sexta-feira, 12 de março de 2021

Pure abstract games

In this post I’ll discuss the idea behind one of my favorite types of games: abstract games. Well, first of all let’s understand what makes a game an abstract game. The definitions are many and I chose one from Board Game Geek’s site. In a section dedicated to defining this kind of game, we can find some interesting concepts about abstract games, but I'll pick one that fits perfectly in this present discussion: “abstract games” is a term often used to refer to games without a theme (regardless of the game mechanics) like Go, Backgammon, and Checkers – as analogic game examples. But we can find digital examples also, like 2048, Tetris, and 140.

Basically, we can say that this category of games is made purely of a mechanic. The components will be geometric shapes, colors, numbers etc. Occasionally, we can put a theme inside an abstract game, but – in essence – the focus is on the mechanism. In this context it’s important to remember that mankind creates games from its earliest historical records. One of the oldest games we have knowledge of is Senet – an abstract board game - found in archaeological relics dating from 3500 years before Christ (THOMPSON, BERBANK-GREEN, CUSWORTH, 2007, p12).

Let’s check some examples of analogical abstract games:

And also let’s check some abstract video games:



Boardgame Geek official site:

THOMPSON, Jim; BERBANK-GREEN, Barnaby; CUSWORTH, Nic. Game Design: principles, practice, and techniques – the ultimate guide for the aspiring game designer. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007.