white gaming console on wooden surface

The role of the theme in board games is conspicuous and the Hasbro Monopoly game is a prime example. Ask someone if they’d like to join a game of Monopoly and they’ll probably refuse as they recollect past games with nightmare rolls that enforced Income Tax payments or bankruptcy after landing on Park Lane or Mayfair. Yet, Hasbro understands the importance of the theme and so it’s likely that they have a version of Monopoly that will tempt even the most reluctant to participate. Not interested in playing the original Monopoly? No problem, how about a Game of Thrones version, Jurassic Park, Marvel Avengers, or Star Wars?

Though the theme can be more obfuscated in video gaming, its importance should not be overlooked.

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All in the game

It’s important to note that when we discuss the theme of a game it is distinct from the genre. The most popular game genres today include first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas, role-playing, real-time strategy, and iGaming.

In fact, the latter is a prominent example of how certain themes can become expected in different game genres. For example, online table games are expected to offer stylish and sophisticated themes. If you play blackjack online at Paddy Power, for instance, you are met with games like Premium Blackjack and live versions with well-presented professional croupiers – both great examples of how theme can heighten the experience.

Thanks to the live dealer component and the use of multipliers to add a new dynamic, the online casino table games have become more akin to high-octane game shows. Slots retain the classic themes for nostalgic gamers, but there are more TV and blockbuster movie tie-ins and games developed around almost any historical time period you can think of.

Online casino game developers clearly understand that incorporating different themes can appeal to a whole new generation of players and this is why there’s even an NFT slot theme to appeal to those that are interested in the cryptocurrency industry. Next time you play your favorite game online, consider the theme as one of the most undervalued components of a good game. A well-thought-out theme will encapsulate essential details that result in you enjoying a game.

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Finding theme

The theme is important in game development as it concocts the story, and a captivating story will make the game immersive. If you’re a fan of playing the Assassin’s Creed series, you’ll know that it came about as game designer Patrice Désilets wanted to move away from the Prince of Persia storyline of a prince striving to be a king. While there are overarching story arcs in The Assassin’s Creed series, each game in the series gives us a further theme and story, often of redemption or revenge in a very different time period. Without the different themes creating bewitching stories from the Peloponnesian War, through the age of Vikings, the American Revolutionary War, and the French Revolution this Ubisoft franchise would never have been so successful.

While not often acknowledged, the theme of a game can make it stand out from the crowd and repeatedly is the element that makes a moderate game great.

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Clare Anderson

Not a green elephant! Part-time blogger in technology, gaming and gadgets.

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