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Top 10 Games for Traveling


Top 10 Games for Traveling

Board games can take on many different forms. The most intricate have huge sprawling boards and massive amounts of components. There has also been a bit of a microgame movement in recent years; games with just a handful of cards that can be played anywhere. Below are my Top Ten Games That Travel Well – they have a small enough footprint to be played almost anywhere, approachable enough to be played by anyone, but have a decent amount of fun and interesting decisions too!

Top 10 Board Games for Traveling


10. Colossal Arena

Colossal ArenaDesigned by Reiner Knizia, Colossal Arena is a 2-5 player game where various fantasy-genre monsters battle to the death. Players bet on which monsters they believe will survive and play cards to influence the outcome. It also has a bit of a hand management to go along with the betting. As it only requires some cards and a few betting tokens, it is one of the few small games that plays really well at all player counts.

2-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 60 minutes • Out of PrintGet Your Copy



9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate WerewolfOne Night Ultimate Werewolf is one of the most played games in my collection. In part, because it only takes 10 minutes and you never just play one game. But also, you can play this with a large group of up to 10 players. This small box makes it into my game bag almost every time we go anywhere.

3-10 Players • Ages 8+ • 10 minutes • $15Get Your Copy



8. Tiny Epic Galaxies

Tiny Epic GalaxiesThe Tiny Epic series of games, in general, promises to provide full-scale game experiences in a tiny box. Tiny Epic Galaxies is far and away my favorite of the series so far. In Tiny Epic Galaxies, 1-5 players roll dice to determine which actions they can take. They must manage their resources and try to exert control over outlying planets. There are quite a few small components, but as far as table space is concerned, it’s small enough to be played on a park bench if you were so inclined. It even has a solo option, so if you are traveling alone you can keep yourself entertained.

1-5 Players • Ages 12+ • 30 minutes • $25Get Your Copy



7. Diamonds

DiamondsDiamonds makes this list for a couple obvious reasons: it’s a deck of cards and some plastic gems. The box is small enough and the footprint is as well to take with you anywhere. But Diamonds is also a very easy to learn trick taking game. The other reason it makes my list is I can take it to play with any group. At least here in the Midwest, almost everyone is familiar with Euchre, Spades, or Hearts. So I can take Diamonds to any outing and teach it to people in a couple of minutes.

2-6 Players • Ages 8+ • 30 minutes • $22Get Your Copy



6. Tides of Time (review)

Tides of TimeTides of Time is a 2 player drafting game. The entire game consists of 18 cards that are drafted over three rounds. Each card scores points in different ways, based on the set of cards you have drafted. It’s a quick game, but has a lot of depth, especially when you are playing with someone who is very familiar with the cards and their interactions. Although I don’t play as much Magic: The Gathering as I used to, Tides of Time is a game I almost always take to MTG events to play between rounds, as the drafting element is one many Magic players are extremely familiar with.

2 Players • Ages 8+ • 15 minutes • $12Get Your Copy



5. Sushi Go! (review)

Sushi Go! TinSushi Go! is the card drafting game that makes drafting accessible to everyone. You pick a card and pass the rest, trying to acquire specific sets of cute little sushis. Each type of sushi scores differently and some have more of a risk vs. reward element if you go all-in trying to collect them. Its plays up to 5 players, and there is an updated Sushi Go Party version that plays up to 8.

2-5 Players • Ages 8+ • 15 minutes • $10Get Your Copy



4. Pairs (review)

Pairs Card GameWhen Pairs was Kickstarted, it was marketed as a “Pub Game”. And it’s exactly that, a small deck of cards you can take with you anywhere. There aren’t a bunch of rules or components, it’s one of the few games I enjoy that I’d be comfortable trying to play in a restaurant or bar somewhere. It has a cool little press-your-luck mechanism where you are trying to avoid points. On your turn you can fold and take the lowest value card in play. Or you can hit, but if your new card makes a pair you get that many points. There are tons of different themed Pairs decks and I recommend always having one nearby.

2-8 Players • Ages 8+ • 15 minutes • $10Get Your Copy



3. Rolling America

Rolling AmericaRoll-and-write games, as they have been called, have exploded onto the scene since Quixx was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres in 2013. While I chose Rolling America – this could easily be Quixx, Quinto, or Rolling Japan. But the premise is similar, you roll some dice and choose a box to fill in on your grid. You start limiting your options as you have to follow specific rules about which numbers can be placed where. In addition to being inexpensive and small enough to go anywhere, it’s very approachable. I’ve largely got my family to give up Yahtzee to play these slightly more interesting alternatives.

1+ Players • Ages 8+ • 15 minutes • $5Get Your Copy



2. Hive

HiveHive is another 2-player only game, this one an abstract strategy game. There is both a normal and “pocket” sized version, both of which are small enough to travel. Each player has a set of tiles showing various insects and you must try to capture the queen of the opposing player. The insects each move in different ways, allowing various strategies to be employed. There is no board involved, so you can play Hive on any flat surface you can find.

2 Players • Ages 9+ • 20 minutes • $22Get Your Copy




TimelineTimeline is the essential game to take with you whenever you are traveling. It’s incredibly approachable and can be played by anyone. Maybe it’s just the History major part of me, but I love the idea of making a game out of ordering events chronologically. You can choose your Timeline version to play a theme that is familiar: Music and Cinema, American History, Discoveries, Inventions, or many others. You can also mix different versions for a bit more variety. It can be played in a tent, camper, airplane tray… you’d be hard pressed to find a place where you can’t find enough room.

2-8 Players • Ages 8+ • 15 minutes • $10Get Your Copy



Andrew enjoys games with lots of brain-burning decisions and unique themes. Heavy euros tend to dominate his game nights.


  1. My wife and I love to take Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age. It is a little heavy weight-wise because of the wooden components but it can be played anywhere.

    • I actually just acquired at Origins and have already played it a few times. Not sure how often I’d travel with it… but its a new favorite roll-and-write for sure.

  2. um,,,, i needed some popular games but theese games don’t look popular nor are……..
    these games are vry childish and can easily get lost while travelling in a car or bus or flight…

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