If you think boardgames are all about family squabbles over an interminable game of Monopoly, long waits for your dad to lay down “BUM” for six points in Scrabble, or watching three friends finish a game of Risk that you were knocked out of two hours ago, then there’s a whole new world waiting for you.
Ever since the late nineties, board gaming has become more about games that take under an hour, are easy to learn, and, most importantly, are fun for everyone involved. Here are three games that are great first steps into this new world.
Often known as “the game that started it all”, The Settlers of Catan was revolutionary in the way it kept players involved in the game and mixed luck, skill and negotiation without anyone ever feeling like winning the game was beyond them.
For your first game the rules may look daunting, but they’re actually quite simple and, once you get going, the game is easy to play and a lot of fun.
Alongside Catan, Carcassone has been the first introduction for many into the board gaming world, and what’s more it has stood the test of time and is still very popular today. The game has even simpler rules than Catan and has the players placing tiles to build a landscape and adding little wooden figures known as Meeples as knights, thieves, monks and farmers to score points.
If Catan and Carcassonne all look a bit too medieval, then Ticket to Ride could be more to your liking. In the game the players are collecting cards to build railway routes across America, which they do by adding trains of their colour onto the board’s track layout. You can also try Ticket to Ride Europe if you’d prefer building railways closer to home. It plays well with anything from 2 to 5 players and is all done in under an hour.
If you want a game with simple rules that you can pick up and play in next to no time then you couldn’t do much better than Ticket to Ride. It costs around £32 for the original game or a bit less for Ticket to Ride: Europe.