What Makes a Good Yard Game?

Guest Article by Matt Grear

Matt Grear is an expert in the world of yard games. He strives to share the joy and excitement these games bring and the community and fun they create.


Yard games come in all shapes and sizes, but not all yard games are created equal. So what makes a good yard game? What is that magic recipe? This answer is actually quite simple.

Great yard games are defined by 3 factors: degree of fun, portability/size, and setup time.

Degree of Fun

For obvious reasons, the degree of fun is the first and most important factor. If the game is not fun, then you are simply not going to play the game. Since the games are all so different and since “fun” is so subjective, it is hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a game fun. So instead of coming up with concrete rules for this, I will describe the feelings the game must evoke. A game is ultimately fun if it makes someone smile or laugh. Maybe it helps create a fond memory. 

Games that are fun last forever. The participants aren’t just playing once and then moving on. They are there all day. They want to play again and again. Fun games are talked about after the match. Fun games aren’t thrown in the attic; they are easily accessible. Fun is the only thing yard game creators strive for. It is why they got into the business in the first place.

There is also a direct correlation between fun and simplicity. The more rules that are involved in a game, the more convoluted the experience becomes, and thus the game is less fun.  The longer it takes to figure out a game the less likely someone will go into it with a fun mindset.  People spend more time debating and trying to understand the rules than enjoying themselves. When in doubt, I’m all about the KISS method, Keep It Simple Stupid!

Portability & Size

Unfortunately, people do not just leave it set up in their backyard for days on end. When you have a great yard game, you want to bring it with you from location to location.  You bring it along to the beach, the park, or even to a tailgate.  It’s an absolute necessity that this is easy to do.  

Imagine you are going to a cookout. You pack the car with coolers, chairs, blankets, food, but is there any room for your game? If the game is too big, you better believe it’s going to be left behind. Games that are clunky, heavy, or that do not fold up into a convenient size make it difficult to transport and less likely that you’ll want to go through the trouble of bringing it with you.  

But if the game can fold up into an easily portable size, it’s absolutely coming along and you’re the new life of the party!

Setup

There have been too many times where I attempted to bring a game out and since I did not have anything organized, my friends decided to play something else.  It’s a defeating feeling.  It’s hard enough to teach a bunch of people a new game, let alone wrangle them in for a long enough time to wait while you put together the game.

According to the Journal of Physiology, the average attention span of an adult is 8 seconds. 8 SECONDS!  When picking your game, make sure it’s easy to set up or make sure you get it ready before your company even arrives.  If people have to wait, nobody will care how fun a game could be.  

Select Your Game!

The next time you go to my website or a store to buy a new yard game, make sure you consider the three factors:  fun, portability, and setup.

Be sure to check out my reviews of some of the best yard games out there today! I base my reviews on these three factors when coming up with my ratings! Visit Yard Games World.

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August 19, 2021

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