BTTS Archives – It better plays fast

[I run this blog since July 2011. I’ve decided I will choose articles I like the most and republish them here to present them to all new board game fans that joined our hobby meanwhile! For all of you who already read the article, I hope, you will have a good time again with it! Today we go back to February 2013]

In ‘my version’ of Robinson Crusoe setup for 4 players was: Take 2 Starting item cards and 2 No starting item cards. Shuffle them. Deal 1 card to each player.

In that way players had fun since the very very beginning of the game – it was just like in those novels – they are on the beach and they are checking their pockets looking for anything valuable. Some of them have something, some of them nope.

It didn’t make it to the final rules set.


Because it makes set up longer. Because I need to find all those small moments that make the game longer and kill them.

Make it fast. As fast as you can.


Have you watched The Dice Tower best co-ops? Do you watch or read stuff from other reviewers? Every reviewer sees short of the play as an advantage. It plays quickly. It is rather smooth. It plays in an hour. You can play two games in a row. These all are advantages. No doubt about it, right?


I talk a lot with my friends from This is the biggest games store in Poland. I talk with them to know what is trendy, what sells well, what customers say about games. I wan a to be updated.

Customers choose quicker game.

He ask for economy game.
He is recommended two games.
One plays in 2 hours.
The other in 90 minutes.
Do you you want to take a guess which one will he buy?

7 Wonders? Civ game that plays in 40 minutes.
1812: The Invasion of Canada? War game that plays in 90 minutes.
Egizia? Euro you can play in 45 minutes.
Race for the Galaxy? Man, you can play 3 games in a row in 90 minutes…

Yeah, players like games that play fast, do they?


There is however one question that pops in my mind again and again. If we are games fans, why we want games to play short? Shouldn’t we be damn happy playing them as long as possible? Why we want fun to be short?

P.S. Title is taken from the great song Business Time by Flight of the Conchords. Check them out:

1 Comment Added

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  1. Gabriel 2018-06-05 | Reply

    As an avid board gamer I really like to have variety. It’s great to be able to teach and play a game of dixit or King Of Toyko in less than an hour. It’s also spectacular when 4 people want to play Sycthe or Terra Mystica on a night set for heavier gaming. Personally I love co-op, and I own Robinson Crusoe and Eldritch horror, but I do not play them all the time because of the longer set up and game play time involved. I wonder if the majority of consumers are not a games gamer type, they like the lighter table top game, one that does not require a few hours of rule reading and easy to pick up and go with friends. It’s a busy world, some times people do not feel they have the ability to learn a more complex game or they do not want to spend 2+ hours gaming, and not all your friends will understand the mechanics of complex games easily at first. Convenience seems to take a high precedence in a consumer society. But when you get to learn a game like Robinson Crusoe, you take the time to delve into a deeper complexity, and there is a lot of reward there, but not easy to see that at first, especially if you are not a person who has not spent much time gaming. Really really enjoy Robinson Crusoe, great work, and hope you read this message!

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We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.

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