What was your gateway game?

Everyone has that first game that they played that transformed board games from a childhood game to a living passion (obsession?); mine was Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights. What game first got you hooked on table top games?

5 years ago by charredbysin with 15 comments

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  • Advanthera

    Mine was Munchkin! After that Ticket to ride. I still play Ticket to Ride, but not munchkin as much..

    • charredbysin

      Munchkin was fun for a bit, but it too quickly devolves into unorganized chaos for my taste. I like games in which everything can be thought out and strategized, Munchkin is too rushed.

      • Advanthera

        Totally agree, which is why we don't play it anymore,l it was great as a gateway game, but once I realized there were so many other games that were a lot better, it feel to the wayside. I also found it could drag on, my friends and I played a three hour game once. It really does not have that kind of staying power.

        • charredbysin

          Oh geez, it didn't take our group three hours to play through Arkham Horror.

  • RedWolfe

    I've seen similar questions like this before, and it's always a difficult thing for me to answer, as I can't remember a time when I didn't play games.

    Born in '75.. Earliest I can recall playing games was probably in 1980, where I would play Monopoly with my brothers. We had other games, like Perfection, Booby Trap, Scrabble (which I played later), Sorry, Frustration, Mad Magazine Game (which was like reverse Monopoly), Pay Day, trivia pursuit. All these games we played here and there. We also got the very first Canadian Monopoly edition. This was far far before Monopoly was heavily licensing their product for other "versions". At around 1983 or so, my friend and I and his brother really got into playing RIsk at his house. I never had a copy back then. This was old old style Risk, where the armies were not little figures, but odd shapes, like an elongated Astericks

    Eventually I got games like Fireball Island, Pictionary, and so on. In 1984 (or 85?) my oldest brother got "BattleTech" and "Starfleet Battles". He taught me BattleTech and I in turn taught my friends. My other friend also got "Fortress America" at this point, and by 1987 I was starting to dabble into Role Playing Games. I also got "Dungeon" and "Mage Stones" around this time, and enjoyed both of those quite a lot, as did my friends. Around 87 or 88 I got "Thunder Road" which was a mad max style game. I loved it, and it somehow disappeared from my collection in the early 90s, only game to have vanished. I believe I loaned it to someone and never got it back, but I am not sure.

    In the 90s was typical games, Lots of RIsk, but Taboo, Pictionary, Scrabble, and so on. The odd Battletech game for nostalgia. I got the first Lord of the Rings RIsk at this point as well.

    In 1996 I started hearing about Settlers of Catan online. I discovered Board Game Geek around this time. I googled "top 10 board games" figuring "Ok, RIsk, Monopoly, scrabble" will all be on that list. (this may have been late 90s sometime. I forget exactly when.)

    What I saw was a list of very strange games I had never heard of. Puerto Rico? WTF was Puerto Rico? I started to investigate more, and was convinced that I needed to get my hands on Settlers of Catan. But no where sold it near me. That was until a comic store near me (that had just opened) got a few copies in, because they had several customers asking about it.

    I bought it, invited a friend who loved games as well over, and we were in awe of it. Shortly after that, we got Munchkin, Carcassone, and various expansions.

    From there, I have kept buying games, but I keep it as close to a minimum was possible. I know how easy I can get out of control with it. I probably have about 40-50 games right now, and have two cabinets filled, although many of these are older games too that I can't yet get rid of.

    With young kids, and a busy schedule, I find it hard to get together with friends and play games. I wish I could do it each week, when I was dating my wife, we used to play a weekly Risk game each Sunday Night with my best friend. I miss that. I wish I could have a monthly get together, but that seems near impossible. Right now It's about once every 3 months, but as of now, we played once back in may, and before that was last october.. So we've gone through a dry spell lately.

    Although I do play occasionally with my family...

  • mjtarry

    As cliché as it seems to be now, my gateway game was Settlers of Catan and things really took off from Carcassonne hitting, all downhill from there...

  • tehdiplomat

    I'm not sure I really had a gateway game. I started playing Chess at 4, and moved on to Magic the Gathering at 12. Once that got too expensive to keep up with in college, I shifted over to board games.

    • charredbysin (edited 5 years ago)

      When you shifted, what game made that happen? I'm assuming not Warhammer ;)

      • tehdiplomat

        The only consideration was the price of magic being unsustainable. I was already playing other games at the time (Fluxx, Risk, Diplomacy). It's not like I played Catan and something "clicked." Like other people.

  • caelreth

    I think Trivial Pursuit was mine. Though, I'm not quite sure I can say it was a 'gateway game' for me as I have gone for a long, long time without playing many board games at all. But I'm starting to get back in to them - played Stratego with my son yesterday and we're hoping to get in to Risk soon.

  • Kayzaks

    While not a Board Game in the classical sense, for me it was Trading Card Games (Magic). Transitioned to more traditional Board Games later on.

  • Williamap7

    Mine was Candyland (I think that's what it's called) or chutes and ladders.