Oops, Dale of Merchants is max 4 players.
I once trusted someone about Village Pillage…
…turns out they knew what they were talking about! I love how it’s always everyone’s turn, how it’s super zippy, and how the different roles make for different kinds of interaction. It’s “just” a filler game, but it’s a solid filler game.
Okay, I’m imagining it! Where can I get such a game? I like games where dice get me off the hook for having to be good at them. So your proposed variant is the only way I would voluntarily play chess.
Imagine an elegant game like Village Pillage, where everyone rolls two dice every time they play a card, and anyone who gets a 6 though 8 has to trash all their turnips.
6 Nimmt would be a good option. Quick, easy to learn, rewards some thought. It’s just a pack of cards.
Hanabi is easy to pick up, but perhaps gets a bit thinky for your purposes if you want to play it well. A pack of cards plus a few tokens.
Codenames is a great suggestion from Craig. Scales really well to higher player counts, and people can drop in and out mid-game as they like.
Deja vu. I have already answered a similar question (though without as much emphasis on box size) back in December. :)
So keep those games in mind.
I have other small footprint (small boxes) games that I would recommend. Not all fit all criteria. But they should give you some variety.
Three Dragon Ante: Legendary Edition (2 to 6 players)
Imagine a poker type gambling game played in a fantasy world played over 3 rounds. Instead of the poker hands, you have dragons with values and suits. The goal is to get a player to 0 coins and then the player with the most coins wins. I highly recommend watching the video to get a feel for the game. I think it could be a good one to play in the evening.
Not Alone (2 to 7 players)
A crew crash lands on a planet and wants to escape. But one player plays the planet. And the planet has other ideas about whether to let the crew go… This is a tense game. But quite a bit of fun double guessing who is going to go to what location and what “the planet” is going to do this turn.
Port Royal (2 to 5 players)
A card drafting / push your luck little card game where you try to be the first to collect 12 influence. Lots of choices every turn, the ability to bust because you are overconfident. Easy to learn and play. I think it would fit well.
Dungeon Mayhem (2 to 4 players)
Players try to bring the life total of other players to 0 and be the last man/woman standing/tiefling. It’s very light, but also very easy to teach and the asymmetric powers for each class keep things interesting. A provisional recommendation as I think it could get old if played too often.
Fuji Flush (3 to 8 players)
Possibly too simple, but fun to bring out while chatting. The goal is to get rid of all your cards, but to do so, you must either temporarily team up with another player or play the highest number of the round. Really good for quick pick up and play games and accommodating on player count too.
And, finally, some quick but cool 2 player only games (for when you have fewer players, or when a couple of players are waiting to join in a game in progress).
Air, Land and Sea (2 players only)
This game has really clever, “lose a battle to win the war” mechanic that plays really well. Easy to learn: try and get a majority of points in 2 out of 3 areas on the table. But the twist is that the sooner you concede when you think you are going to lose a round, the fewer points you give your opponent. First player to 12 wins the whole game, so giving away fewer points on a loss matters. Highly, highly recommended. Everybody I play it with loves it. It’s clever, yet super easy to learn.
Fugitive (2 players only)
One player plays the marshall who tries to catch the fugitive before said fugitive gets to the jet and escapes. Love the art and the way it’s all about the mind games between the 2 players. Can the marshall correctly identify every location the fugitive has visited before they escape? Pretty cool. Not sure you can buy it anywhere except directly from Fowler’s site though. So might be too slow to arrive.
Hope this helps.
I’m happy to now know about Not Alone. Thank you!
That last conversation was more geared around hosting games in my apartment.
Oh I remember that game. Onto the wishlist it goes.
Also added. Hanabi looks like alot of fun.
You rock dude.
Not Alone is really good, I need to get that out more. It lives and dies by the ability of the player playing the alien planet though.
I think Exploding Kittens fits the bill pretty well, along with all these other great suggestions.
Unstable Unicorns is pretty fun.
I second any version of Code Names. Those are off the top of my head. I know I have a few others that hit that 6 player mark but portable is making me draw a blank.
Innovation takes up very little space and plays quick, with weird-but-simple rules. Only plays up to 4, though.
Plenty of suggestions. Too many to action all of them.
Shall narrow it down to maybe 3 or 4.
Fantasy Realms is a game for 2-6 players and is all about hand building. The deck is comprised of 53 unique cards (no duplicates!) and all cards affect each other in different ways. For example, holding the Queen in your hand will give you +5 for each army you have, but holding the King AND the Queen in your hand will give you +20 for each army. The Hydra is worth +28 points if you also have a swamp in your hand, etc. It’s an extremely straightforward game and it’s addicting to see all the big numbers add up. It’s also a small and very portable box.
Tsuro is a fantastic game! It’s a little larger to transport, though. But it’s easy to pick up and games are quick, so it’s easy to cycle people in and out if there are more than 8 of you waiting to play.
Calliope Games (makers of Tsuro) has a game called Roll For It that is extremely portable and easy to pick up. And you can expand it to a greater number of players as long as you have the extra dice for it! I recommend getting the deluxe version; it plays 8 right off the bat and also has really lovely art.
The Mind is fun (and harder than you think it is!) and simple, but only plays 4 people. However, it can be really exciting to watch and feels pretty intense (it’s a co-op game where you’re trying to predict what everyone else has in their hand so you can play numbers in ascending order).
I also suggest Coup. With the expansion, it can play up to 10 people and plays quickly and simply. It’s a bluffing/hidden identity game that appeals even to people who don’t tend to love hidden identity games like Avalon or Resistance (which are also portable, if that’s your jam).
I definitely second Love Letter and Codenames, which I saw mentioned in other replies. Hope you find some fun stuff to play!
Not if you play the iPad version. Same for a lot of big board games that are on iPad.
I keep hoping Scythe actually comes out on iPad.
I’m really in love with this game. It’s so simple, but there’s still so much in it. I feel like we’re always discovering weird strategies, and the table meta worried about feeding particular combos by discarding is always developing in fun ways. Great little push-your-luck style game.
Yeah, Tsuro isn’t the MOST portable game, as the box is rather large, but it’s a really fantastic game.
Munchkin might fit well? It’s a little bit longer, but portable and easy to pick up. (We played it in line before Avengers, sitting on the floor waiting for them to let us in.)
Absolutely! You can always tell when someone drops something that another player needs, haha. And I’ve held cards in my hand before and debated dropping them because I was afraid getting rid of it would pave the way for someone else to get a boatload of points. I enjoy this game a lot, and everyone I’ve taught it to has had fun with it as well.
I’ve been looking into a game called Ex Libris lately - has anyone played this and do you have an opinion on it? The reviews seem pretty solid and I think it would be enjoyable for me and my friend group based on what I’ve seen. I’d love to hear from you guys, though - I’ve seen some great suggestions in these threads and have used some of your input to help curate both my collection and the collection I manage for the comic convention. Thanks!
This upcoming game seems targeted at everyone like @tomchick who love that technicolor 70s-fantasy-novel art style of Dungeon Degenerates.
Each player controls a two-mile-tall, immortal, invulnerable frog-like creature that exists solely to gather terrain from the Shards of Aeth , the fragments of a long-ago shattered world.
(Found out about this via the So Very Wrong About Games podcast, which I’ve really enjoyed recently. Thanks to whoever recommended it!)