Game Families

(Part of Loaded Dice.)

Games about animals

I'd originally thought that BGG's "Game Family" section was just for boring things like indicating when a game was part of a series, but it's also used to classify games in ways that don't rate a full-fledged "Category". Most interesting are the "families" of games about different kinds of animals.

Here are the most popular animals (including fictional animals and monsters) to use in a board game, along with the highest-rated and lowest-rated game for each animal. I only considered games that have at least 10 ratings.

Animal Number of games Highest-rated game Lowest-rated game
Animals: Dogs308
Snow Tails: The Leap of Death (7.13)

Scooby-doo! Thrills and Spills (3.55)
Monsters294
Good Help (8.56)

Kong - Skull Island Game (1.74)
Animals: Dragons234
Defenders of the Realm: The Dragon Expansion (8.10)

Dindons & Dragons (3.66)
Animals: Mice209
Wizards of Mickey CCG (7.36)

Maus pass auf! (3.94)
Animals: Bears197
Zooloretto - Grizzly (6.94)

Lotto (3.32)
Animals: Dinosaurs185
Sticks & Stones Card Game (7.39)

Monopoly Junior: Dig 'n Dinos (3.65)
Animals: Cats168
Cat & Fish (7.15)

The Cat in the Hat Game (3.84)
Animals: Monkeys165
Affentennis (7.37)

Kong - Skull Island Game (1.74)
Aliens146
The Thing (8.08)

Berzerkerbirdz (3.21)
Animals: Rabbits129
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot: Chocolate Booster (7.73)

Uncle Wiggily (3.84)
Animals: Frogs112
Splotch! (7.14)

Hungry Hungry Hippos (4.11)
Animals: Cattle97
Taurus (7.33)

Buckaroo (4.67)
Animals: Pigs94
Truffle Scuffle (7.11)

Snout! The Pass The Pigs Card Game (3.21)
Vampires91
Vampire Werewolf Fairies (7.45)

Angel: The Board Game (1.91)
Animals: Fishes90
Cat & Fish (7.15)

Go Fish (3.57)
Ghosts88
Ghost Stories: White Moon (8.00)

Gefangen in der Geisterbahn (4.03)
Animals: Chickens88
Loopin' Louie (7.04)

Chicken Run, Escape From Tweedy's Farm (2.93)
Animals: Horses80
Bohnanza (7.15)

Memory (4.65)
Animals: Sheep73
Mutton (6.94)

Shaun das Schaf - Köttel-Alarm (5.00)
Animals: Ducks73
Duckling Dancin' (6.76)

Lucky Ducks (3.86)
Animals: Penguins65
Hey, That's My Fish! (6.92)

Disney Club Penguin Trading Card Game (4.55)
Animals: Elephants60
Black Elephant (7.78)

Stampede! (4.27)
Animals: Bees58
Honeypot (7.11)

Ker Plunk (4.83)
Animals: Spiders53
Igel Ärgern + Tante Tarantel (7.20)

Goosebumps - Shrieks and Spiders Game (4.35)
Flowers52
Hanabi & Ikebana (7.60)

4 First Games (4.71)
Animals: Butterflies52
Chamäleon (6.43)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game (3.28)
Animals: Snakes48
Cobras in the Cockpit (6.71)

Snakes and Ladders (2.73)
Animals: Turtles47
Schildi Strandkröte (7.10)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pizza Power Game (4.48)
Animals: Wolves46
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game: Wolves of the North (7.58)

Schafe Schnappen (5.17)
Animals: Flies41
Hive: The Mosquito (7.45)

BSZZZZ! (4.39)
Animals: Squirrels40
Get Nuts (6.58)

The Squirrel Game (5.05)
Animals: Foxes37
Zoff im Hühnerhof (6.52)

Fox and Geese (4.68)
Animals: Ants37
Antics! (7.11)

Ants in the Pants (4.52)
Animals: Alligators / Crocodiles37
Buffalos (7.65)

