Shorter and quicker board games are usually referred to as “filler” or “filler games”. Filler here means games that are quite quick to play and can be played to mix things up between heavier games.
In short I would say a filler is a game which:
- Has a short play time (a game can be played in around 30 minutes or less)
- Has easy to get into rules (not over complicated in terms of extended rules for actions and game play)
- Small number of components (usually without a specific board)
To give some inspiration and examples of filler games, here are some of my favourite ones.
In Incan gold we are all explorers planning to excavate some ancient Incan ruins in the deep forests. The game is played over 5 quick rounds and is card based. It’s basically a push your luck game where each round you have to constantly decide if you will press forward and explore more of the ruins (and might face death) or chicken out and return back to camp (and keep the treasures you’ve found during the exploration).
Each round the exploration deck is shuffled and the first card is shown. After that we all need to decided if we want to keep going further into the ruins or go back to camp. We do this by choosing either our go back to camp card or explore further card. You place the card your chosen in front of you and then everybody reveals at the same time what they decided.
The game goes fast and it’s exciting to see who will make it and who will go bust. Highly recommend if you want a quick game with a fun gambling aspect to it.
Roll for it!
This is a great game to bring on a road trip or something like that. Roll for it! Consists of dice and cards. Each player receives 6 dice and on your turn you roll all of them once and try to match them to any of the 3 faced up cards in the center of the table. The value on these cards varies from giving you 2 victory points to 15.
This is perfect for all types of gamers and brings a fun and easy challenge. Will you tie up your dice to try to complete that more challenging card (for example a 15 point card can be that you have to get 6 dice with 1 one each of them)?
You can only leave a dice on a card with a corresponding die symbol, but then that die is tied to that card until you or anybody else completes that card.
If bluffing and deceit is your thing then Coup is perfect for you! This game is probably one of the quickest games I’ve played and you usually don’t last more than a few minutes.
In Coup each player takes on two characters, which are hidden, to the other players. You the try to work out what other characters the other players have. When you have gone bust with your second character card you are out.
The beauty with Coup is that each character has an ability, which they can use through out the game. On each turn you can do a number of things; take a coin from the pool in the middle of the table or you can use your characters ability. Here’s where it gets interesting. Say for example that you are playing the duke’s ability, which is that he can bring in taxes, and therefore take 3 coins from the pool. But in Coup you are allowed to lie and someone might play this action but in fact not even have the duke as one of his or her cards. So if you are playing the duke’s ability and someone finally decides to challenge that you have even have the duke you have to face the music and show if you have it or not. If you have the duke then your safe and the other player have to forfeit one of their cards, otherwise you forfeit one of your cards.
Great fun and it can take either 5 minutes or 15 minutes and always brings exciting game play to any group I’ve played this with.
These are some of my favourite and recommended filler games, but stay tune for more tips!