When you hear the phrase board game, what image springs to mind? Long before I had learned of indie games, I pictured Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, and Risk… But also Checkers(where my brother always won – I suspected he cheated), Battleship, and Scrabble.
And why wouldn’t you think about those games? They’ve been around for decades! They are considered classic board games. They are sold everywhere!
Fast forward to the new millennium and board games have changed. And a lot for the better. You now have choices when it comes to games. One of my household’s “go to” games is Terraforming Mars, a game by Jacob Fryxelius. The game can be found in hobby game stores and on Amazon but folks will be in for sticker shock as it retails for about $70. $70 for a board game? Are people insane?
Let’s break it down a bit. The cost is for the base game (expansions are extra). You can have up to 5 people play. And depending upon strategy, the game can last hours as there are three criteria to end the game. (All ocean tiles are played, temperature is maxed, and the oxygen is also maxed.)
Compare $70 to a night at the movies, for example. The average ticket price is about $12 per person (adult prices). 5 adults is $60. Concessions is another $10 per person, maybe more. Add another $50 to $60 and you’re spending $110 for an average 2.5 hours of silent entertainment. (Silent because you’re not interacting with each other, but sitting in the dark and watching something.) I’m not knocking the movies as entertainment. It’s fine every once in a while. However, the benefits of a truly good board game outweigh any costs, in my opinion.
These days, there are tons of games to choose from. If you need help, there are reviews on Board Game Geek. If you find a game you’re interested in, check out your local hobby game store, they may have game days and you can check it out there. Some game groups focus on board games and they may have the game you’re looking for and are willing to teach it to you. There is also a way to rent the game from Meeples to go.
Don’t let the price tag fool you. Terraforming Mars is expensive compared to mass market games like Monopoly and Clue. But the replay value of this game is very high.