Hungry Hungry Hippos (4.11)
Animals: Deer34
Moose Quest (6.70)

Bullwinkle and Rocky Role Playing Party Game (5.18)
Animals: Rats31
Rattus: Pied Piper (7.60)

Rat Splatter (3.70)
Animals: Crows31
Crows (6.82)

The Crow and the Pitcher (6.32)
Animals: Goats30
Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion (7.52)

Beppo der Bock (5.94)
Animals: Worms29
Pickomino (6.50)

Squiggly Worms (3.97)
Animals: Ladybugs29
Hive: The Ladybug (7.78)

Cootie (3.38)
Animals: Camels28
Yspahan (7.28)

WĂźstenkĂśnige (4.40)
Animals: Lions25
Jungle Smart (6.37)

Lion King (4.63)
Animals: Tigers23
Two by Two (6.42)

Der Tiger ist los (5.55)
Animals: Sharks23
Shark (6.70)

Power Sharks (4.11)
Animals: Donkeys23
Ochs & Esel (6.29)

Old Maid (3.44)
Animals: Moles21
Up And Down (6.38)

Electronic Whac-a-Mole (4.51)
Animals: Kangaroos21
Billabong (6.87)

Kangaroo: The Jumping Game (5.42)
Animals: Hedgehogs/Porcupines20
Igel Ärgern + Tante Tarantel (7.20)

Hedgehog's Revenge (2.92)
Pokémon20
Battle Dome (6.33)

Pokémon Jr. Adventure Game: Pokémon Emergency! (4.28)
PokĂŠmon14
PokĂŠmon Master Trainer II (6.76)

Sorry! - PokĂŠmon (4.33)

Yes, there are two Pokémon families, because one person typed the é in UTF-8 and someone else typed the é in ISO-8859-1.

Game versions of sports

You only need one set of equipment to actually play a sport, but a true sports fan will buy one tie-in board game after another. Here are the most popular sports and sport-like activities to adapt into board games.

Sport/Activity Number of games Highest-rated game Lowest-rated game
Football / Soccer450
Football Leader (7.94)

Fußball-Bundesliga - Das große Geschäft (3.27)
Auto Racing397
PitLane (9.23)

Monopoly: Dale Earnhardt (3.73)
Baseball371
Replay Baseball (7.93)

Cranium Ballpark Blast (4.00)
American Football / Gridiron323
Sports Action Canadian Pro Football (8.55)

NFL-opoly (3.41)
Bicycle / Cycling255
Breaking Away (7.46)

First to Reverse (4.66)
Horse Racing247
TurfMaster Course Collection 1 (8.16)

Newmarket (4.37)
Golf241
Pocket Pro Golf (7.16)

19th Hole Golf (3.75)
Ice Hockey144
Face-Off Pro Hockey Game (7.75)

Monopoly: NHL (5.07)
Basketball138
Replay Basketball (8.51)

You Can't Check Me!: The Basketball Card Game (1.65)
Fishing-themed games98
Fishfry (7.25)

Fishin' Time (4.23)
Combat Sports/Martial Arts92
JAB: Realtime Boxing (8.18)

Kung Fu (3.55)
Sailing91
Yacht Race (6.92)

Set Sail! (3.85)
Tennis81
TC Tennis (8.38)

Pro Tennis (3.73)
Cricket69
International Cricket (7.96)

Cricket Dice (2.70)
Bowling65
Bowling Solitaire (6.50)

Spare Time Bowling (3.91)
Winter Sports59
Curling Table Game (7.30)

The Yeti Slalom (4.90)
Mountain climbing56
Disaster on K2 (7.85)

Himalaya (3.85)
Hunting-themed games49
Mammoth Hunters (6.19)

Hatz Fatz (4.55)
Athletics / Track and Field48
Metric Mile (7.68)

Bruce Jenner Decathlon Game (4.83)
Fantasy Sports46
Blood Bowl: Living RuleBook (7.90)

Quidditch: The Game (2.45)
Wrestling44
Champions of the Galaxy (8.57)

