Occasionally, being adorable is exactly what a game needs.
By way of example, consider Kodama: The Tree Spirits from Action Phase Games. Here’s a game that, if it weren’t so darn precious, might have everyone slamming their heads against the table. Not in the sense that the rules are complicated or the game is especially frustrating. Rather, because the goals lend themselves so fully to a tightly-controlled competition of wits where a single misstep can see you plummeting in the rankings. Transforming it into a zen-like game about growing a tree so you can house some cute-as-buttons forest spirits? Magnificent.