6 New Trends in the Board Game Industry

For several years now, board games have had an outstanding era in the gaming industry with every kind of new table-top games coming on the scene. Several have been quick and easy to pick, while others come with rule books that look like lengthy literary offerings.

All in all, board games have had a fair share of the gaming industry since 2500 BC. Despite the fact that the games were extensively played throughout the centuries, the 20th century has been the period that board games have really transformed and gained popularity in the gaming industry.

Most board game are today based on stories from top movies and books and they have done a great job by giving gamers better experiences – we’ve definitely enjoyed the refreshing and humanizing experiences by playing face-to-face with people. There has been massive development from the classic board games like Risk, Monopoly and Battleships, as most developers try to bring in new experiences such as space adventures, zombie survival and deck building sagas.

From an analytical perspective, we’ve managed spot the new trends developers follow to make sure they remain relevant and meet player’s interests.

1. The Rise of Campaign and Legacy Games

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Legacy games are a models where the activities that occur in one single game definitely influences future game either positively or negatively. The changes are time based and depend on various choices made by players, which often include physical changes like marking cards.

And for the last couple of years we’ve seen new board game releases that contain either legacy and campaign aspects.

Some of the latest titles are:

This a good example of a campaign game with 4 different game, 11 different maps and 8 different characters, all offering players a unique control of the game play.

An exceptional competetive legacy game where players accumulate resources and build villages to claim the throne in the kingdom. The game is scaled for 1-6 players.

  • Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 – Legacy

It’s a unique, cooperative game that accommodate for 2–4 players and has got features that carry over to future games.

This game has a unique touch to its feature for it to qualify as a campaign and legacy game. Players have the options to come up with play models as they struggle to survive on the Martian surface.

“Players have the option of taking on the design as a series of separate games, in a custom campaign mode in which each successive game builds on the last, or even an open world mode in which they are free to roam about the Martian surface and explore for as long as they can survive.”

The game is built in a contemporary world where players are needed to engage in tactical combats with an aim of saving the city.

2. Games With Apps

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Board games are recently trying to benefit from on the freshness of new technology. This is actually evident on how the developers are using dozens of helpful apps to assist board games several ways.

We recently took a look at some of apps and we will exposing the brighter side of how the apps can be used to organize, supplement and augment the tabletop experience.

According to BoardGameGeek, board games are using mobile apps for two major reasons.

“The first reason is to reduce the amount of book-keeping that some games need and which dramatically reduces the fun of the game.

The second one is create more immersive experiences by adding some kind of memory in the game. The application is able to remember things/events that happened and to show up new things/events based on what happened before. In that way players feel that they participate in a story which progresses and that the decision they made really matter.”

3. General Y are Motivating Board Games Revival

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A few years back, video and mobile games took over the gaming industry by a storm to an extent that board games were only seen fit for the old-generation.

However, things have recently changed and board games are coming back as a mainstream entertainment for families, children, and even childless millennials trying to find news way to mingle with friends.

According Peter Wooding, founder of Orcs Nest, the interest of board games has grown intensively in recent years.

“The renaissance of board games interest started around five or more years ago with the big increase in interest in Euro Style games. In the past two or so years it seems to have hit a plateau and the market has become more or less saturated, with some products being very good and innovative, but a lot of not so good items that are just really bandwagon jumpers.”

4. Euro-American Games

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For many years we’ve seen board games built around different styles, the American or Euro styles. The American style’s experience is usually more about romanticism while Euro’s experience is focused on logic and optimization.

Recently, there has been a blend of the two styles where board games are built on strong narrative elements blended across euro mechanics elements.

According to BoardGameGeek

“The basic characteristic of those games is the strong narrative element that has been blended with some classic euro mechanics (e.g. worker placement).

A classic example of this kind of games is Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. The story behind this game drives whole game play and when you play you really feel like Robinson Crusoe.”

Some of these games include: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet.

5. Unexpected Trend of Board Game Cafes’

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There has been a rise of board-game cafes’ (bars and coffee shops), which have surprisingly become popular among adults. These cafes’ have given many adults the opportunity to several board games, old and new, with café patrons trained on every rules of the games to help customers.

According to Aleteia, the board-games cafes’ are currently widespread with every demographic and found in several countries.

“Café patrons are invited to learn the rules of a game – most businesses keep a “game master” on hand, whose job it is to both offer game instructions and clarify rules when necessary – and then simply spend some enjoyable time gaming with friends while sharing small plates and enjoying some coffee, tea, wine, or beer.”

6. Co-operative Games Still Rule

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Board games are often classified as cooperative games because they involve competitions between groups of players due to the option of external implementation of cooperative behavior.

This has always been common a style for most board games and the latest releases such as Pandemic, the 7th Continent, Gloom haven and First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet have followed the trend.


Well, games are always evolving, especially with current technological advancements. Hundreds of titles are being published annually and it should come as no surprise that board games are inspired with the developments. Board game developers are also working hard to meet families’ desire for game time even as smartphones and tablets become mainstream.

And with the current boom of board games in cafes and bars focused on gaming, there has been an increased need of creating new games and the global outlook for board games in 2017 and beyond seems to be one of the brightest in years.

We should also expect developers to target updating older brands and coming up with new product entries aimed at families, which will be aimed at strengthening the continuing growth of niche board games that impresses to millennial consumers.

Bonus Video:

VOA News explores the trending board game cafes’