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Subject: Exposing my GF to a world beyond Monopoly rss

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Kevin L.
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I grew up on the traditional commercialized board games and eventually found my way to BGG (which I have lurked around for awhile). I'm hoping to share my enthusiasm for board games with my GF but her board gaming knowledge literally is Monopoly! In fact, I think it is her favorite game! I even bought Monopoly on the iPad just for her to play.

I tried to show her Ticket to Ride on the iPad but she had no interest in it. She didn't see the point of getting tickets and laying trains. I was even crazy enough to show her Puerto Rico on the iPad as well. She thought it was too complicated and boring. So, I'm wondering what is a good game to interest her beyond Monopoly? I do know she does enjoy playing various games on the iPhone/iPad - so the potential is there. Her favorites are Plants vs. Zombies and games requiring dexterity.

I have a feeling she doesn't mind competitive board games (she wouldn't let me quit Monopoly even though I was on the verge of bankrupting). She loves the horror genre when it comes to movies (more of the slasher type than psychological or supernatural type of horror).

Any suggestions? Or am I doomed for a life of Monopoly forever? I'd prefer to look at games that are 2-3 players; I need to convert more friends and family but the GF is the first step

Right now, I'm leaning towards the co-op genre for the fact that I can guide her along in the gameplay mechanics while she follows my lead. I thought about Pandemic but I'm afraid the plethora of blocks and "hard-to-identify-with" theme may turn her off. Perhaps, Flash Point: Fire Rescue would be better? I've seen some similar threads mention Dominion but I have a feeling she may not care for deck building games. Another title I may look at is Stone Age.
 
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meepleonboard
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Keep it simple and keep it short for now - how about Hive or Lost Cities or Mr. Jack/Mr. Jack Pocket, which might suit her horror fancies, all great for two players. Anything with more than a page or so of rules is going to be seen as a barrier, and I think the choices you mention are too complicated for a non-gamer.

These are all portable, by the way, apart from the full version of Mr. Jack), so the next time you and her are somewhere with time on your hands...
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Freelance Police
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Search the geeklists for "gateway games". Ingenious is a pretty good one.
 
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Nicola Gambetti
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Hallo Kevin,
instead of Pandemic, try playing Forbidden Island: it's easier (and in my opinion much more fun) than its big brother. And in my experience people - even non-gamers - who are shown this game usually come to enjoy it.

I also think Nickster's suggestion about Mr. Jack Pocket will easily hit the mark with her: being a non-gamer, she could also like Dixit and Gift Trap.

Finally, games I've seen women of all ages like are Carcassonne, Qwirkle, Seven Wonders and Thurn und Taxis.

I hope this helps: above all, good luck with your work of "evangelization"!
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TS S. Fulk
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Get Hey, That's My Fish! and Elder Sign: Omens for iOS (and/or Mac OS) and see if she likes them.
 
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Nico W

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Hey Kevin,
i really hope u r not doomed for a life with monopoly.
Althought there is a new Version with a check card instead of paper money. Maybe that would increase your experience with it, too.

So, she likes dexterity and you want to have a co-op game. First thing that came in my mind was Space Alert. You have to be fast, it has sounds and is quit difficult if you cannot make decision in a fast and proper way.

There are also several card games that require dexterity in different ways.

If your GF like the "Zombie + Hack`n`Slay" theme which is semi-cooperative, maybe "Zombies!!!" is the right choice for you and her. You can also play it with several other friends or members of your family.

MiniMonFa is a 2 Player game where you have to build your dungeon and conquer the other one. Also very nice and with great pictures .

A favourite is always 7 Wonders, because there are several ways to win and no game is like the other.

I hope i could help you in a way .

So, i hope you will get your GF to a point she isn`t that focused on monopoly anymore.
 
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Derek
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+1 to Forbidden Island

My fiance has repeatedly asked to play it and it costs around $15 dollars, very fun and portable.

You can read my impressions here, I don't break down the rules/mechanics... but it may be what you're looking for in terms of a nearly perfect 'gateway' game.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/742114/forbidden-island-can-...

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Jason Hinchliffe
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I've gotta pile on for Forbidden Island. If it's just the two of you, that's a great one to go with. (I haven't played flash point, but from what I understand it is excellent as well).

If you can get another couple to join you, I suggest (as always) Settlers of Catan. Interactive, light, good amount of strategy, and a nice combination of new and familiar mechanics for non-gamers.
 
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Imp Rovius
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If she likes zombie themes, I'd suggest Chaos Isle: Zombi Deck. It's very easy to learn, plays well with 2-4 players, has co-op modes, and can still be played solo if she really doesn't like it.
 
