jason
United States
queens
New York
flag msg tools

So i have been a gamer for a long time and recently have tried to get the family into gaming, or at least trying to excite some fun nerves in them. The first try was semi unsuccessful as you already know from the heading. My brother and Sister isn't the problem as we get in games whenever that itch comes calling. My dad basically brushed off the idea of boardgaming ( I think that this was the case because I dont think he has EVER played a boardgame in his life) and I did not force him. I figured if the family played enough I would eventually reel him in. My Mom doesn't game either but is up for trying new things and having some fun. So basically my parents are the hurdle that I must overcome. So I put in a order at coolstuffinc. that I thought the family would enjoy (actually only one game that was specifically intended toward them.) A poor choice by me that led to the collapse.

So it was Mother's day and everyone was home to celebrate. After dinner I had suggested that we try a new boardgame that I had picked up. My sister and brother were game but Mom was hesitant and Dad rejected the offer. After a little nudge, Mom caved and gave in. The game was GALAXY TRUCKER. I was so sure that anyone would like it. It oozed theme, wasn't confrontational, and was bound for a bunch of laughs. I read the rules way beforehand and had a good grasp of the rules. To my dismay, it all went downhill from there. Even though I had the rules down, I had never played the game before and struggled a bit while explaining it to them. So as I was explaining and giving examples a couple of long faces started appearing. It didnt help that I stumbled across some of the rules. We went through the ship making process that brought out a couple laughs and some hope, But when it came time to play the game out it felt like I was playing the game for everyone. Nobody but me had the rules down and there was a lot going on every turn. So I was turning cards over, explaining what was happening, moving and removing pieces from the board and player boards. I was basically playing the game by myself. I got laughs here and there throughout the game but at the end of the game it felt like we just finished a exercise routine. Exhausted and not too interested in doing it again anytime soon. Mission failed.

I realized that Galaxy Trucker had too much going on to introduce to casual/new gamers( My brother is a true gamer but I still had to carry him through the game.) Although I believe it is a great game, I didnt get a chance to bring the game out soon enough that would have kept the game rules fresh in their minds. After a while I have been hesitant myself to suggest another try at it with having to explain the rules all over. I am adamant to give gaming with the family another try and bring this great recreation to my family. Although I have Ticket to Ride waiting in the wings, I wanted to pick up a couple more light games to diversify our options if I do get them hooked with TTR or they think that its too easy. So my next order list looks like this-


-Tales of the Arabian Nights

- Nothing hard about it, and the theme will definately attract my Dad( he loved Sinbad as a kid). Has fun and laughs written all over it.



-Pandemic

- A nice and light coop game with tension that will hopefully instill some family unity.



-Cutthroat Cavern
-Not the ideal family game with all the confrontation in it but is more for me. Not a heavy game at all . I do have high hopes that they will like it as I know i will



I have one spot open left on my order and the have narrowed it down to either Incan Gold or Stone Age. I know Incan Gold will be a hit but Stone Age has been given such stellar reviews to introduce to newbs as I have read its high on the wifes likeability list.

So here is my question to my fellow BGGeeks as I need a little help here. What do you guys think? Do I go for Incan Gold (which has a high probability of being liked by casual gamers, but looking at it another way we might as well be shooting cee-lo for dollars) or do I try and hit the homer with Stone Age( a bit of a gamers game and a game with actual depth to it as I hope to eventually graduate them to actual gamer status.)

Incan Gold or Stone Age and why?????


I hope my experience will help all that are trying to lure loved ones into our great world as I have felt the pangs of failure by picking the wrong game to start with.

Thanks ahead of time for the replies and any other suggestions or comments are appreciated



Your fellow BGG,

Jason
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jordan Booth
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Go for Stone Age all the way.

Incan Gold is a one trick pony, but Stone Age can be won with almost any strategy which means even if someone doesn't feel like they are doing well the game almost guides them along. All you have to do is remind them about the cards. Basically what I'm trying to say is Stone Age is one of those games everyone just loves playing even if they are losing (and who really knows--I once won a game with 157 purely endgame points.)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I hear good things about Tales. I'm guessing you can even be a non-player, acting as narrator in reading the book or something.

