We signed up for our Board Game Arena accounts 18 months ago. I just finished my 1,410th play. I play with strangers, friends, spouse, kids and grandkids. Sometimes they are 5 feet away or halfway around the globe. We've found new games that have become family favorites or played games that we also play in cardboard.
Here are some thoughts about BGA:
1) COVID Survival Mechanism: As isolation and stay at home replaced our game nights, BGA became a survival mechanism. It bridged isolated parties so we didn't feel so alone. It created a new way of game playing for us. It brought a much needed feeling of normalcy.
2) Still together regardless of distance: A granddaughter moved to California but we still get together weekly and play games. We've found new favorites together and enjoyed 100s of plays together. We still have a family activity. Soon a daughter moves to Scotland. BGA will help keep us together.
3) Faster first plays: BGA's standard interfaces greatly help when playing a game for the first time. The depth of rule programming and minimizing actions to only valid actions increases speed of play, decreases false starts and maximizes the fun factor.
4) More time gaming: BGA eliminates setup and takedown time. Our time is spent playing the game.
5) Matchmaker: BGA does a great job of matching strangers to my ability when it finds players. It identifies people that often drop out of games. BGA blocks foul language.
6) BGA hasn't replaced cardboard games in our house: We still love getting together in person around the family game table or in a pub. We enjoy moving pieces, shuffling cards and chucking dice.
7) We still buy and play cardboard games: Our collection continues to grow. Some are games that aren't on BGA. Others are games that we tried on BGA first and then went out and bought the cardboard copy. We also buy from certain designers and small publishers because we just love playing what they create and to help support them.
8) Expanding catalog: we are thrilled at the rate games are being added to BGA. We find new and old favorites. Fun to explore and try new games.
Board Game Arena has become part of our routines. We hope they continue to bring us great games to play.