WWF World Wrestling Federation Wrestling Trivia Game (5.00)
Sci-Fi Sports42
Forceball (7.71)

Berzerkerbirdz (3.21)
Motorcycle42
Moto Grand Prix (6.39)

Table-MotoGP: The Moto GP Licensed Board Game (3.76)
Olympics41
Schildi Strandkröte (7.10)

Animal Olympics (6.03)
Rugby37
Crash Tackle (7.80)

Subbuteo Rugby (5.46)
Boxing37
JAB: Realtime Boxing (8.18)

Folko-Boks (4.37)
Aerial Racing36
The Great Balloon Race (6.23)

Ab die Post! (5.18)
Billiards29
Paddle Pool (5.96)

Paddle Pool (5.96)
Rodeo20
Buckaroo (4.67)

Buckaroo (4.67)
Greyhound Racing19
Greyhounds (6.40)

Greyhounds (6.40)
Surfing14
Cowabunga (6.03)

Hang Four (5.36)
Australian Football11n/an/a
Curling9
Curling Table Game (7.30)

Rebound (5.55)
3M Sports Games8
Speed Circuit (6.81)

Thinking Man's Football (5.03)
Sports Illustrated (Time, Inc) Line7
Sports Illustrated Baseball (7.25)

Decathlon (5.03)
Pizza Box Sports6
Pizza Box Football 2006 Expansion (7.19)

Pizza Box Football (6.41)

Games about countries

Every country's got its own Monopoly game, a few wargame scenarios, maybe some train game expansions. But a few nations intrigue American and European game makers so much as to become the theme for entirely unrelated games. The countries at the top of this list are the heavy-hitters, the UN Security Council of the board game theme world.

Country/Region Number of games Highest-rated game Lowest-rated game
The Roman Empire335
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #4: Imperial Rome (8.50)

Nero (3.57)
Country: Egypt89
Ra (7.62)

Mystery On The Nile (3.64)
Country: Finland57
Mannerheim's Cross: Finland at War 1939-1945 (8.26)

Afrikan tähti korttipeli (3.72)
Country: Japan52
IJN (8.39)

Port Arthur: The Russo-Japanese War (5.27)
Country: Germany46
Memoir '44: Das deutsche Umrüstungs-Set (9.27)

Deutschlandreise (4.32)
Country: Australia42
1848: Australia (8.01)

Survivor: The Australian Outback Card Game (3.16)
Country: Vietnam39
Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975 (7.89)

Vietnam Battles: Hue and Khe Sanh 1968 (5.29)
Country: Spain39
Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (8.83)

La Guerra de España (4.87)
Country: Portugal36
Age of Steam Expansion: Portugal (8.28)

S. Jorge Trophy (4.25)
Country: Netherlands34
Age of Steam Expansion: Holland / Madagascar (7.99)

Defiant Holland (5.00)
Moon/Lunar34
Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon (7.74)

Lunar Command (5.22)
Country: Canada33
Age of Steam Expansion: Eastern US & Canada (7.06)

Quebec 1759 (6.98)
Country: France31
Power Grid: France/Italy (8.04)

Epées de France (7.18)
Country: Korea27
Korea: The Forgotten War (8.07)

Redline Korea (5.23)
Country: India26
Chandragupta (7.89)

Hindu Windu (4.46)
Mars21
Planet Steam (7.53)

Mars 2020 (5.90)
Country: Switzerland20
Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (7.54)

Monopoly (4.50)
Country: Iraq17
Age of Steam Expansion: War in Iraq & New York Subway (7.15)

Back to Iraq (5.10)
Singapore17
Formula D Circuits 3: Singapore & The Docks (7.58)

Monopoly: Singapore (4.52)
Country: Israel16
Bar-Lev: The 1973 Arab-Israeli War (7.70)

The Arab Israeli Wars (5.53)
Country: Greece16
RPGQuest: Greek Mythology (8.46)

Chez Greek (5.98)
Country: Poland14
Red Star/White Eagle: The Russo-Polish War, 1920 (7.64)

