Most played games

I was having a bit of a nosey around BGG on lunch time, and I found that there are community stats for game plays. So I decided to have a good look at what is getting played more per month. Last November, this was it for the top 48…


Considering this against, say, price, it is pretty clear which games give you more for your dollar: The Crew - Quest for Planet 9, Azul, Kingdomino or race for the Galaxy seem to stand out. Although beasts like Gloomhaven do get a lot of playing in the community. Also, classics like Magic the Gathering, Dominion or Carcassone seem to hold well against the pass of time…

There you go, some food for thought. Looking at it, my contributions mainly are based on Splendor, Welcome To (which is surprisingly high, or at least it is to me, among many others roll and writers like Cartographers) and Love Letter. In the end, if a game is hitting the table often, it is a great indicator.

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Shouldn’t you factor in playing time? A game that takes 60 minutes to play should be equivalent to a 15-minute game you play 4 times.

And game apps, especially those you can play solo on your phone, should have their own category and calculation.

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Tricky that. I guess all those kind of figures are always open to interpretation. Does a game that takes 15 minutes always get played 4 times? How often games that are longer do not get played at all because of how long they are?
In the end, the times a game hits the table are an indicator of how often people feel like playing it, and the right conditions for it are met.
With regards to game apps (as in the whole game gets played, not an assistant app, I take it) they are tricky. I do not save plays for them. Other people might, but I think they are not board games any more, hence they should not count for play counts. At least that is my opinion. Solo plays on a board game I do count, but if I have a game of Twilight Struggle on my phone that can take days back and forwards, I cannot see how to record it on BGG is going to be helpful.

Another thing to consider is that a 60 minute game isn’t 60 minutes of fun. If setup is 30 mins and tear down is 10 minutes… Well, that’s different from a game that games 2 minutes to setup and only lasts 15 minutes

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And that will always skew towards shorter, lighter games. Fast food gives you more for your dollar than quality, slow food, but is that something we should favor?

I log my plays for The Crew, and due to the quick-play structure I tend to register each mission as an individual play, with our number of attempts logged as “rounds”. However, I could see people logging each failed play as well, which could make each play ~3minutes?
Even with my method, we play for under 2 hours and usually I log 6-10 plays.

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People playing on Boardgamearena and the like will probably increase the number of plays for shorter games (if people log them) as, certainly in my experience, I often play on there as a break from work.

The reason why we shouldn’t favour fast food is for health and expense vs fresh home-cooked food. Lighter games are cheaper and don’t give you metabolic syndrome.

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Yeah, I much prefer the popcorn analogy. It’s trite and clichéd, but it’s true.

That brings me back to: how much merit on a beast like Gloomhaven still scoring high…?

Obviously time being always the main constraint for the hobby (with money, of course, but that is another matter), I understand shorter games will always have an advantage on these kind of stats, and I am one for playing juicier longer games. Hence why, if I want to spend that kind of time, an indicator like how often it hits the table it gives me two great bits of info:
1- It must be good if it’s played so often
2- You are more likely to play it than others, hence, it makes it worth your money in the investment

Anyway, all this is like any study of statistics. Take it with a pinch of salt.

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Continuing with the trend, this was December most played games according to BGG (and people like me that bother logging their plays)

It will be interesting to see how it compares to January, with the Christmas period being quite influential…

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I’d be interested to see what the breakdown of online vs IRL plays is.

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I know that I never log my games on apps, for example. So I never logged any of my Twilight Struggle games, as they tend to take several days back and forth.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve played on apps on my phone (between or even during Zoom meetings. These include the Ganz Schon Clever games and Carcassonne along with a couple of other puzzle (sudoku-like) apps. I never bother tracking them.

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Basically I track any game i play against real people

Likewise, although things like BGA and Yucata are a bit of a grey area. I only log games on there with people I know.