Euro games are a subtrope of board game. Sometimes called "German Style Board Games" or "Designer Board Games", originally gaining popularity in Europe.
They are primarily distinguished by a focus on indirect interactions, such as resource gathering and management, rather than direct conflict; low degrees of randomness; and intricate gameplay mechanics. Typically there is some degree of theming (meaning they are not abstract like Go or Scrabble), but with less focus on it than Ameritrash Games (which will often prioritize theme over mechanics). They often feature wooden pieces, victory points (often with a track around the board for counting said points), and have common mechanics such as trading materials and tile or worker placement. Other common elements are bilingual materials, such as cards and rules in multiple languages, or cards using symbols or images rather than words, the importance of player choice and skill in winning, and an emphasis on mutually beneficially player cooperation, even if only one player can win in the end.
Euro Games tend to have no elimination of players unlike some classic games like Monopoly or Risk. The end condition of the game is typically when a certain number of turns have been taken or a certain amount of resources have been gained or spent, meaning the amount of time needed to play should be fairly consistent.
It is worth noting that the exact definition of what is or is not a Euro-game can vary depending on who you ask, and this has only been complicated in recent years as American game developers have taken to including more Euro elements in their games and vise versa. In some gaming communities, such as those that play exclusively combat-oriented games, the term "eurogame" may be used to describe any board game that is not combat oriented — even Robo Rally, a game that meets essentially none of the above listed definitions, having no victory points nor resource management, and with the possibility of player elimination (though managing to get wiped out is actually something of a feat).
There is a tendency for games to have multiple Expansion Packs, giving the player new buildings, powers, and sometimes expanding the number of players who can play a game.
Out of the top 15 games listed on Boardgamegeek, just over half are Eurogames:
- Terraforming Mars
- Through The Ages: A New Story of Civilization
- Brass: Birmingham
- Gaia Project
- Great Western Trail
- Terra Mystica
- The Castles Of Burgundy
Along with Puerto Rico, the following are well known even outside eurogaming circles:
Eurogames are quite diverse in numbers. Below are some of the dozens to hundreds of Eurogames that exist:
- Age Of Steam
- El Grande
- Le Havre
- Lupin III
- Notre Dame
- Puerto Rico
- Power Grid
- Race For The Galaxy
- Small World
- Stone Age
- Traders Of Genoa
- Tigris And Euphrates
This style of board game provides examples of the following Tropes:
- Crack Is Cheaper
- Market-Based Title
- No Export for You: Though as mentioned, bilingual or language-independent materials mean that importing a product is less of a problem.
- Timed Mission: Many Euro games lack defined end goals, and instead end when a certain number of turns have passed.