On to another list for my top 5 drafting games. Now, Board Game Geek only has card drafting for me to sort through, but I will be including a dice drafting game in my list as well (or two). So without any more clarification: 5. Roll […]
Tag: Sushi Go!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I didn’t post last week because the baby Nerdologist is now here, so was busy getting settled into the life of being a dad. I’m still figuring that out, but also back at work and into a schedule at this point, so it will be easier to get back to posting.
Christmas is almost upon us, so we’re starting with games that would make great stocking stuffers. A lot of games come in big boxes, but what are some games that can fit in smaller boxes that are popular or that I enjoy.
There are a ton of flavors of this game as they have slapped all sort of different things onto it from the original medieval setting to Batman. Pick the one that is best for the person you are giving it to. In the game you are trying to get your love letter to the princess, in the base game, by playing cards to try and stop the other suitors from getting their letter to the princess. This is a very fast game for two to four players and would easily fit into a stocking.
Zombie Dice is another game that I’ve talked about a fair amount, it’s a simple die rolling game where you are a zombie trying to catch humans and eat their brains, but they might be trying to shoot you back, so you push your luck while rolling the dice to see how many brains you want to bank in a race to 13 brains. It’s basically Farkle, but simpler. The zombie theme might not work for some people, but it’s a good stocking stuffer as it’s an easy game to teach.
A tricky little game with an Alice in Wonderland theme on top of it. It’s really an abstract game, but the artwork makes it better to look at. You are trying to have the fewest points when someone has collected cards of all the colors. The cards have different point totals on them, so you can kind of judge the score. But if you have the most of a color, all of those cards are worth one point. There are different ways you collect cards based on the number and color of the cards. It’s a bit more of a thinky game and one that offers some interesting decisions in a small package.
This one is for someone who likes games and wants to play them all of the time. it’s a small card game for up to two players, but really is a game for one player. It’s a tricky little card game where you are trying to play cards in order by color but not repeating symbols. With that, you are stuck in a dream trying to find dream doors before you run out of cards because the nightmares have gotten you. The game is a bit spendier than some of them, but it comes with several expansions that gives the game nice variety.
We Didn’t Playtest This Legacy
Yes, this is a legacy game, but it’s a tiny legacy game. Give this game as a stocking stuffer to the person who runs board game night. We Didn’t Playtest This is a silly game where you are playing cards that can either protect you, or people select one of a couple of options, and people are eliminated. You can play lots of rounds of this game fast. It’s a good filler game to start a board game night or between longer board games. The regular game is a bit boring, but Legacy version has some fun bits where when someone wins with some of the cards, they can put their name on the card that might give them in the instant win. Or the card might ask them to add a word that people can’t say or a letter they can’t use. It allows a group to really set-up in jokes for their own play groups.
Not Sushi Go! Party, which is too big to fit in a stocking, unless it’s a Hobbit stocking (woo big feet joke). Sushi Go! is still a fun game, there is just less variety in the game. But because of it being less variety, it means that it might be easier to get repeat plays out of it with a group that isn’t as game playing heavy. They don’t have to relearn the scoring ever. Sushi Go! is a drafting game where you selecting cards from a hand and building sets that give you points. There are three rounds of drafting cards, and the person with the most points at the end of three rounds wins the game. It’s a very cute game as well which makes it easier to sell.
Finally, if you have an escape room enthusiast, these are the games for them. They are escape rooms in a box. You are looking for clues, trying to combine cards to get more clues to escape the scenario that they are in. It’s a one time play through of the game, but these games are about experiences. It could even be, if you don’t want to give a one time use game as a stocking stuffer, a game you could play with family and friends over the holidays that everyone will be able to understand. These games also have nice pressure as you are racing against the clock. Definitely the most challenging of the games on the list.
What are some other small games that would make a good stocking stuffer? I know there are games like the Tiny Epic Galaxies and the rest of the Tiny Epic series or Mintworks which are popular now.
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I won’t promise that this the last part of the post because I thought that part 2 was going to wrap everything up, but I do think this will likely wrap it up. I mainly want to go outside of the party and social deduction games and look at some higher player count games. While those are two of the most common categories, I think there are other games ranging from very simple to a bit more complex that can work.
Zombie Dice is one of the simplest games on the list, but it works well because you can be gaming while you are talking. There’s every little involvement by people in the game when it’s not your turn and that works out just fine. Even when it is your turn you don’t have to pay that much attention as you are just grabbing dice, rolling them, and then deciding when to stop and cash your brains in. It’s a simple die rolling game of push your luck where you are trying to be the first player to 13 or 15 or whatever number people pick, by collecting brains, because that’s what zombies do. But you got to be careful, because if you get shot three times, you don’t cash any brains for the round. Once someone has passed the end game total, then everyone has one turn to try and beat them. It’s very much Farkle like, but simpler and less math.
