I started with this question about good games for new players and got plenty of good answers. But now I want to look at things from the other end and figure which games I should definitely avoid.
I was thinking about buying Power Grid, Puerto Rico, and Arkham Horror to play with my family because they have tons of good reviews and are widespread. But when I asked if they would be a good choice at our local game store I was told to steer away from them due to complexity, and it seems there aren't many reviews on the complexity of games and friendliness to new people.
I love board games to death, and when I see a 40 page manual I think 'bring it on!' and have no trouble sitting there for a half hour learning to play the game. Many of my friends aren't as hardcore, and they start to get bored if we don't get started in 15 minutes.
What are some good ways to recognize if a game is probably not suitable for non board game enthusiasts? The outside of the box is usually unhelpful, and it can be difficult to figure this out before actually buying the game. Sadly I don't live very near a board-game store, so I can't try all of them out. If you list a game, please include why it doesn't meet the criteria, how this can be recognized, and its implications for the game.