You’re Really Into Tabletop Gaming, But Your Friends Aren’t… Yet.
We get it, you’ve discovered how awesome the tabletop renaissance is. There are so many incredible board games out there that make Monopoly look like the friend destroying monster it really is. The problem is your friends haven’t quite gotten the hint yet.
It can be really tempting to whip out your coolest, most complex game to wow them (Arkham Horror anyone?). Our advice is this: Save that for another night. If your friends are newbies, start with something that doesn’t require twenty pages of reading to get started. All that learning is intimidating. If you want to get your friends into game night, start small. Here are five games that you can teach in just a couple minutes and play quickly to let them dip their toe into the pool of tabletop before you throw them into the deep end.
A friendly game about the French revolution. This game is quick to teach and to play. The premise of the game is very different from most we play at Gemr. You are an executioner and you gain renown based on who you execute in the Revolution. Executing King Louie is going to get you way more attention than killing the piss boy. Gameplay is simple. You line up nobles and use action cards to rearrange the line to get the best score. By the end, you will all be yelling “Off with their heads!”
Play time: 30 min
King of Tokyo
This game brings together the ease of Yahtzee with the fun of being a giant monster! You are a Kaiju trying to take over Tokyo, but there is competition! Roll dice to either gain victory points, attack the other players or gain energy to buy power-ups. This game is very easy to pick up, and very easy to get into. Even newbies will be roaring with delight as you find out who is the most powerful monster in Tokyo!
Play time: 30 min
This delightful game is ever changing. Carcassonne lets you build a medieval countryside. You build the board as you go, which makes it different every time you play and keeps you coming back. Points are earned for building cities, roads, and farming. The best part? There are a huge number of expansions for this game that are all modestly priced. If your friends get hooked, picking up an expansion helps to make the game new and interesting (we recommend the Princess and the Dragon to make it a bit more competitive).
Play time: 30-45 min
Ticket to Ride
All aboard! Ticket to Ride is another easy to learn game that doesn’t require too much time to play. This game makes everyone at the table a railroad baron trying to take over the US with their railroad routes. You draw tickets to tell you where to build, and draw cards with colors matching those on the board. It sounds a little boring on the surface, but we’ve had many an argument over placing tiny trains. This game gets competitive!
Play time: 30-60 min
Evolution is by far the longest game on our list, but it is so intuitive you can’t go wrong. You create species of animals and beef them up with skill cards. The game requires you to feed all your creatures before the end of each round or you lose them. Not to mention the players who create carnivores (you know who you are) and wipe out species. Evolve your species carefully to make them survive the longest and prove your creatures have what it takes to survive the ages!
Play time: 50-70 minutes
These games give you a better shot at getting your friends interested in Board Games then throwing them into something that you know is a blast, but takes too long to teach. Once they start to get excited about the simpler games (and the addiction sets in), then you can work them up to Gloomhaven and other awesome, but time-consuming games.