Saturday, November 18, 2017

Our Top Ten Small Games

Christmas will be here soon, so we decided now is a good time to post our top ten small games. We love giving games as Christmas gifts and small games make great stocking stuffers. We have broken this list of small games into our top ten small games for kids and then for youth and adults. We hope that you find plenty of good ideas on here for your own gift giving this year.

Kid's Games

10.

Shannon: There's A Moose In The House- This is a simple and cute card game and my kids love putting moose in each other's houses. This game tends to be more luck than skill, but kids find it fun.
Amber: ZoolorettoThis game is a fun dice rolling animal game. You are trying to figure out what animal helps you best or how to not let someone else have a good die. 

9.

Shannon: Sleeping Queens- This game is fun for kids, and I like that it also helps with beginner addition skills. 
Amber: Nerdy InventionsThis is a new game I picked up over the summer that is fun for kids and adults because dice rolling can go any way! I like the plan and using your tools features of this game.

8.

Shannon: Hey, That's My Fish- This is a smaller game that takes a little more strategy, but is still easy enough that kids catch on quickly, and enjoy moving their penguins around to get fish.
Amber: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small: I think this is just a fun game to feel like you are building a farm and is a good intro to worker placements for kids.

7.

Shannon: Martian Dice- This is a dice rolling game that definitely relies on the luck of your rolls, but I have found that kids really love it. There are several similar games to this that have different themes like Zombie Dice and Dino Hunt Dice.
Amber: TimelineThis game is fun because you can learn something as you play. And it can be fun to learn when kids think things happened. :) I can't tell you how many times I have played with a kid and they think something like the invention of the computer was in the early 1900s, or don't have any idea of when WWII was or when Cesar lived...wait I have played with adults that don't know history either. I sometimes don't even have a good guess :D

6.

Shannon: Happy Salmon- This is a fun game for kids, and I like that it makes you active while you play. After sitting and playing other games it's nice to pull this one out and have everyone up and moving for a minute, giving high fives, switching spots, and just having fun.
Amber: Roll for it!- This game is fun because you are playing to the odds of the dice...so everyone is on an even playing field. I like the fun of trying to go for more than one smaller card at a time! 

5.

Shannon: Zany Penguins- This card game is a little more complicated than some of my other games on my list. It is not as easy to learn as most of the others either, but once you know what you are doing, it is a really fun little card game.
Amber: Blend Off- I like this game because it is fast paced and is fun to make the smoothies! Plus it is simple enough for all ages, just rolling dice and anyone can play.

4.

Shannon: Qwixx- This is a dice rolling game of rolling dice and filling out a score sheet to try and score more points than your opponent. It's also nice that this game can be played solo, so if you have someone who likes playing games even alone, then it is a great choice.
Amber: Aquarius- I like the fun art of this game. Plus it is a simple game to understand if you are 70 years old or 5 years old, you are just trying to match the cards to try and get 7 of  your goal cards together first!

3.

Shannon: Balloon Pop!- Balloon Pop! is another dice rolling game like Qwixx where you are rolling dice and filling in a score sheet. If you have someone who likes dice rolling games than this is a great choice.
Amber: Happy Salmon- I know Shannon had this on her list too. But it is just hard not to have this one over lap on a GOOD GAME! I like this game for the fact that you can learn to play in like one to two minutes and know exactly what to do, easy peezy! Plus it is a short game so it is no big deal to play multiple rounds real fast!

2.

Shannon: Seven Dragons- This card game is easy to teach, and I love the dragon theme that it has. Everyone gets a goal card and they are trying to get seven dragons of that color to touch to win the game. So it's a card laying/matching game, but you can get cards that move cards, or swap goals during the course of the game.
Amber: Codename Pictures- This is such a fun game with kids (can be with adults too)! But I always enjoy playing with our kids because you get to see how their brain perceives the pictures! Also if they are clue giver it is fun to hear them justify their clues after the game! :)

1.

 Shannon: Sushi Go!- I love this card drafting game. It's easy to teach and the theme is very cute. I love using this game as a great way to teach card drafting, and I have found that even smaller kids can pick up on it and learn to play.
 Amber: Star Realms- I think this is my number one because it played a LOT with my kid. I like the mechanics and art and strategies of this game.

Youth and Adult Games

10.

