One of my favorite ways to come up with a new game idea is to combine two existing games. You can literally pick two games at random as a springboard for thinking outside the box. To start, imagine playing one game on the other game’s board. It can be as simple as that, but a more robust game will arise when you consider the pieces and style of play of one game using the board and mechanics of the second game.
The very first time I posited this method, someone dared me to combine Wiz-War and Risk. Playing Risk on any other board is a simple enough exercise. As long as you have a map with a good variety of regions that are connected in some way (such as Settlers of Catan), you gen easily port the pieces of Risk onto that new board. For Wiz-War, however, the regions were too symmetrical, so I tried instead to imagine playing Wiz-War on a Risk board. Continents can be sectors; countries/states can be spaces; and sea-routes can be doors. The exact center of any country can serve as the Line-of-Sight marker. The rest pretty much follows suit.
Try it with the below random set of game images.
The pieces, rules and goal of this game…
…using the board & mechanics of this game.
Here are some I JUST created by looking around my game collection room in two random directions at the first two games I noticed on the shelf. A spent about 1 minute per brainstorm session (workable ideas don’t take hours ;D ). You may argue with their replayability, but I guarantee you they are at a minimum playable at least once!
- Stratego + Mastermind
Mastermind pieces on a Stratego board doesn’t go anywhere too fast, but Mastermind rules using Stratego pieces on its own board works. For example, a Scout, Major, a Bomb and a Colonel in a row can be the code to be guessed. I would still use white/black to indicate answers, but I would use the large black & white pegs in the large holes and place the Mastermind board next to the board. Red and Blue can both play at the same time with alternating guessing.
- Twister + Chutes & Ladders
It would be difficult to stand on a Chutes board, but playing Chutes on a Twister mat is a bit too reductive, so let’s go back to the first combo. Literally spin the spinner to move your foot forward 1-6 spaces and put your foot down. It will most likely cover at least one ladder, so move your foot to the top of that ladder. If it’s still touching a chute or ladder, move it again. Eventually you will be on a space not touching anything. Then the next player gets to move. Perhaps this is a combo best played with only 2 people. Eventually one of you will fall. Better yet, get 4 Chutes board and put them together in a four-square. Take photos.
- Ticket to Ride + Settlers of Catan
Does it get any easier? Put the numbered chits (2-12) onto the all the stops on the Ticket board. Each time a number is rolled, anyone with a segment touching it gets an extra card. Play until all routes are covered. Trading rounds can still happen and the robber can still be moved as usual! Completing a Route Card gains 1 point, plus the longest route of course (skip all the other point earning methods).