Despite the board game industry growing every single year, it is still minuscule compared to giants such as video games or movies. This hasn’t stopped advocates of the hobby from starting their own YouTube channels to express their love for the hobby. Unfortunately, creating content without direction in this algorithm-driven world is just as productive as dumping water into the Pacific Ocean.
As a consumer of board game media, I want to highlight a few of my favorites that are overshadowed by the bigger names of the industry.
I’ve been watching these two guys for over a year now, and their content just keeps getting better. Their channel is a mix of short comedy videos and long-form review videos.
Besides stellar production and editing, a major attraction for me is their analysis of the games they review. They dissect these games like a high school science project without diving too far into the details. The pacing is so lightspeed quick that I often forget I just watched a video about painted cubes and cardboard for 30 minutes.
Another aspect I like about their work is their balanced approach to their conclusions. Most reviewers are often binary where they either praise the game endlessly or slam it to the ground like they are in a wrestling match. Shelfside likes to look at games from all angles and their Food Chain Magnate review is a perfect example of that.
If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, Meeple University is your next stop. Like many other board game YouTubers, they have a variety of board game-related content such as reviews, tutorials, and playthroughs.
What attracted me to their content is their concise length, especially their “quick how to play” videos. They don’t mess around with those four words because they rarely go over ten minutes to explain a game, which shows respect for your time. There are far too many YouTube channels that take a dog’s lifespan to describe a game and it’s great to see a channel understand why video editing exists. Since they keep their explanation concise, they don’t go through every detail of a game, but they provide enough information to help you make a decision. It’s because of them that I am interested in Reload by Kolossal Games.
But what if you only have one minute to know about a game?
Board Games in a Minute
Started initially as a TikTok channel, Board Games In A Minute is slowly expanding to YouTube. The premise of the channel is in the title. In one minute, you will learn about the core mechanisms and flow of a board game. Do not expect full reviews, as Sarah’s takes are more like an elevator pitch during a power outage.
You would think with such a short timeframe that she would only cover casual games (because I thought of the same thing), but that isn’t the case. There have been several massively complex games covered, such as Carnegie and ISS Vanguard. Sarah Shah, the person behind this channel, attributes her fast-talking ability to her law profession, and she certainly gets the job done. She ain’t no John Moschitta Jr though.
Our Family Plays Games
Much like many other channels, Our Family Play Games is a variety channel that covers different board games areas such as previews, reviews, playthroughs, and hot topics. While it sounds like the channel treads on familiar ground, there is one small twist: They’re a husband and wife team.
Multiple heads discussing board games isn’t new, but I find most of them very boring. They are often as slow and bureaucratic as a town hall meeting, which makes me fall asleep faster than carbon monoxide. Though Our Family Plays Games have a ton of content, I prefer their reviews, especially of games they dislike, like Pendulum. When watching these two talk, you can feel the passion bounce between them as if you’re watching the Wimbledon Finals. It’s entertaining stuff.
I don’t understand why this channel doesn’t have 20k subscribers right now.
Yes, he does the usual reviews, playthroughs, and previews like anyone else. His production? It has no rival. I can’t think of another content creator that matches his lighting or editing skills. He is such a tech wizard that I wouldn’t be surprised if he were an escaped government experiment that decided to create board game content. He is one of the few people that can make me watch a video review of a game I have no interest in because his work is visual stimulation.
But he goes beyond the board game content. He has plenty of breakdown and tutorial videos to show you how he does his work, so anyone interested in photography or cinematography can learn something useful from him. Definitely worth checking out.
This one was something that I discovered through, out of all places, Facebook ads. After watching some of his videos, I knew I discovered something unique.
Boardgame Stories, at first glance, looks like any other board game channel. In contrast to most board game content, he doesn’t rely on technical explanations. Instead, he talks about the game through the lens of a storyteller and weaves a tale that educates you on the game. When he narrates, you can almost hear the crackle of firewood, except he tells you about the Lost Ruins of Arnak, not ghost stories. Furthermore, his editing and scripting are of professional quality.
That’s enough about stuff that I found and liked. What about you? What are your favorite board game YouTubers that could use some spotlight?
If podcasts are more your style, check out our recommendations for great board game podcasts.