Before there were video games, people enjoyed board games. They huddled around a big table with their friends and family members, rolled some dice, and moved some counters over a colorful board packed with fun graphics and words. Sometimes they came with extra counters and cards, sometimes you only had dice. The games could last no more than 10 minutes, and some would take weeks to finish!
Board games have recently started to get more popular again as another form of gaming. So if you love video games and are looking for something new, here’s why you should try out board games too.
Why play board games when video games exist?
Whenever people think about playing board games, they usually ask the question: why play board games when video games exist? That’s a fair question! After all, board games are usually seen as manual games because you have to calculate things and move pieces by yourself. Video games, on the other hand, do most of that for you! Plus, there’s so much more that you can do in a video game that you just can’t with a board game. There are just so many different experiences and genres of video games that you can’t really compare the two anymore.
So if video games can offer a much better experience for a gamer, why bother with board games? That’s simple–because they’re fun and exciting in their own way!
Board games can be just as fun and challenging
At the end of the day, any form of gaming be it on a PC or on a tabletop is for fun. Of course, different people have fun in different ways too. Some people like to roleplay as a knight or wizard, while others enjoy a challenging logic puzzle that tingles their brain. Everyone enjoys games for a different reason, but more and more people are starting to find that same kind of enjoyment from board games too.
In fact, many board games these days are extremely tricky and even have difficulty levels! There are some amazing difficult board games such as Gloomhaven, Pandemic, and Spirit Island. These are all unique themes and gameplay loops that will test your knowledge of the game and its mechanics, but also your ability to solve problems and plan ahead. If you want something that teases your brain and gives you a real challenge, then these are great examples of hard board games. In many of them, you can even turn up the difficulty or even add your own house rules to make them more challenging.
Board games offer a different kind of multiplayer experience
One of the biggest reasons why people love playing board games is because it offers a different kind of multiplayer experience. It’s a lot more intimate when you play around the same table. It requires you to communicate more, solve puzzles together, or even fight each other! It’s a multiplayer experience that differs from games such as League of Legends, Apex Legends, or Among Us.
So if you’re a fan of multiplayer games but are looking for something a bit more unique and different, why not try some board games? It’s a fantastic excuse to meet up with your buddies, and you can get more of your friends and family members involved.
There are lots of other reasons to love board games, but we think these two are the big ones that will convince video game players to try something more traditional.
How to get into board games as a beginner
Getting into board games as a beginner can be rough. It can feel like there are so many rules and things to remember, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Here are some tips from us to help you settle into board games:
- Take things slow! Since you’re mostly resolving all of the mechanics and gameplay quirks by yourself, you should take it slow. You don’t just push a button and then watch things happen–you need to be the one making a decision and then also resolving your actions. It can feel like unnecessary work, but you’ll quickly get used to it!
- Play digital versions first. Whether it’s a simple game like Checkers or an official digital version, try it out as a video game first. It’ll be much easier to learn the game and you’ll have an easier time getting used to it if you ever decide to buy a physical copy. This is also a great way to try out board games as well!
- Invite your friends to play. Loads of board games can be enjoyed on your own, but we think it’s way more fun if you decide to play with your friends and learn together. A great way to do this is by using games like Tabletop Simulator to try them online digitally. However, if you can get a couple of friends together to try out a board game, then that’s perfect too!
- There’s definitely a learning curve. Unlike video games that usually have guides and tutorials, you’ve basically only got a manual or rulebook to follow and the rest is up to you. Make sure you read it thoroughly and consider looking at some videos of playthroughs to get a better understanding of how to play the game.
- Don’t hesitate to cheat or undo things. Unlike video games, you have complete control over how a board game flows. If you want, you can even make up rules on the fly or reroll certain things if your dice roll means that you’d lose. It’s perfectly fine to cheat a bit when you’re learning, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide how you want to have fun.
- Try and find people that have played the game before. Since some games can have a fairly steep learning curve, you might have a better time learning them if you play with someone that has played before. Even if they’ve only got a bit of experience, you’ll probably still enjoy it more than trying to figure things out yourself.
- Don’t invest too much into board games yet. Video games these days can cost upwards of $100 depending on which edition you buy. For board games, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to over $500 at times! The cost of a board game is a little different to calculate because you have to think about things like the materials used for pieces, so it can get quite expensive if you’re looking for a premium game.
Board games aren’t the easiest thing to get into, especially if you’ve picked something complex or big. However, with a bit of studying and perseverance, you’ll unlock an amazing new way to enjoy gaming either by yourself or with friends and family members.
What to expect from board games coming from video games
If you’re used to playing video games then trying out a board game can be kind of weird at first. You have to solve things manually and you need to move pieces around yourself–it’s not just a case of pressing a few keys and watching things resolve in front of you. In addition, the type of gameplay that you can expect is very different. There are some fast-paced board games that you can play, but they’ll be nothing like an FPS or racing game. There’s a lot more thinking even when it’s fast-paced.
So here are some of the big things you can expect to experience when you start playing board games.
It’s hard to convince people to play
Not everyone is interested in board games, and many people have bad impressions of them because of games such as Monopoly which are popular but barely scratch the surface of what board games can offer. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t convince people to play at first–show them the game and let them know it’s a lot more interesting and fun than they’d expect.
Board games take up a lot of time. They have length set-up times, you need to pack things away eventually, and they can take up a lot of table space. However, if you can commit time to playing a board game, it’ll be extremely rewarding.
There are lots of rules
Get used to referencing rulebooks and rule cards a lot. You’ll have to memorize a lot of rules and some of them might be fairly unintuitive, but it’ll all make sense the more you play it.
You’ll accidentally cheat
It’s completely normal to accidentally cheat and forget a rule or even just misunderstand something that makes the game a whole lot easier. It’s common, it happens, and you can always fix it later. Don’t get too worked up if you make mistakes at first!
There’s more depth than you expected
Some board games have incredible depth and replayability thanks to the way they’re designed. With different game modes, versions, and player counts to think about, a single board game could be played in so many different ways.
Overall, we highly recommend giving board games a try if you’re a video game veteran. It’s a completely different experience that can be highly rewarding, especially if you’re looking to enjoy some games with like-minded friends or family members.