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What My Non-Gamer Friends Think of My Games
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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These ratings are an average from about 15 different non-gamer friends and relatives including my brother, sister-in-law, teenage cousins, party girls, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends...the works. Not all of them have played every game, but I had them all give me feedback based on the games I've put them all through. I'll continue to update the list as more games hit the table or as some of the ones below make a return to the table.

6 being the highest rating and 1 being the lowest, based on their feedback and me scrutinizing their gameplay.

I've gotten to know which friends will dig which games. Hopefully this'll help you as a starter guide for your NGFs. It is my hope that every game finds a proper audience in someone.

The "Friend Quote" is just because an outsiders point-of-view can be refreshing at times. The "Replay Chance" is the percent chance of whether I think I'll be able to get my NGFs (non-gamer friends) to play again.

Please add your comments based on your experiences with non-gamers who've ventured into world of some of these games.
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51. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:511]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE:
"Do you think Jesus likes this game?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Overall a general sense of enjoyment. I'll be curious though if one of my NGFs asks to play it again. I have my hopes up.

REPLAY CHANCE: 60%
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52. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:542]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE: "I can't look at a picture of a Cyclops because it makes my temple hurt."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Nice filler game that's easy to learn. NGFs aren't so much into having to read all of the cards, tho.

REPLAY CHANCE: 65%
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53. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:562]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 5

FRIEND QUOTES:
1: "The name of this game makes me think of that movie with Bjork."
2: "That movie was hardly "fun".
1: "I only remember her dancing around all the heavy machinery."
2: "Yeah, but then she kills that guy."
3: "Which Bjork movie?"
1: "Didn't she win an Oscar for that?"
Me: "Everyone stop talking."
1: "We hate you."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Playing this at least twice was very helpful. Once people realized that they could have a completely terrible factory one round and then an amazing one the next, they enjoyed. Also, I was lucky to be playing with a group of people that enjoy putting together puzzles. It never got terribly competitive as everyone was having fun helping others problem-solve.

REPLAY CHANCE: 80%
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54. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:561]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 5

FRIEND QUOTE:
"Who knew that games were so pretty?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Beautiful pieces that really added to the enjoyment of the game. Took a while to catch on, but people were really enjoying it once we got over the many facets.

REPLAY CHANCE: 80%
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55. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:638]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 2

FRIEND QUOTE:
"Now this is the guy who painted the Sistine Chapel, right?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
One friend was in heaven. All the others needed lots of water to go with the dryness.

REPLAY CHANCE: 20%
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56. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:647]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE:
"A la tuhuelpa legria Cartegena... Hey, Categena!"

CONSENSUS:
Possibly the most gentle gateway game for your NGFs. The rules take about 45 seconds and you're off. You should be able to get the non-gamerist of non-gamers to go along for pirate ride.

REPLAY CHANCE: 100%
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57. Board Game: Show Manager [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:655]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE: "Didn't we see that show Queenie at Manhattan Theatre Club a few years ago?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
My NGFs really went for this -- but then again, several of them work in musical theatre.

REPLAY CHANCE: 90%
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58. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:690]
 
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE:
"This game is kinda scary. I like it."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Totally simple game that has a great nerve-jangling component. Also really fun with a large group of NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 90%
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59. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:697]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 5

FRIEND QUOTE:
"That dog is gonna get chomped...later dog!"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Easy to learn and people enjoy the nerve-wrackingness (wd?) of the monster's mechanics and approach.

REPLAY CHANCE: 90%
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60. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:705]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 2

FRIEND QUOTE: "Are these supposed to be trains or tracks?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
People got frustrated if they felt like they drew bad cities. Ticket to Ride was far more successful.

REPLAY CHANCE: 30%
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61. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:716]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE: "Can I be Rose Doolan again?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Always a hit. Gets asked for a lot by all types of friends.

REPLAY CHANCE: 100%

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62. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:765]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 3

FRIEND QUOTE: "Aarghhh!" -- about 20 times.

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
I still have a feeling that this works well for NGs, but I just couldn't find the right group to grab a hold of it.

REPLAY CHANCE: 40%
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63. Board Game: Odin's Ravens [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:785]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE:
"Let's play Crow Mountain again!"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
The few that I've introduced this to have hooked into it and like it within 5 minutes.

REPLAY CHANCE: 100%
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64. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:826]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE: "Run you bastard, Run!"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Lots of fun and pretty simple mechanics. A hit with the NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 95%
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65. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:830]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE:
"These ladies need to put on some clothes."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
The group enjoyed the theme a lot and the tension of the game, but even this panned out to be a little too luck based for NGFs. Dice, dice, dice. If you are looking for a gateway game and you'll have some youngsters at the table, I do think this would be an excellent purchase.

REPLAY CHANCE: 65%
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66. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:857]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE:
"They should've called this game "Monk Murders"."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
This was a big hit on the first play, but when we returned to it later on, people seemed to check out midway through. Maybe they just needed dinner or something.

REPLAY CHANCE: 50%
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67. Board Game: Beyond Balderdash [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:858]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE: "A chicken is a rooster."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
This one just make people laugh so damned hard. Always fun with all my groups of NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 100%
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68. Board Game: Tower of Babel [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:902]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 3

FRIEND QUOTE: "Word, Colossus of Rhodes! Word!"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Was hoping the seven wonders theme would get them, but the Knizia games are just too dry for lots of my NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 45%
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69. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:896]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE: "You good sir, are under arrest."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
The group I introduced this too had a blast playing with British accents. That seemed to distract them from anything dry about the game.

REPLAY CHANCE: 90%
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70. Board Game: O Zoo le Mio [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:956]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE:
"You would totally have a bench by the tigers."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
My mom likes this one. Animals are a welcome theme for most NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 95%
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71. Board Game: Hera and Zeus [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1017]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE:
"How do I get my abs to look like this centaur?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Like the other Kosmos 2-player "Lost Cities" (above), if you find a partner who enjoys the theme and mechanics, then you'll be set. I couldn't really find that person in my NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 50%
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72. Board Game: Cathedral [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1093]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 6

FRIEND QUOTE:
"This is like Tetris. Let's hope it doesn't give me Tetris dreams."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
My cousin likes this one. A good, light strategy game that has a great theme to go along with it. It not simply some marbles or stones on a grid and the NGFs seem to like that.

REPLAY CHANCE: 100%
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73. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1130]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 5

FRIEND QUOTE:
"Let's just play Scrabble for God's Sake!"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Some NGFs enjoy this, but hate playing with me or other hard-core Scrabble people because they get killed. They will almost always play again, however.

REPLAY CHANCE: 90%
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74. Board Game: Goldland [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1153]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 4

FRIEND QUOTE: "I wish they could make real backpacks this small."

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
All of my outdoorsy friends are into this. Just saying the word "backpack" gets them interested. A good, strong theme here that can work well with the right crowd.

REPLAY CHANCE: 70%
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75. Board Game: Metro [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1190]
Jeff Bowen
United States
Brooklyn
NY
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FRIENDS RATING: 5

FRIEND QUOTE:
"More trains...there's a lot of train games. Do you have any plane games?"

GENERAL CONSENSUS:
Easy to learn and quick. A combination that seems to sit well with many of my NGFs.

REPLAY CHANCE: 80%
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