Going Analog

Where video game industry veterans introduce great board games to video gamers

Podcast #78: Board Game Arena pros/cons, playing "blind," and more (guest: Emerson Matsuuchi)

Game designer Emerson Matsuuchi (Century series, Specter Ops, Foundations of Rome) and Going Analog contributor Jess Yi join for a friendly and contentious discussion of Board Game Arena!

We love playing games in-person! But sometimes you want to scratch that board-gaming itch for a few minutes in the middle of the workweek. Or during a "break." Or, well, all the damn time. Playing asynchronously on Board Game Arena lets you do just that...a lot. Just don't tell our bosses.

Our BGA play pals Emerson Matsuuchi (designer of the Century series, Specter Ops, Reef, and the upcoming Foundations of Rome) and Jess Yi (frequent Going Analog contributor) join Christina and Shoe to gab about Board Game Arena vs. Tabletop Simulator, which games work best on the platform, and whether we can learn how to play (and enjoy) an entire game online without ever reading the rules.

Note: Going Analog was given a free premium/media subscription to Board Game Arena. We've definitely been using it!

Our topics this episode:

  • Jess (contributor): Board Game Arena vs. Tabletop Simulator (14:54)
  • Christina (host): Which games are better on Board Game Arena -- and which are worse? (31:50)
  • Emerson (guest): Our experiences playing "blind" on Board Game Arena (51:12)

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Games mentioned in this episode:


  • Century: Golem Edition
  • Century: Spice World
  • Century: Eastern Wonders
  • Century: A New World
  • Foundations of Rome
  • Machi Koro: Legacy
  • Splendor
  • Llamaland
  • Sushi Go!
  • Bärenpark
  • Summer Camp
  • Gingerbreak House
  • The Initiative
  • French Toast

Jess's topic: Board Game Arena vs. Tabletop Simulator

  • Flick 'em Up!
  • Marvel Dice Throne

Christina's topic: Which games are better or worse on Board Game Arena?

  • Beyond the Sun
  • 7 Wonders: Duel
  • Stone Age
  • Abyss
  • Yokohama
  • Agricola
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak
  • The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
  • The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
  • Hanabi

Emerson's topic: "Blind" learning games on Board Game Arena

  • The Castles of Burgundy
  • Russian Railroads
  • Gold West
  • Mancala
  • Lost Explorers
  • Nicodemus
  • Rolled West
  • Imaginarium
  • Splendor
  • In the Year of the Dragon