103 posts tagged with boardgames.
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Tromp is going to make Proof-of-Work systems great again

John Tromp is a computer scientist whose interests include mazes (playable: 1, 2), chess problems, Go (previously), graphical representations of combinatory logic, Connect-4, code obfuscation, darts, pop music, and much, much more.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Aug 5, 2016 - 8 comments

Mrs. White, in the marketing office, with a focus group

The board game Clue (a.k.a. Cluedo outside North America) is a perennial favorite, a first-ballot entry into the Games Magazine Hall of Fame, with more than a hundred variant versions. It is even arguably the first game to spin off a movie, complete with three different endings and eventual cult status. But even good things must change, and original suspect Mrs. White (played by Madeline Kahn in the movie) has been replaced by the enigmatic Dr. Orchid, who a Hasbro VP called "a brilliant new character with a rich backstory and links to the Black fortune." (Mr. Black is the owner of the mansion in which the game takes place, and in Cluedo versions is the victim of the murder that drives the "plot" of the game.) [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jul 8, 2016 - 84 comments

I Incite This Boardgame to Rebellion

Perhaps you are interested in the Suffragettes. You may even have seen the film Suffragette. However, this may not be enough for you; you may wish to play a strategy game based on the movement. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust on Jun 8, 2016 - 11 comments

With a name like that, of course he became a game maker.

Based originally on a description in a story by Andy Looney, the game of Icehouse was a board game without a board, played in real time without turns with a set of colored pyramids in three sizes. It still has its fans, and you can find some pretty detailed fan stuff out there on the internet regarding the game of Icehouse. Over the years, though, people found ways to use such enticingly generic game pieces for far, far more… [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on May 13, 2016 - 10 comments

Oh, no. Mormons!

Why Heroquest is so Great [slyt]
posted by MiltonRandKalman on May 9, 2016 - 30 comments

"Find another hobby or you're going to die."

Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem (TW: nasty stuff)
posted by Faint of Butt on Apr 3, 2016 - 157 comments

"[C.E.] has been rejected by every single game publisher on the planet."

The story of Cosmic Encounter is about a flash of creative genius in the early seventies, followed by four decades of struggle to see that vision fully realised. Despite the rapturous critical acclaim Cosmic Encounter has accrued in the 39 years since its first publication, it has not been followed by commercial success. Indeed, the creators of the greatest boardgame in existence have never made a living off it. The making of Cosmic Encounter, the greatest boardgame in the galaxy
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 9, 2016 - 43 comments

Make sure your friends never want to play Monopoly again

How to Win at Monopoly and Lose All Your Friends [via]
posted by figurant on Jan 27, 2016 - 109 comments

"The simplest answer is: More gaming choices."

The 2015 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Tabletop Games: a list produced by BoardGameGeek's 1 Player Guild in connection with the 1 Player Podcast. Over 200 voters today put the Mage Knight Board Game in the top spot once more, but a number of smaller/shorter games made the top 10 too. The group's FAQ "Why do some people play solitaire board games?" explains how solo tabletop gaming complements multiplayer and digital board gaming. This week, incidentally, the iOS Board Games blog is synopsizing the latter in its annual Digital Board Games Gift Guide. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 17, 2015 - 23 comments

Must love flow charts.

Were you thinking of buying a board game for someone this holiday season? Snakes and Lattes would like to help you pick just the right one.
posted by jacquilynne on Nov 29, 2015 - 61 comments

Sexism: The Board Game

You are first a wife and a mother. Go to the Doll House. Sexism was conceived in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, (interview at link) a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?” [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Jul 31, 2015 - 5 comments

The 8$ Sheep Doll Would Be 200$ Today

With F. A. O. Schwarz's iconic 5th Avenue store closing for good last week (Gothamist photos), why not look back at the 1911 Spring And Summer catalog and the conversation effort to preserve the catalog at the Cooper Hewitt design museum..
posted by The Whelk on Jul 20, 2015 - 15 comments

Hacking “Chutes and Ladders”

"In the simulation, an average game [of Chutes and Ladders] lasts 26.5 turns, but it is a right-tailed distribution, so the longest game lasted 146 turns! If only there was a way to give each game a more consistent and shorter length. Then, it hit me. There are nine ladders and ten slides. There is a ladder missing! What if I placed a new tenth ladder on the board that consistently shortened the game? Yes, but where?!"
posted by yeti on Jun 9, 2015 - 59 comments

Keeping It Fair

You're sitting down with your friends to play a boardgame, and you find yourself in a conundrum: how do you choose a first player? Sure, you could roll a standard die and take highest number, but what if there's a tie? That could take forever! Besides, wouldn't you rather be mathematically sure that everyone has a fair shot at each spot in the turn order? Of course you would!
posted by tocts on Jun 9, 2015 - 58 comments

It's SO Transgressive!

