Top 10 Games I Didn't Have to Beg My Non-Gamer Friends to Play a 2nd Time
Altug Aksoy
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Miami
Florida
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Well, if you're me, there's a serious dilemma for you. Do you buy games to satisfy your own gamer needs or buy them to create good social opportunities to have something different to do with your regular non-gamer friends? I guess I'm trying to balance this out by going both ways at different times, but with my limited budget I think I'm still leaning toward the hardcore side.

Over the course of my putting together a humble game collection, I have tried to test some of these games "on" my non-gamer friends; with surprisingly contradicting results. With some games that I could bet they would hate, they got crazy about them. While with some others, they were so disgusted by it that even my point of view about the game was influenced. So in the end I've learned that it is not so easy to know in advance how a non-gamer would react to a specific game. Maybe by exposing them to so many different games, I am making them a little more than a non-gamer, who knows. All I know is, they surprised me before, and they will do it again in the future.

So here's a list dedicated to all my "non-gamer" friends who, over the years, have given me the opportunity and joy to try out new games. I've tried to arrange the list in a decreasing level of "non-gamer enthusiasm". Have fun!
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1. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Altug Aksoy
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The classic "introduce non-gamers to designer games" game. You can't go wrong with this one. I must have played this with at least 3 different circles of friends and at least a 100 times. Definitely deserves to be the number one spot on this list!
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2. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:801]
Altug Aksoy
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Interesting results with this beauty. My American friends love it, my non-American friends hate it. I get really confused about this because the same non-American friends love to play Scrabble and Taboo in English! So there must be something more than just the complexity of language. Anyway, I love it, and at least one group of non-gamer friends love it, and it has been played enough many times that it definitely sits at number two spot.
 
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3. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:133]
Altug Aksoy
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It's fast-paced, it's chaotic, and it doesn't require too deep of a strategy. In fact, no matter what I do, usually someone else wins it but not me. Yet I think people really like this game because they've seen that anybody can win it. It somehow gives them a more positive attitude toward the game. Well-deserved spot.
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4. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Altug Aksoy
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Again, played with at least 3 different circles of friends, and they all loved it. Interestingly, none of those trials ended up with a win against Sauron. Maybe that's what kept them coming back to it. Yet the hype about it didn't seem to last as long as the previous ones, so this one is at number four. Still one of the all-time favorites among my non-gamer friends.
 
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Altug Aksoy
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I think it's really rare for a game to attract both gamers and non-gamers so much. This one is definitely going to be one of my all-time favorites. I still have to wait and see how my friends' long-term attitude will develop toward it, though. I have some doubts that it may not become a Settlers or a Ra.
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6. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Altug Aksoy
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Another one I like and wasn't too surprised to see my friends like. It was played several times by the same group with increasing admiration, yet somehow I think they took it way too seriously and let it drag a little (more than it should). So they ended up thinking that it's not that great a game to spend 2 hours on! Verdict: If you can get your friends to play it fast, they'll definitely want to play it more. Otherwise, it won't hit the table again...
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7. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:53]
Altug Aksoy
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One of the surprises for me. I think this game is quite a bit of a brain burner that I was almost sure my friends would hate it. I guess I underestimate them sometimes. Shame on me!!! Naturally, it never became a hit for our very irregular gaming nights, but it received sufficiently many positive comments and requests that it definitely deserves to be on this list.
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8. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:217]
Altug Aksoy
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I definitely know why they like this one: It's the beauty of the board and the pieces. Also, even though I think this game is a good strategy game, there's still a good amount of randomness and exploration feel envolved that it really attracts non-gamers a lot. The only reason it doesn't hit the table as much is because it only plays with 4 people.
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9. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Altug Aksoy
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And how about this one? Wow, what a nice surprise to me that my friends actually liked this game and volunteered to play it again. Well, what can I say? I should seize every little opportunity to play this game. Why the heck do I bother to contemplate the reason of their attitude? It would be something really tough to answer anyway...
 
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10. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:756]
Altug Aksoy
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Miami
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Finally, a new introduction to my group. They definitely liked it and wanted to play it again. We'll probably give it a try in the upcoming weeks (God knows when!!). So this one may actually move a little higher up on the list. It is definitely one of my favorite new games, and I'll be looking forward to get every chance to play it again.
 
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