Does a different theme equal a different game?
So there is a podcast I listen to and the hosts were debating whether or not the two version of century: #Century: Spice Road and #Century: Golem Edition are different games or the same game. For those who haven't played them, both are relatively lightweight hand-management/resource management/deck-builder games. The base games of each are mechanically identical and all the cards have a functionally identical equivalent in the other game. However, both have very different artwork/art style and are 'themed' somewhat differently. So, my question is, in your opinion, are these two games the same game or do the cosmetic changes and the fact that some people might prefer one to the other constitute enough of a distinction to call them 'different games'?
- Reskinning: Mechanically identical with superficial changes (Century Golem/Spice, different chesses etc.)
- Different edition/variant: Fundamentally the same core mechanics and/or themeing but slight tweaks (hundreds of versions of risk and monopoly etc. and multiple editions of more modern games such as war of the ring)
- Different versions/expansions: You are still playing a very similar game but there is enough differentiation that the game can feel very different (expansions to Carcassonne and Catan, different Catan based games, editions of fury of dracula or twilight imperium etc.)
- Similar but different games (things like Agricola and Carverna which have significantly similar DNA, but are undeniably distinct)