17 Weird Themes For Your Board Game

I’m tired of going to the game store and seeing the same three themes over and over again. Here are 17 weird themes. Feel free to use them!

  1. Assembly Guide/Warning Label. Featureless human shapes assembling/being attacked by geometric shapes in a stark, right-angle-aplenty abstract space. Great for light games!
  2. Vegetable Collage. Penguins made out of eggplants! Mighty warriors carved from, I don’t know, a carrot or something! A mountain range in a pumpkin!
  3. Fortune Teller Machine. Go to the nearest tacky fortune teller machine and get a fortune. Use the aesthetic of the card as the basis of everything in your favorite project.
  4. Yellow Submarine. Not the actual movie, but the same idea of a queasy psychedelic art style and weird critters.
  5. What People In The 19th Century Thought The 25th Century Would Be Like.
  6. The Everglades. There’s a bunch of cool animals there!
  7. 1930s Shanghai. Did you know that Shanghai in the 1930s is a rich setting for noir fiction and intrigue? Now you do.
  8. Antarctica. Either “cool ice science” or “blizzardy horror” could work here.
  9. Playstation-era 3D graphics. Enough 16-bit throwbacks! Blocky approximations of the human figure or bust!
  10. Content Aggregator Site. Collect sets to form an ad-sponsored slideshow! Or take the safe option and make a listicle.
  11. Tsukiji Fish Market. It’s a giant fish market with a bunch of loud auctions going on all the time. The potential here should be obvious.
  12. Marché Bastille. While I’m at it, how about the gigantic outdoor market in the middle of Paris?
  13. Interior Design. Take your tile-laying games to the small time as you passive-aggressively rearrange furniture in one or several houses!
  14. Ballet. There’s several theatre-themed games but ballet, IMO, lends itself to board games even better, as it’s easier to judge whether something is following the script.
  15. Protestant Reformation. The spread of Protestantism is fascinating, and could have design space for a COIN-style 2 player wargame.
  16. 1910s College. Back when football players wore stripy shirts, all professors wore caps and gowns all the time, and the Marx Brothers terrorized the land.
  17. Aaaaaaaaaand trains.