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Subject: Do you treat party games differently from other genres of games? rss

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H C
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I'm referring to nongamer party games mainly (EX: Avalon would straddle that boundary a bit in my opinion)

I think party games are the only category of games where I don't try to actively/aggressively win, and as I browse my ratings of them, I find my feelings toward them strange. During almost all my party games, I can remember pretty good times, laughs and enjoyment by my nongamer friends and me. I've probably laughed more and smiled more at playing party games than euro games by far... Yet, I kind of feel like there's something missing from them that's in my other games, and I don't get the same sense of satisfaction from them. Maybe its strategy or maybe its tactics or maybe there's something else missing?

Am I alone in this camp? Anyone else have a bias toward party games and can express it better than I can?
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Aaron Edwards
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I'm with you. With most board games I am either after 1) something to exercise my brain and make me think and problem-solve (Euros and abstracts would fall into this camp); or 2) immersion into some story or theme (obviously, thematic games fall here).

Party games (e.g. Telestrations, Wits and Wagers, Werewolf, Apples to Apples, etc.) don't tend to fulfill either of these satisfactorily for me, so I really think of them as their own camp. I think of them as more of a way that a group can share a common experience even if everyone has different tastes and interests.
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David Gibbs
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Yes. I try to avoid playing them.
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Hua Chen, we call party games...social games. You don't get the same thrill from them because they are the sitcom and the euro is the feature length film. The latter has a plot, a climax, and an end that may have some dramatic last minute surprises. The social games have a bland start-mid game and a foreseeable end. Some people love social games and others love euros.
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H C
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Yes, I know they're social games - I just didn't realize the difference of play that most people felt toward them. I wasn't sure if I was just alone.
 
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Derry Salewski
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dagibbs wrote:
Yes. I try to avoid playing them.
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James Myers
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
I'm referring to nongamer party games mainly (EX: Avalon would straddle that boundary a bit in my opinion)

I think party games are the only category of games where I don't try to actively/aggressively win, and as I browse my ratings of them, I find my feelings toward them strange. During almost all my party games, I can remember pretty good times, laughs and enjoyment by my nongamer friends and me. I've probably laughed more and smiled more at playing party games than euro games by far... Yet, I kind of feel like there's something missing from them that's in my other games, and I don't get the same sense of satisfaction from them. Maybe its strategy or maybe its tactics or maybe there's something else missing?

Am I alone in this camp? Anyone else have a bias toward party games and can express it better than I can?


Sure, but I have an opposite opinion -- the Resistance is my favorite game.

Party games have an outcome of creating a set of social interactions. Generally these are teamwork games. I'm a huge fan of the hidden role genre, and I find it to be incredibly fun to be tricked by my friends while they kept a straight face.

I like other games too, a lot, but sitting down to play, say, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, is different, because though the point of the game is still to have a good time socially with your friends, it does that through a medium involving non-social competition (e.g. deception.) (There's still some social competition in that game if you try to manipulate your room pieces into being set cheaper, but, that's not necessarily the point of play.)

I think I missed the mark here, but that's ok.
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Krawhitham B
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I play all kinds of games differently.

Party games shouldn't be taken too seriously, otherwise you suck the fun out of them.

Playing a euro style game lightly can suck the fun out of it for the other players.

Then there are lots of in-betweens. I try to get into the spirit of the game and accept it for what it is. Take Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game as an example. You literally try and smash your opponents, but you laugh when things don't work out as planned and the dice hate you.

Just play what you enjoy and don't let anyone tell you that you aren't playing 'real' games.
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Bryan Thunkd
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
I kind of feel like there's something missing from them that's in my other games, and I don't get the same sense of satisfaction from them. Maybe its strategy or maybe its tactics or maybe there's something else missing?

NowOrNever88 wrote:
I think party games are the only category of games where I don't try to actively/aggressively win
Asked and answered.
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Mindy Basi
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I consider any game a social game where I don't want to score it, particularly, and it's an activity versus a competitive problem.

Like Concept -- I never care about scoring that. I guess you would want to score Apples to Apples, or some of the others, but the scoring is secondary to the social fun.
 
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I am sad to say but I don't have a single competitive bone in my body. I play games to have fun, socialize, and make new friends. If I win I win, if I lose I lose. My collection is a mix of party games and more complex and strategic games. I play and treat them all equally.

I will say though, the party games tend to be my favorites. Out of my collection, Cards Against Humanity, Ultimate Werewolf, Off your Rocker and Betrayal at the House on the Hill are four of my favorites. Three out of four of those is a party game. They just tend to be better when it comes to making friends and having a good fun-filled time.
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If you force me to play a party game I'm going to try to beat you so badly that you never think about trying that again.

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Ron Parker
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Kwill2 wrote:
I guess you would want to score Apples to Apples, or some of the others, but the scoring is secondary to the social fun.


I don't think I've ever played Apples to Apples with anyone who took the scoring seriously. Which is good, because the scoring is painfully subjective.
 
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J C Lawrence
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And that is both of the main reasons I don't play party games.
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Mindy Basi
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parkrrrr wrote:
Kwill2 wrote:
I guess you would want to score Apples to Apples, or some of the others, but the scoring is secondary to the social fun.


I don't think I've ever played Apples to Apples with anyone who took the scoring seriously. Which is good, because the scoring is painfully subjective.


And which is what makes it amusing.
 
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Ben Harding
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I like variety, and will play most any TYPE of game. I like heavy euros. I like thematic games. I like confrontational games. I like playing kids games with my daughter. I like party games with friends.

