Board Game Showdown: Gizmos vs. Flamecraft vs. Boop vs. Furnace

Board Game Showdown: Gizmos vs. Flamecraft vs. Boop vs. Furnace

Oh, the agony of choice! Board games are a bit like Pringles – once you start, you can’t stop. But, like Pringles flavors, not all board games are created equal, and sometimes you can find yourself in quite the pickle when trying to decide which game to buy, keep, or return. Today, we’re going to unpack the great debate that nearly tore apart one humble board game fan’s collection (and sanity): Gizmos vs. Flamecraft vs. Boop vs. Furnace. What a wild ride this has been!

The Dilemma

Our dear friend finds themselves in a quandary: they bought Gizmos on a whim, only to second-guess themselves after realizing they already have plenty of engine builders like Everdell and Wingspan. In an attempt to return the game, they learned that “all sales were final” – but they were given the option to exchange Gizmos for another game.


In front of them were Boop, Furnace, and Flamecraft, and, like a moth to a fiery dragon’s breath, they chose Flamecraft (despite their initial reservations about it being too light or growing tired of the puns). So now, they find themselves asking the ultimate question: did they make the right choice?

The Contenders

Before we dive into each game, here’s a brief overview of our competitors:

For Players 2-4
Time Duration40-50 Mins
For Age14+
  • Boop – An intriguing-looking two-player abstract game involving adorable cats on a quilt.
For Players 2
Time Duration20-30 Mins
For Age10+
  • Furnace – An engine-building game with bidding mechanics and industrial vibes.
For Players 2-4
Time Duration30-60 Mins
For Age12+
  • Flamecraft – A lighter engine-building game with stunning artwork and whimsical dragon-centric puns.
For Players 1-5
Time Duration50 Min
For Age10+

The Verdict

As much as I’d love to say “buy all of the above” and call it a day, I’ll refrain and try to offer a bit more guidance. Based on the games our friend and their wife enjoy (Dune: Imperium, Cascadia, and Quacks of Quedlinberg, among others), I reckon they made the right choice with Flamecraft.


Sure, it may be considered “lighter” than other engine builders, but the beauty and charming theme help to keep it engaging, even for those who typically gravitate toward more complex games. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to have a less-intimidating option on hand for those more casual gaming sessions.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due: Gizmos is also a fantastic engine builder and might be worth reconsidering. It’s different enough from other games mentioned to provide a fresh experience and offer players a new and entertaining challenge – and who doesn’t love that satisfying feeling of triggering chain reactions?

As for Boop, it’s an interesting choice, but may not have the same replayability or broad appeal as Gizmos or Flamecraft. And Furnace, while an excellent game, might just be a bit too similar to other engine-building titles in the collection. Sometimes, a touch of variety can be the spice of life, even in board games.

The Aftermath

So, did our board gaming friend make the right decision? I’d say it’s a solid “probably.” Flamecraft seems like a great addition to their collection, and if they ever find their way back to the game store, perhaps they’ll give Gizmos a second thought.

But let’s not forget the true lesson in all of this: if life hands you board games, why not just go with it? As any seasoned gamer knows, the key to surviving the unforgiving world of complex mechanics, unpredictable opponents, and endless expansions is to keep an open mind, a steady hand, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some dragon puns to brush up on. Happy gaming, everyone!

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