Anyway, Ticket to Ride is *the* standard gateway game. I'm surprised you didn't try it first.

But I'm concerned that you're falling into the hobbyist's trap of suggesting games *you* like and *you* don't think are hard. After introducing many different games to new players, I have to first get an idea of what sort of games they *can* play, then which ones they will *want* to play.

For most non-gaming adults I've met at events, it ends up being some party game or word game. With families and friends, I know many gateway Euros work well: TTR, Ingenious, Transamerica, etc. Do a search and you'll find both geeklists and previous threads.

Good luck!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Big Kat
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My vote is for Incan Gold. This was one of the games I used to introduce my dad and stepmom into gaming with, along with Ticket to Ride. They both went over really well. If your goal is to get a game to introduce your parents to boardgames, Incan Gold is a good choice.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Musselman
Canada
Burnaby
BC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bigkat wrote:
My vote is for Incan Gold. This was one of the games I used to introduce my dad and stepmom into gaming with, along with Ticket to Ride. They both went over really well. If your goal is to get a game to introduce your parents to boardgames, Incan Gold is a good choice.


Agreed.

Stone Age is the far better gamers' game, but it sounds like you're already on thin ice with your parents, and will be lucky to get them to try one more game, and even then, their guard will be up. They're certainly not going to sit through 15 minutes of rules explanation followed by a 90 minute, fairly strategic game.

You need something, fast, fun, and easy to learn, to regain their trust, and Incan Gold fits that description much better than Stone Age.

Honestly, your description sounds a bit like a parent saying, "My 16 year old just crashed the brand new Mercedes I gave him for his 16th birthday. Now I'm really conflicted -- do I buy him a brand new BMW, or maybe a Toyota or something until he's a little more careful?"

You don't *have* to give him (teach them) anything, but if you insist, go for something more reasonable....
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hugues Paradis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmb
Why not try some good old fashion card game?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd say Incan Gold is the better of the two. Stone age is a simple worker placement game, but worker placement isn't a straightforward idea to somebody who never played a board game before.

Even Incan Gold isn't a great gateway game, but it's the one with the best shot out of your list.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marvin
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't know Incan gold, but I wouldn't try stone age as a gateway game. I completely understand where you are coming from and that you really would like to play stone age, but I fear the result will be very similar to your opening post.

Get Ticket To Ride or carcassone (leave the farmers out for the first game(s)). Or try an abstract. I know for a fact that my dad will not try a themed game. It's too fiddly for him But we have no trouble playing tri-ominos or rummikub the entire evening.

But we have plans to try Ticket to Ride with them. But Stone age? I wouldn't even think about it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
flag msg tools
badge
Games, games and more games!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm another who'd add a vote for Incan Gold. Stone Age is a good intro game for those who are already interested in gaming and want to try out eurogames (even then I'd try Ticket to Ride first), but for non-gamers Incan Gold is much easier to pick up and play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Nobody
United States
Maplewood
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you will know where you stand after TTR every non-gamer I have played with started out thinking it was going to be too complex but after a few rounds got a grasp of the game and by the end liked it and will play it again...

As far as your picks I would go with Stone Age! Incan Gold is a really light filler game and in my opinion its like No Thanks! and people can play them and like them but still be Non-gamers...

So I guess it depends on if you want to have a game or two that works for the fam or if your trying to slowly convert them in hopes of playing a large variety of games down the road.... :D

Good Luck!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Reed
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Going with the masses here, but I'd suggest Incan Gold too for non-gamers. The things I see it has going for it:

Very easily understood rules (no fears of misunderstanding + no sitting around for half an hour before the game even starts)

No player downtime (no-one gets bored waiting)

Quick gameplay (no concerns about commiting themselves to hours playing a game they might not like)

No concerns that they'll get beaten by you just because there's some clever hidden strategy that's only clear after someone plays the game a dozen times

Plenty of opportunities for good-natured ribbing (even taunting yourself to make the other players feel 'smarter') when someone risks that one move too far
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomasz Miller
Poland
Cracow
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
100% for Stone Age.

Reason: this is my mother absolutely No1. boardgame ever.

