Sometimes you're in the mood for a game, but don't have time for an epic session of Monopoly or Risk. Plus, younger kids don't always have the patience. We asked our Underdog Games Advisory Team for their favorite quick games to play in 20 minutes or less. Here are their top recommendations, guaranteed to provide lots of fun in no time flat!
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The terrific thing about the Trekking trivia games is that you don't need a wealth of knowledge to win! For each trivia question, players simply guess a number, and the closest without going over gets the point. There's the chance to earn bonus points from challenge questions too. These games are great for families, because they level the playing field between adults and kids. (Ages 10+, 2-6 players)
Every player gets in on the action during every roll on this fast-paced game. Cross off numbers on your card, based on the colors and numbers on the dice. Eliminate as many as you can before the game ends to win. (Ages 8+, 2-5 players)
Even if you're not good at historical dates, you'll still enjoy Timeline. It's more important to have an idea of when things happened in relation to each other as opposed to knowing exact dates. One by one, players place their cards into the group's timeline. If your placement is correct, you leave the card in place. If you're wrong, you discard it and draw a new one. The winner is the first to correctly place all their cards. (Ages 8+, 2-6 players)
Each player wants to woo the Princess of Tempest, who has locked herself away in a tower. To win her heart, you'll need to gain the trust of people like the handmaid or the priest to get your love letter to her first. You also must block the efforts of other players along the way. This is a simple card-based game of deduction, and many reviewers note that it's more fun with more players. (Ages 10+, 2-6 players)
If you love Yahtzee (another one of our favorite quick games), check out Roll It! Each player competes to match the dice patterns shown on the cards. When you roll the match, you grab the card and gain the points. But be quick—another player may be working toward the same card! This game is easy to learn and so much fun to play. (Ages 8+, 2-4 players)
This quick party game gets everyone in on the fun, since it has an accompanying app that walks you through the game—no moderator needed. Each player takes on the role of a Werewolf, Villager, or a special character with special abilities. Throughout the initial "Night Phase," various players are "woken up" and complete actions like switching cards or signaling to each other. Then, players have a five minute "Day Phase" to determine who the Werewolf is ... if they can! (Ages 8+, 3-10 players)
Help other players build a mindful maze in this beautiful and simple game. Players lay their cards on the board one by one, adding to The Path so their token can continue to proceed. It takes clever planning and creative thinking to keep your token on the board the longest and win the game. (Ages 8+, 2-8 players)
Two rival spymasters lead their teams in an attempt to contact all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple Codenames, and teammates try to guess the correct ones. Flip the card to see if you're right; if not, the other team will have gained an agent. Be the first team to flip all of your cards to win. Oh, and be sure to avoid the assassin, or you lose! You can also play this game cooperatively, which is a nice feature. (Ages 10+, 2-8 players)
Relax and build your own peaceful Japanese Zen garden in this charming game. In each round, players pass cards around and select two they'd like to keep and add to their own garden. At the end of the round, various cards featuring stones, vegetation, water, or trees are scored differently. Build your garden thoughtfully to gain the most points by the end of the game. (Ages 8+, 2-4 players)
If you like cooperative games, this is definitely one you'll want to add to your shelf. Players work together to build stacks of numerical cards in two piles, one counting up from 1, and the other down from 100. The twist? You can't tell anyone else what cards you have in your hand until you play them one by one. That means it will take memory and creative cooperation to win. You and your teammates must play all the cards, or you lose! (Ages 8+, 1-5 players)
This is a terrific quick game to play with the little ones, but adults will enjoy it too. Each player starts with a handful of special dice, which they're trying to get rid of. When you roll water, it "evaporates" out of the game. Roll pandas, and you can pass them to another player. If you roll bamboo, you must wait to see if the next player rolls some bamboo too. Players of any age will pick up this luck-based game in no time. (Ages 6+, 2-5 players)
Players pick and pass cards as they try to build the best collection of sushi over three rounds. Dine on maki rolls, sashimi, tempura and more to gain points. Dip your nigiri card in wasabi to triple the points! Game play is very simple, but differing strategy makes it a unique experience each time. (Ages 8+, 2-5 players)
Scrabble games can sometimes stretch on and on, but not so with Bananagrams! Each player gets a certain number of tiles to start, which they must quickly assemble into a word grid. When one player has placed all their letters, they shout out "Peel" and everyone must grab a new letter and try to fit it onto their grid. When there are fewer tiles left than players, the first to place all their remaining letters into their grid is the winner! (Ages 7+, 1-8 players)
It's dominos, but with a kingdom-building twist! Match landscape tiles to expand your kingdom, and place crowns on tiles so they'll count toward your score. There's strategy involved too, since a stronger tile choice in one round means you play later in the next. Build a 5x5 grid of tiles to end the game, then add up the points to find the winner. (Ages 8+, 2-4 players)