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Top 10 Gateway Board Games

Modern board games have developed significantly since the ’80s and offer an interesting and challenging way to spend time with friends and family. Entering the hobby can create a paralysis of choice for beginning gamers since thousands, yes thousands, of new games are being released every year. DON’T PANIC, More Than Meeples has your back in the form of this list of our top 10 gateway board games. Included are some of the best gateway board games which are friendly to new gamers and enjoyable for friends and family. We’ve chosen what we think are the best gateway games based on rules complexity, player count, and the completely scientific nor-arbitrary fun factor.

If you are curious about these, or other board games, we are Brisbane’s newest online board game shop and bring an abundance of knowledge to the table. Please enjoy reading about our top 10 gateway board games and we hope you can sit down to play a game soon.

Modern classics

These are some of the games that help craft the hobby into what is today and to leave them off a list of best gateway games would be absurd. They helped create new ways of creating and playing games.

Catan

Released in 1995, Catan has won numerous awards and is an evergreen title that created a deep well of spin-off games. Players collect, trade and spend resources to build settlements, cities, and roads which will earn the players points and the player with the most points wins. The fierce trading of resources is engaging and it’s delightful to develop your settlement. Watch out for the robber, the tricky sneak will steal your resources and stop you from earning points.

Average Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Recommended Age: 10+
Number of Players: 3-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 2.32/5

Carcassonne

The first game in the widely popular Carcassonne series, this tile-placement game requires the players to make tough choices. Players draw and place tiles, picturing southern France, in an attempt to create connected cities, roads, and fields. Once an area is complete the player scores points. After the last tile is placed the game finishes, players tally their points and whoever has the most points wins!

Average Playtime: 30-45 minutes
Recommended Age: 7+
Number of Players: 2-5
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.91/5

Ticket to Ride

Another award-winning game that kicked off a series. Players collect cards to acquire railway routes, the longer the route the more points they score, and the winner is the player with the most points. A pleasant, relaxed game of collecting sets, it forces you to weigh gathering more cards or playing them to expand your railway. It can be vicious at times if your opponent can block you from expanding but that tension is part of the fun.

Average Playtime: 30-60 minutes
Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2-5
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.85/5

Pandemic

Pandemic is a cooperative game, which pits the players against themselves and not other players, where players are trying to stop the spread of a pandemic. One of the first cooperative games in the hobby, Pandemic is an engrossing game of negotiation and planning. Players take on character roles to travel around the glove and cure four infections but the game uses cards to prevent the players from succeeding. Players win if they cure all four diseases, if not everyone loses.

Average Playtime: 45 minutes
Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 2.41/5

Beauty and brains

Next on our best gateway board games list are titles that look amazing on the table and challenge the players to be creative.

Dixit

Dixit is marvellous to look at and the art on the cards is tremendously evocative. Players use cards to create a clue and try to guess which card the active player gave a clue about. There are rules for scoring, the player with the most points wins, but Dixit can be a fun storytelling exercise too.

Average Playtime: 30 minutes
Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 3-6
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.22/5

Splendor

Splendor is a competitive game of collecting chips and developing cards. The chips act as currency for purchasing cards, which simulate gem mines, and the cards can be used for points. The chips have a pleasant tactile feel to them and the art on the cards is wonderful.

Average Playtime: 30 minutes
Recommended Age: 10+
Number of Players: 2-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.80/5

Abstracts

Abstracts are games like backgammon or Go and require skill and planning to win which makes these some of the best gateway games in terms of competitiveness.

Blokus

Best at 3-4 players, Blokus uses Tetris-shaped pieces that players must play onto the board. The limitation is, pieces may only be placed if at least one corner touches a previously placed piece. Once all players can no longer place any pieces the game ends, scores are tallied, and the player with the highest score wins. This is a great puzzle and the fight for space on the board is compelling.

Average Playtime: 20 minutes
Recommended Age: 7+
Number of Players: 2-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.77/5

Kingdomino

Create a 5×5 kingdom with domino-shaped tiles. Do your best to connect similar tiles so you can score the most points and win. A rules light game that is pleasant to look at, Kingdomino is a great family game filled with fun choices. The cards are thick and chunky so it’s easy for younger kids to play with them and the art is colourful and detailed.

Average Playtime: 15 minutes
Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.21/5

The Mind

A team game that requires the players to complete various levels to win. Cards must be placed from lowest to highest to finish a level. The catch is, you can’t talk about what cards you have. A challenging game that requires experimentation and good timing, The MInd has won numerous awards for best card game.

Average Playtime: 20 minutes
Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2-4
Difficulty (BGG Weight): 1.08/5

Ready to play?

These are some great games and there are more to learn about, plenty more, so if you are interested in these games or want more information, please get in touch with us online or give our friendly team a call on 1300 564 059 today! It would be our pleasure to help you get a game to the table.

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