The games that I will bring to your party are most commonly known as “German games” because that is where many of these type of games first appeared. In Germany (and Europe in general), it is more common for adults to get together and play strategy games than it is over here. But this is starting to change recently and German games are becoming more and more popular over here in the USA and around the world.
You may also hear these games referred to as “Euro games”, “family strategy games”, or even “designer games” because the name of the designer is usually on the front of the box and certain game designers have become very popular (similar to the authors of best-selling novels.) But what exactly defines a German game? Well, the following qualities are typically true of most of these types of games:
- Fairly simple rules - Most are not as complicated as Monopoly.
- Short playing times - Usually from 30 to 60 minutes, though some may last longer.
- Strategy is more important than luck - There is always luck involved when using cards or dice, but good play will usually overcome bad luck in these games. They are not of the “roll, move, see what happens” type.
- No player elimination - Everyone remains in the game and most players will still have a chance to win, right up until the very end.
- Lots of player interaction - What you do affects everyone and you are often involved even during other players’ turns (through trading, auctions, etc.)
- Strong theme - Very few German games are abstract like checkers or poker. You may play the part of a pirate, a bean farmer, or the architect of a medieval city.
- Nice components (or “bits”) - Lots of cool wooden pieces and nice art on the cards and game board help to convey the theme and add to the fun.
You will notice many of these qualities in the games we play during your game night party.