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Keith S.
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I'm kind of in the same boat, awakening first my wife and then her family to games beyond the typical party fare. Here's a short list of the games that have worked in this capacity:

- Settlers of Catan - Say what you will about the game's high luck factor, the prospect of runaway winners, and its diminishing popularity among "serious" boardgamers; it remains a potent gateway, especially for the Monopoly crowd. Keep the dice, the houses and the trading, but add a whole new level of strategy and replayability. Definitely have a play of this if your GF is a Monopoly fan. The game actually does play with 2, at a cost of more limited trading and less competition for space. You may consider playing to 13 points instead of 10.

- Blokus - Again, "serious" gamers can say what they will, but this game is, hands-down, the best "missionary" of my collection in terms of preaching the gospel of boardgaming. It's a gateway abstract; the rules take approximately 30 seconds to explain, and the basic strategies are evident pretty early. Despite that, the game has good depth and tremendous staying power. Players will virtually always want another play after their first, as they see how the game develops and how they can do better. The original Blokus is poor with 3 players; there's a triangle-based version, Blokus Trigon, that has a much better 3-player. There's also a 3D version that has you building various shapes, competing with each other to have the most pieces showing when you look at the shape from the top.

- Stone Age - I wouldn't necessarily call this one a "gateway", as by its very nature as a worker-placement game it is going to be more complex than most others considered under that label. However, for its genre it's fairly light; if your group can handle Catan you can teach them Stone Age. The game also has the distinction of redeeming the WP genre in my wife's eyes after a failure with Agricola, and got her interested in Pillars of the Earth, a WP that I would NOT recommend for the casual gamer. SA is the only WP in my collection that I would put in front of my in-laws, who are still in the gateway mindset in terms of boardgaming.

- Carcassonne - Surprisingly, though it's touted as one of the essential gateways, this one has been hit or miss with various people I've shown it to. The light rules and easy objective are plusses, but some wonder what the point is of building a French countryside, while others are thrown by the various roles a meeple can take (specifically farmers). I do see its potential, and a few groups I've shown it to have liked it, but overall it's been kind of a "meh" offering. My wife and I play it as filler more than anything else.

- Ticket To Ride - I'm currently a little burned out on this one, but my wife has a lot of young cousins, and this game has been their gateway to others in my collection. The objective and basic flow are very easy to grasp, and the US map and colorful trains appeal to younger gamers. It's recommended for 8 and up but I've seen gamers as young as 6 pick it up and do very well.

I encourage you to try a couple co-ops, definitely. Co-ops allow you to familiarize your GF with certain basic Euro mechanics by just diving into a game. FP:FR does look like an interesting title; I just might pick up a copy myself.
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Kevin L.
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Thanks for the suggestions all! Base on the suggestions, I think I am leaning towards Forbidden Island. It sounds like a great game that I can teach while playing along side her. I'll look into those portable suggestions as well for traveling occasions (Mr. Jack Pocket, Hive, and Lost Cities).

If I can sway her towards more board gaming, I'll slowly introduce her to Last Night on Earth. I think it's an Ameritrash that she would enjoy with luck dice rolls and the theme of slaying zombies.

One can only hope there is a world beyond Monopoly...
 
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jeff
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This may sound completely crazy but it's totally different than the other reccomendations. It's easy to learn and teach cause the missions get progressivly more depth. It can get cut throat. Lots of dice to throw. It's packed full of theme. etc...

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42

Go ahead call me crazy...

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CJ
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Perhaps you should leave her to her own devices and come to board games, if at all, whenever she likes. It's always good to have unique hobbies from your missus...
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Claudine Finlay
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+1 for Stone Age. Everyone I have introduced this too has enjoyed it. On a side note, I think part of the problem might be that you've introduced games on your ipad. I have played a few on my iphone and it just isn't the same. Once you know a game, it's a great way to play. Until then, I would recommend teaching with the actual board game.
Good Luck
 
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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
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Why don't you start of with very simple games like Blokus or some very good card games for 2 players like

Lost Cities
Balloon Cup
Kahuna
Battle Line
Mr. Jack- Excellent deduction game

Or some games like Thurn and Taxis, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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+1 to encouraging her to try other games, but NOT coercing her to do so.
+1 to keeping any games *simple* and *short* to start.
+1 for trying cheap iOS games until you know enough about her tastes to invest in cardboard.

+1 Forbidden Island or Flash Point: Fire Rescue, whichever has the theme that she would enjoy more.

-1 Stone Age. It's just complicated enough that it's better as a next-step game, rather than an initial gateway.
-1 Mr. Jack for the same reason. The pocket version is apparently quite different, so might work.
-1 Space Alert because it is complex, and it is not at its best with 2

Catan requires a variant for 2p. I don't know how good/bad it is that way.

