4 New Gateway Games You Need On Your Shelf

Powered by Geek & Sundry

Teaching new tabletop games can be a challenge. On Game the Game, Ivan van Norman and Becca Scott teach and play new board games live with fun guests each week! Watch live every Friday at 4 PDT on Alpha and Twitch!

Finding a game to get new gamers to play is difficult. You don’t want something too long or hard to teach. It’s tempting to pull out your old favorites, but sometimes it’s better to try a less complicated game first. Here are four games that play in an hour or less with a variety of themes and mechanics to find the best fit for your group.

Tiny Epic Galaxies

1-5 players

30-60 minutes

Control a galactic empire. Expand your influence by acquiring planets and expanding your armada. This game has an interesting dice mechanic where you are rolling a number of dice based on the strength of your galaxy. The dice are marked with different action you can take, so you adapt your strategy based on your rolls. Your opponents can expend resources to follow up your actions with one of their own. Colonize new planets to earn victory points and new abilities. Will your galactic empire be victorious?


2-4 players

60 minutes

Take your place in the legendary tournament. You are a wizard battling to be the archmage of Xidit. The first part of the game is drafting your deck of nine cards. Once you have your cards, you place them in three stacks of three.  You play with your first stack and work your way through the other two. The second part of the game is rolling the seasons dice. They allow you to increase your gauge, harvest energy, crystallize energy, or draw new cards. The dice change based on the season, as do the exchange rates on different types of energy to crystals. May the best wizard win!


2-5 players

30-45 minutes

You are the pilot of a submarine, trying to spot the most underwater species and largest coral reef. You send your scuba divers after forgotten treasures and crystals. But beware the kraken! The game takes a mere fifteen turns to play, and everyone plays at the same time. Upgrade your sub with crystals to explore farther and deeper. Score points for speed and animals spotted. There are multiple strategies on how to upgrade and score points, so you will want to play again and again.


2-4 players

30-60 minutes

Are you ready to build your own metropolis? Each of the four rounds of this game start by placing tiles on a 5×5 grid. You claim tiles by placing your architects on the grid as many squares in as the number of the architect (#1 takes the first tile in its row, #2 takes the second, etc.). Put the tile on your board and claim the resources for it. Once a tile has been taken, no one else place an architect on the same row or column, which makes it harder to claim tiles as the round goes on.  Score for you buildings. May the best architect win!

This week Becca and Ivan are playing Century Spice Road from Plan B Games. Their mission is to bring together exceptionally talented people to create and release exceptionally good games. They are driven by a ton of passion and years of experience in the industry. If Century Spice Road is any indication of the future of this new company, it is bright.

What is your favorite game to use to introduce board games to newer players? Let me know in the comments!

Feature Image: Iello Games

Other Image Credit: Gamelyn Games, Libellud, Iello Games, Days of Wonder

Top Stories
More by Dawn Dalton
Trending Topics