Tony Ackroyd
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Brighton
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After five months, six rounds and votes from hundreds of users on 166 nominated games, we have the final results of the contest to determine the Best Gateway Games.

The initial nominations were put together on this thread: The Best Gateway Games Contest: Nomination and Discussion Thread
The nominations thread and the first round saw a lot of discussion about what a gateway game is, for example, whether a party game can be one, whether the right theme is more important or accessible gameplay and what is an acceptable level of complexity.

"Gateway" is a term that a lot of BBGeeks don’t like much, but I haven’t seen a word that conveys the meaning any better. So what does it mean? The BGG Glossary says:

gateway game

n. A game with simple rules that are easy to teach non-gamers in order to attract new players into boardgaming as a hobby.

Gateways are the kind of game that will open someone's eyes to a new kind of game and make them want to play again.
The right choices will build the non-gamer's trust in your ability to select other games they will enjoy playing in the future.
Gateways should not be games that are widely known like scrabble, chess, checkers, backgammon and some of the wider known party games.
I also think that gateways may be different for different types of games
e.g. Coloretto for card games, Ticket to Ride for Euros, Memoir '44 for Wargames

You can see the Final here, which reflected the results of the whole contest, where Ticket to Ride had come in at #1 every round:
[POLLS] The Best Gateway Games - Round 6 - The FINAL
There is a link to the previous round in each list.

Here is the final summary of the results:

1 Ticket to Ride
2 Carcassonne
3 Settlers of Catan
4 Pandemic
5 Ticket to Ride: Europe
6 For Sale
7 Diamant/Incan Gold
8 Coloretto
9 No Thanks!
10 Hey, Thats My Fish!
11 Forbidden Island
12 PitchCar
13 Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
14 Category 5/6 Nimmt!
15 Bohnanza
16 Lost Cities
17 TransAmerica
18 Blokus
19 Liar's Dice
20 Can't Stop
21 Winners Circle
22 Wits & Wagers
23 Ingenious
24 Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers
25 Dominion
26 Alhambra
27 TransEuropa
28 Fits
29 Dixit
30 Cartagena
31 Stone Age
32 Zooloretto
33 Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
34 Qwirkle
35 The Downfall of Pompeii
36 Pickomino
37 Survive!
38 Thebes
39 The Adventurers
40 Ubongo
41 Gambit 7
42 Saboteur
43 Tsuro
44 Castle Panic
45 Tobago
46 Small World
47 Jamaica
48 Telestrations
49 10 Days in Africa
50 10 Days in the USA
51 Hive
52 Citadels
53 Through the Desert
54 Niagara
55 Keltis
56 PitchCar Mini
57 Dice Town
58 Jaipur
59 Guillotine
60 Jungle Speed
61 Battle Line
62 The aMAZEing Labyrinth
63 Hoity Toity
64 Mr. Jack
65 Lost Cities: The Board Game
66 Apples to Apples
67 Pirates Cove
68 Fearsome Floors
69 A la carte
70 Dream Factory
71 Memoir '44
72 Snow Tails
73 Bang!
74 Balloon Cup
75 Formula D
76 Finca
77 Daytona 500
78 Aquaretto
79 Formula De
80 Wasabi
81 Manhattan
82 Kingsburg
83 Witch's Brew
84 Thurn und Taxis
85 Long Shot
86 Elfenland
87 Fauna
88 Werewolf
89 Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
90 Vikings
91 The Great Dalmuti
92 Chateau Roquefort
93 Acquire
94 Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
95 Money
96 Vegas Showdown
97 Fresco
98 Roborally
99 Leaping Lemmings
100 Shadow Hunters

If you enjoyed these polls you should subscribe here to make sure you don't miss one:
1000rpm's Polls Notification Thread - Just Subscribe!

At the moment I'm running this game contest:
[POLLS] The Best (Light) Conflict Games, Round 2: The Top 60
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Tony Ackroyd
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Brighton
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Nearly a quarter of those who voted in the final had not played For Sale and a quarter hadn't played Diamant/Incan Gold. These are awesome games and cheap too! Go out and snap them up!
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Daniel AA
United States
Minneapolis
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Thanks for all your hard work. Everyone can now take your work and spread the gospel of games to make new converts.
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Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
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Tony, Thanks for all your work on the polls!

