A recent question about a good mix of board games got me thinking about how one could even objectively define "a good mix".

My idea is to try and define a set of attributes that could describe, compare, and contrast various board games. I hope this exercise will help me discover some attributes unrepresented by my gaming experience and achieve better insight into the common elements of my favorite games.

An example attribute might be inter-player cooperation, which would slide along a continuum from fully co-operative to team-based to free-for-all, with and being examples of each type, respectively.

I think answers could either work as one-per-attribute (with votes for ones that make sense) or as a comprehensive set of attributes (with votes for the most thorough and complete answers). Comments seems like a good place to flush out the pros and cons of each approach.

  • It's such a good question but we don't see more answers. I wonder why? Did I put too many points? Do we need to polish the question? I wish more people participated.
    – eipipuz
    Feb 24, 2011 at 3:03
  • @eipipuz: I'm not sure, I was also hoping for more answers. If you have any ideas for polishing the question, by all means go for it (or send me a note if you can't edit it yourself yet and I'll do it).
    – Adam Wuerl
    Feb 25, 2011 at 21:51
  • @AdamWuerl What exactly is the question here? Are you just asking for lists of board game attributes? It seems like an interesting area of thinking, but I don't know how to answer this. Jan 30, 2015 at 16:55
  • Apparently neither did anyone else. :)
    – Adam Wuerl
    Jan 30, 2015 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


Attributes that I use to evaluate games:

  • Replay value (Over time how much do you enjoy it)
  • Randomness (how much it's out of your hand)
  • Learning curve
  • What kind of skill does it require (strategy, resource management, deductions, spatial orientation, etc)
  • Time required to set it up
  • Expected time to have a game
  • Time-ness (is it per turn? all at the same time? you bid for who to be first?)
  • Degree of interaction (it's similar to what you say but it includes more things. Games like Bingo are outside of your scale)
  • Handicap-aware (How does it react to players with different levels. Is it easy for a newbie to give by accident the game to another player?)
  • That is a pretty good list. I'm excited too see what ideas others have too.
    – Adam Wuerl
    Feb 22, 2011 at 12:37

Some random additional axes:

  • Theme
  • Aesthetics
  • Quality of construction/bits
  • Shape of the luck/skill curve
  • Accessibility
  • Concrete vs. Abstract
  • Time/difficulty to master
  • Coop vs competitive
  • Experience/immersion factor
  • Cost
  • Expandability
  • Customizability/variations
  • Compactness for travel
  • Table-space required for play
  • Number of players
  • Age level suitability
  • Rarity
  • Appeal to non-gamers
  • Creativity required by players/ group
  • Ability to objectively evaluate relative victory status
  • Turn/off-turn engagement
  • How much attention need be paid (can you play while watching tv)
  • Emotional attachment to avatars

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