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Subject: What does it mean to say that a game is 'crunchy'?? rss

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Michael Korson
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Eric Summerer uses this term a fair amount on the podcast, and while I'm willing to accept it might be an alternative-nutrition choice, somehow I doubt he's talking about the appetizing/fiber-content qualities of board games.

What does 'crunchy' mean when describing a game? It's not a term in the BGG Glossary and it's usage by others when I searched the forums doesn't appear to suggest a uniform definition or usage (unless of course when applied to generally accepted food products ).
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Trey Chambers
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meaty

as in, "it has some meat to it"

Probably just means it has some depth and/or interesting decisions.
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I've always assumed it meant there was a lot of "number crunching" to do.
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A game you can sink your teeth in.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
meaty

as in, "it has some meat to it"

Probably just means it has some depth and/or interesting decisions.


That's interesting. I've always used 'crunchy' to indicate that a game is rules heavy.
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Trey Chambers
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RagallachMC wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
meaty

as in, "it has some meat to it"

Probably just means it has some depth and/or interesting decisions.


That's interesting. I've always used 'crunchy' to indicate that a game is rules heavy.


Maybe. A game can be "heavy" while having very simple rules. I would still describe such games as meaty or crunchy.
 
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Random Fleming
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And not to confuse a game with "chunky". I have heard the DT mention this term before too. I believe Chunky refers to big, beefy components (i.e., King of Tokyo dice).

I mention it because occasionally they will describe a game with many components as being "chunky."
 
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Joe White
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All of these terms are going to mean something different to each person but here are the ways I have heard them typically used.

Crunchy and Meaty are not the same.

Crunchy tends to mean there are a bunch of interacting rules that can be manipulated for the players benefit. This is typically used in a RPG discussion where a system gets "crunch" books (supplement books that add a lot of new rules/deeper systems to get more of what the player/gm want). It also pertains to deeper board games where the mechanisms are in the foreground and the multitude of them can be manipulated to interact in interesting ways.

Meaty tends to mean that the game has deep and thoughtful decisions, "something on the bone" that makes for a more fulfilling experience.

They can both apply to the same game but don't have to.
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Jim Sheridan
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My impression when Eric uses it is in line with those who have said it has something to do with being rules heavy, or somewhat difficult to learn...this may also be a meaty game, but not necessarily
 
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Michael Korson
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Shampoo4you wrote:
RagallachMC wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
meaty

as in, "it has some meat to it"

Probably just means it has some depth and/or interesting decisions.


That's interesting. I've always used 'crunchy' to indicate that a game is rules heavy.


Maybe. A game can be "heavy" while having very simple rules. I would still describe such games as meaty or crunchy.


It doesn't appear that my initial finding that there's no consistent understanding/definition was too far off base whistle
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William Frank
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maklen9 wrote:
Eric Summerer uses this term a fair amount on the podcast, and while I'm willing to accept it might be an alternative-nutrition choice, somehow I doubt he's talking about the appetizing/fiber-content qualities of board games.

What does 'crunchy' mean when describing a game? It's not a term in the BGG Glossary and it's usage by others when I searched the forums doesn't appear to suggest a uniform definition or usage (unless of course when applied to generally accepted food products ).


In the immortal words of Justice Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it." To me, it shorthands a bunch of concepts, including but not limited to complexity, rules, length of play, time to explain/learn, and strategic decisionmaking.
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Eric Selander
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While I might want his meaning to have something to do with neo-hippies, I think he very simply means that the game's decision-making gives a lot for your brain to chew (crunch) on.
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a1bert wrote:
A game you can sink your teeth in.


Both literally and figuratively.
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Bonnie Doiron
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I just imagine that Eric is munching on it between takes and therefore can unequivocally say whether or not the game is 'soft' or 'crunchy'
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I've always interpreted "crunchy" as "thinky", as in, when it's your turn, it takes a lot of thinking to figure out the best move to make. I'll sometimes conflate it with "heavy", but I've never intepreted it to mean "mathy". I could see "meaty"....
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B Mack
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I've always took it as an off-shoot of the phrase "crunching numbers" which traditional means doing a lot of math or problem solving to figure something out, like a complex calculation or statistic. Translated to board games I would tend to think that means a game with some complex interactions in the mechanics. In other words; If I take Action A, then this happens which also causes this happen, which means I can't do this, etc.
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KenshinPhoto wrote:
I've always took it as an off-shoot of the phrase "crunching numbers" which traditional means doing a lot of math or problem solving to figure something out, like a complex calculation or statistic. Translated to board games I would tend to think that means a game with some complex interactions in the mechanics. In other words; If I take Action A, then this happens which also causes this happen, which means I can't do this, etc.
I agree. Number crunching is the way I have taken him to
mean
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Brett Waddingham
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Bulkoth wrote:
All of these terms are going to mean something different to each person but here are the ways I have heard them typically used.

Crunchy and Meaty are not the same.

Crunchy tends to mean there are a bunch of interacting rules that can be manipulated for the players benefit. This is typically used in a RPG discussion where a system gets "crunch" books (supplement books that add a lot of new rules/deeper systems to get more of what the player/gm want). It also pertains to deeper board games where the mechanisms are in the foreground and the multitude of them can be manipulated to interact in interesting ways.

Meaty tends to mean that the game has deep and thoughtful decisions, "something on the bone" that makes for a more fulfilling experience.

They can both apply to the same game but don't have to.


This. In my mind, Meaty/Crunchy/Heavy are all unique terms.
 
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It goes great with milk and doesn't get soggy.
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Eric Selander
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The crunch enhancer is a non-nutritive cereal varnish. It's semi-permeable, not osmotic. It coats and seals the flake, preventing the milk from penetrating it.
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Matthias Mahr
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I would have guessed, that a crunchy games not need to have necessarily meat, but definitely bones. If you would take out the bones, it wouldn't be crunchy, would it?
 
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I've always taken it to mean games with lots of interlocking mechanisms, like gears crunching together.
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David Hammel
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A crunchy game, to me, is one where there is a lot of consideration that has to be given not only to mull through your choices of action but also the possible reaction and then trying to combo everything up in your brain and coming up with the choice with optimal positive outcome and minimla negative outcome. The "crunch" need not just be straight numbers but any kind of relevant empirical data.
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maklen9 wrote:
Eric Summerer uses this term a fair amount on the podcast, and while I'm willing to accept it might be an alternative-nutrition choice, somehow I doubt he's talking about the appetizing/fiber-content qualities of board games.

What does 'crunchy' mean when describing a game? It's not a term in the BGG Glossary and it's usage by others when I searched the forums doesn't appear to suggest a uniform definition or usage (unless of course when applied to generally accepted food products ).


I always thought it meant that there were miniatures. ::shrug::
 
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denyeverything wrote:
I always thought it meant that there were miniatures. ::shrug::

Only if you step on them.

Have you ever stepped on LEGO(tm) bricks?
 
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