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Subject: Games that feel charming! rss

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Rico Badico
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Kitchener
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I won't speak ill of games with cool themes (or no themes at all), but I find my most enjoyable gaming experiences come from games that feel genuinely charming, and make me want to smile as I do things. That said, I've never really found a good way to search for such games! I'd love to hear about the games that provoke such feelings in others who enjoy such an experience.

I've found I can't help but love simple, quaint themes, lovely components, fairly pacific goals and at most playful competition. The best examples have been:

-Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small: Simple, charming, and gives you a world were everything is plentiful and nothing is ever lost. Rosenberg themes + Klemenz Franz artwork are a winning combination(oh those animeeples).

-Caverna: As above. We enjoy the extra depth and immersion here, love that wheat, don't mind eating the odd sheep when things stay otherwise wonderful. Provides just as much fantasy as I like in a game - enough to give a vibe of folklore or whimsy without falling into heavy high fantasy territory.

-Jambo/Asante: A game of happy African merchants, we love the small-scale mercantile theme, and the various tiny wares in your tiny stall. You thwart each other by loosing animals on their stalls, most of which don't play too mean.

-Keyflower: The Farmers: Juliet Breese's art breathes the charm into this game as you build up a tiny town and make its meeple denizens get along as best they can to putter out some industry. The resources are a little less exciting in the base game, but the Farmers expansion lets you grow your animeeple herds.

-Viticulture: Realism can be charming too, and the lovely theme, gorgeous art, lack of destruction, and the idea of the various visitors lending a helping hand make this one a winner.

I've had similar feelings from Tokaido, Elfenland and Labyrinth, though these are a little lighter than the games my partner and I typically enjoy.

Your taste will vary, but there a few similar things which don't do it for me:

-Quirky/funny games: E.g. Dungeon Petz. The poop, anger, and imps take away the charm in this one for me.

-Games that are visually charming but secretly hate you: E.g. Imperial Settlers and its wonderful roly-polys but intense agression. Even Agricola, which has a lot of what I like, gets knocked down for its harsh feeding and slow growth.

-Games with charming concepts but less charming gameplay: E.g. Patchwork, making quilts is a cute idea but the gameplay doesn't really convey it (though the buttons are delightful).

-"Kiddie" Games: E.g. Chicken Cha Cha Cha. I won't be too snooty on this, we had a lovely game of Animal Upon Animal the other day. But generally I would like some more interesting decisions and gameplay than games at this level provide.

What games make you smile, BGG?
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Justin Case
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MrQuidam wrote:
What games make you smile, BGG?

A recent game that makes me smile with its gentle charm is the standalone Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale.

In this game, players are farmers who can build stables to care for their animals, and harvest their crops of fruits and vegetables, and a new mechanic for the Carcassonne family is introduced in which meeples can go for a walk on one of the dirt paths as the tableau is built.

meeple

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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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Snowdonia is one I consider charming. Rainy, foggy Welsh weather awaits to hinder your plans to lay the rails to the top of Mt. Snowdon. You have a small workforce, but you might just be able to drag some extra help out of the pub! As you said, it's really a matter of taste, but the games you listed are also ones I would consider charming. Perhaps Snowdonia will fit the bill for you as well.
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jay
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Fargo
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Love Letter has never failed me. Its so odd that a game that has tiny elements of betrayal, losing to poor luck, player elimination and take that, but come out the other end so clean and lovable I'll never understand.
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Nice thread. Here are my (subjective) answers:


1775: Rebellion

Easy rules
Beautiful and big map
Lots of cubes in different colours
Lots of different chunky dice in different colours
Enjoyable tactile aspect to the game
Easy rules, exciting and streamlined combat system
With 3-4 players, you will play in teams (1 vs 2, 2 vs 2)







Ace Detective

"Ace Detective – which features color and black/white artwork from the grand masters of detective pulp Black Mask Magazine [...]"







The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Beautiful artworks
Nice flavour texts, citing the books
Pre-game deck construction (for people who love customisation)
High difficulty makes team work and winning meaningful







Jaipur

Very easy rules
Fast flow
Language independent
Beautiful artworks
Easter egg
►Nice historical detail why the inlay is pink






Leaving Earth

Nice 50s/60s retro style components






Lords of Vegas

Easy rules
Opened-up trading phase
The board/desert starts to really "light up" with bright coloured casino tiles and dice over the course of the game






Sheriff of Nottingham

Easy rules
Nice party game
Bribing, bluffing and trading is encouraged
Beautiful artworks







Sushi Go!

Very easy rules
Fast flow
Cute artworks
Lighthearted theme






Takenoko

Easy rules
Low conflict level
Lighthearted theme
Great components
Language independent
Panda !








