You’ve done all the right things. You have a clean, comfortable place to host your game night. You have everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks. You’ve invited people you know click. You’ve even purchased a top ten game on Board Game Geek and it’s one you’ve been salivating just to get a chance to play. You just gave the best rules explanation of your life.
And yet the game night fails.
You know what we mean. It’s not that the game itself fails. It’s that no one had fun. No one is laughing, sharing jokes or talking about how they want to play the game again.
Brutal. Especially brutal if this was your favorite game in the world.
Even though the game night may have not been the best ever, the truth is you’ve just learned a key concept about the gaming hobby: even the greatest games fail.
You can take the same game and play it with two different groups of players. In one group, the game could have been the greatest thing since Agricola came out. In the second group, that same game could be as bad as playing Monopoly with house rules. The reverse is also true and the saying could also be phrased, even the worst game in the world wins.
The game itself is only one component in a game night. But it’s not even the most important part. People are.
A game group will only love certain types of games. Some may hate long games, so even the best long game in the world will not appeal to them. Sorry Twilight Imperium! Some groups might hate anything with a fantasy theme. The list goes on and on.
Even games you think might be home-runs can strike out for completely unrelated reasons. Maybe your gaming group had a rough days at the office. It could be anything. Any number of factors can change the way your group receives the game.
But even if the fails, don’t give up! Take it from me! I’ve been there with games as epic as Star Trek Fleet Captains. The game failed even with my Trekkie friends!
You can still do two things.
First, you can take the feedback from your game group and find another game that is more suitable to their tastes. Taking our survey and answering questions from your friends’ perspectives should lead you to a choice that will knock their socks off.
Or you can try the same game with a different set of friends. If you really like the game, it’ll be worth setting up another game night and seeing if you can find people that will like that kind of game. Not everyone likes to game, and not everyone likes the same types of games you do. It’s a sad truth, but one you have to be ready and willing to adapt to and deal with. If your gaming tastes are too different from your groups’, you may even have to fire your group. But only do this after trying a few games on them.
So if a game failed, take heart. Try these two things and keep your game nights winning!
As always, we love to hear from you. Have you experienced this with a game you’ve absolutely loved? What was the game and how did you deal with it?