What makes a game elegant?

Supporter

To you, what makes a game elegant, "perfect", fire on all cylinders etc? 

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Supporter13 months ago

A game becomes elegant when it’s theme and mechanics line up and are perfectly complimentary. When the theme makes the game intuitive and easy to learn, but hard to master. By this definition many games from FFG (my favorite games publisher) are absolutely not elegant. Which is just fine - games don’t need to be elegant to be awesome. I think a decent example of elegance in my own collection could be Scythe.

13 months ago

The answer is, of course, X-Wing.  :D 

Supporter13 months ago

Preach, brother!

13 months ago

I think it is very difficult to actually define it. But, I recently saw someone ask the following question on reddit: "A few of your games disappear overnight, and no one remembers they existed but you. Which ones could you recreate?"

This quote had me thinking, and I think it poses a great criteria for identifying games that are and aren't "elegant". 

Recreating games like Chess, Hive, or The Mind would be pretty easy. But fully recreating a game like Terraforming Mars would be nearly impossible.

Supporter13 months ago

This is a great definition and a good answer - games don’t have to be elegant to be great. But an elegant game is a great thing. 

13 months ago

I like a game that requires thought and a lot of planning, but I do not get bogged down in analyzing every single option. I get frustrated when I get stuck in a cycle of trying to do things better, so I enjoy a game where the decisions are complex but easy to decipher I guess. An example of a game that just destroyed my brain is Agricola. I only played once, but the decisions just had so much impact on the rest of the game that it was overwhelming for a first go around. 

Supporter13 months ago

What does it for me is when both the mechanics and theme really line up in a game. Imhotep is fantastic in this regard. You're building structures with cubes and they end up feeling like pyramids, obelisks, and everything else you're building. It's awesome.

13 months ago

That game does really intrigue me! I do like a game that has the mechanics and them line up real well.