Quick Games For Small Groups
If You Have Fifteen Minutes, We Have a Game for You!
One of the major considerations when picking a game to play is exactly how long it’s going to take. When you plan an evening of board games, you’re likely to select longer, larger games which require a reasonable amount of set-up. But what do you pick up when you don’t have as long, or one of your guests has to leave shortly? Maybe you choose to pass on a game altogether and do something different, but you don’t have to—there are tons of awesome games out there that can take just fifteen minutes per playthrough.
To give you an idea, we’ve listed four great games below that provide quick and exciting gameplay for two to six players.
Minuscule is a charming, small game about racing bugs through the woods. Two to six players each cheer for two bugs, determined by Goal Cards, earning points based on where their assigned critters end the game. Bugs change position by playing Move Cards, which require the bug residing on a particular space to move forward or backward a certain number of spaces, then adjusting the location of all other bugs on the track. One special card will allow you to move a bug all the way to the end of the track, and another will allow you or an opponent to exchange one of their Goal Cards for a new one. A delightful play experience, Minuscule is a perfect game for families, and even comes with a more challenging variant for more advanced players.
A fantasy game for three to six players, Crossing is a sly bluffing experience for all ages. The aim of the game is to finish with the most gems, which initially enter the game on mushrooms available to all players. On each turn, you may either point to the gems on a mushroom or another player’s character tile, or cover your recently acquired gems to protect them from thieves. If you are the only one pointing to a mushroom or uncovered tile, the gems are yours to take. On the other hand, if another player is also pointing to the same tile, or protecting the gems you were trying to filch, you do not claim any gems for that turn. As a tile’s gems go unclaimed, they will build up, forcing you to make tricky decisions about which options are best.
Phantoms vs. Phantoms
Phantoms vs. Phantoms is a speedy but enthralling two-player game of bluffing and sneaky moves.You and your opponent each have eight ghosts, four with small red indicators on their backs and four with blue. The blue ghosts are good, and the red ghosts are bad. The ghosts can move left, right, forward, and backward, and may capture opposing ghosts by moving to their space. You can win one of three ways: by capturing all of your opponent's blue ghosts, by forcing them to capture all of your red ghosts, or by escaping one of your blue ghosts through the doors on your opponent's side of the board. Because you don’t know which ghosts are which, you must try to read your opponent's moves to know whether to capture their ghosts or let them pass.
Mr. Jack Pocket
Another perfect option for two players is Mr. Jack Pocket, a clever asymmetrical investigation game. In the game, one player acts as Mr. Jack using a secret identity and the other player acts as the investigators, Holmes, Watson, and Toby the dog. By moving the investigator tokens around the streets of Whitechapel, forcing suspects to move about the city, and establishing alibis, the investigator player will try to determine which identity Mr. Jack is operating under.
If two or more suspects are showing after all eight turns of the game, Mr. Jack escapes, but if the investigators narrow it down to just one suspect, they successfully apprehend him and win the game.
Go Get Playing!
Whether you have just fifteen minutes to play or a whole night to fill, these games can be great options. By playing variations of a game or changing roles in an asymmetrical title, you can create wholly new game experiences out of the same box. You can also string these quick games together to play one after the other, enthralling all players, no matter what theme or game style they favor. Got a few more players to include? No problem! Check back soon for some suggestions on quick games for larger groups of friends and family!