Board Games in 100 Moves

DK. Sept. 2019. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781465485755. $19.99. SPORTS
Technology, culture, trade, and colonization have contributed to the evolution of board games. From the Egyptian game Senet (3100 BC) to the 2018 Spiel de Jahres nominee The Mind, game designers Livingstone (Fighting Fantasy) and Wallis (Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming) chronicle this recorded history by examining 100 games. Rule sets have altered through trade and conquest. For example, a traditional Hindu game about reaching enlightenment morphed into Chutes & Ladders. Beyond entertainment and learning, games have reflected political and social issues. Suppregetto was a British game that marketed the women’s fight for equality. The author explains that some religions have discouraged or forbid the playing of games because of their association with gambling. Technology innovations, such as the printing press, the cardboard box, and plastic, have allowed for mass production. The website Kickstarter has further altered the industry’s production and distribution model, while digital apps offer another gaming component. Fascinating facts abound, such as how copies of Monopoly were sent to POWs in World War II that contained hidden maps, compasses, and money.
VERDICT With full-color illustrations of artifacts, art, components, and game boards, this is a great entry point into the history of board games that should appeal to everyone from chess enthusiasts to modern hobby gamers.

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