Tsuro is another game that falls into the simple and fast games. You can plan out your turn in advance, but normally that’s a pretty simple process. Tsuro, the game of the path, is about staying on the board the longest and can play up to eight people. You play a tile in front of your pawn and move it each round and you can only use the tiles you have in your hand. It’s not a highly interactive game between players until later in the game when you have to put your pawns fate into someone else hands. A nice thing about this game too is that you have a limited number of tiles, so if you have two people or if you have eight people, the game is going to take basically the same length. Just with more people the game is more interactive earlier on in the game. It’s also a game where when you get knocked out, you know you aren’t going to be sitting there long. This can be an issue with some of the social deduction games that eliminate players.
We Didn’t Playtest This At All! Legacy also falls into the category of very simple games. It’s a draw a card play a card game and be the last one standing. There are several versions of this game, but I prefer the legacy version. It adds to fun of the game which is extremely simple otherwise. We just got rid of our non-legacy version, so just We Didn’t Playtest This At All!, because it’s a little too simple. However, I do think for some groups there is a good spot for this on their shelves. It’s a good game for when people are showing up, because a single game lasts only a few minutes before everyone is eliminated. It’s also a goofy game, so it’s a good ice breaking game as well for people to interact a little bit.
Sushi Go! Party falls into a different category of game with the card drafting mechanic and is a bit more complex. It also lasts longer than most of the others that I’ve mentioned in social deduction and in this post (the party games can last a long time if you want). As players you are drafting a card in three rounds, each round is a full hand of cards, and then passing the cards to the next person. It’s a fun game with a lot of variability in it if you have the party edition. I highly recommend that. It’s also a game that is a bit thinkier, and people can form strategies, but because the artwork is very cute, people who haven’t gotten all the strategy with a particular set of scoring food items will still enjoy it because of the artwork. It’s a game that is quite aesthetically pleasing, and for all the cards and options you get for the game, it’s quite cheap as well. This is the first game where I’d say there’s less luck involved with it than a lot of others.
Say Bye to the Villains is one of my favorite resent purchase games that I think works well on this list. It has a maximum of eight players and is a cooperative game. You play a group of samurai who all have their own powers trying to defeat a bunch of villains. You have ten days per character to get your samurai ready to fight. You can do this by increasing your stats, speed, health, and power, or by finding out information on the villains. It’s a very tricky game to win, I think in three games I haven’t won, though it’s been close a couple of times. But it’s cooperative, so even if one person finishes up their days sooner, they can still be part of the strategizing. This game plays as a puzzle but you never know if you’ve cracked it, because you don’t know if you have all the information that you need, which inevitably you won’t.
Magic Maze and Captain Sonar are two games that fall into the same category in some ways. They are both real time games that can handle a large number of players. I’m not sure what the max is for Magic Maze, but Captain Sonar can play eight, and I think Magic Maze is similar. In Magic Maze you, as a group, are trying to get an adventuring party through a mall and out after they have stolen the adventuring goods that they need. Yes, it’s actually that and actually that silly. Each player has a specific action or two that they can do which is moving the adventurer meeples (small wooden pieces representing the characters) on the board. So someone can only move them north, someone can only move them east, and so on. There is some overlap on things, but not that much. It’s a timed game and everyone is in there, trying to work together to get them on the gear and then get them out.
Captain Sonar is also real time, though can be done turn by turn, where there are two teams out trying to sink the others submarine. The captains are barking out orders, the first mate is trying to keep the systems prepped and ready to go, the engineer is trying to keep systems in working order, and the radar operator is listening to the opposing teams captain trying to figure out where they are on the board. This game is stressful and hectic, as is Magic Maze, but a ton of fun. There’s some strategy that can be employed and there’s some luck that goes into it as well. There’s also an expansion for this game, but I don’t know what it adds.
Both of these games are a lot of fun as they get the blood pumping for people, however, because they are stressful for some people, you have to know your group. In the case of Captain Sonar, there is also fairly high lower bound limit as while the Captain and First Mates jobs can be combined, you are going to want to have at least six people to really get the full experience of the game without it becoming too confusing. There’s also the issue with these two games that they are a bit more complex than some of the others on the list. They have good themes for the games so good ways to explain what is going on without it seeming like too much, but be careful not to over explain it.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the games that you could play with larger groups and each group is going to have their own sweet spot for games. Try and branch out and try a number of these games and see what works the best for your group. With these games it also helps keep you from getting stale. And if you want to play something heavier, like I said before, split into smaller groups, but a lot of these games are great for kicking off a game night before jumping into heavier games, or closing down a game night as people slowly leave.
One game or type of game you’ll see that I left off of the list is Escape Room Games. While these games can technically have an infinite number of players, they say that six is the max. I would say that is a pretty good maximum otherwise people won’t be able to see the cards being played. Id’ recommend splitting into groups if you have more than six for games like Unlock and Exit.
What are some larger player count games that I haven’t mentioned that you enjoy?
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