30 Great Games Under $20

I investigated 10 discussions about great games under $20!  These were the 10 most frequently suggested titles*.

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1. Coup ($17)
Be the last player left in the game.  Call upon your influence wisely, or bluff your way victory.
Recommended: 38 times
270 upvotes

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2. Hanabi ($13)
The fireworks for the show have gotten jumbled up!  Work together to put on the most amazing fireworks display.
Recommended: 35 times
271 upvotes

AEG05109L.jpg3. Love Letter ($12)
Simple and fast, yet clever.  Play your cards carefully to successfully deliver your love letter to the Princess.
Recommended: 35 times
250 upvotes

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4. Star Realms ($18)
A 2 player game of spaceship combat.  Strategically build up your ships and bases, and reduce your opponent’s score to zero!
Recommended: 33 times
250 upvotes

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5. Sushi Go ($19)
A quick “pick and pass” card game.  Collect different types of sushi to score the most points!
Recommended: 28 times
271 upvotes

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6. No Thanks! ($16)
Balance spending your chips to avoid picking cards, because lowest score wins at the end of the game.
Recommended: 23 times
195 upvotes

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7. Red 7 ($15)
A bright and colorful card game!  Avoid being eliminated over the 7 mini-game rounds.
Recommended: 10 times
125 upvotes

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8. Coloretto ($19)
Draw cards to add to the pool, or take cards from the pool to build your collection of sets.  Highest score wins!
Recommended: 10 times
68 upvotes

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9. Lost Legacy ($20)
Similar to Love Letter, however in this game players attempt to correctly deduce the location of the Lost Legacy through deduction.
Recommended: 7 times
82 upvotes

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10. Zombie Dice ($16)
Be the first to collect 13 brains!  Roll the dice, push your luck, and don’t get shotgunned!
Recommended: 7 times
72 upvotes

*In working on this, I found that not many recommendations worked when considering the Canadian MSRP retail price.  So, I feel this warrants 10 MORE games under $20, these ones ordered by price:

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Fairy Tale ($20)
Pack and pass cards as you try to the score the most points while interfering with the other’s players’ plans.

pic2405641.jpgFluxx ($20)
Total card chaos — the rules of the game are determined by the cards in play.

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Kittens in a Blender ($19)
A tongue-in-cheek game of kitten chaos.  Try to rescue your own litter of kittens from the blender…  before the unthinkable happens.

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Hey, That’s My Fish! ($18)
No seriously, that’s my fish.
An adorably strategic of game of snatching fish and leaving everyone else out to float.

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Welcome to the Dungeon ($18)
The dungeon is dark and full of monsters.
So, uh, you lead the way!  I’ll watch from over here.

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Saboteur ($17)
It’s race between the good and bad guys to get to the gold first… but who’s who?

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GUBS ($17)
Triumph over fearsome danger (like Beetles) as you lead your GUBS colony to victory!

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Tides of Time ($16)
Cities rise and fall, but relics linger.  Collect cards over three rounds to build the most prosperous kingdom.

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Cockroach Poker ($14)
No poker involved!  A sneaky bluffing game in which you attempt to force another player to collect four of any one card type.

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Monopoly Deal ($10)
Collect three property sets of different colors to win the game.  Play action cards to interfere with your opponents, but beware, lest they do that same to you!

BONUS!  Honorable Mentions

Isle of Trains ($13)
Poo ($15)
Bananagrams ($20)
Mille Bornes ($20)
Things Travel ($17)
Wizard ($14)
LCR ($10)
Pit ($15)
Iota ($13)
Set ($18)

Discussions consulted:
Best board game under $20?
Games under $20?
Favorite games under $20-$25?
Best Board Games Under $20?
Cheap and good games ( <$20)
Favorite games under $20?
Favorite games under $20?
[WSIG] Amazing games for $20 or less?
What is the best game under $10?
Best/favorite games under $15?

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Christa’s Ultimate List of Party Games

Feel like you own every party game ever?  This is the list for you.  Browse by average group size to discover new titles to enjoy with friends & family.

Group Size (Maximum Players):
Game Title (click to be redirected to game’s entry on boardgamegeek.com)
Brief Description
(suggested age/minimum number of players/play time:mechanics)

Games are then ordered from lowest recommended age to highest.

