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A Party Game with a real strategic element... a worthy goal?

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Most Party Games are strategy-light, for obvious reasons... (quick to learn, easy to play, mix well with food/drink). I'm just wondering what people think about a party game with a significant strategic element. Conventional wisdom says the less strategy the better. Are there party games out there which successfully (or unsuccessfully) incorporate strategy? Or does strategy render a party game dead in the water?

Joined: 10/16/2008
I hope so!

Boy, I sure hope so!

My latest game is a party card game (Calaboose) that requires more than a bit of strategy to win.

Granted that I'm biased, but I really think that people enjoy strategy. The big problem with it is the intimidation factor. You say "strategy game" and some people break into sweats. Nobody wants to look stupid.

The flip side is that winning is fun - especially when the challenge is something significant. I think that's why trivia is so popular. By definition, trivia is unimportant - and therefore relatively nonthreatening. When you win, though, it really feels like you've done something.

If you can pull that off with a strategy game... well, that's a great goal to shoot for!

if you can pull it off...

it would be great. "The next big gateway game" is what the gamers hunger for (in the sense of expanding the hobby), and a different game besides Cranium/Trivial Pursuit is what party gamers want (or just don't realize they want it yet).

If you can fill both niches, I'd think you'd have a hit (with proper distribution, etc.).

A Party Game with a real strategic element... a worthy goal?

Well, to me a game like Go is a party game ^_^.

Comedy aside, I've actually been thinking lately that party games need a stronger social strategy element. I've found that if you can get people to sit down for Diplomacy, both players and observers have fun. As said above though, whatever you do don't bill it as a strategy party game. They want it, but they don't know they want it, so sneak it up on them ^_^.

Scurra's picture
Joined: 09/11/2008
A Party Game with a real strategic element... a worthy goal?

Sid Sackson's classic "Haggle" is probably the best example of a party game with strategy yet devised. It scales perfectly, allows for as much or as little interaction as the individual desires and can be tailored for the particular group (depending upon how much work you want to put in, of course.) The downside is that someone has to score the game at the end, although this is less work than it sounds if it is planned properly.
It's essertially a set-collecting game in which none of the players initially know the value of any of the sets.

[When I first encountered it (in "A Gamut of Games"), it was partnered with the anthithesis of the strategic party game: "No!"
The idea here is that when they arrive, everyone gets a lapel badge. If, during conversation, anyone says "no" to you, you get to swipe all the badges they have acquired and wear them yourself. The winner is thus the player who has acquired the most badges...]

doho123's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
A Party Game with a real strategic element... a worthy goal?

Werewolf/Mafia I think fits the bill as a party game that relatively "heavy" on the strategic side (depending on how you define strategic, I guess).

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