There was a time when board games were considered a low-cost form of recreation with family or friends. However, those days are long gone as board games grow in popularity and become more advanced. Today, multi-player mainstream board games can cost as high as $400, with the average cost of games ranging between $30 and $50.
So, if you are considering buying a few games for your family, you may want to do some research first to compare the prices of board and tabletop games so that you can set your budget. Below, we take a look at the most expensive board games and what makes them so pricy.
What Makes a Board Game Expensive?
Several things go into making a board game. When combined, all of the components can cause the price of the game to rise quickly.
Overall Design and Concept
Creating a board game that is simultaneously stimulating, popular, and timeless requires a tremendous amount of thought and planning. In some cases, several architects are involved in the process. As such, the design stage can be time-consuming and costly.
One of the elements that makes board games so attractive is the playing pieces. The pieces may include the game board, playing cards, dice, tokens, and miniatures. The playing pieces consist of materials that can drive up the manufacturing costs. Manufacturers must also add instructions, packaging, and other items to the games that affect the overall price.
If you think that a board game is expensive, you, the consumer, may determine the price. The board game market will often dictate what companies charge for a game. For instance, if the game is hugely popular, the price will naturally go up. The company also has to advertise the product, which can add to the price.
Some board games are quite simply legendary. They have achieved this status over time due to the hype field by fans and players. Companies can leverage this novelty by increasing the price of the game. Superfans will buy the game regardless of the price. The more novel or legendary the game, the higher the price.
What Makes a Board Game a Good Value
While some people view games as disposable forms of recreation, others see them as an investment in building memories with family and friends. So, the ultimate value of a game is in the eye of the beholder. If you feel that paying $100 for a game is worth it, it is valuable to you. If you look at it simply from a purchasing perspective, then there are some factors you want to consider when deciding if a board game is a good value.
When you consider all of the factors, it comes down to one thing: is the board game fun to play? If you enjoy playing the game repeatedly, you may not mind spending the money to buy it. The game is even more valuable if you can find others who enjoy the game as much as you do.
Another way to determine if board games are a good value is if they stick around long after the initial purchase. Some board games are timeless; meaning, you can play them an endless number of times, and you still enjoy them. Other games may be addictive but do not have lasting power. If you spend a little more on a game that you will enjoy for many years, the game may be worth the money.
Design, Materials, and Construction
Designers and manufacturers put a lot of effort into the design and construction of board games. Every piece is meticulously chosen and created with the right materials. For this reason, some board games are more valuable because of the design, materials, and construction. They're simply a higher-quality game. Hopefully, they are as entertaining as they are well-built. If so, you may not think twice about spending a little more to get a quality game.
The Top 10 Most Expensive Board Games
1. Cthulhu Wars: Core Game
Cthulhu Wars is a fast-moving strategy game about the end of the world. You take the part of various monstrous aliens seeking to dominate the world. You can play as Great Cthulhu himself, or you can take charge of other factions, such as the slithering hordes of the Crawling Chaos or the insane minions of the Yellow Sign.
2. Doomtown Reloaded: Premium Edition
Doomtown: Reloaded is an expandable card game based on the Deadlands role-playing game. ... Doomtown sets itself apart from other card games in that each card doubles as a playing card, which impacts both deck building and gameplay.
Doomtown: Reloaded. Features four factions fighting for control of Gomorra, California. Doomtown: Reloaded allows you to build your deck from a fixed set of cards in the box. Play your character to control deeds in the town, and use actions, hexes, and more to thwart your opponents.
3. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warcry – Catacombs
Catacombs is a fast-paced skirmish game that excels at fast-paced play and small unit strategies. The average game takes between 25 and 45 minutes and can be shortened or expanded easily depending on what the players want. With a single, fold-out board, a handful of terrain, and two warbands rarely comprising more than ten models apiece, Warcry is super-easy to transport and quick to set up, meaning you can be stuck into the violence just a few minutes after deciding to play.
4. Android Netrunner LCG: Revised Core Set
With more than 240 cards, the revised core set immerses you in this age and its high-stakes cybercrime. In this future of monolithic Mega Corps and augmented runners, the all-encompassing network is both one of humanity's greatest assets and one of its deadliest battlefields. Every moment offers new choices, and the revised core set comes with everything two players need to dive deep into this living card game!
5. Super Dungeon Explore
Do you like dungeon-explore board games that are less about exploring and more about just battling the monsters? If so, then Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King may be worth the money. Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King is a follow-up game to the original Super Dungeon Explore by Soda Pop Miniatures, Ninja Division. At first glance, you may look at the game as an expansion. But although the game does expand upon the original, it's a standalone game in and of itself. This means that you don't need to have the original to enjoy Forgotten King.
6. Scrabble Luxury Edition
Scrabble Deluxe is an upscale edition of Scrabble produced by the Parker Brothers division of Hasbro Games. Scrabble Deluxe has the same rules as Scrabble, but it uses deluxe materials to create a more enjoyable Scrabble experience. You will find beautiful game components upon opening the drawer, including die-cast metal tile racks and timer, faux ivory tiles, and a deluxe scorebook with a pencil.
7. Swords & Sails: Emperor's Bundle
The European continent is constantly at war as competing political factions try to control Europe through military might and political intrigue. In Swords & Sails, players control one of these factions in a bid to conquer Europe. Build armies and fleets, build more cities, make and break alliances, spy on your opponents, and go to war to conquer all of Europe. Combat occurs between armies by using a unique combat system that gives a feel of your troops lining up on the battlefield and facing off.
8. Secrets of the Lost Station: Core Game & Miniatures
Secrets of the Lost Station is a cooperative game of sci-fi, action-adventure, and exploration that is a highly detailed and unique sequel to Secrets of the Lost Tomb set thousands of years into the future. The last surviving members of an over 4000-year-old secret society known as the Eternal Order of Perseus; with their perpetual mission: to face intergalactic dangers, seek out and collect alien artifacts of immense power, to protect humanoids from the otherworldly powers in the fight against their mortal enemy a primordial race known only as the Great Old Ones.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: All the Loot
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: All the Loot Bundle, fans can take on the role of their favorite hero in a half shell to play through one of several campaigns in the TMNT comic-book universe. It's largely narrative-driven, so the game isn't much to look at, but - as any D&D player knows - a good game master will make all the difference in bringing Master Splinter, the turtles, and Shredder to life. It is a great game if you are a Turtle's fan. Plus, you don't need the core game system to play this.
10. Kingdom Death: Monster
Kingdom Death: Monster is a tabletop hobby game experience. Set in a unique nightmarish world devoid of most natural resources, you control a settlement at the dawn of its existence. Fight monsters, craft weapons and gear and develop your settlement to ensure your survival from generation to generation. Embark alone or with up to 3 friends (5 with game variant) on a 5-30-lantern-year campaign, each year consisting of a cycle of the hunt, showdown, and settlement phases.