Cards Against Humanity gives you two or sometimes three pieces to snap together, and it tells you you’re done. That’s it. And you know what? Often, many of these combinations aren’t very good. They aren’t very good whether you find their subjects funny or not, offensive or not. They aren’t very good because they’re sometimes nonsensical or just weird. They aren’t very good because, in an attempt to be as shocking, controversial and offensive as possible, the designers have forgotten to… make things work. There’s very little creativity in combining cards into a joke, because the work and the structuring is done for you. It’s almost like copying someone else’s homework. There’s no life in there [...] Cards Against Humanity opens and closes the joke for you. It’s limp, passive, inert.
Review: Cards Against Humanity
posted by griphus on May 7, 2015 - 270 comments

But his favourite game is Scrabble, so what does he know

The game ends in nuclear war only about 5 percent of the time. That’s a good thing. It gives Ananda Gupta faith in humanity.
Twilight Struggle is the best board game in the world (and Ananda Gupta is its designer) and is all about replaying the Cold War. The worst games? Tic-tac-toe, Snakes and Ladders, Candy Land, The Game of Life and Monopoly, according to Oliver Roeder and based on ratings taking from BoardGameGeek. (Twilight Struggle previously.)
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 16, 2015 - 159 comments

Green Bay's Board-Game Obsession

“At first we’re like, ‘What the hell is this? Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?’” said starting center Corey Linsley. But that quickly faded. “We are completely addicted to it, we play it whenever we can,” said tight end Justin Perillo.
posted by daisystomper on Jan 15, 2015 - 57 comments

Catan Junior

Wil Wheaton has a Youtube channel called "Tabletop" where he posts videos of himself with three guests playing various board games. Originally he thought the audience was going to be exclusively adults, but it turned out that a lot of people were watching the show with their kids. So in this week's episode, the game is Catan Junior, a cut-down version of Settlers of Catan intended for kids, and Wheaton's three guests are all 9 years old. Please enjoy Catan Junior.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Dec 12, 2014 - 40 comments

How Fun Works (3rd edition, revised)

Noted boardgaming blog Shut Up & Sit Down (previously) has been publishing its "Top 25 Games Ever!" all week long. Now that the series is complete, let the arguing begin: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1.
posted by jbickers on Dec 12, 2014 - 35 comments

VCR Games: you just became the Luke Skywalker of the new Star Wars.

"With Christmas not far away, you may start seeing ads for video games that try to marry the VCR with traditional board games. Unhappily, that marriage more often resembles the bickering Lockhorns than the mild-mannered Nelsons. Here's a look at three of the games now out in 1986." But that's only a snapshot of the dynamic world of VCR board games, which peaked in the early 1990s with the Atmosfear series, known as Nightmare in Australia, where the game series was a huge cross-media empire, bigger than "Crocodile" Dundee. Another significant game was Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, if for no other reason that it is canon and expands the story of the second Death Star. There are less than 100 VCR board games, and the videos for many of them are currently online, with more game documents and details on Board Game Geeks. By the end of the 1990s, the VCR was on the way out, replaced by DVD board games. Let's browse the isles of toy stores past, thanks to the crowd-sourced nostalgia that is the internet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 28, 2014 - 38 comments

Students applauded and were visibly moved in the game's final moments

The best learning games are always fun. Try playing them yourself and see if you enjoy them. No matter how advanced your understanding of the subject matter, a good game should still be fun. I've understood algebra and number partitions for decades, but DragonBox and Wuzzit Trouble are still challenging puzzlers that I like to fiddle with on long airline flights. All good games offer challenges in intuitive ways. In fact, this is the reason games work so well for learning: Players are intrinsically motivated to identify and succeed at understanding the game's mechanics.
The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning provides a basic introduction to the use of video games in education, gives several thought-provoking examples, and points to numerous sites with related goals, including Edutopia's articles on game-based learning and Graphite's reviews of digital games with educational content. Meanwhile, this being what The Guardian has just called "Board games' golden age," resources such as Play Play Learn, BoardGameGeek's Games in the Classroom, and The Dice Tower's recent countdown of "Top Ten Games for the Classroom" offer interesting options for the tabletop as well. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 25, 2014 - 5 comments

Ticket to Cheat

Ticket to Ride is a board game about trains. Specifically, it's about connecting cities by claiming sections of track via matching cards of the same color (or symbol, to give a little help to the color-blind). The game (published by Days of Wonder) is quite popular, having sold many hundreds of thousands of copies, and it's won a ton of awards, including the prestigious Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) and the first Diana Jones award given to a board game*. There was even a world championship held this year to celebrate the game's tenth anniversary, featuring 25,000 players who were whittled down to 28 national champions (well, two from "North America," that is, the U.S.) for the finals in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. The finals were broadcast over the Internet on Tric Trac TV -- which is how the cheating in the final match was discovered. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Nov 5, 2014 - 96 comments


A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh on Oct 22, 2014 - 32 comments

You are either a God or a Fool. You can’t be both.

