5 Great Gateway Games For The New Gamer

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Do you have a love for board gaming, but your dear old friends just don’t seem to see what the big fuss is about?

Yes! Yes! Show me, O Wise One, how I can corrupt gently introduce my friends to the wonderful world of board gaming~!

Then you, have come to the right place. All you need is to find the right gateway game for your gaming group (if you can’t tell by now, I really love alliteration).

But what in the blue blazes is a gateway game?

Simply put, it is any game that helps ease and/or introduce someone new to the genre into the world of tabletop gaming.

And that’s what I intend to do here today – to list my top five recommendations for great gateway board games. There are over a thousand other games out there that may or may not be a better option as a gateway game, but in no way is this an exhaustive list. If I have missed out a title that you feel works better, then I sincerely apologize and do leave it in the comment fields below.

That’s quite all right, O Eminent One. It is, after all, YOUR list. The rest of them can all go-

As I was saying, each game in the list will be subject to the following criteria:

  1. The game must allow for a minimum of 2 players
  2. The rules of the game must be easily understood
  3. The playthrough of the game must take no longer than 30 minutes
  4. The game must look visually appealing

Without further ado, allow me to introduce to you Fuzz’s Fantabulous Five  *cue intro fanfare music and loud cheers from adoring fans*:[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]mr jack pocket[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Mr. Jack Pocket

I absolutely adore this game. I call it a “Starbucks Game” because it’s one of those games that you can just pull out and play with your mate when you’re out chilling at Starbucks.

In Mr Jack Pocket, one player takes on the role of the titular Mr Jack – on the run from the other player who takes on the role of the detectives. The game is a very simple to learn cat-and-mouse style of game where the detectives run around the alleys of London trying to spot Mr Jack (who happens to be in disguise) and eliminate the other suspects before time runs out.

Absolutely brilliant.

Why You Should Consider It:

  • Small, compact size allows for easy portability
  • A deep, engaging tactical game that hides within its beautiful simplicity
  • Ease of learning makes it great for both the young and the not-so-young
  • Perfect for couples or 2 best friends with some time to kill


7 Wonders

This game is simple and gorgeous. And it plays brilliantly. In 7 Wonders, each player takes control of their empire and, with limited resources, attempt to build one of the 7 Wonders while developing their empire and protecting their borders.

Why You Should Consider It:

  • Easy to learn game that is very visually appealing
  • Great way to teach new gamers about the card-drafting mechanic
  • Plays up to 7 players very well, and is still not time-consuming
  • It’s great for family nights too~!

Click on the link below to see a very nice playthrough of the game.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Wfdn5Es8U”][vc_separator][vc_column_text]tt_photo1[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Ticket to Ride

Elegant. Simple. And beautiful. This game has been considered by many to be the gateway game of choice.

In Ticket To Ride, players attempt to travel to as many stations as possible while secretly trying to connect their journeys to specific train stations before time runs out. The game pays homage to the classic tale of “Around The World In 80 Days”, and it brilliantly captures the feel of that era. Bonus points if you play it while wearing a top hat and monocle.

Why You Should Consider It:

  • Very easy to learn. They claim you can learn how to play in 3 minutes. I got it in 2. Hah!
  • Enough action and tension to keep new players engaged.
  • Greed and tough decisions make for a lovely gaming evening.
  • It may be competitive but it is definitely not cut-throat – perfect if you enjoy a nice friendly game.


Forbidden Island

I’m a child of the 80s, and for a short period of time, I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones (I also wanted to be a pirate sailing the seven seas, but I digress). Forbidden Island is the next closest thing I can get to reliving my childhood fantasies of being just like Indiana Jones.

In Forbidden Island, players each take on unique roles and work together to find four treasures on a rapidly sinking island. The only way to win is to work together, grab all the treasures and escape the mysterious island~!

What are you waiting for? Adventure awaits in… FORBIDDEN ISLAND~!

Why You Should Consider It:

  • Rules are simple to understand and because it is a cooperative game, you can teach while playing
  • Cooperative nature of the game means everyone has the same goal. When you’re one treasure away from winning and the waters are rushing in to flood the remaining tiles, it makes for a pretty exciting evening for everyone involved
  • Beautiful tin box and very well made components, all for a very affordable price make this a great steal
  • If your loved ones and friends enjoyed this, wait till you introduce them to “Pandemic” – another fantastic cooperative boardgame.


Hey, That’s My Fish

Players control penguins that can only move in a straight line over hex-shaped ice tiles with 1, 2 or 3 fish on them and they can’t jump over other penguins. Penguins can only catch the lovely fishies by picking up the last tile that they were on at the end of their movement (and these penguins like to MOVE IT MOVE IT! Hahaha, get it?).

With gaps appearing in the ice here and there as players race to collect as much fish as they can, players face a possibility of getting stranded! The player with the most fish wins this clever little game.

Do take note that players should be careful not to bump the table or the tiles will move out of place. Unless you’re losing. Then it’s perfectly fine to pull off such a dirty trick. Heh heh.

Why You Should Consider It:

  • A great game for both children and adults, thanks to its family-friendly style and cute factor
  • Small and compact box lends portability to the game. You can now doom other players to an icy grave and prove you are the king of the ice floe on the go!
  • Simple rules, solid abstract strategy and great components make this game a keeper
  • Also, the penguin figures look like they’re “powering up”, like in the Japanese animes. Every time I move my penguin, I imagine he’s power-dashing across the ice.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]We have reached the end, dear readers. I hope you found the list entertaining, if not useful. And I hope to see you again very soon.

“Oh thank you, O Master of Manly Virtue! This was most useful. Now I can begin step one of my diabolical plan…” (cue maniacal evil laughter)

If you know of a game you’d like to recommend… leave a comment below! Until the next time, adios amigos~![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_message color=”alert-info”]

About the Writer – Fuzz


Fuzz enjoys long-boarding, long walks at Toys R Us and dancing when no one’s looking.

When he’s not busy creating and building worlds – be it in Minecraft, LEGO or the vast mindscape of his own imagination, he enjoys introducing people to new and exciting things that pique his interests.

Fuzz also likes white chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]