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What are modern board games?

2016 August 6
by Michael Schroeder

I know my readers are already living this topic, but I wanted to refresh this topic for newcomers to the hobby. “What are modern board games?” I realize I could just copy and paste content from my book, “Beyond Monopoly: A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Board Games, (also available on Apple Book store)” but I wanted to change up the content a bit. I also wanted to give a primer to accompany the upcoming article in the Niagara-Gazette about my new board game store, Meeple Village.

You have the games you may be familiar with, Monopoly, Scrabble, Taboo, and the like, then there’s a vast sea of board games out there that you probably don’t know about. Many of these games (not all), were made in the 90’s and beyond – they are modern board games. Big deal, there are plenty of games made past 1990 that I can pick up in my local Wal-Mart – what makes these so different? Let me share with you, some common traits of modern board games:

  • Engaging and more interesting decisions
  • Often high tension and excitement
  • Quality components
  • And simply put…more fun!

Am I implying that Monopoly and the like don’t have these qualities? For the most part, yes. Think about Monopoly, what does it consist of. Rolling a dice and moving around a board. Roll and move, roll and move, roll and move. Are the decisions really engaging and exciting? Not really. Why not try a game of Carcassonne? Take Boggle. Ok, Boggle can be fun in it’s own right, but why not try a game like, Codenames, and you’re integrating secret spy missions.

What about the component quality? I’m sure your newer versions of Monopoly are just tossed in a closet and are beaten to bits, ripped to shreds. You see, with those “mass-market,” board games, they are made to economies of scale, companies like Hasbro churn out as many as they can to get the lowest production costs. This makes sense as a business decision, but with modern board games, there’s more of a care of quality. These games have production runs that are often much smaller. Think of these games are more boutique, or artisan. People in the industry may think I’m crazy for saying things like that, but hey, it’s what I feel.

The most important factor of modern board games though, is that they are simply more fun! There are tons of new games out there that you are yet to discover. Check out more articles on this site, my podcast (, my book (see above) and my new eCommerce store, Meeple Village!

Have a great weekend of gaming, everyone!

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