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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to board games:

Meeple

Meeple refers to tokens used to represent people, animals, or creatures in board games. Most commonly they are wooden, and the typical shape is like a person. However, they are also found in a huge range of animals or other shapes as well as a range of materials.

The Meeple has become a ubiquitous symbol of board games. Gamers can find many items to decorate their game spaces with Meeple art or objects. Meeples come in a huge range of games and serve a range of purposes within games. Some examples of their application in games can include: marking the players location on the board, as a score tracker, to mark and effect on the board, or claiming a tile.

Wooden Meeples from Fire in the Library

History

The word Meeple come from the blending of “my people” in reference to the game Carcassonne. The term Meeple emerged in 2000, and credited to Alison Hansel for creating the word. In 2015 Meeple was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Dragoon Meeples
Metal Dragon Meeples from Dragoon

A Few Examples of Meeples in Games:

  • Fire in the Library: “typical” meeples
  • Dragoon: Metal or plastic dragons
  • Carcassonne: Where it all began
  • King Domino
  • Fire Tower: Rising Flames Fire Hawks (Featured in cover photo above)

So there you have it! Our guide to meeples. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, we hope this article has helped introduce you to the wonderful world of meeples and shown you how much fun they can add to your gameplay experience. Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts on our favorite gaming token! Do you prefer wooden ones, like most gamers? Or do you like something a little more flashy and eye-catching? We want to hear from you!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known games: Set Collection

Set collecting is such a ubiquitous feature in games, while a game may also have other mechanics, often set collecting is also incorporated.

In set collection players are gathering certain collections of a given item, often represented on cards. These collections have a designated value in the game or allow opportunity in the game.

Examples of set collection within a game.

In Sushi Go, which is primarily a Card Drafting game, certain cards score more points when collected in a set. For example, Sashimi cards score 10 points when a player has a set of three. Should a player only have one or two they score no points.

The game Mystic Market has players gathering different ingredients. When they collect a designated number of the same ingredient they can be sold. Players can also collect sets of ingredients to create potions.

Examples of Popular Games with Set Collection

  • Ticket to Ride
  • Splendor
  • Pandemic
  • Forbidden Island
  • Azul
  • Wingspan
  • Dragonwood

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to both video games and board games: Casual Game

Casual Game: A game designed to be played with little to no game skill or knowledge ahead of time. Qualities of a casual game include a wide range of playability by age, an intuitive and recognizable game play experience, and a steady and slow rate of increasing complexity as the game progresses. Casual games will often develop advanced styles and methods of play among more experienced players, but these developments never impact the initial, approachable game experience.

Casual board games have very few simple rules and are easy to pick up and play. Often party style games are casual games too, since their rules are streamlined.

Examples of Casual Video Games

  • Tetras
  • Mario Cart 8 Deluxe
  • Many mobile games, such as Candy Crush

Examples of Casual Board Games

  • Codenames
  • What Do You Meme, Family Edition
  • Cinco Linko (formerly known as OK Play)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well know games: Abstract Strategy

Abstract strategy: A strategy game in which the theme is not important to the game experience of playing. Some of the oldest games are abstract strategy games. While they with may have a light theme associated with them, such as in Chess, the theme is not essential to the game.

Chess Set
Chess Set

Abstract Strategy games are often for only two players, and have streamlined rules. They also do not use shuffled cards or dice to create random chance. Without the random element Abstract Strategy games, as their name indicates rely exclusively on the players using strategy to win. Typically, these games also have an infinite number of alternating turns until the win condition is met.

Tak

Examples of Classic Abstract Strategy Games:

  • Mancala
  • Chess
  • Checkers

Examples of Modern Abstract Strategy Games:

  • Tak
  • Onitama
  • Hive

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to games: Cooperative Game

A cooperative game is a game where all the players work together for a common goal. Typically players are working against the board or a timer, and the players all win or all loose depending on if they can meet the win condition in time. There are games available at all levels from the youngest gamers to heavy weight games that are cooperative.

Last Defense

Examples of Cooperative Games:

  • Hoot Owl Hoot: Players are working to get the Owls Home before the sun rises
  • Last Defense: Players are working together to save the city from invading monsters, and only have 20 minutes
  • Pandemic: Players work to find a cure for four diseases before the infection level gets too high
  • Forbidden Island: Player are trying to escape a sinking island before too much is flooded
  • Smoosh and Seek Treehouse: Players are trying to find all the hiding woodland creatures before Mr. Prickles, the porcupine finishes climbing the ladder.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to Board Games, Video Games and Movies: Kaiju

Kaiju: A genre of action and horror movies that originated from Japan. Kaiju’s direct translation from Japanese is “Strange Monster”. The Kaiju genre has always featured a gigantic, building sized creature, often several of them fighting each other, or a large monster against many, many people.

In the context of gaming, The Kaiju genre refers to games where the player either plays as or is pitted against a giant monster, and is either the general theme of the game, or the centerpiece of a dramatic climax in the story.

Example of Famous Kaiju:

  • King Kong
  • Godzilla

Kaiju in Video Games:

  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • City Shrouded in Shadow
  • Shadow of the Colossus Remake

Kaiju in Board Games:

  • Last Defense
  • Kaiju Crush
  • King of Tokyo

Kaiju in Movies:

(There is an extensive library of movies with Kaiju, this is just a small sampling of films)

  • Pacific Rim (2013)
  • ‘Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  • Rampage (2018)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to both video games and board games: Polyomino.

A Polyomino is a geometric shape made up of a group of equal squares touching on their edges.

These shapes are very important to the game design world because of all the different ways that they can be pieced together into a bigger puzzle.

The best, and most popular, example is Tetris. In Tetris, five different polyominoes that each contain four equal squares (called tetrominoes) fall from the top of the screen. Players are tasked with interlocking them at the bottom of the screen with as few holes as possible. Any complete rows that the player creates are cleared from the board as a reward.

The shapes in Tetris even have names. There was a meme that flew around in the last year or so that came just short of personifying them, but their names are straightforward.

  • Square
  • L
  • Skew
  • T
  • Straight

Polyominoes are also quite popular in the board game space. Part of this is because their shapes make great plastic and cardboard components. Their flat surfaces are also a great place to showcase interesting artwork or bright colors. The design reason is simple. The number of different available shapes is relatively small (especially if they are all made of a smaller number of equal squares), and the number of ways that they can be interlocked is vast. This leads to wide variety in game play situations.

Suggested Activities

Polyominoes are a great learning tool and there are all sorts of activities on the web that you can do with your kids.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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