Mini games to take on holiday

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend and colleague (I do that sometimes just to keep my social skills upto date), and the conversation turned to booked holidays for the Summer and a game that my colleague and her daughter played last year while on holiday (which was a match the word with its meaning game they came up with).

I asked if they were taking Tsuro with them this year (they are big fans of the game). However the response was in the negative because they were going to Spain again and it's too big to take etc etc.

So my response was had she not read my post where I had about four games in the Age of War box that I had taken to the pub with me? And can you believe that she said she hadn't? I mean WTF? This blog should be the first thing she checks everyday! I'll be testing her again soon and if she fails the test I'm naming and shaming.

Anyway this got me thinking there is a blog post here.

You've booked your family holiday, somehow avoiding a booking at Camp Crystal Lake. So you know that your holiday won't end in senseless mindless violence from a psychotic back from the dead killer.

The big day is about to arrive you are packing your bags and struggling to decide what to take with you. You know this is a family holiday and there will need to be some sort of family activity in the evening to strengthen the family ties between parents and offspring. You don't want them just to be faces buried in the screens of their iPads. But a board game is too big to take with you, or is it?

You have had a great day's activities, enjoyed some great local food of egg and chips and cheap plonk and all back at the accommodation for the evening.
But what to do for the rest of the evening? Well there are two options on the gaming front. In this post I'm going to concentrate on the physical games and not the virtual versions of games. I'll look at that side in a future post possibly, maybe, ok if I remember.
As I showed in the previous post it is possible to get carry several games with you in a small box. This will require for the holiday deboxing some games so they can all be carried in one small box. There are some great mini or micro games out there that can be taken with you to play as a family. Here are some of my recommendations, and this is by no means exhaustive and is based on what's in my collection.
The criteria I've used for selecting these mini/micro games is that they can be played by four or more people. I would say that they are also fun games but that is subjective anyway and I wouldn't still have the games in my collection if I didn't think they were fun.
In the list below I'm not going to go into depth about each game, you can get all that info on the Boardgame Geek website. I may mention the type of game and advise if the box needs removing before going into the holiday going box.
  • Zombie Dice – Zombie Dice comes in a nice cardboard or plastic tube depending on the version you buy. However for the sake of taking on holiday and space constraints get hold of the official zombie dice dice bag that can be used to hold the dice and replace the job of the tube for our holiday needs. Although the tube does make a rather satisfying noise when used. But needs must.
  • Love Letter or one of the licenced variants – ok my favourite version at the moment is the Batman one. But I'm sure once I get the Hobbit version I'll like that too (well I am a Tolkien fan). Depending if you have the boxed version or the one that comes with the nice little bag, you may have to put the box in a safe place and store in ziplock bag for the holiday.
  • Poker Dice – ok I like poker dice, a quick simple game or look up variants/games that use them in the excellent Reiner Knizia book about dice games.
  • Fluxx or one of its many versions – choose your favourite variant of the game mine currently is Star Fluxx. There is no waste with the packaging for this game, so I wouldn't even bother.
  • Age of War – Push your luck dice game with some set collection, and a bit of conflict being able to steal others completed cards. Duncan liked this so much he was inspired to create his own cards for the game (which by the way look pretty awesome). As I've shown the box for this can hold a few games if thought out carefully.
  • Roll for It – another dice game that will fit easily inside of another box. In fact I'd be tempted to get one more coloured dice for the Perudo dice to give each coloured dice in that game six to use for this game, and cutting down on the amount of dice taking and space. Naturally remember to only use five dice per player when playing Perudo.
  • Harbour – worker placement on a tiny scale. And well worth the effort of squeezing into the holiday gaming box.
  • Tiny Epic Kingdoms – a 4x game that packs a lot of punch in a small box. This is definitely a must take if you want something a bit more thoughtful.
  • Bang the Dice Game – Dice rolling, hidden roles, definitely a game that has too much packaging and can easily be placed inside another box.
  • Hanabi – bang, bang, boom. Work together to create an amazing fireworks display. Another game where the packaging although not excessive isn't really needed in our circumstances.
  • Eight-minute Empire – See my suggestion at the end of this list for this box. Another of the more thoughtful games as you via to control areas of the board.
  • Perudo or Liar's Dice – you could take everything you need which includes the dice, or just take the dice and improvise the cups once you are at the holiday destination.
  • Machi Koro – this game is all packaging and the cards and components can easily be rehomed for easier transporting to play on holiday.

If you use the Eight-Minute Empire box you can fit an amazing amount of game to take with you to pass the evenings away with. There is also a good variety in the types of game so there should be something there for most tastes.

All these games won't fit into one box even the Eight-Minute Empire box, however a lot of them will. Plus these are just suggestions, ideas based on my limited experience and collection. Your usage and enjoyment from this list may vary.
I've not included Star Realms in this list because it is a two player game, despite it having everything you need in a single box. However White Wizard are going to be releasing a four player game that fits into a similar sized box called Epic if I remember correctly from the press release. This will I think be on the list in a future update I'm sure. Whilst I'm talking of future games to consider Tiny Epic Galaxies when it hits the shelves will be worth adding (I did back this on kickstarter) it's from the same folks behind Tiny Epic Kingdoms.
Ones that will be worth looking at also are This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 Of Us a cheap micro game, and VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game. And by this I mean these games are pretty high up on my too buy list that they will most likely drop through my letter box sooner than later.
I do hope that you have found this post useful, that it has given you food for thought about how you can take some great tiny games with you to enhance that family bonding experience known as the annual holiday.

UPDATE 1/6/2015: I've just added Sushi Go! To my collection, and it definitely is a great game that should be added to the above list of games. I've also added Get Bit too that also should be on the list for consideration.

UPDATE 7/6/2015: Coup has just arrived and plays 2-6 players so perfect to take on a holiday. And small enough to combine into another box with other games.


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