Small Games

The games listed here require minimal setup and have fewer parts then board games.  Many of them are also $5 - $20 making them inexpensive entry level games.  However, many of them maintain a reasonable amount of challenge and complexity.  Once taught to kids, these games can be played with minimal supervision due to their inexpensive cost to replace and lack of intricate pieces.  

Go Nuts for Donuts

Players: 2 - 6      Time: 10 - 30 Min        Age:  8+   

 

This is an amazing new game that kids simply love.  The point is quite simple, get the most points by accumulating doughnuts.  Obviously, that is easier said than done.  I'm not going to say too much more about it, but you can check out my full video review here.

Sleeping Queens

Card game

Players: 2 - 5        Time: 5 -15min          Age: 6+

 

A must-have card game about sleeping queens.  The point of the game is to wake up the sleeping queens to gain the most amount of points.  This game uses simple mathematics and number sense alongside kings, knights, dragons, sleeping potions, magic wands, and jesters.  Play the cards to manipulate opponents queens until you hold the most points and the game is done.  

 

 

Concerns: None

Swish

Card Game

Players: 2 - 5       Time: 5 - 15 min        Age: 7+

 

This is an incredibly unique card game.  The cards are clear and players must use spatial recognition to find cards that fit together in a swish.  This game is a pleasant mind-bender that will have your brain challenged and eyes a little crossed.  Swish is a fantastic hide-and-seek type of game with all the right twists.  

Concerns:  This game requires some concentration.  

Monopoly Deal

Card Game

Players: 2 - 4     Time:10 - 20 Minutes      Age: 8+

 

Based on the classic board game Monopoly this quicker version will be played much more than the traditional version.  Monopoly deal can be played in 15 minutes, but still has all the classic Monopoly fun.  Build properties, pass go, collect rent, get paid and steal from opponents.  This game is fun for the whole family. 

 

Concerns:  A fair amount of reading on the cards. 

Sorry Revenge

Card Game

Players: 2 - 4    Time: 5 - 15 min      Age: 7+

 

This is a really interesting card version of the original board game.  Players will use simple addition number sense to count to 21.  Players who bring the play pile to 21 bring their pawns home.  Once all four pawns are home you win, but watch out for sorry cards that spoil your happy moments and have your friends apologizing continuously.  Take a look at Sorry Revenge, a simple, but well crafted, game that strengthens simple addition skills.  

Concerns: None

No Thanks

Card Game

Players: 3 - 5   Time: 5 - 15 min     Age: 7+

 

The mechanics of this game are so simple, but the strategic thinking is through the roof.  Place chips on cards you don't want and finish the game with the least amount of points possible.  Create runs to lower points, but if you say "No Thanks" too often you'll get stuck with a pile of unwanted points.  This game requires some serious strategic thinking and reading other people.  No Thanks is a game most people are not familiar with, but really should be on every game shelf. 

 

Concerns:  A lot of counting to tally scores at the end (get a calculator).

Exploding Kittens

Card Game

Players: 2 - 5    Time: 5 - 15 min   Age: 7+

 

Originally funded by Kickstarter this silly game is the card version of Russian roulette.  Players play cards and try to avoid drawing cards by passing and stealing opponents cards in hopes to avoid the deadly exploding kittens. That's about it.  Simple and fun with funny cards to boot.  Check out Exploding Kittens.  

 

Concerns:  A lot of potty and cat jokes on the cards.  

Batman Dice

Dice Game

Players: 2 - 5   Time: 5 - 15 min    Age: 7+

 

In this game players are the classic Batman villains trying to get away with the crime of the century.  Players roll dice and collect loot and hope to avoid a run-in with the Batman.  This is a simple dice game that highlights risk-taking and knowing when to stop before things turn for the worst.  

 

Concerns:  Don't eat the dice. 

Zombie Dice

Dice Game

Players: 2 - 6    Time: 5 - 15 min (depends on player count)  Age: 5+

 

Similar to the Batman dice game Zombie Dice pretty much invented this style of risk aversion dice games.  Players are Zombies trying to get 13 brains.  Don't get greedy on those brains though, if you roll too many blasts you'll lose your points for the round.  The cover is violent, but the game is far from it.  A fun game of chance that touches loosely on the always popular zombie theme.  

 

Concerns:  Not a fan of the violent cover of the game.  May want to put it in another cup.  

Hive

Tile Game

Players: 2   Time: 5 - 20   Age: 7+

 

Winner of a tonne of awards this pricey two-person game is like chess with a twist.  Players use various insects to try and surround their opponents queens.  Each insect is imprinted on a satisfying tile and each moves in a different way.  This game is an interesting change to the legendary game of Chess and really should be in most collections. 

Concerns:  None.

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