Jerry
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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
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Games, games and more games!
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Thanks a lot for the polls - it's a great list to work from when playing with more casual gamers - family and friends who like games but aren't into the heavier end.
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Clay Blankenship
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Huntsville
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That's a moray!
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I missed the polls, but this is a nice list: The Gateway 100!
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Pete Lane
United States
Saint Paul
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Great list! Really needs to be stickied or something in Recomendations for the flood of new folks we always seem to get.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Bethesda
MD
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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This just in:

Wits & Wagers beats Dominion! (as a gateway game)
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Cory Suter
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Orlando
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I'm pleased to see that even though I just started getting into board gaming. I bought a lot of these titles without even knowing they are gateway games. Maybe that is the true testament to a gateway game!
 
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Homi Wan
Canada
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Hi there, as someone who's trying to expand their collection and host regular game nights for my friends I just wanted to say how much I apprieciate the work that went into this list.

One small request on behalf of everyone in my position though, it would be super convenient if each game in the list was a hyperlink to the corresponding page on BGG so people have one-click access to read up on each game.

Thanks again!
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Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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This list needs to be updated.
 
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Tony Ackroyd
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matthean wrote:
This list needs to be updated.

What great new Gateway games have come out in the last 18 months?
I can add a supplementary poll and see how they do.
 
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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Lords of Waterdeep came out. I don't get why Shadow Hunters would make the list versus The Resistance. All the more so with the new edition. It would be interesting to see a yearly edition just to see how taste change over time. No King of Tokyo either.

Maybe it's me, but I find some of the choices as odd. Catan at 3 and no 7 Wonders. Teaching people how to play either there really wasn't that much difference in time.
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Enrico Viglino
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Phoenix, AZ
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Silenced - BGG's moderation policies have driven me completely from here
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gavr0che wrote:
Thanks for all your hard work. Everyone can now take your work and spread the gospel of games to make new converts.


Everyone who can bear playing these, that is. :P
 
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Tony Ackroyd
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matthean wrote:
Lords of Waterdeep came out. I don't get why Shadow Hunters would make the list versus The Resistance. All the more so with the new edition. It would be interesting to see a yearly edition just to see how taste change over time. No King of Tokyo either.

Maybe it's me, but I find some of the choices as odd. Catan at 3 and no 7 Wonders. Teaching people how to play either there really wasn't that much difference in time.

Good suggestions. The Resistance was out, but wasn't nominated. It did very well in the recent 'Fun' games contest though, as did King of Tokyo (which wasn't out when this Gateway contest finished). Whether the Resistance would have done well in this contest is questionable - Werewolf only came in at #88.
King of Tokyo would probably feature in the Top 100 if this was run again, but maybe not highly - "gateway to where" being a likely question.
Lords of Waterdeep seems a bit to heavy to me to feature, but could be a gateway for D&D players.

7 Wonders was in the contest but went out in Round 1, mainly due to 23% of people voting it "not gateway". I do agree that Catan is over-rated as a gateway, probably a lot of nostalgia in that.
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Mike Welker
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+1 for Incan Gold. Quite fun. Definitely a gateway game with a great theme and fun mechanics.
 
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Jonathan White
United States
Oviedo
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Wow, I own almost a quarter of these games and they make up almost half my entire collection. Guess we can see who I primarily play games with!

I'm also a little surprised 7 Wonders didn't make the cut. It is by far my non-gamer friends' favorite game.
 
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Michal Starek
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Sezimovo Usti
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The best gateway game in existence, that attracted most people in my group and in fact me... is Takenoko. Simple yet elegant and - here's the nongamer appeal - with great looks.
The fact it didn't even make it to top 100, along with 7 wonders, is almost insulting. Bauza anti-fan?
 
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Tony Ackroyd
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myyysha wrote:
The best gateway game in existence, that attracted most people in my group and in fact me... is Takenoko. Simple yet elegant and - here's the nongamer appeal - with great looks.
The fact it didn't even make it to top 100, along with 7 wonders, is almost insulting. Bauza anti-fan?

I don't think it was published when the contest was run. But I am working up to re-running this one as a lot of great beginner/gateway games have come out in the last couple of years.
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