Keith Burgun has published an article on his personal blog, keithburgun.net: Thoughts on Game Design, in which he presents his perspective on Eurogames–namely, why he believes that many Eurogames are simply better suited as solitaire game experiences.
Burgun begins by defining Eurogame as “a term that loosely refers to a system-oriented, often highly deterministic boardgame, usually coming out of Europe.” He then describes this type of game as one that, contrasting with the popular term Amerit(h)rash, does not concern itself with a strong theme or storyline. Instead, it focuses on helping players develop a “machine”, or game engine, that drives the game and presents players with interesting decisions to make.
One reason Burgun believes Eurogames to be a strong solo-player experience is due to a common lack of true player interaction; in short, many Eurogames are often dubbed “multi-player solitaire.” He goes on to explain that even though it is possible to thwart the progress or limit the decisions of other players in a Eurogame, much of the focus is on one’s own progress, engine-development, and point accumulation.
Burgun points out that one reason for a smaller number of solitaire games on the board game market could be that setting up a board game to play by oneself can seem strange to most people. He also draws some connections and comparisons to digital versions of board games and how they are used for solo-player gaming experiences. Burgun finishes his article by encouraging board game designers to focus more on solitaire experiences in their game designs.
To read the article in full, read it here on Keith Burgun’s blog.