In North America there was very, little competition in board games. (A single large company ended up buying out all competitors.) Around here, board games were "kid stuff". Parents bought games for their children. The kids played them for a while until they discovered that the games were not that much fun, and the games were eventually put away with other childish things.
In Europe it was a totally different situation. There were about 50 large publishers (working in several languages) that competed against each other constantly.
In Germany especially, TV advertisements gradually convinced parents that once or twice a week, the whole family would sit down together for a board game. Huge number of games were sold each year to the public. The games had to obey strict rules to succeed:
1) They had to be quick - Usually 1.5 hours or less. Kids had to have time to come home, do some homework, have dinner and still be able to play the game before bed.
2) They have to be easy to learn. A busy parent does not have time to learn a complex game. Most of these German (or European) games have less than 4 pages of well illustrated rules.
3) They have to be really fun, or they would disappear with out a trace.
So these "European Games" got better and better - and almost none of them were available in North America.
However, in the last decade word has got out and a few publisher are bringing them to our public. You will rarely see these games in the big retailers - they tend to be found in Comic Book stores or specialty game stores.
Here at Little Shop of Movies, we have fallen in love with these games, and are offering a selection to the public. Eventually we hope to get reviews of all these games up, but for now, we recommend "Settlers of Catan", "Ticket To Ride" or "Dominion".
If there is a game you like, we can try to order it in for you. Talk to Art in the store and he can tell you if we can get it.
From the people at LSOM, and our friends, we wish you, Good Gaming.