January 8, 2008

Old-fashioned Books Plus Games Mashup

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 6:52 am


“Bookchase® is exactly what it says – a chase with books.
Bookchase® is also the world’s first board game about books which comes with your own bookshelf, library card, bookshop, and your own set of tiny books to collect. First one to collect six books and head home wins! Simple really.
Bookchase® is a family game which can also be played by adults and is designed for anyone from 5 years upwards. Never read a book? – you could still win. Read all the books in the world? You could still lose. Dare you take the Bookchase® challenge?…
You can get your books in lots of ways – by answering questions, visiting the Bookchase® shop or Library. Or perhaps it’s your birthday and one of the other players would like to give you one of their books as a present. You can even find books on the Bookchase® board. Be careful though, you might drop your book in the bath and be forced to leave it on Treasure Island to dry out! However many players start you can never be certain who is going to win.” [via kimbooktu]


  1. This game looks so…familiar. It’s almost like….I don’t know. It should be a trivial thing to remember. Well, I’m sure if I keep pursuing the matter I’ll think of it.
    Seriously though, you would think that there could have been a bit more creativity involved. Well, at least it’s not yet another re-themeing of Monopoply. Maybe I’m judging it a bit harshly though, I can’t claimed to have played it. I have played what it seems to strongly resemble. Perhaps we’ll be reading about a lawsuit soon ;).

    Comment by Jon Gorman — January 8, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  2. Sadly, too many budding game designers are stuck in board game designs that are 20+ years old. Trivial Pursuit was great in its time, but trivia games have come a long way since these roll-and-move, everyone-watch-one-player-think games. Wits and Wagers is a great example of a trivia game that rethought how trivia games could be.
    The same is true in other boardgames. I still see games produced today based upon a roll-and-move mechanism, which each player does nothing until their turn comes around, and the winner of the game is primarily based upon luck of card-drawing or dice-rolling. Over the last decade, there have been significant advancements in board game design.
    So, if you are a budding game designer, looking to make the next great game with a library theme, look at making it an interesting and engaging game experience and not just a rehash of something from the past.

    Comment by Scott Nicholson — January 8, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  3. Not sure I’d agree with the comments above. I’ve been looking at a lot of comments on this new game and they’re quite varied. I think a lot of game designers get stuck up their own ‘theoretical-must-be-so-new-obsessive-selves’ when trying to be original that they miss the point of what board games are about…an excuse to interact with other human beings – quite often in a family setting (with mixed ages and abilities) – this is increasingly important in an age of tv/electronic media…
    As neither of the commentees have played (nor me) I’m not sure what you can assume by just ‘the look’. Trivial Pursuit was based on a number of earlier games (NBC’s Trivia game from 1970! for example) and in itself didn’t have a huge amount of innovation. I think you’re missing the point of why this game appears to exist – as a family game – TP isn’t it’s just and exercise in demonstrated ego – and in terms of play – traditional methods are always going to be better than contrived examples just for their own sake.
    From what I read the trivia part isn’t so trivial and only appears to play 20% of the game play anyway. So much for judging a game by its cover…
    I look forward to seeing how this one develops and playing it eventually…then I’ll pass a more critical comment.

    Comment by George — January 12, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  4. Hello, Jenny.
    I just stumbled on your web site and would like to put a link to it on my blog page if that is OK. I love your site. I have just got out of library school and want to set up a meeting place for librarians to blow off steam. Please let me know what you think of it. Thanks for posting this. \

    Comment by David — January 12, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  5. George, I’d love to see some more links or citations about the game. The only ones I could find were ones on the publisher’s website and all of those came from a group who were apparently in some sort of test demonstration of it. It seemed skewed at best. Like I said, given what I could find it was difficult to judge the game. From what images I could see and descriptions I could find of game play it strongly resembles Trivial Pursuit, with perhaps some sort of “events” mechanisms built in. Just having the cards on squares instead of in a box doesn’t seem a huge difference in gameplay. I’d love to be proven wrong. I’m not spending my money though at this point to see if I am.
    As for missing the point, I don’t want to be snide but who do you think I play games with? I’m in a regular board game group, I’ve been playing all types of games with my friends and family for a long time now. The problem Scott and I both talk about is rampant in games from the larger retailers and those who try to cash in on similarity. It’s also something I’ve noticed occurring frequently in education from both the perspective of a student as well as those times I’ve looked over the material myself.
    If a particular game is enjoyable, I’m willing to play that game. However, I rarely would be willing to spend money purchasing a nearly identical one except for a re-theming. Were I an educator, I’d have to see something more conclusive on why this game is better than Trivial Pursuit for Kids or something that I’d be likely to already own.
    One disclaimer as well, I must admit as well I’ve never liked Trivial Pursuit that much. It’s often long, boring, and an exercise in endurance. My experience is the same with Monopoly.
    It’s true sometimes games can look identical but play different. Clue and Kill Doctor Lucky are both games I’ve enjoyed in the past. It’s likely that Kill Doctor Lucky was inspired by Clue, but the feel is different and feels cleverly done.
    I’ll stop my rambling, but I think the concerns Scott and I have both are very valid. From the descriptions and pictures I’ve seen I’d guess that you go around and land on spots. Particular actions can be associated with spots, like “losing a book” or having to do something to get a book. So a combination of roll and move and trivia. Not my cup of tea, nor has it ever really been.

    Comment by Jon Gorman — January 14, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  6. Scott and Jon have great points. Trivial Pursuit only succeeds, as many games do, on an essentially interesting activity, but the game itself is broken. Not so with Wits & Wagers, as Scott mentions. Want a good trivia game that does not require knowledge of trivia and is an inherently fun game? Check out Wits & Wagers.

    Comment by Parmenides — January 16, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  7. Hi Scott/Jon/Parmenides – point taken on some of these issues – I hope I wasn’t too personal in comments.
    I think we can all agree that TP is ‘broken’ in many senses and an exercise in ego – who know most wins…! Isn’t there room for a simple, maybe flawed game which just encourages interaction about books (therefore not technology) and acts as a vehicle to ‘pull’ kids (and adults…) into things that they might not find otherwise?
    Generally, I’m less interested in the ‘holy grail’ of a perfect game because I’ve yet to find one but I’m willing to celebrate anyone who attempts something different who isn’t big/corporate/cynical in development terms. I’ve been hunting and found quite a mixture of blog comments on Bookchase to-date (as it appears to be quite new) and they fall into a ‘mixed-bag’ response from move over TP to ‘this is great but I lost’ and ‘irritated’ because it wasn’t all questions. I think all this does is illustrate that the world is big enough to have many variations of play and therefore levels of satisfaction in board game play. I personally have always found TP and Monopoly irritating too because they weren’t the all-inclusive family games they pretended to be. It appears that Bookchase might be just an excuse to play a board game about books. Seems an OK start point to me…
    Thanks for the link to Wits & Wagers I’ll check it out.

    Comment by George — January 18, 2008 @ 10:43 am

  8. […] bookmarks tagged old-fashioned Old-fashioned Books Plus Games Mashup saved by 1 others     shadow85207 bookmarked on 01/20/08 | […]

    Pingback by Pages tagged "old-fashioned" — January 20, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress