I got an idea from GamerChris’ latest blog entry. Check it here. Chris talks about what makes a great game versus what makes a fun one. I agree with him on this. A game’s goal is fun. If it is not fun, it will not get played and will eventually fade away. ‘Great’ is subjective. When we talk about great games we usually are including fun AND design. My example is Macao. But can elegant design alone mean a game is great? It depends on who you are talking to and what you are discussing. I haven’t played many of the games listed at the top of the BGG list. Words used to describe many of these include elegant, ‘well designed’, ‘ground breaking’, and ‘innovative’. But are they great? Maybe. By the above definition great games should be both elegant and fun. I like to believe that the BGG subscribers’ rankings include the fun element.
Fun games on the other hand don’t have to be great. Chris gave an example of Bang! for this. I suggest Tkii Topple in this category. This category of games give you that excitement that you play games for. ‘Fun’ is also subjective. Sometimes it can be jump up and down, whooping it up fun. Sometimes it is successfully solving a puzzle. It depends on you and what you are after at that particular time.
So what about you? What makes a great game? What makes a fun game? How about suggest some games that are both. Give me one great game and one fun game and tell me why each is in its category.
Come on. Give me some feedback on this.