Spotlight | Meeple March
It’s Meeple March and Twenty Sided Store is here to celebrate the reason for the season – BOARD GAMES! Big games, small games, funny games, fast games! From resource management to social deduction, from light to heavy strategy! Who knew that there were so many genres of games!
In this article I’ll be delving into the different categories, types, and genres of games. When you are done reading, swing by Twenty Sided Store and enjoy exploring our selection in a whole new light.
Light strategy games may be easier to learn but don’t be fooled - they can pack just as much complexity as any heavy strategy game. When we refer to light vs. heavy we are discussing how difficult a game is to learn. A light strategy game can typically be mastered during the first play through with straightforward rules that rely less on technical skills and more a challenge of wit. A light strategy game gains its complexity by relying on social skills, creativity, and luck.
My Meeple March picks for Light Strategy are Azul and Camel Up.
Decorate the walls of a great palace as you place beautifully drawn tiles. Complete sets and create patterns to score the most points! While creativity and careful thought can get you ahead, the luck of the draw determines which tiles you have to work with.
Off to the races! These camels are racing to win, and you’re betting to get rich! The earlier in a turn you bet, the better the pay off. The trouble is these camels may get erratic at times, turning back and changing pace, so you’ll never know who’s going to win until they cross the finish line.
Heavy strategy games top light strategy games in both complexity, difficulty, and time. These games will certainly take a few playthroughs to master. To play competitively will take more time than the average game, and may draw on technical skills, such as fast computing or careful reading.
My Meeple March picks for Heavy Strategy are Root, Gloomhaven, and Scythe.
Root is a game of war and adventure, in which each player uses special capabilities to achieve their unique goal. This asymmetric game leaves players running in different directions: some characters focus on claiming territory, others on building structures, others act as spies building conspiracies, while others play a small part in each of these narratives. Root is different every time and your adventure can deepen in the expansion, Riverfolk.
Gloomhaven is the epitome of a heavy game, weighing in at twenty pounds and full of detailed minis and tactical combat. This cooperative game places players in the position of a band of mercenaries that slay monsters and clear dungeons. Gloomhaven plays over multiple sessions and many hours with a Choose Your Own Adventure flair that allows for deeper player involvement.
Scythe is another asymmetrical game in which each player has a unique goal, their own resources, and faction-specific abilities. Each player is a fallen leader trying to restore their name and rebuild their faction to power. In this game, players aren’t eliminated, combat is choice-driven, and there are a variety of different actions for you to choose at any given time.
Fast Fun Card Games that Bridge the Gap
Perfect travel companions, our easy to learn, fast fun card games bridge the gap, offering light strategy that can be brought to any party.
My Picks for Meeple March have fun themes with amazing artwork and take less than half an hour to play. Check out Trash Pandas, Sushi Go, Ramen Fury, and Miaui.
This quick and family-friendly card game revolves around the lives of greedy ol’ raccoons. Roll the dice to earn actions and tip over the trash can. Push your luck however and you can lose your trash and end your turn!
The ever popular pick and pass card game Sushi Go features quick games of sushi-making madness. Collect sets to build optimal sushi line ups and score the most points!
Collect combos of cards to score for different recipes while adding garnishes to boost your points. At the same time, watch out as other players throw spicy chili peppers your way or swipe foods right from your bowls!
It’s time for the fishing festival on the cat-conquered island of Miaui and you will play as a quirky kitten trying to win the big fishing competition. This game is new to Twenty Sided but already a staff and customer favorite!
Party Perfect and Cooperative
Party games, of course, are perfect for parties or any social gatherings with more than four people! Party games come in all shapes and sizes, from tactile games (like Jenga) to voting games (like Cards Against Humanity) to social deduction games (such as Werewolf or Mafia, where players take on roles and try to discern who is the betrayer). Party Games typically feature quick rounds, allowing others to easily join in the fun. Rules are short and rarely read as most players will pick them up by the time their turn rolls around.
In cooperative games players work together to solve a problem or tell a story. Cooperative games are the perfect solution when an even playing field is required.