That said, I don't like EVERY game. I tend to despise the Apples-to-apples, Superfight, Cards Against Humanity, Picwits type games. I just don't find them at all interesting. The game closest to that style that I do enjoy is Dixit.

I love games that get people loud, excited and shouting at each other like The Resistance and Cockroach Poker.

For me, there's a time and a place for everything. I don't hang out exclusively with gamers, but I almost always enjoy playing games with the people I hang out with, so I have a stash of casual games that get a lot of play.
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Garcian Smith
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Sure.

The goal really isn't to win, but have a good time. Some games do this well like Time's Up! Title Recall!. However, other games just aren't that funny and end up being tedious. I really don't care if I'm winning or not with these games.
 
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S J
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I actively avoid party games. I hung out with some friends the other night and they started to play Cards Against Humanity. I asked them if we could play something else. The group voted to play it anyway, so I chose to sit out while they played. I felt bad about being "that guy," but I despise party games. In my mind they aren't really games at all, they're activities. Any game that supplants tactics, strategy, and interesting mechanics for laughs generally falls flat with me. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy laughing during my games (I usually laugh the hardest), but party games feel like a huge waste of time to me, so it's hard for me to find the humor.

It's kind of like watching a sitcom where the audience laughs because the prompter told them to, but the jokes themselves aren't funny. That's not entertaining to me. I like to laugh because something strikes me as funny, not because I or someone else is being made a fool of, or because the game says "come on man, laugh, it's funny!."
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Jeff
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I enjoy party games that are actually games. For instance, I love Werewolf, because there are actual stakes, but I try to avoid Apples to Apples-style stuff where nobody scores and the game never ends.

That said, I absolutely refused to take any game seriously. As far as I'm concerned, that's an automatic loss.
 
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Ray
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I played some one night with a friend of mine and after it was over, he came unglued! I can take them or not
 
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jeff
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Sandrockcstm wrote:
.... In my mind they aren't really games at all, they're activities. Any game that supplants tactics, strategy, and interesting mechanics for laughs generally falls flat with me. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy laughing during my games (I usually laugh the hardest), but party games feel like a huge waste of time to me, so it's hard for me to find the humor.

It's kind of like watching a sitcom where the audience laughs because the prompter told them to, but the jokes themselves aren't funny. That's not entertaining to me. I like to laugh because something strikes me as funny, not because I or someone else is being made a fool of, or because the game says "come on man, laugh, it's funny!."


Huh there is an interesting connection here for me for my hatred of party games and my hatred of "The Big Bang Theory".

I generally don't get along with people who thoroughly enjoy both. Like my brother for example...interesting.
 
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H C
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While I do play games like A2A and CAH competitively (by analyzing the others' mentalities), it still doesn't feel the same as other games, perhaps because as others said, there's not much of a "game" to them. Even in abstract games or games like Werewolf, there's a clear goal/theme/objective, while party games like those above are more arbitrary.

Thunkd wrote:
NowOrNever88 wrote:
I kind of feel like there's something missing from them that's in my other games, and I don't get the same sense of satisfaction from them. Maybe its strategy or maybe its tactics or maybe there's something else missing?

NowOrNever88 wrote:
I think party games are the only category of games where I don't try to actively/aggressively win
Asked and answered.


This is also just partially for discussion. There's no need to be an ass about it.
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Stephen Williams
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I draw a distinction between social deduction games (Werewolf, the Resistance, Dixit) and party games (Apples to Apples, Pictionary, etc.)

I enjoy playing the former. I dislike the latter, although I will play them if I "have to."

Social "deduction" might be a bit misleading as a category for games like Dixit, but there aren't that many games I put in this category to begin with. It started with Werewolf, Shadow Hunters, and the Resistance, so that's why I use that title.

Trivial Pursuit is the only game I would classify as a party game that I also enjoy playing, although even that one I wouldn't want to play on a regular basis.
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Larry L
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I enjoy playing party games such as Apples to Apples and Cranium Hoopla. Given a choice there are usually games I'd rather play, but there are certain people I play with where that is the best choice. No trivia games for me, please. Those I really do not enjoy.

"board game" covers such a wide range of games. Even people who like "sports" rarely like all sports. Just because you enjoy pick-up basketball doesn't mean you are going to like rock climbing and just because you like rock climbing doesn't mean you are going to like paddle boarding.

So it is no surprise people might like some kinds of games and not like other kinds of games.
 
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Des Lee
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It's interesting to see how BGG categorises the games in my collection. If I filter down my collection to games that are marked as party games, I get:

Dixit (and friends)
The Resistance (and Avalon)
Pictionary
Cards against Humanity
Jenga
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Bang! The Dice Game (but not regular Bang!)
Concept
Cash and Guns
Pick a Pig
Rory's Story Cubes

I don't see why Bang! the dice game is marked as a party game but not regular bang. I would have thought that Cash and Guns is just a straight out bluffing game - does the addition of foam guns turn it into a party game? Pick a Pig straight out discourages social interaction during play - each player is concetrating on their run of cards.

Jenga is just a dexterity game. If that's in there, why not Loopin' Louie? Or Riff Raff?

Agree with a previous poster that Dixit, Resistance, ONUW etc are more social deduction games. Still party games to an extent (insofar as they promote social interaction and cater for larger groups and have simple rules), but perhaps a more serious category of party game.

I like party games and will play them in the right sort of group. I even have a large Cards Against Humanity collection and will tolerate playing that for minutes at a time. But when the group wants to play it hour after hour, I mentally check out pretty quickly.
 
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