Games with Inside Jokes for Gamers: A Definitive Pictorial List
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Several games contain jokes that are specifically about games or target gamers. Inside jokes, that the non-gaming community just wouldn't catch. Some of us, on the other hand, will catch on right away. That's what this list is about: a pictorial gallery of such "inside jokes".

Note, this list is not about games with jokes or humour in general, but only games that have jokes about games or gaming.

What are some good examples? I've done some research and come up with over 50 entries, but I'm sure this doesn't exhaust the potential games that qualify. Feel free to add to this list, with pictures if possible!

NB: This list is being constantly updated; subscribe to be notified of new additions.
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1. Board Game: Dawn Under [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2024]
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Inside a crypt, I see Villa Paletti - now we know the favorite dexterity game of vampire geeks!

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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
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Look carefully at the tables inside the houses, and you'll see that the inhabitants of an Agricola farm only play Uwe Rosenberg games like Agricola and Bohnanza!

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3. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1489]
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There are dozens of game related references used for the building names on the game board.



Examples include Scotland Yard, Elfenland, Tikal, Diplomacy, Risk, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Bluff, and others.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:43]
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Although Essen is the 7th-or-8th-largest-city in Germany, to most people it is an obscure name, and the majority of non-gamers have never heard of it. But for gamers there are few more important places in Germany than the city of Essen! Why? Because every year Essen hosts The Spiel, which is THE international boardgame event for serious gamers. No wonder the publishers of Pandemic decided to include it on their map!

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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:63]
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Another game with a map featuring Essen.

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6. Board Game: Railways of Europe [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
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The European map of the Railroad Tycoon expansion also features Essen, and even has a card about it:



This map also has Saint Petersburg, although I suspect that's not intended as an inside joke:

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7. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:289]
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Sir William Gull is the game's designer Bruno Cathala:



John Pizer in the extension is game designer Malcolm Braff:



Jeremy Bert is co-designer Ludovic Maublanc:



Not pictured here, but Lane is Yves Menu, Hurrican's boss. Spring heeled man and Aberline are the two winners of the characters contest for the expansion set.
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8. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:864]
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Two of the Benedictine monks (Father Sergio and Father Bruno) are named after the game designers Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget.







Brother Emmanuel and Brother Julien are named after the Illustrator of the rule book (Julien Delval and Emmanuel Roudier), and Brother Cyrille is named after the Graphic Designer (Cyrille Daujean).
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9. Board Game: Democrazy [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:9303]
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The blue law cards feature designer Bruno Faidutti in the artwork (near the bottom right of the card)

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10. Board Game: Valley of the Mammoths [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1774]
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Pictured on the Fishing Net card is designer Bruno Faidutti himself - recognizable from his current avatar!



bruno faidutti
France
PARIS
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11. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:199]
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Nobles #6 and #7 are caricatures of the game designers Andrea Chiarvesio and Luca Iennaco.

Pictured are Andrea Chiarvesio and Luca Ieannaco:

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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Mystery Train Expansion [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
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The artwork for the Engineer a cartoon of designer Alan Moon (pictured below on left)





He is also on the top card of the expansion pack (bottom right):

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13. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:694]
 
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The portraits on the table of the board of the original Diamant are the game designers Bruno Faidutti and Alan Moon - shown here zoomed in on the right:

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14. Board Game: Incan Gold [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:520]
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The tents of the Incan Gold edition have mirror image lettering that states "Faidutti Moon Expeditions"







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15. Board Game: Scream Machine [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3205]
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Captain Branham's Mystery Pirate Ride (shown on left) is a reference to none other than game designer/publisher Frank Branham.



Even Frank concedes that the image on the card is a reasonable likeness, albeit from a time when his hair was shorter.



And is "Joe's Weiner Rolls" (shown on left) a reference to the game's designer Jospeh Huber?



I suspect that more of the names on these cards (who is Chez Paul a reference to?) are inside jokes.
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16. Board Game: Unexploded Cow [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2546]
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The money has pictures of three people involved in the making of the game, including game designer James Ernest.





James Ernest is the president of Cheapass games, and several of his games have a reference to himself as 'El Cheapo' (e.g. a wrestler in Secret Tijuana Deathmatch).
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17. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:81]
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The face of Peter Eggert, from the publisher Eggert-Spiele!

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18. Board Game: Dream Factory [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:381]
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The game's designer Reiner Knizia appears on one of the tokens of the original Traumfabrik:



Turns out he is one of the worst actors in the game!
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19. Board Game: Schwarzarbeit [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:7927]
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The cards show game designers such as "Klaus Knizia", "Maureen Moon", "Edith Ernest", and "Franz-Benno Faidutti", which are all juxtapositions of well-known game designers like Reiner Knizia, Klaus Teuber, Alan Moon, James Ernest, and Bruno Faidutti.



The illustrations are also related to the designers named.
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20. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:312]
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The rules (in the Queen edition) indicate that two-player games are to include a third "dummy" player, clearly a reference to the game's designer, Dirk Henn

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21. Board Game: O Zoo le Mio [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:966]
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In the rulebook of O Zoo le Mio, the players used show examples are named Reiner, Wolfgang, Klaus, and Alan. Clearly none other than a game session involving renowned designers Reiner Knizia (Tigris & Euphrates), Wolfgang Kramer (El Grande), Klaus Teuber (Settlers of Catan), and Alan Moon (Ticket to Ride).

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22. Board Game: Arena Maximus [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3114]
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The examples in the rulebook use "Kevin", a reference to the game's designer, Kevin Wilson.

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23. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:442]
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Among the genes in this game is a Doris & Frank gene, a reference to the game's publisher.

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24. Board Game: Frank's Zoo [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:908]
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The hedgehogs in the game are a reference to the game's designers Doris Matthäus and Frank Nestel, the team making up the Doris & Frank publisher with its trademark hedgehog artwork.



The back of the gamebox clearly refers to Doris and Frank when it says: "The two hedgehogs won!"

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25. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:148]
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The new edition features a company named after the designer Sid Sackson.

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