This is a subject that tickles my brain on a semi-regular basis, most recently based on the discussion of the SUSD review of Wingspan and playing Flamme Rouge the other day.
Whenever I try and think of games where the theme really matches the mechanics, I struggle. Probably because it doesn’t bother me too much when they don’t match, as long as there’s a nice crunchy puzzle or an excuse for general silliness with my friends underneath. However I do appreciate it when a game is really thematic, because it seems like such a feat of design!
Of the games in my collection, the only one I’m confident in describing that way is Flamme Rouge, because the exhaustion mechanic makes me really feel like my team is getting more tired towards the end of the race, as well as the believable treatment of hills and slip-streaming.
I want to include Root in the “thematic” bucket as well, because I think that most of the factions’ abilities support their backstory. There is a distinct possibility that I’m just charmed by the art though…
So, after my waffling: which games do you find properly thematic, and why?