Amber: Can't Stop Express- This is a newer game in my collection, but I like it because it works on your easy math skills and weighing the odds of dice rolling.
Shannon: Friday- Friday is a very challenging solo game. You are on a deserted island trying to survive three rounds in this little card game. This is one of the hardest solo games that I have ever played, super challenging, but lots of fun. 

9.

Amber: 7 Wonders Duel- I wasn't sure this was really a "small game" because it probably will not fit into a stocking, but it is small enough that we sometimes take it to a coffee shop to play. So I like this game because I like 7 Wonders and this game makes it possible for just 2 players!
Shannon: Fluxx- Fluxx is a fun card game where the goal constantly changes over the course of the game, but the basic point is to have a couple of cards that match the current goal laid down in front of you. It's fun, and there are so many different themes for this game that everyone should be able to find a theme that they love. 

8.

Amber: Welcome to the Dungeon- This game I think is a fun game for all ages because who doesn't want to try and make it through the dungeon? I like that the game has different characters and you can choose who to play with from round to round. I like the press your luck feel too.
Shannon: Hero Realms- This card game is made by the same company that put out Star Realms. Both games are great games where you build your deck and attack your opponents and try to get their health down to zero. I like this theme a little better than the space theme, and I like that there is an expansion that will turn this into a cooperative game. 

7.

Amber: Love Letter- This is a great small game, even for non-gamers. The rounds are short and the rules are easy! I love that non-gamers can pick it up and play really easily.
Shannon: Parade- When I first bought this game I was not sure how much fun it would be, but I loved the Alice in Wonderland theme, so I picked it up. It was really easy to learn how to play, and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. 

6.

Amber: Hanabi- This game is fun 2-4 players, with a firework show feel. I like the simple art and how you have to play the game with some but not exact information to get a perfect score. This game requires little information, a good memory, and lots of trust.
Shannon: Bang! The Dice Game- This is a party game, that people who are big fans of secret rolls and dice rolling will love. It's fun and even if you are taken out early in the game, the game usually doesn't last too long and it's still a lot of fun to watch everyone play.  

5.

Amber: Japuir- This is a fun 2 player game that has a good trading goods and materials feel. I like that it is over 3 rounds so if one round cards don't come out good for you, there are 2 more rounds to come. Plus the hidden panda on one of the camels is a fun little Easter egg.
Shannon: Onirim- This is a simple card game that can be played as a solo game or as a cooperative two player game. I like that this is a solo game that is also small so it's easy to take with you if you need a game to play by yourself while on the go. 

4.

Amber: One Night Ultimate Werewolf- This is a GREAT and fast group game. It is very similar to Mafia or a who done it game, but with a werewolf theme. The character cards have great art on them too. 
Shannon: One Deck Dungeon- This is a dungeon crawl type card/dice game. You can play it solo, or as a cooperative two player game. As you go through the dungeon, you are rolling dice and using them to try and defeat the monsters you come across in the dungeon. 

3.

Amber: Tides of Madness- This is a good 2 player drafting game that has been a hit at my house since it was bought. I like the art on the cards. I also like the way the cards play off of each other. *Just watch out for the madness :)
Shannon: Nevermore- This box is a little bigger than some of the others that I have mentioned, but it is still a lot of fun. I love the Edgar Allan Poe theme, and I like that it is card drafting. There's also a take that element to the game. It makes me think of a combination of Sushi Go and King of Tokyo. 

2.

Amber: Patchwork- This is another that probably won't fit in a socking. But is super fun for all ages because it is like tetris trying to get your pieces to fit together.
Shannon: Love Letter- I can't recommend this card game enough. It's simple to teach and play, and easy to carry around with you to play whenever you have the chance. I love this card game, and this is another one where there are several different themes to chose from. (Batman, Adventure Time, The Hobbit, and more)

1.

Amber: Lost Cities- EASILY one of my favorite small 2 player games. I like the different adventure cards and how anyone, gamer or not, can pick up and play this game. The rules are simple and straight forward.
Shannon: Fairy Tale- This is currently my favorite card drafting game. I don't hear a lot of people talking about this one, but I love it. The theme is fairies, but they are more darker looking fairies than cute fairies.
  
To learn more about any of the games that we talk about, click their names and it will take you to their BoardGameGeek page. Hope you have enjoyed this list of our favorite small games! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!