Monday, April 13, 2009

Five & Dime 2008: Most Played Games

Game Score 2008 2007 2006
Race for the Galaxy 880 59.63% 18.60% new
Dominion 850 59.63% new new
Agricola 800 60.87% 6.71% new
Pandemic 650 50.31% 0.61% new
Tichu 320 24.84% 16.77% 23.28%
Stone Age 290 24.22% new new
Ticket To Ride 275 23.60% 25.61% 28.45%
10 Days/Europa Tour 230 19.25% 13.11% 25.86%
Power Grid 225 21.74% 16.77% 24.14%
Lost Cities 210 18.01% 23.48% 18.10%
Settlers of Catan 195 17.39% 17.99% 25.00%
Diamant/Incan Gold 185 16.77% 21.95% 27.59%
Crokinole 170 15.53% 10.98% 13.79%
Loopin' Louie 170 14.91% 13.11% 21.55%
6 Nimmt/Category 5 160 15.53% 10.98% 19.83%
Kingsburg 160 14.91% 0.91% new
Carcassonne 155 13.66% 25.00% 21.55%
Ingenious 150 12.42% 20.12% 28.45%
Mr. Jack 150 12.42% 10.37% 4.31%
In the Year of the Dragon 145 14.91% new new
No Thanks/Geschenkt 145 13.04% 22.56% 25.86%
Notre Dame 140 13.66% 26.52% new
Hanging Gardens 140 12.42% new new
Ra 135 12.42% 22.87% 29.31%
Ticket to Ride: The Card Game 135 11.80% new new
Fairy Tale 135 10.56% 10.06% 3.45%
26th place with a score of 130: Galaxy Trucker - 13.04%, Liars Dice - 12.42% San Juan - 12.42% Sorry! Sliders - 11.80% Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - 9.94% Hive - 9.32%.

"score" is computed by giving a game 5 points for each person playing it 5-9 times and 10 points for each person playing 10+ times

the percentage numbers for each year are the percent of respondents who reported playing the game 5+ or 10+ times

It's Year Eleven - I'm kind of stunned this is still going on 11 years later. We were substantially down on entries this year (161 from our 2007 high of 328) but the numbers still seem to bear what I've been seeing during the past year. Ticket to Ride was finally shoved out of first place on the overall plays list by some powerhouse games: Agricola, Race for the Galaxy, Dominion and Pandemic. With three of those games getting highly-anticipated expansions, I'm guessing that all of them BUT Agricola will be back at the top of this list next year. (Note: this is not Agricola backlash - I'm a big enough fan to have bought vegimeeples - but I don't think this will see nearly as many plays in the next year.)

I've wondered for a number of years when Carcassonne would "jump the shark" - and I think it's finally happened with the release of the Catapult expansion. Losing almost 50% of the regular playing audience probably isn't a good sign, either.

Both BattleLore & Memoir '44 took major hits - which is not particularly surprising with the delays in new game-changing expansions for Battlelore but somewhat of a surprise with Memoir having 3 different expansions. My guess for next year is that the Campaign Book (Memoir) and the Heroes pack (Battlelore) should juice both of these franchises. I correctly predicted the slippage of Notre Dame (not like that was difficult) & the ascendancy of Race for the Galaxy (though I was wrong - it DID make #1 on this list). My "prophecy" about San Juan losing ground due to Race is problematic - while it did drop again, it has dropped roughly the same amount every year since the introduction of the game. I'm not sure you can blame that on Race for the Galaxy.

Four games that will NOT be back next year: Hanging Gardens, Ticket to Ride Card Game, Kingsburg & Stone Age. Again, not saying anything bad about those games, but they won't see consistent 5+ play in a lot of groups with new stuff fighting for board time.

The big questions for 2009:

  • Will Dominion & Race for the Galaxy find any real challengers? My guess: probably not.
  • Will Power Grid continue to grow in popularity? My prediction: I think it's reached the zenith of popularlity (for a heavy 2+ hour game) but I don't think it will lose much ground..
  • Where will Small World end up? My prediction: it will be on this list... at least in the top ten and probably in the top five. (Ah, the advantages of waiting until the Gathering is finished to make my predictions.)

In fact, what do you think about any of this? Use the comments area (and keep it clean & friendly!)


Anonymous said...

Small World will make the cut this year, simply because it's new and relatively enticing to many gamers. But it'll be like Stone Age, Hanging Gardens, In the Year of the Dragon and so many other one-year-wonders.

As to Dominion and Race for the Galaxy getting no contenders next year: I suspect that's got much more to do with a lame crop this year than with their actual staying power.

Greg W said...

If they had no staying power other games on the list would overtake them. :^P

Nothing has staying power in the cult of the new.

ironcates said...

I'm a little surprised by Fairy Tale.

Will it continue to grow in popularity and have staying power like the other card games on the list such as 6 Nimmit, Tichu, and No Thanks?

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

My gut reaction on Fairy Tale is that it's reached pretty much the level it's going to reach.

otscotty said...

Thanks for your work. To boost the number of participants, I wonder if you could work it out with Aldie to be able to award a 5 & Dime microbadge?

Most surprising decline: Ingenious.
Although, I just took a look at my numbers and realized that our plays were cut in half from 07 to 08.

Most surprising rise: Mr. Jack.
Personally, I like the game. I'm just surprised that a 2-player game with a theme that might put some players off has risen in popularity as it has.

Thanks again for the information.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I could find a way to pull the stats off the Geek - but it would miss some folks (I'd guess 1/2 the folks that submit do so in non-Geek format) and be radically different than the way I've collected the data for the last 11 years...

...which means I'm unsure about how to compare the data w/previous years.

The big drop in people participating was, I think, due to me not hounding folks on the Geek.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Nice job, Mark.

Marcel said...

Stone Age falling off? Not in my group - it became the first nickel of 2009 last week, even before perennial favourite Ticket to Ride. But then, we're an a-typical group... we've never played Race.

Nice job Mark. It must be a lot of work, but I always enjoy reading it.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the hard work, as always. I'm sort of surprised at some of the drop-offs this year, but, then again, I myself had a very limited year of gaming.

I think that Dominion and Race for the Galaxy will both continue to see high levels of play, though Race has slowed down in the local group. Still, a new expansion will fix that.