What’s Your Take on Game Components?

We believe that the design and quality of the components play a significant role in the overall enjoyment of a game. It should not only be fun to play the games but also to play with them. And since we think that the tactile aspect is so important, we have asked the community to share their thoughts about the game components as well. What’s below is the result of 796 people who have joined the discussion.

From the chart above, it’s clear that a large number of gamers pay attention to whether the game components are good to handle. Or, if we take a look at it from the other side, the number of people who disregard component quality and feel as not important is considerably small. But what then, in terms of materials, makes components great?

Cardboard tokens and cards are here put together under a single heading just like different types of plastic. Note that it was possible to choose more than one answer for this questions, so the sum of the answers goes above 100%.

While the chart speaks for itself, the open-ended part of the question, “why”, provides a few insights to the reasoning behind it. First of all, it’s important to point out that a large number of answers either followed or begins by “it depends”, and more often then not, it depends on the type of the game, purpose of the components, and the actual quality of the material used. In other words, quality of the material is more important than what the actual material is, and the type of the game to a certain degree prescribes what material it should use. And finally, components should correspond to what they actually represent as close as possible. If you want to have a swarm of zombies in the game, they should probably be plastic rather than wooden. Of course, only if the plastic molds aren’t so bad that even wooden zombies would be preferable. This might also be the reason why wood is preferred compared to cardboard because it is much harder to get wooden components wrong.

Now, how does this translate to actual games?

What was most often considered when highlighting specific games for their components was the feel or weight when handling the components, that they are durable and long-lasting, beautifully designed, functional, and thematic. The chart above reflects this very accurately, especially when you keep in mind that many votes for Scythe specifically mention the realistic resources and metal coins that you can get for the game.

What about you? Do your own ideas about board game components match the charts above? Let us know in the comments!

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our newsletter so you won’t miss the next one!

MichalMichal is Boardcubator’s communications manager and game developer. For the past 6 years he has been an instructional designer for Norwich Institute for Language Education. He is also a university lecturer and teacher trainer, working towards a PhD in English literature.

We’re all mad here.