Gateway is the Best Way
Letting out the obligatory groans, it’s important to recognize that gateway games are the perfect way to introduce people to the board-gaming hobby. They allow people to see what board games have been up to since the days of Monopoly and Risk. Here are our 5 favorite “Gateway” games.
5. Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan is a classic “gateway”, one that brought many into the modern board gaming hobby and continues to do so. Although it has gained as much notoriety as Monopoly in some circles, the game is still a wonderful, simple introduction to the modern board game, particularly Eurogames.
4. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is a wonderful co-operative board game that introduces players to the concept of working together rather than competing. It allows players to glimpse a section of the hobby that they may never have even considered existed.
3. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a good way to introduce deeper Euro mechanics to newer gamers. The game bridges the gap between hardcore board gamers and those who’ve never played a game besides Scrabble and allows both to have fun in a game, together.
Splendor teaches the hard lessons of limited resources and decision making in a small 20-minute package. It’s a game with little theme, playing much of the dry Euro role, but it manages to win over those who expect board games to be a long and tiresome affair with its concise bursts of strategy and excitement.
One great way to get people interested in board games is visually. Takenoko accomplishes this task beautifully with its eye-catching visuals and 3D plastic components. The game may not be a bastion of strategic gameplay, but it’s more than enough to introduce those interested in the hobby to modern thematic board games.