I don't know if Carcassonne, Lost Cities, or Balloon Cup would draw her in, with their "dull" themes. Only 1 of the 3 clicked with my wife.

Tentative support for Chaos Isle: Zombi Deck, due to the theme and relative simplicity. I just bought it, so haven't had a chance to play it yet.

Scott Nicholson did a video specifically to suggest modern games that might appeal to Monopoly players, depending on which aspects of Monopoly they really like: http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=403

Oh, and the final note: Monopoly is much less painful if you play by the actual printed rules. The common house rules ("free parking" and not auctioning off properties) make the game worse, not better.
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Contig
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My vote is for Blokus or Stone Age as fairly simple 2 player games.
 
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Luis Diaz
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nickster1970 wrote:
Keep it simple and keep it short for now - how about Hive or Lost Cities or Mr. Jack/Mr. Jack Pocket, which might suit her horror fancies, all great for two players. Anything with more than a page or so of rules is going to be seen as a barrier, and I think the choices you mention are too complicated for a non-gamer.

These are all portable, by the way, apart from the full version of Mr. Jack), so the next time you and her are somewhere with time on your hands...


All great recommendations and I can attest are great to play w/ your significant other
 
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Matt Sommer
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Since you're an iOS gamer, don't forget that the FORBIDDEN ISLAND iOS app is very well done and highly regarded.

Dicetower review:

http://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower?feature=watch#p/u/1...

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Joseph Saucedo
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Its been about a year of playing games with my gf and handful of games are always my go to if she wants to play something.
Hive
Jaipur
Forbidden Island
Zooloretto
Monopoly Deal Card Game
 
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Luis Diaz
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If she loves Monopoly then Chinatown might be right up her alley.

It's sort of like Monopoly but w/ a lot more player interaction. Plenty of trading and negotiating. It's very simple to learn. After one round you've got it. There's luck but the game is mainly negotiating. It's great fun. It's one of my wife's favorite games.I'm the Boss! is another favorite of ours.

Jaipur is an excellent 2 player game. Plays quick. Easy to learn.

Ingenious and Blokus Duo are both really good, easy to learn abstracts. Give that a shot.

She didn't like Ticket to Ride? Really? wow









 
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Andrew Meadow
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my vote is for Kingdom Builder, you can explain the rules and play a game in 30 minutes... and at first she may think it is too simple, but then (hopefully) she will start to think about strategy.
 
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Kathy Sheets
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Here are two suggestions based on the fact that she loves Monopoly:

Airlines Europe-scales great for 2-5p, you're collecting stocks by buying route licenses for airlines. Very easy to learn, teach and play but incredibly fun, even for more experienced gamers.

Lords of Vegas-scales great for 2-4p, you're building casinos, trying to be the 'boss' of the casino, collecting money every turn (even other players' turns), able to gamble, trade, buy, sell. This is also quite easy to learn, the most like Monopoly that I can think of, but WAY more fun!

This one is just because it's beautiful and still lots of fun:

Finca-scales great for 2-4p-pick up and deliver with a wonderful rondel mechanic, beautiful fruit bits, lots of fun. As absolutely simple as this one is (you can literally open it up and start playing within 5 min. after punching out the bits), we are finding there's quite a bit more to it than is at first apparent.

And this one because it has a great theme:

Pergamon-scales great for 2-4p-loot artifacts from an archeological dig for exhibition in a museum--has a great auction mechanic and is lots of fun.

I imagine you know this, but just in case--no matter what game you choose, be sure YOU know how to play it so it goes smoothly on your girlfriend's first play.

Another way to go, though, is to bring her along with filler-type games, which worked marvelously with my husband and son:

Ra: The Dice Game
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Can't Stop
Biblios

Good luck!
 
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Kevin L.
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Thanks again for all the suggestions! I'll give it a try and hopefully she learn that there is more to games than Monopoly. Haha... now all I wish for was that all these online stores didn't require $100 for free shipping.... oh well, excuses to buy more than one game
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Harlan Rosenthal
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Liko81 wrote:
- Blokus - Again, "serious" gamers can say what they will, but this game is, hands-down, the best "missionary" of my collection ...

And right alongside, Callisto with almost the same pieces and the opposite rules (sides must touch vs. only corners touch).

Ingenious has also proven useful. The "maximal minimum" scoring that some find complicated to explain comes right out of every military movie: "We're a team! We don't leave anyone behind!" I always reference the scene in "An Officer and a Gentleman": "I'm not going without you! Walk that wall!"
 
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