‘Gateway’ games, like gateway drugs

I find a lot of people get the wrong idea when I tell them I like boardgames.

I suspect they immediately think of traumatic childhood family experiences playing Monopoly or Cluedo (known as ‘Clue’ in the US), or maybe they remember feeling dumb in Trivial Pursuit or having dinner parties that ended with couples bickering over Pictionary.

So when I say “I like boardgames”, I can see them taking a mental step back from the obvious loony stood in front of them 🙂

Even if they do give a positive response there is almost no way they are thinking of the super-nerdy games I play, with the little painted figures and funny-shaped dice and millions of cards and dragons and spells and lasers and spaceships and such-like.

But if someone does sound keen to try out one of these games, which game do I pick?

You can’t really spring something as complex as Arkham Horror or Netrunner on a boardgame newbie, so what makes a good ‘gateway’ game?

We used to try Killer Bunnies as it is silly and has all the pop culture references.

Or Gloom except the dark humour freaked some people out.

We have now settled on “The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus”.

Anyone can play, from kids to adults. It is pretty to look at and the theme is accessible. It is also nice and simple, with the same basic mechanic throughout (run around and turn over a card to see what you find). It plays quickly, and is exciting, tense, and builds to a great finale.

In my next post I will tell more about it.