So Frankly...

So Frankly...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Publisher Profile: Days of Wonder

Days of Wonder is a board game publisher based out of both the United States and France.  They focus on family friendly games that vary from easy to moderately complex, have high quality components, and excellent art work.  Of the BoardGameGeek Top 100 games, there are six published by Days of Wonder.  Three of them are Ticket to Ride games, one is Small World, and the other two are BattleLore and Memior ’44.  These last two games are light wargames (light being a relative term for wargames) that use a common rule structure, based in fantasy and World War II respectively.  Small World is a fantasy themed, world conquering game that loosely has the same feel as Risk.

I actually have all of these games except for BattleLore, and while I haven’t played them all, I have been extremely happy with what I have.

Days of Wonder games generally are ones where the rules do not take a lot of gaming experience to understand.  Rules are actually one of their strong points.  Days of Wonder stays away from “gamer jargon”, uses a lot of illustrations to explain the rules, and the rules are well laid out overall.  The games do have either small figurines or illustrated tokens, and depending on the game the Awesomeness Factor is at least better than average.  These games will generally appeal to young and old alike, with nearly everyone being able to play – including the wargames.

Memoir '44 in play (image by Rollo Tommasi)
I would love to come back and say that there is some big issue, but there really isn’t.  Days of Wonder produces excellent games that are enjoyed by many people.  The only caution that might be offered is dependent on what type of games you prefer.  With the exception of the wargames and a few games such as Small World, Days of Wonder tends to produce what would be referred to as Eurogames: games that have a fairly tight rules structure, with abstractions to ease game flow, less direct confrontation, and points awarded both during game play and again after the end of the game.  Eurogames are very appealing to some, and less to others, and some people are game junkies and will play it all (that would be me).

For the family or casual gamer, I would say that the odds of getting a good game for your family and friends is pretty high when purchasing a Days of Wonder game.  Of course, it is always better to try before  you buy, but in a pinch I personally would take the risk. 

It’s Your Move

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