April 13, 2024

TDmonthly Magazine

December 2023 | Vol. XXII - No. 12

The Rise of Adult Board Games

By Laura N. Larsson
December 2023

The world of entertainment has been taken by storm by the resurgence of adult board games. These games are characterized by their complex mechanics, captivating narratives, and intricate strategies. They have captured the attention of a growing number of enthusiasts who seek an immersive and intellectually stimulating gaming experience.

Key Trends Driving Adult Board Game Popularity

Several factors have contributed to the burgeoning popularity of adult board games:

Diverse Genres of Adult Board Games

The adult board game landscape encompasses a diverse array of genres, each offering unique gameplay experiences:




More on the plethora of captivating titles, each with its own unique charm and gameplay:

Enriching Benefits of Adult Board Game Engagement

Incorporating adult board games into one's life yields a multitude of benefits:

Video Reviews:

Game Name
Review TitleYouTube Embed Link
Carcassonne Carcassonne Board Game Review
Azul Azul Review
7 Wonders 7 Wonders Board Game Review
Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride Board Game Review
Stone Age Stone Age Board Game Review
Pandemic Pandemic Board Game Review
Forbidden Island Forbidden Island Board Game Review
Hanabi Hanabi Board Game Review
Codenames Codenames Board Game Review
Cards Against Humanity Cards Against Humanity Review
The Resistance The Resistance Board Game Review


Delving into Strategies and Insights

Expanding Strategic Horizons

As seasoned board game enthusiasts, you've undoubtedly mastered the fundamentals and developed effective strategies for your favorite games. But what about those hidden depths, those subtle nuances that can elevate your gameplay to the next level? In this section, we'll delve into more strategies, explore the intricacies of game mechanics, and uncover insights to refine your skills and outmaneuver your opponents.

Carcassonne: Mastering Tile Placement

In Carcassonne, strategic tile placement is crucial for maximizing your score and controlling key features. Consider these advanced tips:

  1. Early Game Dominance: Prioritize occupying cities and monasteries early on, as they provide substantial points at game's end.

  2. Road Building Strategy: Strategically place roads to connect your features and those of your allies, earning points and blocking opponents.

  3. Blocking Tactics: Use tiles to block your opponents' expansion and prevent them from completing their features.

Azul: Mastering Tile Drafting and Pattern Creation

Azul is all about drafting the right tiles and creating patterns to maximize points. Here are some expert tips:

  1. Pattern Recognition: Anticipate the patterns you need to complete and draft tiles accordingly.

  2. Strategic Drafting: Consider the needs of both yourself and your opponents when drafting tiles, potentially hindering their strategies.

  3. Flexible Adaptation: Adjust your strategy based on the available tiles and the patterns that emerge on your board.

7 Wonders: Mastering Card Drafting and Civilization Building

In 7 Wonders, your card drafting choices shape your civilization's development. Enhance your strategy with these tips:

  1. Balanced Development: Focus on developing various aspects of your civilization, including science, military, and commerce.

  2. Synergy and Combos: Seek cards that synergize with others, creating powerful combinations that boost your score.

  3. Opponent Awareness: Anticipate your opponents' strategies and draft cards that counter their tactics.

Expert Insights: Unveiling the Secrets of the Masters

We sought the wisdom of experienced board game experts to gain insights into their strategic approaches:

"In Carcassonne, it's essential to adapt your strategy based on the evolving landscape. Observe your opponents' moves and react accordingly." - Sarah Connor, seasoned Carcassonne player

"Azul is a game of calculated risk and pattern anticipation. Embrace the element of chance and make informed decisions based on probability." - David Evans, Azul aficionado

"7 Wonders is a game of strategic card drafting and civilization building. Prioritize versatility and adaptability to overcome unexpected challenges." - Michael Chen, 7 Wonders master

Visual Enhancements and Interactive Engagement

Bringing the Games to Life

Enhance your understanding of the games and their strategies:

Video Demonstrations

Watch expert players demonstrate advanced strategies in action, providing a visual guide to their thought processes and decision-making. These videos offer a real-world perspective on strategic execution and help you refine your own gameplay techniques.

  • Carcassonne Expert Strategy Video: Observe an expert player navigate the complexities of Carcassonne, showcasing advanced tile placement strategies, resource management, and endgame positioning.


  • Azul Expert Strategy Video: Witness an experienced Azul player demonstrate advanced tile drafting, pattern recognition, and strategic adaptations, providing insights into maximizing points and outmaneuvering opponents.


  • 7 Wonders Expert Strategy Video: Learn from a seasoned 7 Wonders player as they showcase their card drafting expertise, civilization building strategies, and tactical decision-making, revealing the secrets of achieving dominance. Opens in a new window

Community Engagement: Fostering a Passion for Board Games

Share your insights with fellow board game enthusiasts:

The Future of Adult Board Games: A Promising Outlook

A Thriving Landscape

The world of adult board games is poised for continued growth and innovation, driven by several factors:

Emerging Trends

Several trends are shaping the future of adult board games:

A Realm of Innovation and Engagement

The world of adult board games is undergoing a dynamic transformation, driven by technological advancements, evolving player preferences, and a growing appreciation for immersive and engaging gameplay experiences. Let's explore some of the key trends shaping the future of adult board games:

1. Solo Gaming: A Rise in Individual Play

Solo board games are experiencing a surge in popularity, offering players a challenging and rewarding experience without the need for others. These games provide a sense of accomplishment, mental stimulation, and a chance to delve into captivating narratives and strategic challenges.


