Updated: Jul 10
Are you packing for a get away? It could be big or just a small camping trip nearby. Bringing a game or two is great on a rainy day or for a rest after a long hike. The hardest thing is what to choose since you don't have a lot of space in your suitcase. These 10 games are big fun in a tiny package.
Ecosystem is a card-drafting game in which players choose cards and place them into their play area turn by turn. The cards in a player's grid make up their own personal ecosystem, and at game's end, a player will have twenty cards in their ecosystem, with the game including eleven types of cards. Bears score by being placed next to bees and trout; trout score by being placed next to streams and dragonflies; and streams are compared at the end of the game, with the player who has the largest stream earning points. These are just a few examples of how scoring works in Ecosystem. Don't forget to diversify!
The cards are super tiny and the artwork is gorgeous! This game is new to our collection. Our family has been thoroughly enjoying it. It would be especially thematic for your vacation in the woods.
In Fort, you're a kid! And like many kids, you want to grow your circle of friends, collect pizza and toys, and build the coolest fort. By doing this cool stuff, you'll score victory points, and at the end of the game, the player with the most victory points wins! Your cards not only let you take actions on your own turn, but also let you follow the other players' actions on their turns. Will you devote yourself to your own posse, or copy what the other kids are doing? But be careful as your carefully constructed deck might start losing cards if you don't actually use them. After all, if you don't play with your friends, why should they hang out with you anymore?
Fort feels like a big box game. We were so surprised by how much is in the box! The pieces are high quality and the art is oh so fun. There are elements of deck building and resource management in the game play. I would say this game is medium weight, not a beginner game but also not terribly heavy.
In Love Letter, The noble Princess is looking for an ideal partner and confidant to help with her royal duties when she one day assumes the throne. You must prove your worth and gain her trust by enlisting allies, friends, and family of the Princess to carry a letter of intent to her. Can you earn the Princess' trust and become her confidant?
This has been in our collection in its many forms for so many years. The recent update to the game allows up to 6 players to enjoy the game together. The game is so small that you can put it in your pocket. Play is easy to pick up but engaging enough to still be in our collection after 6 years.
In Miraris, players are given cards ranging 1-9. Each round players simultaneously play a card from their hand. As long as you play a number no one else did, you will obtain a wonder card, otherwise, you will have to wait until the next round. Along with special individual player powers, try to score the most points after 8 rounds. Will you be the one to outwit the others and uncover the truth behind the Dream World?
We came across Miraris at a game store and were enchanted by the artwork. This is one of those easy to play difficult to master type games. There is a lot of chance involved, but also calculated risk. The game play is vastly different between a low player count game and a high player count game. They are both a ton of fun, but you are much more likely to play the same numbers in a high player count 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.
Bang! is such a great game for groups. The dice version is much easier to pick up for new players. We have seen people get really into this game that are normally quite stoic game players.
Incan Gold is a quick, fun press-your-luck game. Players venture down mine shafts or explore paths in the jungle by turning up cards from a deck and evenly sharing the gems they find on the way, with any leftover gems being placed on the card. Before the next card is revealed, you have the chance to leave the mine and stash your holdings, including any gems you get on the way out.
We are not very big fans of push your luck games, but this one is just so exciting! The hazards in the game have you biting your nails as you continue through the temple. If you get too greedy, you just might lose everything in a rock slide. We haven't met a person that doesn't have fun with this game yet. Even our 4 year old can play, which is an added bonus.
TOKYO JIDOHANBAIKI is a game about Japanese vending machines and drinks, with multiple 5-10 minute games inside. The core of the gameplay centers on a vending machine drink tower, into which miniature drinks are dropped. Some of the drinks will come out again, and others won't!
Tokyo Jidohanbaiki may be a bit harder to find. It isn't the most amazing game you will ever play. That said, it is our favorite to bring on vacation. We can take turns learning and teaching a game. The components are really cute. We really had a blast playing at the cabin last fall when it rained the whole time. It was great having such a variety of games in one tiny box. It has dexterity, area control, deduction, stock market games and more.
Similo is a co-operative deduction game. Your goal is to make the other players guess one secret character (out of the twelve characters on display in the middle of the table) by playing other character cards from your hand as clues, stating whether they are similar to or different from the secret character. After each turn, the other players must remove one or more characters from the table until only the right one remains and you win — or it is removed and you lose!
There are many versions of Similo to choose from. We have them all, except the brand new Animals edition. This is a fairly light weight game and can be played with young children too since it is cooperative. If you like deduction games like Code Names, you will like this one too.
Patchwork Doodle is a roll-and-write version of Patchwork, with each player having their own 9x9 grid to fill in over the course of the game. Each player sets up by drawing a unique polyomino card from the starting deck, then drawing that on their sheet.
We have played Patchwork Doodle so many times. It frequents our Twitch channel. Doodling in the boxes is very relaxing. Sometimes we even put a grid on a coloring page and color in the spaces as we play. It is easy to pick up for new players too.
Tiny Epic has a wide variety of games. So I don't have a blurb for any specific one. They all come in a tiny box and offer a big box game in regards to game play. We really enjoyed Tiny Epic Quest. The meeples with tiny weapons and armor to attach were especially great. There is a theme for everyone from dinosaurs to zombies to outer space. If you think this might be up your alley, check out their selection and find the game that will suit you best.