Greetings, Gamers of all stripes!
Hey everybody, Josh Trumbo - your resident web content manager and board game enthusiast - here to talk with you about the challenge of discovering new board games and what Paradox is doing to help lighten the cognitive load!
Board gaming is a fantastic hobby - in a world that is becoming increasingly digital there's something very satisfying about sitting around a table with friends, family, and/or complete strangers, holding actual cards and manipulating plastic, wooden, and even metal pieces to compete for territory, bluff your opponents, and even out-maneuver the game itself in search of victory! Board gaming has blown up in recent years, and it's not going away any time soon - why, in 2018 alone over 3,000 new board games were released (and that doesn't include expansions or reprints)!
But with all of these board games coming out every year, it gets harder and harder to choose which ones should gain a spot on your shelf. And with prices that range from $20 to $60 and beyond, that giant wall of games looks more intimidating all the time...
Well Paradox is here to help! We have several great board game experts on staff (look for Derek, John, Hawk, Rich, and me!) that will absolutely talk your ear off if you give us a chance. We're more than happy to make recommendations based on your likes, what's hot, and our personal experience.
But what if one of us gaming fellows isn't working that day? Unfortunately, that's a very real possibility - we just can't guarantee a gaming expert will always be on hand. However, we have a system in place designed for just such an emergency!
The Paradox Board Game color Key
I was chatting with some friends not too long ago who experienced this very problem - they were searching for a co-op game that would be fun to play with their kids, but when confronted with a great wall of board games in alphabetical order (and no board game experts on staff that afternoon), they were unable to find what they were looking for. Paradox had failed them!
But they had a suggestion: why not use colored stickers to sort games into various classifications so you could find the types of games you were looking for at a glance? I presented the idea to the rest of the staff and they loved it, and thus the Paradox Board Game Color Key was created!
We discussed which categories to focus on based on frequent questions we have received from customers, and decided on five (to start with, at least). I also enlisted the help of a friend with color-blindness to help us choose colors that were easily distinguishable.
Once we had that figured out, we set to the task of placing stickers on the games themselves - the idea being to focus on games we could confidently put into these categories, and which we would direct customers to were we in the store talking to them in person.
So if you happen into the store and find that a particular game fits a category but it's not stickered, there's a reason for it! Rather than being 100% comprehensive, we wanted to simply "narrow down the list" to make the game shopping experience less intimidating. Hopefully you'll find that's the case!
We'll do our best to keep up with new/shifting product to make sure everyone has a positive experience looking for that great new game!
Yellow: Cooperative Games
Games with a yellow sticker are fully cooperative - it's everyone vs. the game!
Pink: All Ages
These are games that are specifically designed for/great to play with younger gamers.
Green: New-Player Friendly
AKA "Gateway Games." They have fewer/less complicated rules, great for people new to the hobby.
Blue: Great for 2 Players
These games specifically are designed for and/or well-regarded as playing great with two players.
Red: Supports 6+ Players
Need a game to play with a large group of people? Look for the red sticker!
And don't forget...
The first Saturday of every month is Game Day at Paradox, where we feature game demos in the afternoon and open gaming all day long. This is a great opportunity to experience something new and meet people who are also into the hobby! Paradox is proud to host such a wonderful and supportive community, and we hope that if you're not a part of it yet, you'll join us soon.
We hope this small step helps alleviate some of the difficulty in navigating the hundreds of unique titles that grace our shelves, because we want to share the joy and passion we feel for the hobby.
And we're always open to more ideas! Please let us know what else we can do to make our store and our events more accessible/inviting!
Thanks for supporting Paradox and the tabletop hobby, and we'd love to see you soon to talk about/play board games with you!