what are the 10 top newb board games?

uicuic Member
edited November 2015 in TableTop
i want to know what people suggest as good tabletop games for people who dont play much board games?

i'm looking for suggestion for boardgames that are easy to learn and probably easy to carry to camping trips or sleepovers but still have variety .....

currently i find forbidden desert as the easiest to learn co-op game & munchkin as the easiest to learn role playing game

ticket to ride is most likely the best newb boardgame but i feel it might be too simple to be any fun for other people

as for easy to carry games, fluxx & once upon a time might be decent....

anyways any suggestion & opinion might be good....looking into preparing some boardgames for this coming christmas gifts 


  • Another question would be for what ages?  I picked up 5 games for my kids between 16 and 10.  They are easy to carry, quick, and easy to play.  Whenever I hear "I'm bored", I break one of them out and we laugh for an hour or so.  Sometimes we do a tournament style of play with all of the games to see who is the ultimate victor.

    Exploding Kittens
    Roll For it
    Zombie Dice
    Sushi Go

  • The games commishkc suggested are great intros!  I might also add:

    Walk the Plank

    I know I have others, but it's been a long Monday...  :)
  • If you like Forbidden Desert, you'd probably also enjoy Forbidden Island and Pandemic!

    We really like Betrayal at House on the Hill. It's a LITTLE complicated, but the rule book is super well laid out. It has TONS of replay value: The "haunt" is different each time, so you won't play the same game twice. I bet it would be great around a creepy campfire :) 
  • New game that just came out in the US is Mysterium (it's been around for a little while in Poland and another EU country I forget which though.) It's been touted as Dixit (If you don't know Dixit, that's a must have, in my opinion) meets Clue.  It's a lot of fun, though, I imagine if you play with the same people often, it could become repetitive enough that the fun will disappear. (We had the same suspect in 2 of the games, and the same card got played, making it simple to identify her the second time)  The US version adds a bit to the EU version, with being able to vote on your opinion on other's guesses, but otherwise, it is basically the same game. It's a true co-op game, everyone playing for the final goal, and it doesn't really allow for one person to make all the decisions. If you're bad at reading the rules, like I am, it's a bit confusing with the game terminology they use, but it's a very easy game to pick up if you watch a youtube video, or have good reading comprehension. 
    Dixit is like CAH or Apples to Apples with pictures instead of words.  There's a Table Top episode...I've had many non-gamer friends sit down and play this, then go out and buy it afterward. I think it's the Journeys version, maybe the Odyssey, that comes in a box large enough to store it and 2 or 3 other decks.  So, it with several expansions are fairly easy to travel with. 

    Guillotine is being reprinted, a great travel game only two small decks of cards. You just need room for 12ish cards to be placed on the table. The rules are play an action card if you want to, take the first noble's head, draw a card.  Very simple, I've owned it for 15 or so years, and it still comes out semi-regularly. 

    All of commishkc's recommendations I can vouch for.  I have not played any of jfunk's. As for Pandemic, it's very easy to play, but so unforgiving, it could turn new players off games if they were not too into it.  (For veterans it's fun losing, and even better when you actually win.  I've lost after the 3rd player took their turn, before the 4th did.  It wasn't anything we could have done differently, and it was really demoralizing with all the set-up to lose in less than 10 minutes)

    Ticket to Ride is a great game, another one I still play, and introduce to people whenever I can.  I've never had a seasoned gamer turn down the opportunity to play.

    There are tons more out there...That's just the games I've played recently. If you havn't watched Table Top, browse through that, and watch the intros of games that sound interesting.  If it takes will a long time to sum up the gameplay, it probably isn't the best newb game...otherwise, he showcases a lot of great games.  (For portable ones, look for the couple episodes he plays multiple games in one...Like the Zombie Dice, Tsuro, and Get Bit episode.) 

    Good luck!

  • What you're looking for is "gateway" games - and there's many many lists and opinions of what you are looking for.

    To qualify as a "gateway" game, IMO, a game has to:
    a) have simple mechanics so that non-gamers can pick it up
    b) be easy to teach in 5 or so minutes
    c) be fun
    d) be fairly short (45 min or less, ideally)
    e) the teacher should be able to help explain strategy to players during the first play through.

    My favourites in this category are:
    - Carcassonne (base game only, you can leave out farmers on the first game for adults, or leave out farmers and cloisters for young kids)
    - Ticket to Ride (ages 8+)
    - Sushi Go!
    - Forbidden Island/Forbidden Desert (Kids)
    - Pandemic (Adults)
    - No Thanks!
    - Love Letter
    - King of Tokyo
    - Between Two Cities  (scoring can be a little complex, but shouldn't be too hard to pick up)
    - Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
    - Dominion (start with a simple base set from the rules)
    - Takenoko (quite a few rules to understand before you start, but still not too difficult)

    The above list covers: tile laying, set collection, drafting, microgames, dice-chucking and deck building.

    Worker placement (one of my favourite mechanisms) isn't represented, because I think even the simplest gateway worker placement games (Stone Age, Lords of Waterdeep) can be quite challenging for people who haven't played any kind of modern board game. However, once people have got a hang of, e.g. Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride and Pandemic, then Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep work great as an introduction to a new kind of mechanic.
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  • I have always liked Clue :)
  • I'll throw in my own suggestions of:
    Chrononauts - card game where players attempt to influence the timeline by adjusting events to suit their character's personal history so that they can win. Quite a lot of fun and easy to carry around.

    Tokaido - fun and easy to learn board game which is so pretty to showcase. Ruleset is pretty good so long as people don't have any issues with graphics being a major driver for information.

    Battle Line is by far my top pick for a 2 player game closely followed by Patchwork. Both are games my wife and I play a lot.
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