Dice instruct us on the truth of what we are. It is a comforting truth indeed.
posted by Sebmojo on Sep 24, 2014 - 31 comments


Chesscademy is a chess teaching website modelled on Codecademy. As such, it gives a sequence of short puzzles and exercises which help you build up knowledge of everything from how the pieces move to the intricacies of positional play. Sections of each 'course' are introduced by a short video. It's like a well-written chess book with interactive diagrams!
posted by kaibutsu on Aug 10, 2014 - 11 comments

They all have optimal strategies but pursue different victory conditions

Big Game Theory! Board games that tell stories. The Bored Gaymer. A girl likes games. HiveGod's Yell Matrix. QWERTYUIOP. 365 Days of Gaming. Those are a few of the most favorited current blogs on BoardGameGeek, and these are a few of their most favorited posts. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Murder, She Wrote. And Played.

"But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me tell you a story: a story about a board game. The Murder, She Wrote board game. You didn't know such a thing existed? Neither did I, before my friend Sarah brought it one summer to camp. (For the sake of clarity: I mean camp in the upstate New York sense, i.e., a small un-insulated cottage on a freshwater lake that has a preponderance of mismatched glasses and forks with wonky tines and maybe exposed studs but is the greatest place to family-vacation on earth.) Sarah and I met in day care, and had been friends for years—but this year, when she came to visit, she unknowingly brought the one thing that would enflame my jealousy." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 1, 2014 - 35 comments

Grantland Tackles Boardgames

Competitive board gamers are a serious lot. Perhaps none are more serious than the players of the most ruthless and harrowing board game of all: Diplomacy.
posted by absalom on Jun 18, 2014 - 188 comments

playful technologies can help students understand how history is created

Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. The fourth book from the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press, Pastplay includes a wide range of essays, all available online for free. T. Mills Kelly reflects on his historical methods course which resulted in a historical hoax, “the last American pirate,” declared one of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first ten years. Matthew Kirschenbaum discusses if board games work better than computer games for teaching history. The book's chapters cover successful combinations of play, technology, and history. Yet, many are wary, as a "playful approach to teaching and learning with technology can seem like the worst of all possible worlds: the coupling of strategies developed for entertainment with tools created for commerce." [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on May 4, 2014 - 17 comments

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ GOOD GAME

Tabletop Simulator is a, well, simulator for tabletop gaming. The trailer shows a number of applications: classics like chess and chinese checkers, RPG campaigns, and games using a standard deck of playing cards. And if you're looking for something with less structure you can set up domino chains. The game supports net-play with friends (video has a bit of cursing), with the option of flipping the table if the game isn't going your way. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 19, 2014 - 34 comments

“I developed games to escape. This was my own world I created."

The New Yorker profiles Klaus Teuber: The Man Who Built Catan
posted by Going To Maine on Feb 18, 2014 - 106 comments

Designing a Legacy Game

Risk: Legacy, released in 2011, adds an interesting twist to the classic boardgame: it introduces permanent, game-changing modifications to the board and game pieces every time it is played. Last year, the designer of the game, Rob Daviau, gave a fascinating talk on the design challenges inherent in such a game. The video of that talk is now freely available to watch. [more inside]
posted by tocts on Jan 7, 2014 - 58 comments

Games people (can) play (by themselves)

Lonely? Bored? Well, the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest is here to help you stave off boredom this weekend (and burn through all of your printer ink). This year's winner is Maquis, a "solitaire worker-placement game with variable goals and a play time of approximately twenty minutes. The player places his resistance agents on spaces around town to achieve his goals - blowing up trains, publishing underground newspapers - but at the same time Milice collaborators and Wehrmacht soldiers patrol the area." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Dec 6, 2013 - 5 comments

It's Marven Gardens, Actually...

What the Monopoly properties look like in real life.
posted by reenum on Oct 1, 2013 - 33 comments

One plus two plus two plus one.

“Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How “Clue” Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph. (previously)
posted by crossoverman on Sep 2, 2013 - 210 comments

Monopoly's iron token is dead - long live the cat

Hasbro took a vote, and the internet has spoken. Not content to simply remove the losing token from the game, Hasbro will send the offending piece directly—and permanently—to jail. The ballots have been counted, and the people have said F the iron—the new Monopoly token will be a cat. [more inside]
posted by JujuB on Aug 28, 2013 - 96 comments

Ages 3 and Up

"Queen Frostine turned into a Bratz doll" - The evolution of sexed-up Candyland.
posted by Artw on Apr 26, 2013 - 57 comments

Boardgames are fun again!

Quintin Smith (of Shut Up & Sit Down) argues that we're entering a golden age of boardgames (45m Vimeo talk). [more inside]
posted by kavasa on Apr 14, 2013 - 157 comments

Faster Than Light

Davis and Ma wrote up a long list of one-paragraph game pitches to prototype. They would be small, manageable games that two people could complete on their own. The game they chose to go with would have to be finished within a year, because that was all they had budgeted for. Among the pitches inspired by board games, roguelikes and all the genres that excited them was a 2D, top-down management game called FTL. The Opposite of Fail - The making of FTL (Previously)
posted by Artw on Mar 17, 2013 - 19 comments

Player Elimination

Allan B. Calhamer, creator of the board game Diplomacy, passed away on February 25th. Despite the game's success he never made a living off it, and worked for many years as a mail carrier in La Grange Park, Illinois. Chicago Magazine published a profile of him in 2009.
posted by 23 on Feb 28, 2013 - 39 comments

Big DataMoney

Provincial is an AI that plays the card game Dominion (previously). The author of the bot has a section on how it works, and the application is available for download if you want to test your skill against it. Via the Dominion Strategy forums, where the author (techmatt) chimes in partway through the thread.
posted by codacorolla on Feb 23, 2013 - 9 comments

Advance to blue triple circle!

Take a copy of Monopoly, cover it in lye for a few days, boil from off the bones whatever flesh remains, and give the clean white skeleton a tasteful, minimalist paintjob, and you end up with ONOPO, an extreme reduction of the original boardgame by Metafilter's own Matthew Hollett, aka oulipian. Via mefi projects, hat tip to fastcodesign c/o Rock Paper Shotgun's always-lovely Sunday Papers feature.
posted by cortex on Jan 20, 2013 - 56 comments


In November 2007, a new board game called Yavalath was invented. The rules of Yavalath are simple: Players take turns adding a piece of their colour to a hexagonal board and win by making four-in-a-row of their colour – but lose by making three-in-a-row beforehand. Yavalath has proven reasonably popular as its simple rules allow interesting and surprising situations to develop due to its innovative win with four but lose with three winning condition. But Yavalath is really set apart from the many other board games invented in 2007 by one remarkable fact: Yavalath was designed by a computer programme. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Jan 19, 2013 - 20 comments

The Board Games Women Make

Ever played Monopoly? Then you've played a board game that was designed by a woman (it was, under its original title, "The Landlord's Game," the creation of Elizabeth Magie). Want to play more board games designed by women? Let's go! [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 16, 2012 - 24 comments

Monopoly Is Theft

Monopoly Is Theft. The antimonopolist history of the world’s most popular board game.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Oct 24, 2012 - 36 comments

Village, village, village, village, village... buy a village. Done.

"You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion!" Dominion is an award winning game that combines the staples of Eurogaming with the addictive nature of collectable card games. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 14, 2012 - 153 comments

"I always thought that board games were things that adults didn't play."

The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends is a short documentary by Jay Cheel whose subject is summed up by its title. You can see other short films by Cheel at his website. The main protagonist of the doc, Gerry Eng, a.k.a. Reed Farrington, has been the subject of many Cheel films, such as Cooking with Gerry, Cooking with Gerry #2, Poutine, A Very Gerry X-Mas and Reed's House.
posted by Kattullus on May 10, 2012 - 84 comments

Prison Chess

Photographs of the Prison Chess series were taken in 2008 and 2009 in a maximum security facility of the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

Open source online board game engine with over 1,000 modules

Here is VASSAL, an open-source engine for playing board games online, by email, on forums or on a single machine. Which board games? These. (Requires Java.)
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2011 - 41 comments


There are few boardgames that the connoisseurs over at BoardGameGeek hate with as much passion as Monopoly. But many of them are drooling over a custom Monopoly set Elisabeth Redel made for her boyfriend. It's a gorgeous version themed to Bethesda's Fallout 3. Behold, Fallout Monopoly.
posted by Legomancer on Sep 7, 2011 - 130 comments

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