I was very excited when my friend told me about the 10×10 game challenge for two reasons 1) it would encourage me (and hopefully the family) to play more games and 2) I could create a spreadsheet to analyse the data. And I admit that may have been more exciting than the prospect of playing games as I do love creating spreadsheets!
What is the 10×10 game challenge?
According to BoardGameGeek, where I believe the challenge originated, the challenge is to play 10 games 10 times each in a year. This challenge encourages people to play each game several times to explore and experience them in depth. There is normal and hardcore challenge depending on whether you want to choose the ten games as you go along or define them at the start of the challenge. As I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for I did the normal challenge.
Did I enjoy the 10×10 game challenge?
Yes I did, in fact I really enjoyed it. It added a new interesting dimension to my gaming; and not just because I had a spreadsheet. I’m very pleased that I completed the challenge, although it was tight because I played the tenth play of the tenth game on New Year’s Eve! I’ve enjoyed
- finding out more about the type of games I like to play
- watching the children develop their game playing abilities
- spending time with family and friends
However, it was also frustrating at times as my fellow game players were not always as keen to play the games on my list. At times it actually felt I was playing as many games as possible instead of focusing on playing a small number more.
It was also difficult to decide what counted as a play. As different games have different play lengths is one play actually equal? The rules on BoardGameGeek say “If you play a game multiple times in a row, each completed game counts as a play.” I disagreed. Some of the games I play with the children are very quick such as Grabolo and I could get to ten plays in one day, which didn’t seem very challenging. Therefore I counted the number of days I played a game, no matter how many times I played it.
The ten games I played ten times
In my quest to get ten plays of ten games I actually played 69 games, a total of 253 plays (an average of 3.6 plays each). I’ve put the full list at the end of the post. But here are the ten games I played ten times; it is an interesting list as it is pretty different to my favourite games of last year. Links with * are an Amazon affiliate link.
- Hero Realms (my review) – 16 plays
- Staccups (my review) – 18 plays (gifted)
- Pack of cards (my review) – 15 plays
- Animal upon Animal* – 11 plays
- Grabolo* – 11 plays (gifted)
- Rummikub* – 11 plays
- Magic Labyrinth* – 10 plays
- My First Carcassonne* – 10 plays
- Star Realms* – 10 plays
- Magic Maze* – 10 plays
Although on average I played 21 games each month, I didn’t have my 10th play until September. It wasn’t looking good that I’d complete the challenge, but managed to get five games to ten plays in December.
I enjoyed the normal 10×10 game challenge so much I am doing it again this year.
What I learnt from doing the 10×10 game challenge
As well as playing lots of games and creating a spreadsheet I also learnt a lot more than I expected during the challenge.
The games I played don’t necessarily reflect my choice
I play a lot of games with my children and often let them chose the games. So my list of ten games is more of a reflection of what they enjoy playing than what I enjoy. For example I’d like to see more puzzle games e.g. Azul and fewer dexterity games e.g. Grabolo.
Playing a game more often with children helps them develop their own strategies and start winning
Children often don’t have the experience to be successful on the first few plays of a game. However, the more you play a game, the more they can see what works and doesn’t and can try different strategies. Hero Realms is the first game I played ten times and that was mostly driven by B who discovered it and loved it. She got better each time so it wasn’t long before she started beating me and I had to get tips from my husband to have a fighting chance!
It is quicker to set up a game you’ve played several times
When you’ve played a game a few times you don’t need to refer to the instructions as often. This means it is easier to set up the game and you get down to playing quicker. Or, in some cases the children have set up games when I’m doing something else so we start playing as soon as I’m there (they’ve learnt this also means we play the game they choose).
It is possible to find more time to play games
The challenge provided enough encouragement to find more times to play games. And I was surprised how easy it was to find pockets of time. My favourite was organising game night; although this sometimes backfired as people would bring their own games which didn’t help me get ten plays! But I also played games with one of my children while the other was in a dance class, and any other children in the waiting area.
