The State of Games, Ep. 169: The One About Toyetics

stateofgameslogonewIt’s a Christmas miracle – we’re back before the holidays with a new episode! The topic of toys as games and games as toys is one we’ve touched on a bit in the past on the podcast, but we thought it would be fun to dig a bit deeper. Plus, it’s particularly timely since ol’ Saint Nick will be dropping tons of toys down chimneys in a few days. So relax and get ready to reminisce about some of your favorite playthings from the past – and where toy factor in board games may be headed in the future.


irishgaugeGames and things mentioned

Unpub Network

Star Wars: Outer Rim

Just One

Letter Jam

Word Slam

Irish Gauge





Omega Virus

Fireball Island

Mouse Trap

Quiver Bolt


Car Wars: Sixth Edition (KS)




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One Response to “The State of Games, Ep. 169: The One About Toyetics”
  1. Lee says:

    I’ve enjoyed that Netflix toys series, too, which inspired the discussion this podcast. This toyification of games to make them stand out in a crowded marketplace does make them aesthetically appealing. I just want the enhancements to be justified as they relate to game play.

    For example, Hurlyburly’s toyetics of catapulting blocks to knock down others’ towers is integral to game play. So that makes sense to create a toy factor for that game. On the other hand, Era’s inclusion of 3D buildings could just as easily been accomplished with colorful tiles and served the same purpose. So the added expense and effort doesn’t seem worth it, especially as the plastic peg board in Era is difficult to see and read the relief sections. I feel the same way about many games coming out with minis nowadays. I they’re just to add visual appeal then why include them? I’m thinking particularly of Vindication and the minis that accompany that game.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve discovered Irish Guage. That’s a good streamlining of 18xx style games. Darrell, one correction about the special interest (goods/resources) cubes in Irish Guage is that they must be placed into towns connected to a railway in which you own stock, so they can’t be used to shut down an opponent’s railway as a screw you mechanic.

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