What Are Game Mechanics? Part 3

Hi everyone!  Welcome back to Part 3 of my game mechanics series where we shine a light on some of the more common types of mechanisms found in modern board gaming. Each of the mechanics covered below comprise just a small portion of the overall elements you’ll find in most games.  If you haven’t already, I recommend you check out parts one and two in this series to gain even more insight into the design choices behind your favourite games!


Roll/Draw & Write

A roll & write or draw & write game is when players roll a dice or draw a card from a deck and use the image of instruction from the drawn element to determine what they then write on a player sheet or dry erase board or some similar writing surface. For example, in Railroad Ink, the dice face may indicate the type of track you must add to your player board. Roll/Draw and Writes make for great single player games too as you’re relying your ability to utilise what’s drawn to provide a challenge.

For games incorporating this mechanic try out: Welcome To…, Dungeon Academy, Railroad Ink, Cartographers


Social Deduction

A social deduction game has players using social cues, deception, logic and deduction to try to outwit or trick their fellow players to gain an advantage, avoid detection, or otherwise succeed at the game.These games are often referred to as hidden traitor, or team allegiance games. Often one player will be the secret traitor and the remaining players are trying to determine which of them, if any, are the one they are looking for. Social deduction games are great for larger groups of players, parties and social game nights.

Coup, Nemesis, One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak, Secret Hitler and the upcoming Unfathomable and are all great examples of popular social deduction games


Tile Placement

The tile placement mechanic involves placing a game element on the board, usually with the goal of expanding territory for area control, allowing for greater actions selection or completing a pattern or configuration of some kind to score points or otherwise further the player’s progress. There may be rules governing the placement of certain tiles adding a strategic component to the game, for example, in Azul, you must complete a row of the same colour tile in order to add that colour to your board and score on it. Tile placement can comprise the entire game itself, such as in Carcassonne, or be just one part of a larger set of mechanisms contributing to the game as a whole, like in Crimopolis.

Games like Carcassonne, Patchwork, The Isle of Cats, Azul, Terraforming Mars and Crimepolis all use tile laying at their core.

Thanks for joining me this week, I’ll be back next week with Part 4, and be sure to share your thoughts on your preferred or least preferred game mechanisms in the comments below or on our Game Kings Gamers Facebook page.  In the meantime, take care and I’ll see you next time!