The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, May 20, 2024

Board Game Dictionary #2

by | published Thursday, January 1, 2015

Abstract Games
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
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.

Paranoia GamesResistance
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


  • Sean J.

    Sean is the Founder and Photographer for the DWP. He has been gaming all his life. From Monopoly and Clue at the cottage to Euchre tournaments with the family, tabletop games have taken up a lot of his free time. In his gaming career he has worked for Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe, Asmodee, and CMON. He is a contributor to The Dice Tower Podcast and has written for Games Trade Magazine and Meeple Monthly. He lives and works in Toronto.

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