Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Board Game Taglines

I play a lot of board games, but rarely do I pay much attention to what’s on the box. However, after taking a closer look I discovered that quite a bit of effort went into the design of these boxes. After taking an even closer look, I realized that none of this effort went into coming up with a catchy tagline for the games. Below are some of my favorites.

Reminiscing – The game for people over thirty.
I never thought anyone would make a game designed specifically to remind people how old they are, but here’s proof to the contrary. I have to give props to the tagline for conveying the intended demographic to any potential buyers and scaring away anybody who is young and/or cool. From what I can tell, it’s just a simple trivia game that focuses on pop culture and history, but I still refuse to play it on principle.

Quiddler – For the fun of words.
If you think words are fun, then congratulations, you’re a social outcast! That being said, I don’t have anything against words or proper spelling. It’s just that I don’t exactly link them with good times either. I blame Scrabble for that mostly. Quiddler is actually an alright game surprisingly, though it does drag on a bit when every person spends twenty minutes trying to spell the best possible word(s). That’s about when Catchphrase starts to look like an attractive prospect.

Kings and Things – A fantasy board game with everything.
That tagline might seem innocuous at first, but that’s only because I left out the massive list of every unit in the game that follows that statement. Nothing says “this game will eat hours of your life away and confuse everyone involved” like a giant wall of text before you even open the rulebook. The game doesn’t even live up to its tagline seeing as how kobolds are conspicuously absent. Then again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Kobolds fucking suck.

Titan – The monster slugathon fanstasy wargame.
This tagline makes the game sound like an epic fun time where you’re just throwing dragons and shit at one another while laughing maniacally. Sadly, we have all been misled. This game has the most convoluted set of rules I’ve yet encountered and takes an absurdly long time to play. My friends and I tried it once and spent the whole time wandering around the board deliberately avoiding one another because we were too afraid to start a battle and have to deal with all the confusion that entails. I’m pretty sure Apples to Apples gets more aggressive than that game.

Zombies!!! – This one’s a no-brainer!
Hahaha! That’s hilarious! Because it’s a game about zombies and zombies eat brains! Hahaha! I get it! I don’t even know why I included this one on the list!

Stock Ticker – An exciting stock trading game for ages 9 to adults.
The words “exciting” and “stock trading” should never appear in the same sentence together. It’s a contradiction in terms and nobody will be fooled by it. And holy shit, are they actually suggesting we force 9 year-olds to play this game? What would they have to do to deserve that punishment? It could be worse I suppose. It could be Monopoly.

Theories – It’s a game.
Wow! Yes! Absolutely! I see nothing wrong with this. Whoever came up with this is a genius. I can see how that meeting went down right now:
Executive: Alright everybody, we’re not leaving this room until we have a tagline for this new game, what’s it called?
Employee 1: Theories.
Executive: Right! Theories! So what have you guys got?
Employee 1: Um…
Employee 2: Er….
Employee 3: I… got nothing.
Executive: Come on people! Think! What can you tell me about Theories?
Employee 1: Um…
Employee 2: Er…
Employee 3: It’s a… game…
Executive: Perfect! Brilliant! I love it! Well that was a great brainstorming session everyone. I think it’s time we took a well deserved cocaine break.

Guillotine – The revolutionary card game where you win by getting a head.
Some context: in this game you play an executioner during the French Revolution trying to collect the heads of various nobles. Armed with that knowledge and looking back at that tagline you just know that whoever came up with that pun-filled sentence still giggles to himself every night before he goes to bed. I like puns as much as the next guy, which is to say that I get tired of one after the second time somebody repeats it with a stupid grin on their face. With two puns in one only means I get tired of it twice as fast.

Bonus points to whoever comes up with a clever tagline for their favorite board game.