The 2010s saw a massive reinvigoration and Interest in the board game market, with the wider acceptance and explosion of geek culture now there was a whole wealth of brand new board games of all varieties for pretty much any fandom, subculture, or niche. We also saw a rise in regular folks getting their hands on board games through the rise of the internet and exposure to more and more geekdom. This has had an absolute net positive as now no matter what your interests are, there is probably a board game out there for you. However, there’s always a little barrier for entry for people that aren’t yet into the culture. You can’t just plunge them into Risk now can you
So with that in mind, we have compiled this list to help point you in the right direction of what board games you should pick up and crack out to get your non-board game friends into the culture so that the next time you’re in your local board game and card shop you know what to look up. So without further ado, here are our picks for the best board games to get your friend into board games.
2021 might not exactly be the best time to be getting into a game called Pandemic, what with the kind of two years we’ve just had. As few reminders of the Coronavirus pandemic as possible, right? But how can you resist when you’ve got a game this good and this accessible on your hands. Pandemic is a cooperative game for 2-4 players, working together to protect the world from a deadly global pandemic. In fact, this might be the best time to play it, live out your alternative reality fantasy of crushing the Coronavirus pandemic before all those pesky lockdowns. The cooperative nature of the game gives new players an easy and stress-free way into the game and feel like their successes are being rewarded, enticing them to play more.
Scrabble is one of those board games that pretty much everyone has in their homes. It’s a favorite for post-dinner parties with glasses of wine in tow and a box of after-eight open surreptitiously on the corner of the table. But it’s not just a game for wine-moms and pseudo-intellectuals, scrabble is one of those games everyone should play. Not only does it provide a healthy challenge amongst friends but it also sharpens the mind and is a great boon for your vocabulary. Although it can be quite the challenge sometimes so if you’re struggling to make sense of the letters scrambled together on your tray, you can always visit a word unscrambler and really impress with your vocab. Of course, scrabble is in a different ballpark of board games for more seasoned board game enthusiasts, but for newbies and children especially, it’s a great place to start.
Catan is one of those games you always hear people, like Jessie, talking your ear off about, constantly asking you to play with them. And in her defense, she has a point. Catan is an excellent game for beginners looking to get a taste of more strategy-based board games that board game enthusiasts tend to prefer. Many call it the strategy-based gateway drug. Catan is a civilization-building game in which players collect resources to create settlements, cities, and roads to earn points; with a unique hexagonal board where you place pieces on hexagonal tiles to build your empire and conquer the island of Catan.
Hear the name Hitler and you instantly run for the Swiss hills. But don’t flee just yet. Secret Hitler is one of those games that you can play with a group of up to ten of your buddies with a couple of beers open on the table and after about an hour of playing you’ll either be in fits of hysterics or screaming at your friends. Secret Hitler is a mole-based game that relies on secrecy and subterfuge in order to either pass all of your fascist policies (if you’re on the fascist team) or unearth the truth of who is secretly Hitler (as the liberal team). The twist is that nobody knows who is on their team or the allegiances of the other players, so it relies on keen detective skills and stealthy poker faces. Trust us when we say friendships have been made and broken over this game, so play at your own risk!