Not sure if a game is right for you? Start your research at Boardgamegeek.com.
Boardgamegeek.com stands above other websites as an online encyclopedic community for hobby games. It relies on fellow game enthusiast members to submit reviews, links to other resources, videos, images of game components, and forum discussion posts. Though overwhelming at first to new visitors, Boardgamegeek.com offers a wealth of resources for those playing tabletop games.
The home page displays two of the most useful tools right at the top: the search engine and the categories. From here one can easily search for a game by title or description, or browse different kinds of games to view the most popular games (as rated by members), relevant forums, images, and video. Categories for games include abstract, customizable, children’s, family, party, strategy, thematic, and war games. The rest of the home page displays a dizzying array of information pertinent to hobby games, including the latest updates on board game news, popular game-related ebay auctions, recently added forum posts, and the latest game reviews.
At first this might all seem like information overload, but those seeking details on a potential game purchase or support for one they already own can focus on their game by title and gain a wealth of information. Pages for individual games offer names of designers, artists, and publishers, publication dates for various editions, playing time, suggested ages provided by both manufacturers and users, the basic play mechanics employed, basic description, component lists, and any awards received. Further sections show prices for the game on both the BGG Marketplace and eBay, images of the game and its components, videos reviewing or explaining the game, discussion forums dedicated to the particular title, files for rules or other enhancements, and relevant links to other sites.
How does one best use all this game information?
Prospective Purchases: Gamers can use Boardgamegeek.com to research prospective game purchases or seek new games best suited to their interest in themes and rules. Besides previewing a game’s basic information, one can check out reviews or forum discussions about the game, examine the components in photos, or even download and read the rules from online sources. These aren’t sanitized promotional blurbs from game publishers (though that information is available), they’re opinions and observations from those who own and play the games.
Current Game Support: Players can look up games they already own and enjoy to find alternate rules, additional scenarios, and other ideas on further enhancing their games. They might also discover other communities or websites catering specifically to their game with their own set of additional resources. Links to online rules or instructional videos can help existing players encourage new players to learn and join in their own games.
Build the Community: Boardgamegeek.com relies on its fan community to provide information; it’s this broad spectrum of fans that helps make the site’s resources so valuable. They provide game ratings, practical knowledge of suggested ages and number of players, images of what they’ve done with the game, and contribute videos, links, and reviews so others can better evaluate games for themselves. Joining the community and contributing to forums, reviews, and resources can help enhance the gaming experience for others.
Boardgamegeek.com received recognition as winner of the 2010 Diana Jones Award for excellence in gaming. It’s a well-deserved award distinguishing one of the core online resources for board game enthusiasts.