Friday, 14 February 2014

Gateway Games

More recently I have been trying to add board games to my collection which are more accessible to a wider audience. I have finally come to the conclusion that not all wish to sit down for a 3 hour game of Eclipse or Agricola. After reading a post on Will Wheaton dot Net I found out that the games I have been trying to add to my collection are called gateway games. On the post he gives a list of the top 10 gateway games as rated by board game geek, here they are:

Ticket to Ride/TTR Europe
Carcassonne (all)
King of Tokyo
5 For Sale
6 Diamant/Incan Gold
7 Can’t Stop
9 Love Letter
10 Settlers of Catan
I copy and pasted directly from his website and the links to the episodes of Will Wheaton's episodes of tabletop came too, hence the links in the list. 

Will then went on to say this...
different games work for different people, and someone who loves Ticket To Ride may not like King of Tokyo at all, so ask your non-gamer or tabletop-curious friends questions, and choose their gateway game carefully. All of these games have a high ratio of luck to strategy, which makes it a lot of fun for experienced and new players alike to play together.
I feel like that makes a lot of sense, by having a decent diversity of 'gateway games' in your collection ideally there will be a game for everyone. This has an added bonus of playing more games!

As this has been something on my mind for the past while I have accumulated some more games which are easy enough to pop out and work for most audiences. Some of these games are admittedly not on the list above but still they seem to do the trick and I would consider to be gateway games. Here is a list of my new gateway games

  1. Saboteur
  2. Galaxy Trucker (although it doesn't work for the easily frustrated)
  3. Tsuro of the Seas
  4. Bohnanza. 
  5. Coup (as seen in a previous post) 
  6. Twilight Imperium... I kid. 
Anyhow I am planning on doing a post now and then about some of these games, probably quite sporadicly, to give you all some ideas. I will create a label for gateway games to make them easy to navigate for those interested.



  1. After a session of King Maker that finished with no result at 04:00 am our board game group has stuck to the likes of Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Carcarsonne or similar.
    Guillotine is another good 'entry' game.

    1. That sounds traumatic! I wouldn't throw out the longer more strategic games altogether just choose your audience well.

  2. You do realize that gateway games lead to the hard stuff. Do you really want you get your friends hooked?

    1. Imagine that! I don't know what I'd do with myself. Probably play more games.

  3. Haha, on no 6!

    Galaxy Trucker is one of the better games I have played. Almost love it. I have hade some minor problems with females "not getting it"* when trying to learn them the game, though... but then again, I got my bum handed to me when playing TI against another girl - her first game, my 20th game... *sigh*.

    *) What's "to get" in Galaxy Trucker, I ask myself when the girls get frustrated and just leaves the table to get another cider and gossip. You build your ship, following VERY simple and easy to learn rules. You go with your spaceship around the super simple map, and your ship falls apart following two simple rules (well, shields might add some complication, but not really) and its joyous and is relatively easy to immerse oneself in it, especially considering how simple the components are and the system is...

    1. Thanks Llama. Galaxy Trucker is a great game with a nice simple mechanic. However I have also found that some of the females I have played it with tended to throw their toys out the window every time their ship got hurt. No matter how much I tried to explain how it's part of the fun I gave up trying to convince them to play it.

      I guess it's the whole try choose the right game for the right people and occasion.


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