It's coming around to the christmas period so it's just about time to start thinking about those little gifts to fill out the stockings. Here are some of the best games that have both a small footprint and small pricetag.
FUSE is a real-time co-operative game that employs 25 dice and 65 cards. Each game is set to a ten-minute timer, and players must work together in that ten minutes to defuse all of the bombs. Each bomb is represented by a card which needs a certain combination of dice in order to defuse it. A player will draw a number of dice equal to the number of players out of a bag and roll them. Players must then decide who will get which dice, but each player must take one and only one.
Welcome Back to the Dungeon
Welcome Back to the Dungeon is a simple and subtle push-your-luck game in which you’ll need to adopt a show of bravado or outwit your opponents!
The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction
Stand alone game based on the popular "Manhattan Project" board game by Minion Games, this is a simpler card-only game using dual-purpose cards in a quick and exciting race to completion.
Don't Mess With Cthulhu
Don’t Mess with Cthulhu is a social deduction game with secret identities. Players are either Investigators trying to keep Cthulhu from waking and controlling the world, or Cultists that want to bring the world to a disturbing end.
In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.
Love Letter (Multiple Versions)
Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck, for 2–4 players. Designed by Seiji Kanai, the game features incredibly simple rules that create dynamic and exciting player interactions. Players attempt to deliver their love letter into the Princess’s hands while keeping other players’ letters away. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
Bang! The Dice Game
BANG! The Dice Game keeps the core of the Bang! card game in place. At the start of the game, players each take a role card that secretly places them on a team: the Sheriff and deputies, outlaws, and renegades. The Sheriff and deputies need to kill the outlaws, the outlaws win by killing the Sheriff, and the renegades want to be the last players alive in the game.
You are an abbot of a medieval monastery competing with other abbots to amass the greatest library of sacred books. To do so, you need to have both the workers and resources to run a well-functioning scriptorium. To acquire workers and resources, you use a limited supply of donated gold. In addition, you must be on good terms with the powerful bishop, who can help you in your quest.
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game is a cooperative card game for 1-6 players. Set in the grim Warhammer 40,000 universe, Death Angel pits a squad of Blood Angel Space Marines against a growing alien horde. It will take strategic teamwork to make it out alive.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Tiny Epic Galaxies is driven by an exciting dice-rolling mechanic that rewards thoughtful programming of the results. Players control a home planet and a series of space ships within their own personal galaxy. As players upgrade their galaxies they gain access to more ships and more dice.
In Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects his/her eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins.
You are a zombie. You want braaains. More brains than any of your zombie buddies. Zombie Dice is fun for any zombie fan (or the whole zombie family). The 13 custom dice are your victims. Push your luck to eat their brains, but stop before the shotgun blasts end your turn!
You are dwarves digging for gold in the depths of a mine when suddenly, the pick-axe breaks, and the lantern goes out. The saboteur has struck again! But who is the saboteur and will he (or they!) stop you from reaching the treasure? If you succeed, gold awaits you. If you don’t, then to the victor goes the spoils. Whoever has the most gold nuggets after three rounds is the winner.
Players use card drafting and simultaneous action selection to score points while interfering with other players' ability to do so. The game consists of four rounds. In each of them, players are dealt five cards. They simultaneously select one each and pass the remainder, repeating until done. Then, they start playing cards simultaneously, playing three and discarding two. When the cards are revealed after each selection, card abilities turn other cards face-up or face-down. At the end of the four rounds there are 12 cards in front of each player. The players each score based on their face-up cards.
Hanabi—named for the Japanese word for "fireworks"—is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by placing the cards on the table in the right order. (In Japanese, hanabi is written as 花火; these are the ideograms flower and fire, respectively.)
Through what tragedies can Friendship endure? The Grizzled is a fast-paced, fully cooperative card game for 2 to 5 players that takes place in the trenches of World War I. Already a best seller in Europe, The Grizzledis an elegant game of avoiding threats and leading a team, and is regarded as one of the finest cooperative games ever made. Featuring beautiful art by French artist, Tignous, The Grizzled’s outstanding art is the perfect complement to its message of peace and enduring friendship.
In the Gloom card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. You'll play horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Mocked by Midgets on your own characters to lower their Self-Worth scores, while trying to cheer your opponents' characters with marriages and other happy occasions that pile on positive points. The player with the lowest total Family Value wins.
Brent is the founder of OzBoardGamer, he has a passion for the hobby and especially loves games for 2 to 5 players