2012 Holiday Board Game Gift Guide—Gateway Games

30 11 2012

So it’s New Year’s Eve, and you and your spouse are having another couple over for “games.” It’s easy to pull out the old standbys—the games that everyone knows how to play. But you have a plan to foist some games on these unsuspecting people, but you don’t know where to start. We’re here to help. These are some games that are good introductions to the vast world of board games…we call them Gateway Games.

Ticket To Ride—I (Firestone) think this is the best gateway game out there. It’s colorful. It has great production values. The rules are easy to explain. And there’s just enough luck that the newcomers have a chance to win, too. Oh yeah, and it’s fun! And if they like this, there are a number of expansions and maps you can slowly add in.

Cost:~$40

Available From: Amazon, many department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Carcassonne—This tile-laying game is an excellent choice for newbies and nongamers. Draw a tile, place a tile, and decide whether to place a person down; that’s  it! It’s also the very first review we did here at Theology of Games!

Cost: ~$30

Available From: Amazon, some department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up.

Bohnanza—This card game sounds weird: You’re bean farmers and you’re trying to be a better bean farmer than your opponents. But you have to work with them to get your beans planted. I told you it sounds weird. But it’s a fun card game that’s cheap and portable.

Cost:~$20

Available From: Amazon and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up

Lost Cities: The Board Game—Based on the two-player game Lost Cities, this is a terrific board game that has plenty of interesting choices to make but is simple enough for nongamer friends.

Cost:~$30

Available From: Amazon and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Snow Tails—We talked about this game in our Family Games edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. And it’s just as true here: Race games are a fun and easy genre.

Cost: ~$35

Available From: Amazon
, and your friendly local game store

Ages: 8 and up

Kingdom Builder—This may be a step up for newcomers. Maybe you’ve played Ticket To Ride a bunch of times, and the other couple is ready for the next step. Kingdom Builder is that game. It’s still simple enough, so don’t be afraid. Here’s our review right here!

Cost:~$45

Available From: Amazon, some department stores, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 8 and up

Mystery of the Abbey—Do your friends like Clue? Well Mystery is kind of like Clue but with fantastic production values, and much more interesting things to do. It’s better than Clue in every way…

Cost:~$50

Available From: Amazon
, and your friendly local game store.

Ages: 10 and up

Star Trek Catan—For lots of people, Settlers of Catan was their “gateway game”—the game that got them into the hobby. They now have a Star Trek-themed version, and it looks much more thematically fun than the original version.

Cost: ~$40

Available From: This is exclusively available at Target.

Ages: 10 and up

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30 11 2012
What You Missed « Theology of Games

[...] earlier today we once again added to our 2012 Christmas Holiday Gift Guide! It’s the Gateway Games [...]

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