With the constant influx of amazing new card, board, miniature, and role-playing games, I’m often hard-pressed in this column to find opportunities to point out all the awesome tabletop projects in any given year. But even as the catalog of available games continues to grow, so too does the audience ready to give this hobby a chance for the first time. Contrary to what you might expect, the tabletop hobby has grown by leaps and bounds during the digital age as people continue to seek opportunities to socialize and have fun with friends in-person.
Today, I’m highlighting several games that can serve as a welcome mat into the tabletop gaming world. Whether you’re looking to snag a game for yourself to get into playing with friends or family, or you’re looking for a gift (perhaps for the holidays?) to help invite someone into the fun, I think these selections can get you heading in the right direction.
In each case, I’ve tried to select games with a few criteria – easy-to-learn, short playtimes, strong replayability, affordable price points, and in many cases, a system or mechanics that speaks to broader trends or ideas that players will subsequently encounter in other games. In