Long trips are much less boring than they used to be, thanks to smartphones and handheld games that can be used from a plane, train, or car seat for hours at a time. Even so, many people still choose to pass the time with a small, compact board game that they can play in a small space.
Due to the large number of new board games that come out every year, there are now a lot of great games that can be played in a small space without lowering the quality of entertainment.
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Spot it!, which is also called Dobble, comes in a small, round tin and is just a stack of round cards. With the cards, you can play different games, but the main one is to find two cards with matching symbols faster than your opponent.
This may sound easy, but the symbols are always getting bigger and smaller, and each card is full of different colours. This makes it much harder than it seems, especially when other people are looking for matches at the same time.
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Sushi Go! came out in 2013 and is a card-drafting game with cute characters that look like sushi. Sushi Go! looks cute and colourful, but players shouldn’t be fooled by that. It has a surprising high level of strategy.
The goal of the game is to get the highest score possible, but it can be hard to know what score to aim for because some cards can only be used in certain combinations. So, players need to think carefully about when to go for a combo and when to play it safe, since just missing out on a high-scoring combo can have a devastating effect on a player’s score.
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Rummikub Travel is, as the name suggests, a smaller version of the classic tile-based game Rummikub. Ephraim Hertzano made Rummikub, which became a household name in the 1970s. This was a huge accomplishment, considering that Hertzano started out selling his game door-to-door.
The game has 106 different coloured tiles with numbers on them. The goal of the game is for each person to get rid of all of their tiles by putting them in a common area. But you can only put down a tile if it fits in one of two groups of at least three tiles. Either the group of tiles must have the same number but different colours, like three red tiles with the numbers 7, 8, and 9, or they must have the same number but different colours (for example a red 3, black 3, orange 3, and blue 3).
At first, the game is easy, but it gets harder as more tiles are added to the common area and players look for ways to move tiles to make room for their own.
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Monopoly Deal is a small version of a classic game, just like Rummikub Travel. Monopoly Deal takes the original game of Monopoly and turns it into a card game that can be played almost anywhere.
In Monopoly Deal, the goal is not to bankrupt your opponents, but to get three sets of property. Each player starts with five cards, and on their turn, they can add properties to their collection, play an Action card, or add money to their bank.
The simplified version of the classic game gets rid of many of its problems, like how long a single game can last and how players have nothing to do if they get kicked out of a game with a lot of people.
Playing Time: 5 minutes
Boggle is another well-known game that can be played anywhere. You only need the letter dice that come with the game, a timer, a pen and paper, and the ability to pay attention.
After shaking the boxes of letters to mix them up, players start the game. Together, they try to find as many words as they can among the mixed-up letters. This may seem simple, but the pressure of the clock and other players can make it tricky.
The players have to write down any words they see and then say them at the end. Look for longer, harder-to-find words. Players only get points if they are the only ones who have written down the word, and the more letters it has, the more points it earns.
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Love Letter comes in a small bag that fits in your pocket. It is mostly just a few cards and some tokens. The goal of the game is to get a love letter to the Princess while stopping other players from getting there first.
The game has a number of rounds in which players compete for Favorștiiștiiștii. The player with the highest-value card at the end of the round wins these tokens, unless all other players have been eliminated. Holding the highest-value card isn’t easy, though, because each card does something different. For example, the Priest card lets the holder see a player’s hand without them knowing, and the King card lets the holder trade hands with an opponent.
Players: 2 to 12
This game is great for families because it is fun and challenging. Using a card from your hand and putting a chip on the spot on the game board that matches it, the first player to get 5 in a row wins. Block your opponents’ moves or take away their chips to make your sequence work, but watch out for Jacks, which can be wild.
Jax Sequence is a strategy and luck game with travel-friendly pieces and a board that folds up. It’s small enough to take with you, but it’s also a lot of fun both on the road and at home.
Scrabble Deluxe Travel Edition
Players: 2 to 4
This classic word game comes in a beautifully made wooden case with a magnetic closure, so it’s great for people who like to play games while they’re on the go. With a raised letter tile grid, the board halves slide out easily to reveal a handy storage space underneath. This is a very small version of one of the most popular games of all time. When it’s closed, it’s only 9.8 x 9.2 x 1.2 inches, and when it’s open, it’s 9.8 x 4.6 x 2.4 inches.
Use the solid wood letters on your letter rack to make words with high scores and beat your opponents. This version is a winner anywhere you go because it is simple and small.