German Board Games
German board games (German translation: Brettspiele) can be one of the best choices if you are looking for an entertaining experience on a rainy day or to share with the family at the holidays. No matter if you choose the classic or modern ones - these games make great gifts for kids and adults alike. Check our best picks:
An OverviewAlthough one may think German board games only refer to pastime occupation made within that country, the reality is that the term has expanded to encompass an entire style of gaming that is different in many ways from American board games.
The board game industry in Germany actually started in the 1960s and took off just a decade later. While entertainsment in this style is produced in a number of other European countries, Germany is the primary producer and is home to some of the major manufacturers.
Themes are important!These games typically have a number of special features which make them unique including themes for example. Unlike many Asian games, such as Go, which are played with no story or theme, most German board games have to have some type of theme.
They would be comparable to Monopoly, in that there is a story-line encompassing the actual gameplay.
Easy to learn!Generally, the "Brettspiele" are short so multiple rounds can be played during a set period. Most of the games are created for an international audience so words and cultural-references are kept to a minimum and translation is not a problem. Because they are meant to be easy to learn and accessible for as many players as possible, math is rarely incorporated to any great extent.
High fun aspectUnlike American games which are often marked by higher levels of conflict, German ones are more relaxed and about having fun socializing with other players.
Classic: "Mensch ärgere Dich nicht"
One of the most popular games in Germany is
"Mensch ärgere Dich nicht" (meaning "Human, Don’t get angry"). It was created in 1914 and since then more than 60 million copies have been sold. Despite its popularity, the game is not part of the German board game style described above.
The rules are simple. Up to four players try to move all of their four pieces from the starting point to the Ending point by rolling dice. When one player lands on another’s piece, however, the other player must go back to the beginning. It’s easy to learn, fast to play, and can be enjoyed by all ages.
Popular Products and BrandsTwo of the most well-known manufactures of board games are Haba and Ravensburger. Both are based in Germany but have expanded their businesses to include subsidiaries and customers throughout the world, including the United States.
Haba specializes in "adventures" for younger players. In fact their company slogan can be translated as "Made for Parents" because their goal is to create games parents will appreciate and want to give their children.
On the other hand, Ravensburger provides a more diverse line-up, including the ever-popular maze game known as Labyrinth which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary on the market.
Tip: When checking Ravensburger gifts please don't forget to take a look at their extensive line of puzzles too.
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