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Subject: What are some popular unthemed games? rss

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Alex L
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In another thread, I was debating if I should explore a theme for a game I'm working on. As part of this research process, I thought I should come up with a list of popular unthemed games and see what characteristics and genres they lend themselves to.

Here are the basic categories I've come up with so far:
- "Abstract strategy" board games (Checkers, Chess, Backgammon, Go, etc.)
- Classic card games (Poker, War, Bridge, etc.)
- Dice games (Liar's Dice, Farkle, etc.)
- Word games (Cards Against Humanity, Catchphrase, Scrabble, etc.)

This isn't to say that themes don't exist as a subset within each of these categories (eg - Star Wars chess), but rather if I say "chess" the first thing that comes to mind is the game itself without a theme. An example of a clearly "themed" game would be Settlers of Catan - its references to resources and town building are an integral part of the game.

What other genres am I missing? What characteristics do these types of games have in common?
 
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Eric Francis
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Abstract tile games like Quirkle come to mind. And there's a block-building game called Bandu that I recently saw reviewed by Starlit Citadel (https://youtu.be/XZrg6B7gUVM). Is that what you had in mind?

 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Chess is themed; it's a war game about protecting royalty.

I notice that most of the games on your list are pre-modern games...
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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squirrelhenge wrote:
Abstract tile games like Quirkle come to mind.
... except that was recently rethemed into Star Wars (if that counts - everything gets rethemed into Star Wars)
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Russ Williams
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Browse the most popular abstract strategy boardgames (via the Board Games pulldown, select the abstract domain, then select Browse / Abstract Games) to see many.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/abstracts/browse/boardgame

E.g. YINSH, TZAAR, Patchwork, DVONN, Go, Hive, ZERTZ are among the top ranked.

For word games and such, use the category feature and sort by rank:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamecategory/1025/word-ga...
etc.
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Alistair Stafford
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Go then. There are other worlds than these.
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What about GIPF Project?
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Martin Windischer
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You missed Dextery games (Jenga, Bausack,...)
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suPUR DUEper
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Not a category per se but lightly skinned, pasted on theme Euro's could be a category. These almost fall into the category of abstract. Examples might include: Castles of Burgundy, Ra, Tower of Babel, Attika, Edo, Gravediggers, Blue Moon City, etc. Would not include: Thebes, Dominant Species, Age of Empires, Cleopatra, Agricola etc.
 
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Would Tsuro qualify?
Jacks, pick-up sticks, horseshoes (dexterity category probably)
puzzles like Blokus
 
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Carl Nyberg
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tic tac toe
 
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Alex L
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squirrelhenge wrote:
Abstract tile games like Quirkle come to mind. And there's a block-building game called Bandu that I recently saw reviewed by Starlit Citadel (https://youtu.be/XZrg6B7gUVM). Is that what you had in mind?


Sure, that would definitely count. I'm more curious about the overarching genres/characteristics for these games.
 
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Alex L
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russ wrote:
Browse the most popular abstract strategy boardgames (via the Board Games pulldown, select the abstract domain, then select Browse / Abstract Games) to see many.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/abstracts/browse/boardgame

Epic, thanks! Didn't know that category existed.
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