TREND: Party Games
I feel like I saw way more new party games this year than I have in the past few years. The genre definitely seems to be growing – although I have to say this is a difficult arena to play in. Pictured: PicWits Mindware, What’s It? Peaceable Kingdom, HEDBANZ Act Up! Spin Master, Snake Oil Out of the Box, Pluckin’ Pairs R&R Games, Don’t Panic Goliath Games
Celebrity Throw Down – Buffalo Games
Odd Jobs – Patch
Hollywood Fact or Crap – Spin Master
JaLink and the other Mental Floss Games
TREND: Word Games
Every year there’s one type of game that I see more of than usual and this year it’s word games. In past years it was tile placement games and in-a row games, but this year the word reigns. Educational Insights had three new words games in their line alone: Wordical, Pass the Peas, and Lickety Quick. Also pictured: That’s It! Gamewright, WordARound ThinkFun
Other games of note not pictured above:
Chain Letters – Patch Products
In Your Face – Endless Games
Don’t Take My Word – Spin Master
Show Me the Kwan! – Griddly Games
MICRO-TREND: Unique Shaped Boxes
Could we be ditching the right angles and looking for something more interesting? Maybe! Just a few companies have ditched the box to create unique shaped packages. Educational Insights did an amazing job of it back in 2011 when they released the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game and this year they released Shelby’s Snack Shack which… wait for it… cuddles up and fits next to the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game perfectly! Nothing I’m going to say next is going to top that but it was nice to see other non-square boxes like Raccoon Rumpus (shameless plug.. again!) also at Educational Insights, WordARound (See above pic) at ThinkFun, and then both Pass the Peas (Educational Insights) and Yottsugo (Fat Brain) are doing games in tubes. Buffalo Games is also releasing their new Party game Celebrity Throw Down in the same tall skinny box they used for Chronology.
SOMETHING TO WATCH: Unbranded Mass Market Games
I’m going to talk about branding and licensing in the continuing trends portion of this article (part 3) but before I get to that I really have to talk about the success of some unbranded games released last year. I feel that typically within the game business an unbranded game isn’t going to see huge success in the first year of being on store shelves. Sure it can with enough advertising money behind it, but it doesn’t feel like that’s happened much here in the US in recent years. Last year, Spin Master’s super cute game Fibber was a huge hit in the mass market and it didn’t have any sort of classic brand associated with it. The Logo Game from Spin Master also saw a good amount of success in mass. Personally, I think it’s great to be thinking beyond the brand and I’m excited to see this trend grow. Sure the classics are great – but it’s also okay to see some new names in the mass market’s game aisle. So for all of the inventors out there who are dreaming big — let’s hope this is something we see more of in the future!
To continue to PART 3 click HERE.