Saturday, October 13, 2018

How Different Must It Be to Be a Different Game?

As you may have noticed, I have written in the past about the differences between the games Fae and Clans. I recently visited the page for Fae on Board Game Geek, and I noticed a forum discussion about why the game got a separate page from Clans. The short version is this: the admins at BGG originally felt that theme was irrelevant in determining what constitutes a separate game, but after outcry from fans (in large part because searching the database for games of a particular theme doesn't produce the desired results), they created a 'reimplements' function that links games with identical mechanics but differing themes.

This apparently resulted from the reworking of a game called Penguin, in which you stack coloured penguins into a pyramid, into a game called Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue, in which you play cards representing characters from one of four of the noble houses from that fictional setting into a pyramid arrangement. Mechanically, these are the same game. Although the construction and appearance of these games are markedly different, the rules governing what you do with them are identical.

As such, BGG gave them both the same listing. If you went to the page on BGG for GoT:WI, you'd see photos of both games jumbled together in the Images section, and a listing for 'Alternate Names' that included Penguin. But if you did a search for 'Antarctic Theme,' you'd get GoT:WI in the results, due to it being linked with Penguin.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Useful Board Game Apps

There are a lot of strange apps available on the web. Even ignoring the plethora of games you can play on your mobile device, there are some... interesting... apps that people have created.

But not to worry! There are some very useful apps out there as well! And today, I'm going to share with you some of the ones that might be of interest to you, my fellow readers, as board game enthusiasts.

Don't worry, I'm not going to waste your time looking at obvious apps like dice rollers. There are plenty of those out there, and I am sure you probably already have at least one that you use and like. No, I'm going to introduce you to some apps that do interesting things that you might find beneficial in your board game playing.

And of course, I'm not talking about apps that let you play games on your phone. No, I'm not talking about the Catan Classic app, or the Lords of Waterdeep app, or the Splendor app, or anything like that. I'm talking about apps that enhance your experience around the table with other human beings picking up and manipulating physical components.

And that also means I'm not looking at apps that are intended for use with specific games. For example, the app for One Night Ultimate Werewolf that walks you through the night phase, but is useless for any other game.

No, I'm talking about apps like: