Gateway Board Games

A non-exhaustive list of board games for new board gamers.

Gateway Games (1 to 1 1/2 hours playtime / Simple Rulesets)

Medium Weight Games (1 1/2 – 2 hours playtime / Intermediate Rulesets)

Heavy Games (2 – 3 hours playtime / Time to teach/learn 30 minutes)

Large Format Games (3+ hours / Extremely complex Rulesets)

Disclaimer: DO NOT START WITH THESE GAMES

My Top 5 Favorites

The Settlers of Catan

I was browsing the Amazon Best Seller lists and noticed that Settlers of Catan was the number 2 item in the Toys and Games category. I’ve played many, many hours of and even once had a blog devoted exclusively to Settler’s of Catan (until their lawyers told me to shut it down). I recently even bought a second copy of Catan because the first version I bought was a “Gallery” edition, which is highly limited. I ended up getting the full version for me and my wife to play.

settlers-of-catanI love board games and I’ve written before about entrepreneur and startup board games. My sister-in-law must have known this because she gave me a copy of Klaus Teuber’s Catan Adventures, “Elasund, the First City“, which I haven’t played yet, but one reviewer said:

This game has just the right mix of strategy, randomness, and backstabbing to make it fun. You have to be careful, though. too much backstabbing and your wife will never play it with you again! There are multiple strategies you can use to try and win, such as being the first to start the building of the church which will inevitably destroy your opponents’ (or your) buildings if they lie in it’s path. Or you can concentrate on the city walls which will net you extra cards when pirates attack. or maybe you can just go for the straightforward approach and just start trying to build as much as possible and hope your opponents don’t steal your building permits. The randomness is just a roll of the dice but you can manipulate the outcome of that depending on how much influence you have. I mentioned backstabbing earlier; you can use your opponent’s building permits against them. This is a game where come-from-behind victories can be common if people take advantage of influence and let other players unwittingly help them build.

I almost lost my marriage and my kids over playing too much Catan. It’s very addictive. It’s also trademarked in case their lawyers are reading this.

10 Entrepreneur and Startup Board Games

As an entrepreneur who is interested in startups and board games, I considered making my own entrepreneurship board game or a board game about starting up, but like any good business owner, I started with market research. It turns out there are already at least ten entrepreneur or startup board games either on the market already or in development. Some of them you may have heard of and others are brand new.

Startup Fever by Louis Perrochon

Set in the world of Internet startups, the pieces are employees – from engineers to salesmen to executives. Opponents try to steal them with better offers. As head of the company, you can choose to invest your resources in personnel or sales. There’s even an expansion that introduces venture capitalists and lawyers, for extra flavor. The goal, as in real-world product development, is to get the most users.

ScrumBrawl by VicTim Games LLC (Bugher and Vic Moyer)

The object of ScrumBrawl is to score three goals by moving orb tokens into a portal. To do so, players control fantasy creatures – 50 in all – whose characteristics determine how they interact. Players also battle each other’s creatures to keep them from scoring. At one point, the game was much more elaborate than its final version, but play testers told VicTim Games that the concept was too unwieldy.

Fluke by Ida Byrd-Hill, Detroit, MI

A Detroit mother has developed a board game that takes players from accidental inventions through the tricky realm of patents, portfolios and finally to corporate wealth – if they’re savvy enough. The player with the largest portfolio wins.

GoVenture Entrepreneur Board Game by GoVenture

Run your own business and compete, collaborate, and negotiate with other players. Game play is designed to recreate the real-life thrills and challenges of entrepreneurship in a fun and educational social learning experience. Activities are expertly designed to enable you to experience the true challenges of entrepreneurship, while at the same time, provide an engaging and experiential group learning opportunity.

Zeros-To-Heros by Richard Mak

Marketed as the “World’s 1st board game on Entrepreneurship” Zeros-To-Heros is the winner of MENSA Singapore SELECT Awards (2007) based on its originality, dynamic game play, ability to stimulate players’ intellect and fun. You start the game as an employee with ZERO capital and ZERO understanding of business. Take the exciting path to become your OWN BOSS and see whether you survive or become an entrepreneurial Hero.

Hot Company® Board Game

Students experience what it’s like to “be the boss” while experiencing the thrill of running a company and finding solutions that will lead to success. Each player or team is the “owner” of a hot new company. Roll the die, pick a card, and you’re in business! The object of the game is to get “your” company to turn a profit. Hot Company® develops a wide array of real-world business skills.

I’m The Boss!®

A game of deal-making and negotiation, where students are investors just trying to make a deal. Through intelligent negotiations, temporary alliances, and cut-throat bargaining, players can rake in millions. But watch out for the other investors at your bargaining table who meddle in your affairs and try to take over your deals. As the boss, you stand to gain the most, but you can find yourself quickly cut out of a deal. In the end, the winner is the investor with the most money.

Rich Dad Cashflow for Kids

CASHFLOW for Kids teaches children how to have money work for them. CASHFLOW for Kids is a complete educational package which includes the book “Rich Dad’s Guide to Raising Your Child’s Financial I.Q.” CASHFLOW for Kids is recommended for children ages 6 and older. Children learn the difference between good credit and bad credit, assets and liabilities, earned income and passive income, and income and expenses. Cashflow for Kids is an easy way for parents to teach their children about finance, but it requires an adult or older child who already understands the basics of finance to reinforce the lessons as they are experienced.

Entrepreneur’s Accessory to Monopoly by The Third Dimension

This game, subtitled “The Power-Business Venture Game”, is an unofficial expansion to Monopoly. It comes with a small board that fits exactly into the center of a standard Monopoly game board. The game plays like regular Monopoly but adds Corporations, Leverage Buyouts, Corporate Takeovers, Casinos and Financial Coups into the mix. Look for it on eBay, but Monopoly itself is a good economic game.

Globalization by Sandstorm

Build your global empire… one company at a time! As the head of a multi-national corporation with one goal in mind – to make money – players in Globalization attempt to outbid their competitors to acquire businesses within six different industries and grow their conglomerate. Streamline operating costs build additional factories sue your competitors or take one of your subsidiaries public for big returns! Your corporate strategy will impact which companies you buy and how to take your corporation worldwide. The first to reach a billion in net worth wins!

Want more learning sets for kids?