Up to 5:

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Pingo Pingo
Defend yourself with the suction dart gun, collect the treasure, have the most points at the end of the 15 minutes!
(6+/>2p/15min:action/dexterity)

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Exploding Kittens
Easy to teach, learn and play: do everything you can to avoid drawing cards and force others to do so, lest you draw an exploding kitten!
(7+ OR legal drinking age/>2p/15min:take that/elimination)

Up to 6:

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Happy Salmon
A fast, frantic, fin-flippin’ matching game!
(6+/>3p/5min: action/matching)

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Get Bit
Play your cards carefully so you don’t end up by the shark and get bit!
(7+/>3p/20min: deduction/elimination)

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Fluxx
It’s wild and whacky, because the cards determine the rules for the game.
(8+/>2p/30min: card based)

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Kittens in a Blender with Expansion
Make sure your kittens stay safe in the box, but it would be most unfortunate if everyone else’s kittens ended up in the… blender.
(8+/>2p/45 min: take that)

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Stinker
Race to spell an answer to the hilarious prompt from your letter tiles.
(8+/>3p/15min: word game/humour)

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Coup
Use your influence wisely to eliminate your opponents.  Or, bluff and scheme your way to victory.
(10+/>2p/15 min: bluffing/deduction/elimination)

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Anomia
Watch for matching symbols – race to name the common knowledge on the other person’s card.
(10+/>3p/30min: word game/memory/matching/racing)

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Scattergories
Determine a letter, then race to fill a category with words beginning with that letter.
(12+/>2p/30min: word/trivia)

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Skull
Play your cards carefully, out-bluff your opponents, bid wisely and be the first to score two points.  Easy, right?
(14+/>3p/45 min: betting/bluffing/elimination)

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DrunkQuest
Take as many drinks as the monster has levels to defeat it.
(legal drinking age/>3p/30min: take that/drinking)

Up to 7:

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Click Clack Lumberjack
Use the axe to carefully chop the bark off the tree without making it tumble down!
(5+/>2p/10min: dexterity)

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Mysterium
Figure out the suspect, location and murder weapon through this visually stunning cooperative game.
(10+/>2p/60min: deduction/mystery)

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Bohnanza
Wheel and deal your way through this negotiation, trading-based bean game.
(13+/>2p/45 min: set collection/trading/negotiation)

Up to 8:

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Jungle Speed
Be the first to grab the wooden totem if you have a match with another player!
(7+/>2p/10min: dexterity/matching)

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Pit
Race to corner the market in this fast paced trading game!
(7+/>3p/30min: set collection/trading/real time)

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Ghost Blitz
Before the first to snatch the right item!
(8+/>2p/20min: action/real-time/pattern recognition)

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Timeline
Place your cards correctly in the timeline to win the game.
(8+/>2p/15min: educational/trivia/guessing)

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Tsuro
Play your tiles carefully to make sure you are the last left on the board!
(8+/>2p/15min: tile placement/elimination)

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Sushi Go Party
Choose your sushi strategically to score the most points.
(8+/>2p/15min: drafting/set collection)

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Camel Up
It’s total camel chaos as you wager on which camel will win the wild race!
(8+/>2p/30min: betting/dice rolling)

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Incan Gold
Grab the gold and go, or risk it all to keep digging for more?
(8+/>3p/20min: push your luck/bluffing)

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Say Anything
See how well you know your friends in this game of witty answers!
(8+ or 13+/>3p/30min: humor/betting)

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Bang: The Dice Game
Secret roles & dicey rolls with a Western spin!
(8+/>3p/15min: dice/partnerships/bluffing/hidden role)

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The Great Dalmuti
Rise and fall from power as you try to get rid of all your cards first.
(8+/>4p/60min: take that)

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Cash ‘n’ Guns
Collect the most cash to win the game, shoot the other players but don’t get shot!
(10+/>4p/30min: elimination/take that/negotiation)

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Spyfall
One spy is in the dark about something everyone else knows, and tries to figure it out without giving themselves away!
(12+/>3p/15min: deduction/hidden role/bluffing)

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Good Cop Bad Cop
Figure out who’s who in the corrupt police district!
(12+/>4p/10min: elimination/take that/hidden identity)

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Telestrations
Draw it, guess it, pass it!  Telephone meets Pictionary in this hilarious sketching game.
(12+  18+/>4p/30min: guessing/drawing/humour)

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2x Red Dragon Inn
Gamble, drink and brawl your way to victory!  Last one standing wins.
(13+/>2p/60min: player elimination/take that/betting)

Up to 10:

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Formula D
Classic racing!  Use your dice to gear up/down and finish first.
(8+/>2p/60min: racing/dice rolling/push your luck)

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One Night Ultimate Werewolf
This app-run game lets you enjoy Werewolf with a smaller group than the classic version!
(8+/>3p/10min: voting/hidden role/elimination)

