2019 Board Game Trends — Year in Review

2019 board game year in review

As the year draws to a close, we thought we’d take a look back at the 2019 trends that shaped our gaming behavior. One thing became crystal clear: No matter what the year threw at us, board games remained a constant source of comfort. Here are a few of the wonderful things board games provided.

They afforded us some control

For the most part, board games follow rigid rules that guide players toward one of a few inevitable outcomes. They come equipped with rulebooks, after all, and they expect you to use them. These rigid guidelines are a far cry from today’s tumultuous world, in which the unpredictable has become the norm and anxiety of tomorrow has replaced the joy of today. We eagerly awaited the chance to sit down with a few friends and take comfort in the fact that only the roll of the dice was an unknown number.

They varied up our routine

Wake, shower, work, home, check work email, sleep, continue: With the economy finally finding some semblance of stability, jobs became aplenty and our daily rituals became fixed. Weekends, then, were transformed into bastions of sanity because while skill takes center stage in board games, luck and variance play an important part (but not too much, see above). The winner of a board game is rarely predetermined; moves cannot be completely plotted, as they vary based on the board state. When was the last time you were absolutely sure you were going to win a game only to be trounced by Lady Luck? Likely pretty recently.

They provided indoor activities during the wildly variable weather days

Records were shattered this year across the globe, as we marked some of the hottest and coldest days since the trends were first collected. So it felt like a welcome respite to hang inside a well air conditioned or heated home and game until the sun went down. With so many board games to choose from, each taking a different amount of time to complete, this wasn’t a problem. Gaming also paired well with snacks and drinks, perhaps themed after the type of day or season outside so gamers could enjoy a touch of the weather without enveloping themselves in it.

They launched us into space

This year was a boon year for culture related to space travel. Multiple Star Wars pieces of entertainment–including a movie, TV show and video game–hit the culture-sphere, rovers gallivanted around the moon and we are now closer than ever to commercial space flight. For those who didn’t make it beyond the atmosphere, games were available to make them feel as if they were floating around in zero gravity. Galaxy Trucker, Space Cadets, Space Alert, Quantum and Mission: Red Planet, to name only a few, are only a quick online click or visit to a game store away. To the skies!

They respected our privacy

Facebook: Heard of it? Sure you have, as we’re sure many Russian hackers have heard of the platform as well. Data breaches within Facebook, Alexa and the European Union started taking data privacy seriously in 2019 after concerns arose around the globe. Thankfully games remained analog this year, meaning the only spies remained your opponents or the mirror serendipitously placed behind your cards, facing your enemy. Your strategy is your own, and we look forward to seeing it play out in 2020 and beyond!

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