Carcassonne is officially back at Toys “R” Us. While generally a game being at Toys “R” Us isn’t much of a news story, Carcassonne vanished from store shelves when Z-Man games took over the license.
Carcassonne is a great game, winner of the Spiel Des Jahres (“Game of the Year”) award in 2001, and is one of the few Eurogames to really catch on in the United States. It’s spawned many expansions and variants, as well as spin-offs to the PC, console, and mobile devices.
Every gaming convention has people playing it, if not a full blown tournament…and it only took a few years of this kind of success before a big retailer like Toys “R” Us though it might be worth putting on store shelves. Considering it was more like two decades before Dungeons and Dragons products could be found in a mainstream store, Carcassonne is definitely moving along nicely.
It’s probably more fair to say “gamer” style gaming is finally more than just a small niche in popular culture. World of Warcraft‘s overwhelming popularity has gone a long way to bringing the imagery of gaming to everyday stores like Wal-Mart, but that’s on the computer, a household product. It’s clear from Carcassonne‘s slow ascent that tabletop gaming still has a long way to go before it’ll be quite as accepted as more traditional games like Monopoly.
If you’re one of the few that haven’t played, Carcassonne is a simple, family style game, based around building up the medieval landscape; there’s no violent conflict, and no player is ever eliminated. It’s also very fast moving, and a whole game takes 45 minutes or so, making it a good choice when you don’t have the time to play what can be a long round of Monopoly. And hey, it’s for sale at Toys “R” Us, so it’s gotta be pretty good, right?
Product Page [toysrus]