Putting board games on the table takes time, which has become a rare commodity in many families anyway. In the end, however, the investment is worthwhile in order to increase family happiness or at least restore family peace. It has only recently become known that many German families spend very little time playing together. Parents can change that, they even have to. Good board games help bring all family members together around the table to see that they can even be fun.

Increasing demand despite short playing time

Less than three quarters of an hour is played on average in every third German family per day. The demand for board games is still increasing: especially in the months between November and February.

When it gets cold and uncomfortable outside, many families relocate their leisure activities to their own four walls, where it is warm and cozy. Board and card games remain attractive alternatives to tablets, smartphones and video streams even in the digital age.

The demand for board games is increasing. Source: Internal analysis by Idealo.de
The demand for board games is increasing. Source: Internal analysis by Idealo.de

Statistically, around two thirds of all Germans play board games, especially family games. In this context, comparatively strict requirements are usually placed on parlor games:

  • They should offer low entry barriers, i.e. be easily accessible for parents and children
  • The material is ideally visually appealing and invites you to play
  • The costs must be manageable
  • The playing time is kept within limits and is a maximum of 60 minutes even with more complex titles

The residential area also seems to have a significant influence on the attractiveness of board games. In an internal Analysis of the comparison platform Idealo it was found that the demand on the platform shows above-average values ​​in individual federal states, for example in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, but above all in North Rhine-Westphalia. Overall, board and card games are much more popular in the south and south-west of the Federal Republic of Germany than in the other regions.

Board games are subject to trends

Among the popular board games there are real "evergreens", that is, games that, despite their old age, constantly land on the tables. This includes Don't get angry, Monopoly or The settlers of Catan - but also the well-known game collection that every elderly frequent gamer should already know from their own childhood. The fundamentals haven't changed much over the decades, but of course there are still changing trends, and these have an impact on the recommendations and customer requests made.

Hybrid game concepts, i.e. the mixing of analog and digital elements, are currently in vogue in the field of board games. There are also so-called "escape board games", ie titles that - similar to "escape rooms" - use a setting that encourages players to solve puzzles. This works mostly well on the gaming table in practice, is exciting and promotes creativity and mental flexibility. The character of the typical board game is lost a bit, which in the end is a matter of taste. Playing board games alone is also a growing trend. Solo board games are becoming more and more important, which can be seen, among other things, in the increasing number of such titles. More and more authors and publishers are relying on board games that are fun in larger groups, but also work with just one player. This places the parlor game in a segment that was previously reserved for video games and game apps.

Waiting for the right time to buy is worth it. Source: Internal analysis by Idealo.de
Waiting for the right time to buy is worth it. Source: Internal analysis by Idealo.de

Unsurprisingly, there are different gaming interests in every age group. And that spoils the list of the most popular games as well. According to Idealo, Kakerlakak from Ravensburger and SOS Affenalarm and Blokus Classic (both Mattel) are on the podium for three to six year olds. All three titles are child-friendly, entertaining and are aimed at 2 to 4 players. In terms of price development, board games for this age group seem to be particularly cheap in the spring months and in summer: savings of up to 17 percent are not uncommon.

The top list for the age group 7 to 12 is more surprising, because there it is with Azul from Plan B Games and Pegasus Games game of the year Made among the most popular board games for children in 2018. Mattel's Uno Extreme is ahead, with Skip-Bo in third place. All in all, all board games in this age group are much more profound, but above all more challenging in terms of play. Playing times of sometimes well over 45 minutes are common for such titles - and seem to prove that players of titles in the group between seven and twelve years of age have a lot of patience for analogue game ideas. Savings of up to 22 percent result for the month of October, which is also known to be the month of the international game days in Essen. An important keyword here could also be “product range change”.

Depending on the season, the purchase prices of board games fluctuate enormously.
Depending on the season, the purchase prices of board games fluctuate enormously.

The current trends are evident in the parlor games from 13 years of age. Among the ten best board games in this age group are therefore escape games such as "Escape Room" by Noris or hybrid games such as "Villas des Wahnsinns, 2nd Edition" by Heidelberger or Asmodee, a board game with app support. Surprisingly, there are also enormously complex strategic titles, including "Star Wars - Rebellion" by Asmodee (originally from Fantasy Flight Games) or "Blood Rage" (Asmodee). Incidentally, both titles belong to the high-priced board games, so they are essentially aimed at frequent gamers. Games in this age group show potential savings of up to 17 percent in November.

It is the game that counts, not the game

In the end it is important that the game is played in at all German families. Then also longer than the average 43 minutes in every third family. Board games can be at least as entertaining as modern digital content, but they also combine a multitude of positive effects, including improving skill, creativity or logical thinking, depending on the game title.

Children in particular benefit to a great extent from regular moments of play together and learn - this is not just an empty phrase - for their lives. Patience, understanding of planning, knowledge of human nature, rule requirements: all these are key skills that board and card games convey and strengthen in an entertaining way. In the end, every game is worth it, no matter which one.