HELP - Looking for Good, Light and Fluffy Games with Shiny Bits
Pierce Ostrander
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Howdy all. I recently returned to gaming after about 15 years off and am now building a collection. I've already aquired many of the "greats" and my wife has become a regular opponent for games of any type or complexity! Some friends are also willing to play, but I lack a true group of "gamers" around me to play the medium-to-heavy stuff on a regular basis. Therefore, I have decided to add a few titles to my collection that I can pull out of the cabinet regardless of the audience... and not lose anyone explaining rules or putting them off with tactical and strategic flexibility. On the other hand, I'd like them to be good GAMES - that I will enjoy even though I'd rather be playing something heavier. Clear as mud? Here are three examples. Note that I already have Settlers and Carcasonne, but those can still be a little to complex and abstract for non-gamers and nefews. We tried Bang! but for me, it became like turning a crank rather than playing a game after just a few times around the table.

I'm probably not looking for card games or party games - we are talking about REAL board games here : ).

So look at the three I list and see if you can help me with some additional suggestions!
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1. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Pierce Ostrander
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Owning this made me realize that I need more of this type of game. In just a couple of months, it has become the number 1 most played game in our household - when it's not just the two of us. It seems when we have a mixed group (age, sex and attention span) this is the game we mentally default to... My wife and I look at each other and say "Ticket to Ride".
 
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2. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1019]
Pierce Ostrander
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Just ordered this (6/2004). This is the type of game I am talking about. Theme-rich with shiny bits and easy play.
 
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3. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1076]
Pierce Ostrander
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Just ordered this too. I'm hoping that adding these two to the collection will give us at least THREE options when we have a mixed group of non-gamers in the house!
 
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4. Board Game: Ta Yü [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1269]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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Although an abstract, this game has such simple rules and understandable goals that non-gamers take to it instantly. And it's a very good game, offering choices between offensive and defensive play every turn. The board is not that attractive, but the pieces are aesthetically pleasing, having a nice feel to them, to boot. I've had a lot of non-gamers ask to play this one again.
 
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5. Board Game: In Teufels Küche [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:8212]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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If they're not the type of religious people offended or repulsed by playing a game with devils, this one fits your needs to a 'T'.
 
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6. Board Game: Emerald [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2242]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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This is a filler boardgame that takes about 30 minutes to play, and has just enough challenge and choices in there to make it worthwhile for hardcore gamers, too. It's a lot of fun, too!
 
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7. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:845]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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This is another game that I enjoy quite a bit, which would be a good lead-in on Pirate's Cove, thanks to the theme. It also has enough challenge for harcore gamers, and actually has two different modes of play, depending on how much luck you prefer in your games.
 
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8. Board Game: China Moon [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5911]
Brian
United States
Unspecified
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This has a very attractive board and a really unique theme to it. The rubbery frogs are kinda cool too. It is appealing to new people who haven't played before because of its good looks and quality pieces. There are only a few rules so it isn't too complex but still requires a bit of strategy when moving the frogs. The scoring is similar to Coloretto, so since the people I played with also know that game, they got it fairly quickly.

 
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9. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:519]
Jim Carvin
United States
Hamburg
Pennsylvania
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Ah, the diabolical Dice … a word of caution; don't throw them when you're alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing.
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Cool looking, super easy to explain, and a good game too.
 
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10. Board Game: Metro [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1452]
Jim Carvin
United States
Hamburg
Pennsylvania
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Ah, the diabolical Dice … a word of caution; don't throw them when you're alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing.
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Place a tile, connect the rails, get points. That's it! The board looks really neat as the game progresses.
 
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11. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:895]
Jim Carvin
United States
Hamburg
Pennsylvania
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Ah, the diabolical Dice … a word of caution; don't throw them when you're alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing.
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Connect your fives cites, place 1 or 2 rails per turn. It doesn't get much simpler and it's a fun game too.
 
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12. Board Game: Elfenland [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:795]
Jenny Dalenius
Sweden
Linköping
Unspecified
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I like Elfenlands and think it might suit your needs. Simple rules and a cute and funny theme, and it also resembles Ticket to Ride a tiny bit.
 
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13. Board Game: Steinbeisser [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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This one is pretty light and fluffy... quick and fun. And great bits to boot!
 
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14. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:756]
Brett Berger
United States
Near Cleveland
Ohio
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My wife and daughter are definitely players of only average difficulty games and they like Evo. It is definitely a fun little game that I enjoy a lot. It is no more difficult than Pirate's Cove.
 
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15. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:678]
Brett Berger
United States
Near Cleveland
Ohio
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Try to predict what horse will win, bet on your favorite and then proceed to modify the outcome. A surprising amount of strategy for a game that is so easy to learn. You have to decide weather to advance your horses or slow down other people's. Alliances form and dissolve based upon the current betting.
 
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16. Board Game: Barbarossa [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2218]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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We've recently discovered Barbarossa.....and its perfect for a light game with casual gamers. It has a lot of party game feel to it..but you are actually making a few strategic decisions and playing individually. Plus its FUN!

I don't know if anyone would consider Samurai as "light and fluffy" but its very simple to teach and learn the rules. I've had a lot of success introducing it to nongamers. The high quality and asthetics are what makes this game. (And the fact that its a brilliant game which doesn't drag on.)
 
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17. Board Game: Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1045]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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This is a nice game that doesn't take a long time to play and is very easy to explain. It might fit your description very well but it doesn't have the shiny bits, just printed cardboard. Nonetheless, that makes it fairly cheap as well!
 
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18. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:839]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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I really enjoy this game and so has just about every nongamer I have ever introduced this game to. It is fairly light but there are still some choices that need to be made to play well. It also has very nice shiny bits!
 
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19. Board Game: Pente [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1411]
Jody Ludwick
United States
Indiana
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Pente

An excellent abstract strategy game for 2. Place 5 stones in a row or capture 5 pairs to win. Very simple rules with not so simple results that can be played on a Go board as well.
 
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20. Board Game: 10 Days in Africa [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1617]
Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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I picked up 10 Days in Africa the weekend of July 4, and have already played it over 20 times. It's quick to explain, quick to play, and offers some decisions.
 
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21. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1586]
Bernard Slama
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Hard to go wrong with Mississippi Queen

Easy to learn, nice looking and good race game. Looks like it fits your bill. If you find it, it sometimes is on sale. There is also an expansion: The Black Rose.
 
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