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Board Games Focusing on Set Collection

Recently, I was talking to a colleague who agreed that it would be a fun concept to have a board game similar to Pokémon. In other words, a game where you have to collect a large number of objects, or creatures, or something. It could be that you had to collect a large variety of gems, or as mentioned, creatures. Whatever it is, we couldn’t find many board games out there that filled this strange niche. As such, I thought I’d look into it and this is the best I could find.

An oddly hard to pinpoint genre, there’s a very specific term for this, which is Set Collection. Weirdly enough, a lot of well known board games run this concept. Monopoly, Ticket To Ride, Splendor – You can make arguments for many games to run Set Collection as one of their mechanics. However, today we’re not talking about grabbing a couple of things in a collection, but a game that requires you to have everything within a collection.

You can make a case for the card game Machi Koro, an adorable game where your goal is to unlock all of the buildings in your city. You do so by buying other buildings, using some dice to determine how much money you gain/lose in the process. It’s a simple game, where getting the right cards can completely change how you earn money. You can either play to take coins from other players, or play just to benefit yourself instead.

Set Collection games rarely focus to the point where you have to collect a large number of objects. You can argue that having many different types of objects can get confusing, but I thought of the concept of Pokémon as an excellent example. You can have lots and lots of unique and interesting different creatures, all collected through a plethora of different methods. Sometimes you have to trade, sometimes you just level through use, other times it’s through meeting a requirement in game.

Whilst you can make the case that there are a lot of games featuring Set Collection as a main mechanic, it’s hard to find any that are completely resolved around Set Collection. In Monopoly, you have to literally create sets of properties/streets in which to build your houses and hotels on. These houses and hotels are an important way to sway the game in your favour, but it’s still not a definitive way to win, as an opponent can beat you with just one or two key sets.

Pokémon miniatures have been around for a while, both official and knockoff, so making a game revolve around miniature collection isn’t impossible.

Ultimately, I’ve been toying with the idea for a while now. A game which sees you collect a large group of creatures or objects. These creatures/objects will be obtained through a plethora of ways, with a board being the main way to find most of the creatures, then with either cooperative or competitive play adding to the finalisation of set completion. Of course, this is going to take a while to come up with, but I’d look to create something in Tabletop Simulator at some point.

Does the idea of a board game similar in concept to Pokémon resonate with you, or does it sound too convoluted? Does it sound like the game will take too long to play, or does that sound like an ideal night-in for you and your friends/family? Do you know of any board games with a similar concept? Trust me, Pokémon Master Trainer doesn’t cover this, strangely. As ever though, we love to hear your feedback, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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