The board gaming industry has expanded to cover so many different themes over the years. It is absolutely wonderful to have so many options to pick from when picking up a game. I naturally have some favorite themes that I tend to gravitate towards, and if a game has one of those themes I am much more likely to buy those games. Here is a list of my top 5 favorite board game themes:
- Dystopian Games- Dystopian games are among my favorite games. This does not overly surprise me, as dystopian novels also are among my favorite books. Something about the world going up in flames interests me. There are so many different views and ways in which dystopian elements can shine through. I like seeing how board games implement the different aspects of a dystopia. Some games I enjoy with this theme are Euphoria, Coup, Capital Lux, New Angeles and The Others. This is a theme I hope to see keep expanding, as I feel like it does not have as many games available as some of the other themes I like.
- Viking Games- Viking games make up a good portion of my collection, especially as they have seemed to gain popularity recently. I am a fan of reading about Norse mythology and the historical background of vikings. I find their stories to be fascinating. This has carried over to gaming. I like that many of the viking theme board games have aspects of both fighting and worker placement. Some of the Viking games I own and enjoy are Raiders of the North Sea, Champions of Midgard, Blood Rage, and Shipwrights of the North Sea. I am hoping to be able to play a Feast for Odin soon, as I have heard wonderful things about it.
- Pirate Games- I think this one spans from my love of Pirates of the Caribbean as a child. If you ever want to see somebody get very into the “talk like a pirate” card in Fluxx: Pirate Edition, then you need to play with me. I find that pirate games are generally highly competitive, which is an aspect I enjoy. Looting and attacking other players directly seem to be prevalent in pirate games. Some of my favorites are: Pirate Fluxx, Rum and Bones, Port Royal, and Tortuga 1667. I am looking forward to trying Dead Man’s Dublooons which came out recently.
- Kingdom/Civilization Building Games- I love games that focus on building kingdoms or civilizations. As a child I would spend hours upon hours playing Age of Empires, Age of Mythology and other world building games. Now as an adult I spend hours upon hours doing the same thing on board games. This theme spans a lot of other smaller themes that focus on the government aspect of building a kingdom, the area control of building kingdoms, and the resources management of building kingdoms. I enjoy them all. Games I enjoy with this theme include Castles of Burgundy, Bunny Kingdom, Carcassonne, Isle of Skye, Charterstone, Keyflower and Catan. There are a lot of games I want to try in this theme but have not had the chance. Those games include Twlight Imperium, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Through the Ages, Civilization and Civilization: A New Dawn.
- Lovecraftian Games. I absolutely love most Lovecraftian Games. I generally enjoy games with a darker theme, and generally the art and theme of most games in this genre scratch that itch. Some games I enjoy with Lovecraftian Theme include Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness, Cthulhu Cluxx, Elder Sign, Call of Cathulhu, Eldritch Horror, and Unspeakable Words. Games I want to try with this theme include Cthulhu Wars, Lovecraft Letter, Mythos Tales, and Fate of the Elder Gods. I will get a chance to play Fate of the Elder Gods this year at Gencon, so I am pretty excited!
Runner Up: High Fantasy Games- I love a good fantasy tabletop game. There is something about getting away to another world that I very much enjoy. I personally enjoy fantasy with some magical element. Games I enjoy with this theme include Dungeons and Dragons, Lords of Waterdeep, Small World, Gloomhaven, Fairy Tile, Near and Far, Above and Below, and Arcadia Quest. I look forward to trying Descent at some point.
What games do you think I am missing to try from my different genres? If you were to pick your top 5 favorite themes what would they be?
3 thoughts on “Favorite Themes for Games”
First of all – we love your blog! Great topics and reviews! Now to the question … Games with industrial / economic themes do not feature in your top 5 (including some of the lighter train and logistics games, games like Brass or Terraforming Mars, and of course the 18XX genre). What is it about these games that keep them off of your top games list, and do any of them they still make it to your table?
Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Personally, industrial games just don’t always catch my eye. Not necessarily that I don’t like them, but I just don’t always gravitate towards them. I really enjoy Terraforming Mars however. My husband really loves train games as he loved model trains as a kid. I enjoy playing them as well, but it is just not a favorite of mine. I am however interested in trying Brass. I just missed the KS.
Given your love for civilization-building games, would you be interested in giving Avalon Hill’s Advanced Civilization a shot? We should be setting up a game for some time in January or February. Let me know if you’re interested; just realize you’ll be committing to a 7-12 hour game.
I’m enjoying the blog, by the way — even if I’m getting to it rather late.