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Saboteur
It’s a race to get the gold — but who can be trusted?
(8+/>3p/30min: hidden role/teams/route building)

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Timeline Challenge
Fun spins on the original Timeline game for even more people!
(10+/>2p/30min: betting/educational/mini-games)

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Coup with Expansion
The expansion introduces “teams”, but make sure you’re always on the winning side!
(10+/>2p/15 min: bluffing/deduction/elimination)

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Snake Oil
Pitch your crazy and qwirky creation, only one will win each round.
(10+/>3p/30min: storytelling/humor)

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Apples to Apples
A party game classic.
(10+/>4p/30min: humor)

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Things
See if you can figure out what ‘things’ your friends REALLY think!
(10+/>4p/45min: deduction/humor/memory)

We didn’t Playtest this at all
They really didn’t.
(12+/>2p/10min: player elimination/take that)

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Funemployed
Can you convince the employer you are the most qualified for the job using the completely irrelevant cards in your hard?
(13+/>3p/30min: storytelling/humour/word game)

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The Resistance
Be careful of the spies who seek to sabotage your missions from within.
(13+/>5p/30min: hidden role/voting/teams)

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Ladies & Gentlemen
Shop strategically and spend wisely to be in the partnership with the best-dressed lady!
(14+/>4p/45min: partnerships/acting/humour)

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Personally Incorrect
A Canadian spin-off of Cards Against Humanity.
(18+/>5p/20min: humor)

Up to 12:

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Saboteur + expansion
It’s a race to get the gold — now for up to 12!
(8+/>3p/30min: hidden role/teams/route building)

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Mad Gab
It looks like random gibberish, but it sounds like words.  Figure out the phrase!
(10+/>2p/30min: teams/word game)

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Mafia de Cuba
Are you loyal to the Godfather or will you betray him…and get away with it?
(10+/>6p/20min: bluffing/deduction/hidden role)

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Telestrations Party Pack
Same as the original, but for a bigger group.
(12+/>4p/30min: guessing/drawing/humor)

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Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Find the solution to the murder mystery before the criminal gets away with… well, murder.
(14+/>4p/20min: deduction/bluffing/hidden role)

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Blood Bound
Find and capture the Elder of the other team.
(14+/>6p/30min: deduction/teams/bluffing)

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Dead Last
No teams.  No hidden roles.  Just survival… and betrayal.
(14+/>6p/45min: take that/negotiation/voting)

Recommended for groups of minimum six people, can play 13+:

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Guesstures
Act out the words before time runs out!
(8+/>4p/30min: acting/ word game)

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Mascarade (max 13p)
Swap cards with someone else…maybe.  Are you even sure who you are at this mascarade?
(10+/>2p/30min: bluffing/memory)

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Geek Out
Test your geek cred!  Can you name 6 science fiction board games?  Well, I bet I can name 7!
(10+/>2p/30min: teams/trivia/push your luck)

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Codenames
Give clever clues and race to identify the codenames of all your team’s spies!
(10+/>2p/15min: teams/deduction/word game)

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Wits ‘n Wagers
The trivia game for people who don’t like trivia games.  Don’t know the answer?  No problem.  Bet on someone who you think does.
(10+/>3p/60min: teams/wagering/trivia)

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Concept
Work with a partner to communicate the word – using only pictures!
(10+/>4p/45min: word game/deduction)

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Werewolves of Millers’ Hollow (max 18p)
The villagers want to lynch the werewolves.  The werewolves want to eat the villagers.
(10+/>8p/30min: hidden role/bluffing/deduction)

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Superfight
May the best fighter win.  Of course, the fighters are totally crazy combinations you just came up up with, and the outcome is decided by your friends…
(12+/>3p/30min: storytelling/voting/humor)

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Time’s Up Title Recall (max 18p)
You have 3 rounds to guess the title.  Round one, say anything; round 2, only one word; round 3, no words, only charades.
(12+/>4p/60min: acting/guessing/humor)

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Catch Phrase (max 16p)
Hot potato guessing game!  Pass it back and forth between teams, but don’t get stuck with it — so guess as quickly as possible!
(12+/>4p/30min: team/word game)

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Taboo
It’s pretty difficult to get your teammates to guess a specific word when certain key words are strictly taboo.
(12+/>4p/20min: teams/word game/guessing)

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Two Rooms & A Boom (max 30p)
Find the other teams’ President through swapping hostages over 5 rounds.
(12+/>4p/15min: teams/bluffing/deduction/voting)

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Monikers (max 20p)
A raunchier spin on Time’s Up.
(18+/>4p/60min: acting/guessing/humor)

Top 10 Games for 2 Players

I investigated 10 discussions asking for great two player game suggestions.  These were the top 10 most frequent recommendations!

jaipur
1. Jaipur
Recommended: 44 times
216 upvotes

2 players
20-30 minutes
A set-collecting game. Collect goods wisely, know when to use your camels, become the Maharaj’s trader!

