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Not everyone shares the same love for board games. You might have a friend or two who lets out a groan whenever you start unpacking a board game.
When someone “hates” board games, it’s usually because they’ve been playing the wrong ones. If your first board game ever played was something like Dungeons and Dragons, I think you would hate board games too.
Instead of introducing your board game-hating friends to super complex games, warm them up to the idea with these more laidback options.
Dixit challenges you to become an imaginative storyteller. Each player draws six cards, while one player assumes the role of the storyteller. The storyteller must look at the pictures on their set of cards, and create a phrase that describes one of the images. The other players must guess which card the storyteller possesses.
Dixit is a simple enough game to learn and pick up quickly. Not only does this board game have amazing artwork, but it’s also frustration-free for beginners.
2. Ticket to Ride
Compared to some of the other games on this list, Ticket to Ride has a slightly higher learner curve—but that doesn’t mean it’s not ideal for people who hate board games. In fact, it’s the perfect stepping stone between simple games and more advanced ones.
When you unfold the game board, you’ll see train routes that cover the entire United States. Your goal is to ride along a specific route, which you’ll keep hidden from other players. As the game progresses, you’ll collect cards that help you claim routes on the map.
3. King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo is a straightforward game that you can probably learn in about five minutes. At the start of the game, you select your character from six wacky monsters: Cyber Kitty, Space Penguin, Giga Zaur, Meka Dragon, Alienoid, and The King. You must take over Tokyo with your monster, and prevent anyone else from standing in your path of destruction.
During your turn, you’ll roll six dice. Each die has symbols on it representing victory points, heal, attack, and energy—each element can help you win the game. Once you get 20 victory points (or are the last monster alive), you’ll become the king of Tokyo.
4. Machi Koro
Machi Koro strikes a balance between easy-to-learn and complicated, making it great to play with a group of both novice and seasoned board gamers. You must work to construct the city, Machi Koro, from the ground up—and you must be the first one in your group to do so.
Color-coded cards symbolize four different industries: the primary industry, secondary industry, restaurants, and major establishments. When you roll a card’s activation number, you’ll receive money from the corresponding industry. Once you’ve built the four landmarks in your town, you’ll win the game.
5. The Resistance: Avalon
The Resistance: Avalon is a fantastic social deduction game that anyone can have fun playing. Just keep in mind that you’ll need at least five other people to play this game with.
Your group will get split into two sides: those who serve King Arthur, and those who side with the evil Mordred. One player secretly assumes the role of Merlin, and this person is aware of what side each player is on. The players on the “good” side with King Arthur win if they finish three quests, while the “evil” players win if Arthur’s servants fail, or if they successfully assassinate Merlin.
6. Cash ‘n Guns
If you want a game with tons of chaotic fun, try Cash ‘n Guns. The creative and uncomplicated gameplay will have any board game-hater reconsidering their opinion of tabletop games. This game lets you fulfill your fantasy of executing a high-stakes heist.
At the start of each round, a set of cards is revealed to show you the loot you can score. Every player gets a fake gun that they can load up, shoot, and use to wound another player—conversely, they can also opt to spare a life. The only way to get the loot you need to win the game is to take it without getting shot or bailing out from that round.
Board Games Aren’t All Boring
These board games are truly for people who hate board games. They don’t come with the complex mechanics of some other board games, making them the best way to ease your friends into the world of board gaming.
Once you’ve finally convinced your friends to love board games, you’ll want to introduce some more advanced games into the playlist. Check out this list of cooperative board games that allow you to team up with your friends to reach a common goal.