Great games without meaningful themes and why it doesn't matter

Premium User

I hope this isn't copyright infringement on 's post from earlier lol. Thinking about a topic today, I thought to myself I have a few games where I don't think the theme really mattered. And I highly enjoy playing each and every one of them. Some examples:

#Lorenzo il Magnifico - I'm convinced this game has no theme. I know you're supposed to be an Italian noble family gaining presitge and fame and blah blah blah...but really the appeal to this game at least for me is in the mechanisms. I really like the idea that the start player rolls 3 dice at the beginning of a round and the values of those dice correlate to the strength of the action your matching workers can take. Even with terrible die rolls, neither player is at a disadvantage as both players are stuck with the result. I honestly didn't even try to read the flavor background text of the rule book when I first played this game because it didn't matter at all thematically.

#The Castles of Burgundy - If the theme to this game isn't "try to optimally utilize results of your die rolls to gain points most efficiently," I'm not sure what it is. Pretty sure that's what it says in the rulebook...

#Azul - To me this is more of an abstract puzzle than anything. In no way does it feel like I'm trying to create a decorative tile. In fact, if you play on the basic side of the board, I'd say I'm a pretty terrible tile designer. All I do is make the same pattern over and over! 

I'm sure there are more I own that I'm not thinking of..How about everyone else? Do you have a game in your collection that you love despite having little to no discernible theme?

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3 months ago

Same feeling for #Azul

Theme just made the rules explantion a bit more complex to me :D
It is a fun game with excellent game bits and it plays in a fluent fashion with my whole family.

Not once the theme was mentioned after reading the rules!

#Adel Verpflichtet | #Hoity Toity (same game) could FEEL like it doesn't matter and it work with any theme you could image and YET the theme does a lot for us.

We play #Ticket to Ride: Europe a lot and even though you are constantly looking on a map and reading city names, it could be abolsutely anything for us :)

Supporter3 months ago

Sure, I have games that I love which have no discernible theme. Some examples include:

#Dominion: Second Edition

#Race for the Galaxy

#Puerto Rico

#Lost Cities

However, I don't know that I would say that theme doesn't matter. Wouldn't these games maybe be better if they were more thematic?

3 months ago

Love those 3 games as well and you're exactly correct...it doesn't matter.

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