Helped us to review our game collection
Recording the games we played over a year means we have a very good record of which games we play and which we don’t. This means we’ve been able to consider why we haven’t played the games and get rid of the ones we know we don’t enjoy. This means we now have space to get more games, which is very convenient just before UKGamesExpo. It has also helped us question whether we’re ready to get expansion set. For example we were planning on getting the Magic Maze expansion, but realised despite having played the base game 10 times we still had lots of scenarios to work through.
Good to have quick play games
It is great to have games which are quick to set up and play because it means it is possible to fit in a play during a short period of time. I think our children are ready to move on to Carcssonne from My First Carcassonne but we’ve decided to keep it. Although it is simple, it is also fun and can get competitive, so is a game we frequently play when we get in from after school activities.
The games we play go in phases
I was surprised how hard it was to reach ten plays of a game. We’d enjoy a game, play it a few times and then decide to move on to something different. One exception was Grabolo, which I got in a conference goody bag, which we played lots because my son LOVED it. It took 69 days to get to ten plays of Grabolo, compared to 191 days for the next quickest game, Animal upon Animal. The average duration to get to ten plays was 257 days and the longest was 339 for My First Carcassonne.
You can play board games on your own
There were times when I wanted to play games, but couldn’t tempt anyone to join in. So it is great that an increasing number of games have a one player option; we have two: Magic Maze and Sagrada. I still prefer to play games with other people, but it is nice not to be reliant on them.
Do I recommend doing the 10×10 game challenge?
Well that depends on whether you enjoy playing games. If not, the challenge is unlikely to change your mind. But if you enjoy games and want to encourage yourself to play more than yes I do recommend it. And if you love analysing data then absolutely yes because you can collect lots.
Have you taken part in any game challenges? Do they add to your gaming enjoyment?
Full list of games I played during the 10×10 game challenge
I’ve marked a few of these games as gifted as I’ve been given them to test, however, please note all my comments are honest
5 Second Rule Junior – 1 (gifted)
5 Second Rule Mini – 1 (gifted)
Adrenaline – 2
The Amazeing Labyrinth – 1
Animal Upon Animal – 11
Anomia – 3
Azul – 4
Beasts of Balance – 1
Bugs In The Kitchen – 1
Camel Up – 1
Catan Junior – 4
Caveman – 1 (gifted)
Champions of Midgard – 3
Charades for Kids – 1
Cludeo – 1
Code names – 4
Concept – 2
Dice Forge – 1
Dinkee Linkee for Kids – 1
Dino Hunt Dice– 3
Dixit – 5
Dobble – 5
Dream Home – 1
Drop-it – 6 (gifted)
Exit Secret of the Premiere – 1 (promotional demo)
Exploding Kittens – 1
Fairy Tile – 1
Forbidden Desert – 2
Grabolo – 11 (gifted)
Happy Salmon – 3
Hero Realms – 16
High Society – 1
Ice Cool – 6
Iquazu – 1
Jenga – 3
Junk Art – 2
King of Tokyo – 1
Kingdomino – 6
Linkee – 1
Magic Labyrinth– 10
Magic Maze – 10
Make N Break – 3
My First Carcassonne – 10
One Night Ultimate Werewolf – 1
Operation – 2
Ore-some – 1
Othello – 1
Pandemic – 1
Pass the Pigs – 1
Patchwork – 3
Phase 10 – 2
Playing Cards – 15
Potion Explosion – 1
Queendomino – 1
Rhino Hero – 7
Ruins of Thandar – 1
Rummikub – 11
Sagrada – 4
Scrawl – 4 (gifted)
Staccups – 18 (gifted)
Star Realms – 10
Stuffed Fables – 1
Sushi Go Party – 5
Talisman – 1
Timeshock – 1
Tsuro – 4
Waggle Dance – 2
War of the Nine Realms – 1
Yeti in my Spaghetti – 1
*Disclosure – I was given some of these board games free. This post also includes affiliate links which means if you buy something after following a link I will earn a percentage of the sale but it will not cost you more. All the plays were honest choices by myself, family or friends.