Card Games Cometh

I have several new games I am planning to talk about and review soon and it came to my attention as I was driving to work today that quite a number of them are card games. After making this realization I decided I wanted to post a quick note about it and see if anyone else has noticed this rather interesting change in game design in recent years, where card games seem to be making a move from the casual to the more strategic.

The games I am speaking of, at least the games I own and will be reviewing soon, are Masquerade, Race for the Galaxy, and Dominion. I would like to propose that part of the reason for this change is the result of CCGs becoming less popular (as a design concept, that is to say, I understand they are still popular for players) and thus designers are focusing more on non-collectible card game concepts.

A number of years ago it was apparently trendy for many card game concepts to be made into CCGs. The fact is that many of these games would have been far better games, in my opinion, had they been designed as non-collectible games. For example the Illuminati non-collectible game was vastly superior to INWO, its collectible counterpart. Also, the Shadowrun card game could have been built in a non-collectible way and, again in my opinion, would have been far better for it.

I like card games of all sorts. I enjoy Fluxx and its derivatives and many other simple fun card games (see Minimum Wage) but I like the fact that card games with more depth are becoming popular. As my coming reviews will show Dominion and Race for the Galaxy have become quite popular in my play group, which says something since my group tends to be quite picky.

So, I hope everyone had a good holiday and now that it’s over and my life has calmed down a bit I hope to get back to writing more regularly here on the blog. Honest, there is reason for you to check back regularly again!


    I’ll agree that, with the original success of Magic, it seemed many card game designs were crammed into the CCG mold even when they didn’t really fit.

    Shadowrun isn’t the worst offender, but it is a good example of a CCG which plays better if you pretend it’s not collectible; that’s something I’ve intended to talk about in a follow-up to this post. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon 🙂