Monopoly (4.50)
Country: New Zealand14
Poleconomy (5.48)

Monopoly: New Zealand (4.18)
Country: Mexico14
Railways of Mexico (8.07)

Civil War in the Far West: The New Mexico Campaign, 1862 (6.36)
Country: Cuba14
Cuba: Sambaschule (8.09)

Cuban Revolution (5.62)
Country: Brazil12
Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal (8.01)

Bra$ilis (6.07)
Country: Sweden11
Sweden Fights On (7.76)

Monopol (4.25)
Country: Iceland11n/an/a
Country: Ukraine10
Ukraine '43 (7.67)

Millennium Wars: Ukraine (6.84)
Country: Iran9
Ignorant Armies: Iran-Iraq War (6.73)

Raid on Iran (5.92)
Country: Taiwan8n/an/a
Country: Malaysia8
Malaya & Burma (6.88)

Malaya: V-Mail Postcard Game #1 (6.19)
Country: Hong Kong8
Honour Alone: Hong Kong 1941 (7.89)

Monopoly: Hong Kong (4.54)
Country: Thailand7
Bughouse Chess (7.49)

Bangkok Klongs (6.38)
Country: Puerto Rico7
Puerto Rico (8.26)

Age of Steam Expansion: Jamaica / Puerto Rico (7.07)
Country: Norway7
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries (7.71)

Norway 1940 (6.31)
Country: Burma6
Burma (7.96)

Burma (6.16)
Country: Romania5
Serbia the Defiant / Romania: Transylvanian Gambit (7.59)

Forgotten Axis: The Romanian Campaign (4.62)
Country: Pakistan5
Indo-Pakistani Wars (5.74)

Indo-Pakistani Wars (5.74)
Country: Macedonia5
The Conquerors (6.82)

Hegemon (6.08)
Country: Jamaica5
Jamaica: Extra Treasures (7.12)

Jamaica (6.81)
Country: Denmark5
Knapp Daneben (6.82)

Knapp Daneben (6.82)
Country: Chile4
Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP (7.26)

Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP (7.26)
Country: Afghanistan4
Holy War: Afghanistan (6.03)

Holy War: Afghanistan (6.03)
Country: Syria3
Operation Shocktroop: The Israeli Counterstroke Against Syria, 1973 (5.61)

Operation Shocktroop: The Israeli Counterstroke Against Syria, 1973 (5.61)
Country: Panama3n/an/a
Country: Kuwait3
Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War (4.74)

Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War (4.74)
Country: Hungary3n/an/a
Country: El Salvador3n/an/a
Country: Argentina3
Falklands Showdown: The 1982 Anglo-Argentine War (5.12)

Falklands Showdown: The 1982 Anglo-Argentine War (5.12)
Country: Sri Lanka2n/an/a
Country: Serbia2
Serbia the Defiant / Romania: Transylvanian Gambit (7.59)

Serbia the Defiant / Romania: Transylvanian Gambit (7.59)
Country: Peru2
Formula De - Gran Premio d'Italia - Perugia - Circuito Cittadino (7.70)

Formula De - Gran Premio d'Italia - Perugia - Circuito Cittadino (7.70)
Country: Paraguay2
War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay - 1865-1870 (5.56)

War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay - 1865-1870 (5.56)
Country: Papua New Guinea2
Combat Commander: Battle Pack #4 - New Guinea (8.57)

Papua (6.03)
Country: Nicaragua2
Nicaragua (6.11)

Nicaragua (6.11)
Country: Mongolia2n/an/a
Country: Macao2
Macao (7.48)

Macao (7.48)
Country: Indonesia2
Indonesia (7.79)

Indonesia (7.79)
Country: Czech Republic2
Czechoslovakia '38 (5.85)

Czechoslovakia '38 (5.85)
Country: Colombia2
Crisis Games: Colombia (6.36)

Crisis Games: Colombia (6.36)
Country: Cayman Islands2n/an/a

Next: Ownership and the Trade Market


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