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Weekly Challenge #8: Games in my Collection Where the Theme and Game Really Come Together

Premium User

I like strong theme in my board games. 

Sure, I'll play abstacts if they are really good games (#Azul)  but I'll play mediocre games if they have a theme I enjoy.  (#Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan)

But sometimes you hit a magic juxtaposition where the theme of the game and the gameplay of the game really meld together.  You are able to lose yourself in the game because it all makes sense.

Here are the games in my collection where I really feel like the game and the theme come together to make something great:

  • #Big Trouble In Little China: As a massiive fan of the movie I jumped at the chance to get this game when it came out.  What I got was something the really made me feel like I was playing the movie!  The first half is frenetic action all around the board.  Different missions for the heroes to accomplish as they gather power and confidence while the bad guys are trying to stop them at every turn.  The second half of the game, like the movie, narrows the action down to stopping Lo Pang in his headquarters.  The heroes face the mini-bosses before finally going up against the big guy himself.  I feel like the game perfectly captures the feel of the movie and in fact even adds details to expand upon the lore of the movie!
  • #DOOM: The Board Game: This game is a 1 vs many style game in which the invader faces off against 1 - 4 marines.  As the invader you are afraiid of the marines who can easily mow down your forces if you aren't smart with them.  As the marines you have no trouble taking down individual demons but if enough of them gang up on you they will wear you down and take you out.  Marines can put together crazy turns where they are mowing down demons taking action after action and then moving in for the glory kill.  As the Invader you have to be merciless and pull out every trick to stop the marines.  And nothing feels more like the game when you bring out your big guns and really go toe to toe with them.  Great board game and great video game!
  • #Forbidden Stars: This is the game that really put me in the mind to write up this post.  To me this game oozes Warhammer 40K from every pore.  There is no negotiation, there is no possible peace, there is only war.  Your only objective is to go in to enemy territory and take what is yours.  You have your strategic plans but eventually it comes down to boots on the ground. And the combat when the boots are on the's gritty.  Morale has a big part in the combat.  Even if you end the battle with a stronger force you may still lose if the enemy troops hold strong.  The turn by turn card play along with the randomness makes it really feel like a battle where you do your best to plan and prepare but in the end your control is not complete.  Great game which really fits the theme!

So, do you have games in your collection where the theme and gameplay come together to make a great experience?


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