Tales of the Arabian Nights

Very easy rules
Very different kind of game
Low conflict level
Nice "anything can happen" adventure atmosphere
Fantastic components
Great sense of humour
Mysterious Book of Tales with ~2500 unique encounters







Dixit

Very easy rules
Nice and elegant meta gameplay
Big cards, great artworks






Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

Great artworks
Great humour
Different and fresh theme







Galaxy Trucker

Unique mix of strategy/tile puzzle/party game
Seeing your ship fall apart is just fun (meaning: losing isn't that bad here)
Increasingly bigger ships after each round
Great components
Self-aware humour
Enjoyable tactile aspect to the game
Optional real-time chaos



Never played them, but I think Tokaido and maybe Above and Below would belong on this list too.
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Kevin Garnica
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West Covina
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World's Fair 1893
Quadropolis
Above and Below
Among the Stars
Isle of Skye
Gold West
The King is Dead
Via Nebula
Imhotep
Mogul
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Ess Why
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Last Will has quite a charming theme and the artwork goes along with it. Take your dog and/or horse on a cruise
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Joshua Hibbert
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Some games with great themes for me are:

Blood Rage
Legends of Andor (as long as you're aware it's a puzzle game)
Mysterium
Niagara
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Istanbul I like the art of the board tiles, they look beautiful and ever changing layout creates something like a far eastern market atmosphere.

Fresco Beautiful board and the coloured cubes remind me of real colour powder.

Rococo Another beautiful board which invokes the impression of ball rooms.

I do like the art in all of the FFG Lovecraftian/Cthulhu themed games. They are mostly on spot and fit the theme and mood of the settings.

At last two more great boards with nice components:
Legends of Andor Legends of Andor: Journey to the North
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Dan Williams
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Most games make me smile
But those that I'd call charming...

Dixit for the whimsical artwork.

Best Treehouse Ever because who doesn't want a treehouse with a water slide and ball pit?

Takenoko because panda.

Above and Below for the stories which, even when they include peril, are insanely fun.

Taluva because for some reason, smashing your opponents settlements with volcanoes feels charming to me!
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Marion
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Charming, putting a smile on your face?

Already mentioned:
Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy
Rococo

Also:
Belfort
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Discoveries
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Drew
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Tokaido immediately came to mind. I have the collectors edition and every time I go to set it up it brings a smile to my face. Plus my wife loves the game so that adds another layer of enjoyment.

Flick'em Up is another game I find charming.
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Eric O.
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Kansas City
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+1 Jaipur
+1 Sushi go
Zooloretto is in I find has some charm to it.
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Virginia M.P.
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It will probably be very light but Dream Home looks super charming.
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Jon Cormier
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Finca. Deliver large chunky produce to markets via donkey cart. Play relaxed or cut-throat. This is our personal zen time.
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K S
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I find Hive very charming. A lot of it is the delightful components, the simplicity and the portability. But I also find it very conceptually intuitive, and it delights me that each "expansion" is just a single new bug.
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dan parker
United Kingdom
Lincoln
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Waggle Dance is pretty darn charming, really nice colour scheme, awesomely illustrated cards, and a lovely Bee theme.

Recommend!

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Heather Stanley
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Top charming game to me is Grand Austria Hotel. Great components, charming theme and the gameplay shines through. Not destructive.

A heavier game and not cheap either, but I think The Gallerist fits the bill as well.

Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King is also charming and plays well with two.

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in addition to ones already suggested

pretty much all games by 折口 日向 (Hinata Origuchi)

also the follow other designers games
Eggs of Ostrich
Kitty Paw
Cat Box
Jungle Rumble
The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
ヘッジホッグジレンマ (Hedgehog's Dilemma)
Too Many Cinderellas
Leelawadee

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wamsp wrote:
I find Hive very charming. A lot of it is the delightful components, the simplicity and the portability. But I also find it very conceptually intuitive, and it delights me that each "expansion" is just a single new bug.


Hive is also very elegant both the game and the design of the pieces. The bakelite is nice to touch and playful move the pieces between your fingers.

A lovely game.
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Greg
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joshnh wrote:


You consider this charming? Oh, those cuddly Vikings and their charming battles. They're so cute when they're pillaging!
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also The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet, play with the variant in the rulebook, basic game less interesting
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Another game I have not played yet but it looks very charming to me is Roll for the Galaxy.

I like custom dice and this game just looks like a big box of delicious candy to me.




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JP Legerski
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Charming is perhaps the best word I could use to describe Kodama: The Tree Spirits. It has beautiful illustrations and is such a relaxing game to play, one I think is very underrated.

The Grizzled is another charmer. Again, wonderful illustrations and a rich and engaging theme (I just wish it was a little easier to win!). I wonderful integration of artwork, theme, and co-operative mechanics.
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Harv Veerman
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Via Nebula

Shear Panic

Farmerama

Art makes the difference, often...
 
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