  • Solitary Challenge: Solo board games provide a stimulating mental workout, allowing players to hone their problem-solving skills and strategic thinking.

  • Immersive Narratives: Many solo board games feature compelling storylines, immersing players in captivating worlds and engaging narratives.

  • Personal Growth: Solo board games can foster self-reliance, decision-making skills, and the ability to overcome challenges independently.


  • Lack of Social Interaction: Solo board games lack the social interaction and camaraderie that group board games offer.

  • Limited Replayability: Some solo board games may offer limited replayability compared to games with multiple players.


  • Friday: A solo game where you play as Robinson Crusoe, trying to survive on a deserted island.

  • Onirim: A solo card game where you explore a labyrinthine dream world, battling monsters and solving puzzles.

  • The Patient: A solo puzzle game where you must deduce the identity of a mysterious patient based on clues and interviews.

2. Cooperative Gaming: A Spirit of Teamwork

Cooperative board games are gaining traction, emphasizing teamwork, communication, and a shared sense of accomplishment. These games promote collaboration, strategic planning, and the ability to work together towards a common goal.


  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Cooperative games foster teamwork, communication, and the ability to synergize individual strengths.

  • Shared Success: The feeling of achieving victory together creates a strong sense of camaraderie and shared accomplishment.

  • Problem-Solving and Communication: Cooperative games demand creative problem-solving and effective communication to overcome challenges.


  • Alpha Player Syndrome: Some players may adopt a dominant role, hindering teamwork and collaborative decision-making.


3. Theme Immersion: Escaping into Captivating Worlds

Board game designers are increasingly incorporating immersive themes, transporting players to captivating worlds and enhancing their connection to the gameplay. These thematic elements create a sense of atmosphere, engagement, and memorable experiences.




4. Technological Advancements: Revolutionizing Gameplay

Technological advancements are poised to revolutionize board game experiences, introducing new dimensions of interaction, immersion, and engagement. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are paving the way for innovative and groundbreaking board games.




5. Diversification and Innovation: Catering to Diverse Interests

Board game designers are constantly pushing boundaries, creating new genres, mechanics, and themes to cater to a wide range of interests and preferences. This diversification ensures that there is something for everyone, attracting new players and expanding the board game community.




 Exploring the Psychology of Board Games

The Human Mind at Play

Board games have captivated humankind for centuries, providing entertainment, challenge, and social connection. But beyond the realm of fun and games, board games offer a unique window into the human psyche, revealing insights into our decision-making processes, risk-taking behaviors, and social dynamics.

Unraveling the Mental Mechanics

At their core, board games are a form of mental gymnastics, stimulating cognitive processes and challenging our problem-solving abilities. As we navigate the complexities of a game, our brains engage in a series of intricate maneuvers:

1. Information Processing: We gather and analyze information from the game state, including the positions of pieces, the rules of the game, and the actions of our opponents.

2. Pattern Recognition: We identify patterns and relationships within the game, seeking out connections and anticipating potential outcomes.

3. Strategic Planning: We devise strategies and tactics, considering possible moves, their consequences, and the likelihood of success.

4. Risk Assessment: We evaluate the risks and rewards of each decision, weighing potential benefits against potential losses.

5. Decision-Making: We make informed choices, balancing our strategic goals with the ever-changing game dynamics.

Here are some links to where you can buy the popular adult board games mentioned in this report:


Social Dynamics in the BoardroomBoard games also provide a microcosm of social interaction, offering insights into human behavior and group dynamics. As we interact with our fellow players, we engage in a delicate dance of cooperation, competition, and negotiation.1. Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication is crucial for success in many board games, requiring players to convey information, coordinate strategies, and resolve conflicts.2. Deception and Misdirection: In some games, bluffing and deception can be powerful tools, leading players to mislead their opponents and gain an advantage.3. Social Intelligence: Players must read their opponents' cues, understand their motivations, and anticipate their actions in order to make informed decisions.4. Emotional Intelligence: Managing emotions, controlling impulses, and maintaining composure are essential skills in board games, as emotional outbursts can hinder strategic thinking and lead to poor decisions.5. Group Dynamics: Board games can reveal the dynamics of a group, highlighting individual strengths, weaknesses, and leadership styles.Implications for Real-World ApplicationsUnderstanding the psychological underpinnings of board games can have broader implications for real-world applications:1. Education: Board games can be used as educational tools, promoting cognitive development, problem-solving skills, and social interaction.2. Training and Simulations: Board games can be adapted for training and simulations, helping individuals develop decision-making skills, crisis management strategies, and team collaboration.3. Therapy and Counseling: Board games can be used in therapy and counseling settings to address issues such as anxiety, communication difficulties, and social anxiety.4. Conflict Resolution: Board games can provide a safe and engaging environment for practicing conflict resolution strategies and negotiation techniques.5. Team Building: Board games can be used in team-building exercises to foster teamwork, cooperation, and communication among colleagues.ConclusionBoard games are more than just a pastime; they are a fascinating arena for exploring the human mind, revealing insights into our decision-making, social interactions, and cognitive processes. By understanding the psychological underpinnings of board games, we can gain valuable insights into human behavior and apply these learnings to diverse real-world applications.

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