I don't have any more reasons. Cocnerning playing with parents my only experience is with mother (she knows about 10-15 modern boardgames) and Stone Age is above everything without any second about thinking.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Holmes
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
The really obvious question:

What are your parents' interests?

Travelling, Europe, gardening, farming, LOTR type fantasy, Monopoly zombie, card games??


I would generally agree with Ticket to Ride, but why not something like Fluxx, its very quick, reasonably easy, its a card game, theres really no "rules" to explain, and anyone can win. O and its very quick.

If they like Monopoly, then Settlers of Cataan is an easy gateway game since everyone understands dice rolling and acquiring more property, and trading.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Liken
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you were going to pick one then Stone Age would be my recommendation. Incan Gold is a fun "filler" but I am not sure it will really hook them as such. You kind of get through it and think OK - so how could I do better next time - who knows?

For my mind Stone Age is the type of game where they may possibly want to play more as it is quite obvious on first play that you could do things differently ie. go for more cards, expand your tribe quickly (or not), build any hut you can as fast as you can, save up stone/gold and plonk them down on the expensive huts etc.

It is also pretty simple at its heart and thematically (some won't agree with this) kind of makes sense - you send your people out to gather stuff etc. - the "love hut" etc. The dice rolling is also familiar(although maybe not for your Dad if he hasn't played games) but is used in a new and different way (than your traditional roll-and-move) - it is also fun. The game also looks very good - leather cup, stone, wood, gold bars!, illustrated board.

Also if it doesn't work for your parents then it is a way better 3-player game than Incan Gold! I would recommend you even play it with your brother/sister before teaching your parents - or even try a few rounds solo. It is a lot easier to teach a game you know than one you have only read the rules for. The rules are pretty good - but if unsure look up the rules forums on BGG.

Maybe also figure out how you are going to teach the game befoer you start teaching it - this can help heaps - even rehearse in your head (this may sound geeky I know) the order of teaching. It is often easier to start at the goal first - ie you win by having the most victory points - how you get victory points is ... for Stone Age this part is easy for the "huts" but a little trickier for the cards (but not that hard). Then you go into how you gather the resources etc to bild the huts - buy the cards etc. This may have been one of the problems with Galaxy Trucker (which I hate by the way) - building seems to be the main focus, but how you get points is not clear at all.

Anyway good luck with whatever you choose.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have had a long experience with getting non-gamers to play. I have learned much. I have introduced games to non-gaming kids and to non-gaming adults of various kinds. The moment I read Galaxy Trucker I knew you were into trouble.

When it comes to kids: The rules can be complicated as long as you know them, everything you need is a cool setting, and theme. I've had kids begging me for Agricola when I know they can barely handle Ticket to Ride. What's important is that the kids feel they are "winning" or "exploring" at least doing something tangible. Games where you may end up with having nothing to do is a bad game to introduce for kids (Catan or Dampfross), whereas Arkham Horror or Dungeon Quest can be a great game for kids (not so for adults). Kids want to win the game, but they want to have a great time doing it. They don't have to understand the rules.

When it comes to adults it's much trickier. Fun setting, laughs, theme… all that is much less important. It's important, as it makes the game more "understandable", yes, but that's the only purspose. Adults, as I have experienced, are much more focused on "why?" and the whole scope. They want to grasp the game, the function of the rules and see when and why the game ends. Therefore the ruleset needs to be clear and and the goal easy to grasp. Also, results need to show fast. Agricola works for some, because you get the material and you can build early on. You see things happening. But it's a bit too long. In this aspect, Stone Age might be good, but it's still a complicated game which really bogs it down for those adults who want to "see" the game to the end. As a gamer, count on that you under-estimate the complexity of any game. The non-gamers will find Ticket to Ride an advanced game.

Overview and easiness to grasp are important. Chicago Express, while having dumb-easy rules and being pretty fast, is hard to overview and understand what is happening and why people get money. I thought it was a great entry game at first, but it has proven not to be.

Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne (especially TtR) both really deserve their status as wonderful games in this aspect. They're dead easy, things happen, the rules are simple. Carc suffers from having a hard-to-understand rule about the fields - I've seen pretty smart but non-gamer adults just give up on understanding how to get another farmer into those fields. It wins, though, on the "joy of building" that many experience. Ticket to Ride is easier to understand how to score, and mostly, it's _exciting_. It's a bit nerve-wracking to have to wait for that orange card and hope that no one builds there before you.

In this aspect, Diamant/Incan Gold is wonderful. It's fast, it's bluffing, it's exciting and you can play it time and time again. Kids love it. Adults love it. There is virtually no simpler game and it's great laughs.
Another game which is simultaneous selection is Ca$h'n'Gun$. Some might find it offensive, but my family loved it.

Ticket to Ride. Diamant/Incan Gold. You can't do better.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Incan Gold or something else with shorter playing time and fewer rules. You need a gateway game here and Stone Age isn't it.

Other gateways that I've tried successfully:

Ticket to Ride
Coloretto (or Zooloretto if you prefer a boardgame)
Ingenious
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While Stone Age may seem fairly simple to regular gamers, it's *way* too complex (and probably too long) for what you are trying to do here. My mother-in-law balked and shut down while I was trying to explain Ingenious. You need games you can explain (and in which some basic strategies are pretty obvious) in 5 minutes. Not saying all non-gamers will be so easily intimidated - my mom got through and enjoyed a game of Tigris and Euphrates.

I haven't played Incan Gold, but it seems like it might work. Other possibilities:

Blokus went over quite well with my in-laws (though you need exactly 4 for the game to really work right).

Bananagrams is great if they are already fans of Boggle or Scrabble (or, you know, just play Boggle or Scrabble)

Coloretto is pretty easy to grasp and usually you get that cool "aha" moment sometime into your first game as you start to realize the strategy.

Bohnanza could work, though I'd consider this to be on the outer edge of what I'd try to teach folks who were leery about games because the rules can seem arbitrary.

Good luck!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Let's Play Two!
United States
Collinsville
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would lean toward Incan Gold. My husband is a non-gamer who has responded well to Ticket to Ride, but Stone Age was a bit too much too soon with him. It wasn't that he couldn't grasp the game - he just didn't want to put that much effort into it at this stage. Incan Gold went over fine with him (we play with our kids), though I wouldn't say he was overly enthusiastic about the game.

Two other gateway games that have gone over very well with him are The Downfall of Pompeii and Lost Cities: The Board Game. Both he and my son have really enjoyed each of these.

Good luck!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Evangelista
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stone Age, my Dad loves this game.

Good Luck!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ralph T
United States
Signal Hill
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Neither. Your parents are old folks who never gamed. They don't care about themes. They don't want to fantasize about being in another role or time period. They won't have interest in having avatars of wood pieces shaped like people.

Get something themeless like Rummikub or Ingenious.
If they like jigsaw puzzles then Carcassonne is a possibility--however you have probably turned them off jigsaw tile games by choosing Galaxy Trucker. Think about what sport your dad likes watching. If he likes any, consider getting a game based on that sport. Finally, if they have any crazes, such as cats, then and only then consider a themed game, such as Felicity: The Cat in the Sack for cat-lovers.

I would veto Stone Age, Incan Gold or any of the choices you suggested. It sounds like you don't have enough people for Incan Gold anyway.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Greene
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not to be negative, but Why would you start off with Galaxy Trucker??? I don't see that as a 'gateway' game at all. There is too much going on, and theres a definite aura of sadism to the game watching your own, and other players ships, goods and astronauts vent into space (good times for us, but not great for newbies...)... I think your other choices are too heavy too. Tales is more of a RPG/adventure board game with some silly/chaotic aspects, and if they aren't into roleplaying, will most likely get turned off. Your dad isn't a gamer, and your mom seems willing, but tentative at best.

I'm not a fan of Stone Age so I won't comment on that as a game, but I do think it might be too heavy for new gamers, but Incan Gold is a closer match. Its easy to teach, quick and fun to play.

However, as a means to get your family into gaming, I would really suggest Ticket to Ride, Settlers or Carcassonne. With Carcassonne as my personal pick. It is fun, quick and can have many levels of progression. It starts off with a fun little game about building a map and scoring points. Then when they get better, introduce the more cutthroat aspects, to make it more competitive. Try to approach it as best you can from their point of view. Something fairly easy to grasp, relatively short, colorful and somewhat painless (to start) is my vote for getting new players interested.