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2. Splendor
Recommended: 29 times
177 upvotes

2-4 players
30 minutes
A tableau game. Carefully collect gems, please the nobles, be the first to collect 15 prestige points!

1714_25803. Carcassonne
Recommended: 29 times
128 upvotes

2-5 players
45 minutes
A tile city-building game. Score the most points by placing your meeples as knights, robbers or monks!

PandemicNew2
4. Pandemic
Recommended: 27 times
90 upvotes

2-4 players
45 minutes
A cooperative game. Work together as a team of elite specialists to cure four diseases ravaging the globe!

lostcities5. Lost Cities
Recommended: 25 times
126 upvotes

2 players
30 minutes
A points game. Undertake profitable archaeological digs, sort your findings skilfully to score the most points.


Print
6. Hive
Recommended: 22 times
96 upvotes

2 players
15 minutes
An abstract strategy game. Place your pieces wisely to surround your opponents’ queen bee while protecting your own.

dominion.27. Dominion
Recommended: 21 times
58 upvotes

2-4 players
60 minutes
A deck building game. Build your kingdom by purchasing cards and expanding your power towards victory.

bigsmall8. Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Recommended: 18 times
73 upvotes

2 players
30 minutes
A worker-placement game. Get the most victory points by expanding your pastures and breeding only the best horses, cows, sheep and pigs!

burgundy
9. The Castles of Burgundy
Recommended: 18 times
63 upvotes

2-4 players
60 minutes
A euro game. Build settlements strategically, trade wisely, conduct research and farming to become the most powerful aristocrat!

star realms
10. Star Realms
Recommended: 18 times
58 upvotes

2 players
20 minutes
A fast-paced deck building game. Grow your fleet into an armada powerful enough to dominate the galaxy.

Sources:

  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3iyk5c/good_board_games_for_2_players/
  2. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2qq53x/wsig_two_player_boardgames_i_can_play_with_my_gf/
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3z2vce/best_2_player_cardboard_games/
  4. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3apcnt/best_2_player_game_for_me_and_my_wife/
  5. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/33l31p/best_two_player_games_for_beginners/
  6. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3pq3pj/best_2_player_games/
  7. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2g8ylo/2_player_board_games/
  8. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3swtv2/best_twoplayer_games_for_a_complete_noob/
  9. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2e863a/best_2_player_games_for_me_and_my_wife/
  10. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2ss4nz/2_player_board_games/

Pentago

Pentago is a great little abstract strategy game for two players!  It plays quickly but leaves a lingering impression that will have you coming back for second helpings.  And then thirds.  (But calling it quits after that, because best two out of three, right?  Fine, three out of five?  Hold up, I can do best out of seven!)

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My much-loved copy is a travel version, and it has served me well through my adventures.  Everything from plane trips to my favourite coffee shops, it snaps nicely together and is small for easy transport.  It’s perfect for small airplane tables, and the somehow-impossibly-even-smaller tables of coffee shops.  Because you don’t have to read anything or crunch any numbers, younger kids can learn the game and the strategy as they go along, and there’s no language barrier to playing.

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The marbles store nicely in the lid so you don’t have to worry about them rolling away!

I can teach and play this in under fifteen minutes.  It’s simple, yet a total brain twister.

First, each person picks a marble colour.  Determine a start player in the method of your choice.  The first person to get five marbles in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) is the winner.

On your turn, place a marble anywhere you like.

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Then, if you want, rotate one of the quadrants 90 degrees.  It’s now the other person’s turn to place a marble and rotate if they so choose.  Keep going until one person gets five marbles in a row.

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BAM!  Did you see that coming?

It’s strategic enough to scratch that itch, but not so mind-boggingly difficult it’s overwhelming.  It’s the perfect blend of satisfying and frustrating, which keeps me coming back for more!

Thanks for reading!

Hi!

I’m really excited to be posting this.  Bite Sized Board Gaming is finally coming to fruition after a long time of thinking about it.  We still have a lot of conceptualizing to do, but you can expect bite sized blog posts in addition to the videos we’re working on!  More soon.