Hobby board games look expensive!
I was completely surprised by the prices of hobby games at first. You can buy Monopoly for less than $10 at Wal-Mart, but hobby board games can easily cost $25 to $50. This looks way overpriced But is it?
If you think about it, your expectation of what a board game is worth has been set by the mass market games you know, like Monopoly.
This can be a real barrier to starting this hobby. It’s also why only about a third of our game night group buys games. A few of the games we recommend, such as Forbidden Island, you can get for under $20, but great games around that price are rare.
That being said, these games are worth it!
How can that be? Just compare it to watching a movie in a theater.
Four people going to the movie theater in the evening costs about $9 per person. If everyone was to get snacks that movie going experience will run you at least in the $50 range. That’s $50 for a two hour experience. Talk about expensive! No wonder ticket sales volume continues to drop. Maybe because everyone’s buying board games. If not they should be, and here’s why.
A movie is mostly a one night affair. You see it once, and you’re done. And if you’re the rare person that will see the movie in theaters twice, you’re going to pay the exact same price as you did before.
Now take a $50 board game. If four people play that game, it comes out to just over $12 per person, about the price of a movie ticket plus a small snack. And it’ll probably take around the same amount of time. But a great game like Small World or Ticket to Ride will be played more over and over. Let’s say you play it only three times with four people–what I would consider a conservative estimate. Now your $50 costs only about $4 per person to play. That’s less than half what a movie costs, with more hours spent with your friends. Oh yeah, and you can talk to them while playing. Try that in a movie theater and see what happens.
So board games may look expensive, but when you consider the value you get, they’re actually pretty cheap.
We know what you’re thinking. But we can still buy Monopoly for less than $10!
Yes you can. If you were to take our scenario and apply it to Monopoly that comes out to less than a buck a play. Incredible deal!
But Monopoly isn’t that great.
Monopoly is like going to the dollar theater. You can go see that blockbuster you’ve been dying to see. But do you really want to go to an old theater, where the seats are dirty and hard to sit on? Or would you rather go to you a theater that charges you a little more for a better, cleaner and overall more enjoyable experience?
So yes, buy Monopoly if you want, but just know there are so many great games out there to choose from.
And trust us, you’ll want to play a great hobby game way more than three times.