Abstract Games are games that have the majority of theme and flair stripped away. They are often games with simple rules and complex strategy, think checkers or chess. Abstracts often have beautiful components and boards, but they don’t pretend that it matters if the pieces you’re moving are princes or pawns. It’s all about the movement of the pieces, the out thinking of your opponent and envisioning the path to victory. They’re often 2-player games and they’re perfect if you want to sit down to a tense battle of the wits.
Some examples of GREAT abstract games: Kulami, The Duke, Quoridor, Quarto!
Analysis Paralysis is nasty affliction for those infected with it and even worse for those forced to watch their friends and family suffer in it’s clutches. AP refers to a player so overwhelmed by choices that they freeze at some point during their turn trying to figure out the optimal move. It’s a vicious cycle too, because while the afflicted is struggling to make their move, the other players are often deciding what to do when it finally comes around to them making their turns super quick. Before you know it you’re right back to where you started…waiting. Best thing to do in this situation is take a deep breath and remember it’s only a game.
These games go by many names, Paranoia, Hidden Identity, Deduction. Players receive identity cards assigning them to a team or faction. From that point it’s up to the players to determine who is on their team and who is their sworn mortal enemy. Often there will be an elimination element to these games. You’ll pick off your fellow players and then get to see if you just killed a teammate or not. Paranoia Games tend to play pretty quickly and rely on debate and negotiation. It’s pretty common to find yourself desperately defending yourself against a vicious rabble intent on stringing you up. They’re great fun…as long as you don’t hold grudges.
Some examples of GREAT paranoia games: The Resistance, Battlestar Galactica, Shadow Hunters, Werewolf