Recently in many of the board gaming groups I follow, I have been seeing a trend of people complaining about games being over produced. This is a somewhat puzzling statement to me, after all I find a lot of joy in games that go a step above and beyond. Generally when I see this statement, I find that people are discussing games with miniatures and complaining that the miniatures are not a necessity and just become an added cost to the game.
While I personally don’t view games with miniatures this way, I can see where people are coming from. In almost any miniatures game, the minis could be replaced with a variety of things like cardboard standees, pawns, cards or even meeples. For the most part, this would make the games cost less, and therefor be more accessible to more people.
There is definitely appeal in games being more affordable, but a lot of my enjoyment comes from the aesthetics of the games I am playing. Even more so when there are miniatures to paint, and expand my hobby even further. I often cringe when players call for games to not have miniatures to cut costs. I do like that some publishers are offering multiple pledge levels in their Kickstarters now. One pledge level with cardboard standees, and another with miniatures. It really is the best of both worlds.
All that being said, I do believe there is such a thing as an over produced game. It is very rare for me to say something is over produced. However, in cases where a game’s components interfere or make game play more difficult for the sheer reason of looking aesthetically better, that is when I start considering games to be overproduced. An example of this would be Everdell. The tree in Everdell looks absolutely magnificent, and gives the game wonderful table presence. That being said, often times in Everdell, components fall off of the beautiful tree and scatter the game board. This becomes an added frustration that would not exist if there was a flat game board. Players really have to consider if the added aesthetic is worth the added difficulty of having to reset the board on a wobbly table.
I won’t say that the tree is necessarily a bad thing, because many people love it. However, I dislike that it can detract from game play. It is only in cases like that, I would say a game is overproduced. Are there any games you think are over-produced? What makes a game over produced to you?