Thoughts on Board Game Rule Simplicity

A number of my friends are board-game enthusiasts, and as such, they’ve introduce me to a number of great games. My personal favorite are those which I can jump into with minimal explanation. As for the rest…. If you create a board game and the instructions contain five or more occurances of the following words, stop immediately and go back to the drawing board:

  1. unless
  2. except
  3. unique(ly)

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Personally, if someone can’t explain a game to me and start the session in less than ten minutes, then I can find something more fun to do with my time. I realize this is hypocritical coming from a Dungeons and Dragons fanatic, but I do my best to introduce new players to the game as quickly as possible—admittedly being hypocritical about my own guidelines sometimes.

At any rate, I want simplicity out of a board game. Not a mandatory fifteen to thirty minute lesson where the game feels more like a high-school quiz than a way to enjoy time with my friends.

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