I previously asked What are Gateway Games and got a fairly good answer:
A gateway game is a game that you can use to introduce non-gamers to the world of 'real', i.e. complex games.
A gateway game
- has good replay value
- has nice game components
- is good for mixed age groups
I think it would further clarify the definition and my understanding of the concept to see a list of Gateway games (one per answer), and for each the reason that it meets the definition. I think all would agree that Settlers of Catan, Carcossone, and Ticket to Ride make the list. But what about Monopoly, Poker, Uno, Rat-a-tat-cat, Cosmic Encounter, Labyrinth, Race for the Galaxy?
I think there will be informational value not only in the games that make the list (those with answers that receive many upvotes), but also those which don't make the list (answers that have zero upvotes).
Please list one game per answer, and provide a little reasoning for why it should make the list. Please do not cast negative votes for an answer that is already at zero - I would like it to be okay for someone to post a controversial name like Monopoly so that valuable comments can clarify why this game should not be included on the list (without penalizing the person for suggesting this game be included).
Update: A comment below and further research suggests that perhaps the above definition of Gateway Games above is incomplete. Two other criteria for possible inclusion in the definition:
- Rules are easy and quick to learn and apply (even if the strategy is difficult)
- The game takes less than 2 hours to play (note that this would eliminate Monopoly which usually takes more than 2 hours)
I'd like to see a few more examples and comments before officially changing the definition above. The way I see this working is that the definition will change to accommodate what the group wisdom has expressed by the games that are included/excluded from what is commonly thought of us gateway games. The comments on Monopoly may be particularly interesting for this purpose given how much it has in common with Settlers [I intend to delete this entire update section at a later date, when the definition of Gateway Games becomes clearer and I incorporate it above].