Good Luck.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bulldozers
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OK. I've got to just mention what I went through in June with my parents. I was meaning to make a forum post called: Gaming at the Threshold of Hell about this one particular afternoon.

My parents are the hard-core religious fanatic types.(no TV, no jeans on women,no rock n roll, woman can't have short hair, men can't have long, etc., you know how it goes). So really we sadly don't have all that much in common.

I thought at some point it would be nice to teach them some games being the eternal optimist that I am. I had tried Shadows Over Camelot with them in February and had been through one of the worst afternoons ever. I had to provide constant reminders every single turn for both my mom and my dad..: choose an evil action,(place a catapault-pick a black card, loose a health) choose a good action... (blah blah blah). F A I L !!yuk

So, in spite of my help, the game went horribly slow. I think it was 4 hours. (we didn't evenb use the traitor card and I helped them constantly) My poor mom didn't seem to grasp at all that we had to work together as a team. Therefore she would constantly waste time playing her own clever tactics which lost us the armor and so on. They really didnt get how to use their special abilities in spite of patient hand-holding.

At the end I felt like maybe it hadn't been so bad. We had shared an experience other than church or eating. My wife later then asks my dad: "Hey, so what did you think of Brian's game?" (drum roll) "Well, I don't like the fact that good can triumph over evil." was his reply. I literally was stunned (like a shot, I immediately mentally take Arkham Horror, and Last Night on Earth, and all the juicy horror games out of chances to play with the "Ps".cry )

So a few months later in June I gather the gumption and suggest we try Stone Age. Now this game normally takes 90 minutes tops. I have to tell you it took no less than 5 hours to get through the game. I think I about lost my mind.

Once again I explain every single turn what their options were etc. I tried to help them by choosing more valuble points for them and then they didn't seem like they trusted me to be actually playing to their benefit. It was a nightmare.



At the end I didn't have a voice. I felt almost ill, and like I needed a very strong drink. I was bummed.

To end my tale of woe, I was speaking with my mom in July and she asked:
"What was that game we played?"
"Stone Age, Mom."
"Well, thanks for teaching us. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since we played"
"Wow Mom. That's awesome."
Mom: "Where would a person buy something like that..?"

I would not, never in a million years, have thought that they had a positive memory from that afternoon. But they did.



I would say Stone Age and Pandemic are excellent choices.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bulldozers
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
While Stone Age may seem fairly simple to regular gamers, it's *way* too complex (and probably too long) for what you are trying to do here. My mother-in-law balked and shut down while I was trying to explain Ingenious. You need games you can explain (and in which some basic strategies are pretty obvious) in 5 minutes. Not saying all non-gamers will be so easily intimidated - my mom got through and enjoyed a game of Tigris and Euphrates.

I haven't played Incan Gold, but it seems like it might work. Other possibilities:

Blokus went over quite well with my in-laws (though you need exactly 4 for the game to really work right).

Bananagrams is great if they are already fans of Boggle or Scrabble (or, you know, just play Boggle or Scrabble)

Coloretto is pretty easy to grasp and usually you get that cool "aha" moment sometime into your first game as you start to realize the strategy.

Bohnanza could work, though I'd consider this to be on the outer edge of what I'd try to teach folks who were leery about games because the rules can seem arbitrary.

Good luck!


These look good.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David C
United States
Aurora
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
No, No, No Stone Age.

Your first game, you don't know what you're going after, or why you're going after it. The only thing you're going to remember is it took 2 hours to play and you had absolutely no idea what you were doing. Yes, you can win with any number of strategies, but that assumes they'll know a strategy in the first place.

EDIT: Bulldozrs, you have me standing corrected... but, stone age is usually one I say, "trust me, your second game will be better."
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicolás Mutis Mesa
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mormeguil wrote:
Why not try some good old fashion card game?

I completely agree. There are loads. As others have also mentioned, maybe in the end you could also consider trying out a different angle, something a bit more abstract (FITS?) or definitely look into a theme that appeals to them both.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.