1) is it a good game?
2) is it easily available (i.e. Not out of print & hopefully at a big box store)
3) is it truly entry level?
4) is it fun?
5) is it affordable (i.e. Under $50, preferably under $20)
1. Hanabi (meets all 5 criterion perfectly)
2. Forbidden Island (5/5, also excellent iOS app)
And the essential expansion which includes solo play: At your orders
5. Pandemic: The Cure (4/5 possibly available at target)
Next step games:
1. Star Trek Five Year Mission (5/5, didn’t make the top 5 because those are simply better than this game) also known as Star Trek Roll for it! AHAHAHAHA, seriously though it’s fun
2. Flash Point Fire Rescue (4/5, most likely online only)
3. Pandemic (5/5, but I feel like it’s difficulty & complexity push the limits of gateway games, also an excellent android & iOS app)
4. Samurai Spirit (4/5)
Max (a very simple children’s game but a good introduction for children & anyone who likes very simple games, has an iOS app)
Onirim (shouldn’t be this expensive for long, I’m pretty sure it’ll get reprinted, also it’s only a 1-2 player game, now it has an excellent iOS app)
Star Wars Rebel Mission (very simple & very random but fun)
& there are many many more the