Beer and Pretzels

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What Does Beer and Pretzels Mean?

Beer and pretzels is a slang term used to refer to a video game that is considered to be easy in terms of strategy and rules, but is still entertaining. Beer-and-pretzel games are designed to be completed in a short time (less than a day) and generally involve multiple players. These games get their name from the custom of drinking beer and eating pretzels while taking part in such games.

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Beer-and-pretzel video games marked a sharp departure from the previous trend where games where getting longer and more immersive as technological capabilities increased. Immersive games still make up the majority of games produced, but beer-and-pretzel games have become a popular subgenre within gaming. Moreover, some immersive games have introduced beer-and-pretzel elements, so they can be enjoyed in groups or by a single player. These elements include time trails, mini-games, kill-count challenges, and so on.

Techopedia Explains Beer and Pretzels

Beer and pretzels was originally used to refer to board games that could be played in a group whileenjoying – you guessed it – beer and pretzels. Essentially, these games required very little mentaleffort compared to in-depth strategy board games that are played over days and months. Theconcept of beer-and-pretzels gaming has expanded to include console-based video games. "Spaceward Ho!", a science fiction computer game set in space, is considered to be one of the mose famous beer-and-pretzels PC games.

In 2006, the Nintendo Wii was released with a number of titles that became classics of beer-and-pretzels gaming. These games emphasized intuitive controls and group participation. The success of the Wii encouraged more game designers to focus on group games with easy-to-learn gameplay and shorter playing time per round or level.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.