Play and Win Stats Written by Marshall Jansen on June 28, 2017

Every year, Geekway tries to analyze how our play and win games get played. A few years ago, we even added a ‘ranking’ field to the entries, so players could say how much (or how little) they liked a game. We’ve grown Play and Win over the years, trying to keep pace with the con as it grows larger – we’ve come a long way from 15-20 individual games. For 2017 we had 107 titles, at just under an average of 5 copies per game, with 534 copies available to check out and play.

Those 534 games got played a total of 6798 times… an average of nearly 13 plays per copy of each game, and an average of nearly 64 plays per title. We also had an excellent year of ratings this year, with over 70% of the Play and Win cards having a rating for the game.

Ratings and number of plays are our two primary metrics that we actively track, which lets us know how popular certain games are. This post will go over the most played games from Play and Win at Geekway 2017.

Most Played Games – 2017

We had two standout games this year, both of which had an amazing number of plays: over 240 each. The third closest was at 161 plays, and then we have a pack of about 21 games that all got 90+ plays. We have another 36 that got 50+ plays, and then finally 47 games that got under 50.

Honorable Mentions

I want to call out a few games whose ‘number of plays’ are misleading compared to the rest of the pack: Between Two Cities, Gloomhaven, and Sagrada.

Gloomhaven – we had two copies on Play and Win, and they were in constant rotation and got 47 plays. If we had been able to get our hands on 4 more copies, that number would have tripled to nearly 150 plays.

Between Two Cities with the Capitals Expansion – Jamey Stegmaeir was able to get us an early copy of Capitals to go with Between Two Cities. Despite being a game that was on Play and Win last year, it still got 29 plays! Again, if we’d had 5 copies instead of one, I’m certain it would have clocked in at 150 plays.

Sagrada – We got our Kickstarter versions in just before the convention, and had one copy on Play and Win. despite only having a single copy, it got an amazing 50 plays. We had a couple extra library copies floating around, so I’m not sure if 5 copies would have put it up into the range of 250 plays… but it could have. Sagrada is a perfect example of the type of game that does very well in Play and Win.

Top Two Most played Games (240 plays or more)

The top two most played games were Onitama from Arcane Wonders, with 254 plays (5 copies were available), and Potion Explosion from Horrible Games and CMON with 243 plays (8 copies were available).

Potion Explosion was a game we knew would be popular. It’s fun, easy to teach, and looks great on the table. Onitama was a bit of a surprise, though. Abstract strategy games, especially two-player ones are exactly high up on the list. That said, Onitama is a beautiful game, quick to play, with lots of variation.

The Next Ten (120 plays or more)

We’ve got quite a variety of games here. Top of the chart is New York Slice, from Bezier with 161 plays across 5 copies. From there, we see Dimension from KOSMOS, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle from USAopoly, Celestia from Abba Games, Kerala from KOSMOS, Terraforming Mars from Stronghold Games, Imhotep from KOSMOS, Roll Player from Thunderworks Games, Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails from Days of Wonder and Scythe with the Invaders From Afar Expansion from Stonemaier Games.

We’ve got a variety of game types and publishers here. I think this really drives home that while some types of games are more suited to Play and Win, there’s no single type of game that will do well.

We Beat the Average!

Following these, there’s a group of 28 games that all beat the average. I’m just going to list them here:

Carcassonne: Star Wars
Vast: The Crystal Caverns
Captain SONAR
Plague Inc
Jump Drive
Great Dinosaur Rush, The
Blood Rage
Sushi Go Party
Networks, The
Great Western Trail
Champions of Midgard
Pocket Dungeon Quest
Tyrants of the Underdark
Codenames: Pictures
Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Dragon & Flagon
Coldwater Crown

I’m sure there’s a lot of analysis you can do here to try to determine some metrics on what makes a Play and Win game ‘successful’ but that’s a little bit too much analysis for me at this time!




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