Average Rating:6.14 Unranked]
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I’ve been thinking about making this list for a while, but recently I heard about absurd legal action involving this game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1047736/the-game-of-thin...

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/terriblepeople/terrible-...

I understand that businesses need to protect their brand, but this is just looney. First of all, “Things” is an extremely common term and does not make the game distinct by any means. It’s not just a noun, it is a *type* of noun – person, place, THING, or idea. This isn’t the only game with the name “things” in it, but it is the least creative.
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2. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:271]
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I know there are a lot of gamers out there that worship this game as the holy grail, but I just don’t get it. “Roads and Boats” – ok what about them? Do you build them? Travel along them? Set up choke points to ambush enemy forces? I’m curious, but not curious enough to actually play it.
 
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3. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:367] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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Again, what about them? If someone asked me if I wanted to play “Trains” I would think they were talking about toy choo-choo trains. Apparently the game is well liked enough that gamers will know what someone is talking about, but I think it just needs something more.
 
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4. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1869]
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Again, what about the bus? Does it explode if the speed drops below 50 MPH? If you try searching the web for “bus game” you’ll have to sift through a bunch of stuff to find this specific game. Even searching on BGG will give multiple pages of results.
 
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5. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:322]
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I suppose this is better than “Cars,” but come on now…
 
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6. Board Game: Ys [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:905]
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I give credit for possibly the shortest name out there for a board game, but this is not search engine friendly. I understand the name is based on a mythical city of that name. Whoever named the city should have been more considerate of future generations and our search engines.
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7. Board Game: Stone Age: The Expansion [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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No. “Winning” is the goal… just ask Charlie Sheen. Stone Age is one of my favorite games, but I can’t bring myself to buy or play this because of the name. Shallow? Yes. Do I care? No, because I’m already overwhelmed with other great games that I’ve yet to play.
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8. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:538]
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I know it’s supposed to be “elegant” and minimalistic, but it’s not very descriptive. I learned in middle school science that animals breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide (CO2). This game is about breathing? …oh it’s about pollution… I get it now. No.
 
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9. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:760]
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I think I’d really like this game. I actually own it, but haven’t yet played it. However, every time I see or hear the name I can’t help but picture an elf, dwarf, and a wizard with their limbs all wrapped up in an awkward position on the floor.
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10. Board Game: Die Fugger [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2728]
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Sometimes keeping the name in the original language is elegant and classy. Sometimes it is not.
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11. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:588]
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I realize this is a popular one, but the theme doesn’t do it for me. Even if I were interested I’d have a hard time remembering how to spell it. I just call it “The Sphincter game.”
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12. Board Game: This Game Sucks [Average Rating:4.10 Unranked]
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In game design there is a saying “if you aren’t the biggest fan, how are you going to convince others to play it” (or something like that). This name does not convey the proper level of confidence.
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13. Board Game: Zpocalypse [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:4012]
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I’m a huge zombie fan. I also like post-apocalyptic fiction. I don’t care if the game is “Zwesome,” cramming the “Z” into “Apocalypse is just messy.
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14. Board Game: 1856: Railroading in Upper Canada from 1856 [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:865]
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This goes for any games that are just a date or number – unless you are already familiar with it, it’s hard to remember. I’m not a history buff and have no idea what happened in 1856, 1825, 1835, or 1853. I understand it’s a niche market but this just doesn’t draw me in.

Imagine if a game was named "2013." What would it be about? With all the different events and developments in a specific year, how can a simple date convey the substance of the game?
 
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15. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:867]
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Strangely, this is not a Friedemann Friese title. Games are supposed to be fun, as should the theme. Call me skeptical, but including “fun” in the title seems suspicious to me. It's similar to automotive companies that claim to be "honest" in a commercial. When I think of factories, I don’t think of fun, I think of work.
 
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16. Board Game: BraveRats [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1796]
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RRRRRRRRRRRRR!

arrrh

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17. Board Game: Exploring the Depths of Uranus [Average Rating:3.33 Unranked]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Not much else to add here...
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18. Board Game: How a Bill Becomes a Law in Pennsylvania [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Now, now son-- we've already played this game for the last three nights in a row. How about we give Monopoly a try?
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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All those words, and I still don't know what this game is about.
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20. Board Game: We Didn't Playtest This At All [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:10861] [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
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My cousin just got this game, along with its two sequels:

"We Didn't Playtest This Either"
"We Didn't Playtest This: Legacies"

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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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Of course there's also the more "recent" release, The Mirror of Truth: Exhibiting a variety of Biographical Anecdotes and Moral Essays calculated to Inspire a Love of Virtue and Abhorrence of Vice.
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22. Board Game: Night of the Ill-Tempered Squirrel [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:13149]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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Sure to inspire terror in all creatures possessing nuts... whistle
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23. Board Game: The Mystic Wood [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3399]
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No comment!!! whistle

OH...and don't forget this...


The Mystic Wood Extension Kit

[I think I saw this one advertised on a late night infommerical!]
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