My Meeple March picks for Party Perfect and Cooperative Games are Bad Medicine, The Metagame, Spaceteam, #AlternativeFacts Shaky Manor, and The Mind.
Play as the pharmaceutical companies! Create names and ads for your new drug and try to sell it as a cure for the current Malady, downplaying all of its side effects. A perfect party game for med school students or friends who think they can sell anything.
Start conversations with your friends, covering topics deep and trashy alike. Culture cards featuring important cultural icons and opinion cards featuring thought-provoking questions make up the basis for six unique games you can play with The Metagame. All you need to win is an opinion!
Work together with your friends to keep your spaceship in tip-top condition and navigate through wormhole-infested space. Fix malfunctions within your sector while also calling out for tools your friends’ might have. Coordination is key is this frantic game of fix and fly!
Work together with your friends and play as entrepreneurs creating clickbait titles. While you might be working together to create a headline, it’s every person for themselves when it comes to scoring! Contribute the most valuable card to get ahead in points and win the game!
A perfect dexterity-based game for groups who like having hands-on activities, Shaky Manor has you picking up, shaking, and tilting the board to move meeples and treasure chests into the correct rooms. The strategy and rules are simple so you can focus on the madness of manipulating the board.
In The Mind, the strategy of the game is secondary to the experience of working cooperatively and silently with other players. Discard cards in the correct order according to what the other players have, but do so without communicating beyond eye contact. The Mind is perfect for those looking to test their ability to work together.
Resource Management games gained prominence as Eurogames, games with abstract components that focus on worker placement, but have expanded to include games in which any fixed resource is used strategically. In a resource management game, player interaction is indirect and luck is not a focal part of the game. One of the most popular resource management games, Catan, sparked an interest in these games in America and they’ve now become one of the most prolific categories of games.
My Meeple March Picks for Resource Management are Terraforming Mars, Bohnanza, and Carcassonne.
In this heavy strategy game, you play as a corporation working to make Mars habitable, working together with other players while also competing to get points for improving human infrastructure. Buy unique project cards, track and maintain resources, and compete for the best locations for your resources. Once terraforming is complete, count up your points to determine the winner!
The lightest of these three games, Bohnanza throws you into the high-stakes world of the bean farmer! Collect sets of beans to trade for gold, while managing planting space and trading away unwanted beans. The game continues in multiple expansions.
Build a fortress and countryside in this light strategy tile-laying game. Choose tiles with cities, monasteries, fields and more, strategically laying them next to your adversary’s tiles. Strategic placement will win the game, and further expansions increase the amount of different tiles you must manage.
Storytelling and Genre Games
Genre games are designed to immerse you into a new world, whether it's sci-fi, mystery, the old west, or something in between . Most of these games rely on a level of storytelling, in which players work together to construct a narrative, explore the setting, or take on different roles. These range from simple cards with pictures in Tell Tale, to the deductive Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, to the iconic Star Wars Rebellion. Regardless of what kind of genre suits you, these games are perfect for anyone who seeks to indulge their imagination.
My Staff Picks for Storytelling and Genre Games are Tales of Arabian Nights, Mysterium, Gloom, and TIME Stories.
Step into a world of legend when you play as a hero or heroine in Tales of Arabian Nights. Travel the world meeting interesting characters and choose wisely to become rich and revered, or make mistakes and fall into the role of a beggar. Stories are waiting to be uncovered.
Play as a medium and work with other mediums and ghosts to solve the mystery of an unresolved death. The ghosts can only communicate to the mediums through beautifully illustrated cards, so it will take some imagination to discover the truth.
Tell the miserable stories of a gloomy family and deepen their despair to win. Gloom’s cards are transparent, meaning you can add cards onto cards to add to your player’s suffering. Gloom comes in many different expansions, adding different settings and horrors, but all continue the tales of woe.
Jump through time and space when you play as an agent of travel in TIME Stories. You’ll take on a specific role and use you abilities and tools to solve your missions. Each scenario and expansion requires careful cooperation as you and your friends are fully immersed into a new, unique world.
Written by Johnni Medina