She's Asleep! - Games for time poor couples with infant(s)
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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NOW AT OVER 470 THUMBS - THANKS TO ALL SUPPORTERS OF MY #1 GEEKLIST

As my profile and a previous geeklist attest to, I consider myself very lucky to have met and married my wife Nicole, who, despite not being a boardgamegeek like myself, has jumped into playing various games with gusto both when we were dating and now that we are married.

I have previously submitted a list of my top 3 games I play with Nicole, but I have realised a new list is required. Since our daughter Mackenzie was born in 2008, we have found ourselves with less and less time as parents of a toddler to fit in a board game here and there. This issue has only been exacerbated since our son Frazer was born in October 2011!

Consequently, we have found ourselves coming back to the same four games time and time again, as they are engaging games that can be played in minimal time. When your children only sleep for a few hours during the day (and you are too tired to play at night) it is critical to select games that will stand a chance of getting played and ones that you will still actually enjoy playing, so here they are:
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1. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:258]
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Still consistently the #1 game in our opinion for spouses to play. Simple, elegant, fun, and certainly quick!
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2. Board Game: Court of the Medici [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1454]
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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A relative newcomer to our collection, COTM combines beautiful artwork with a simple but subtly complex mechanic, we have found ourselves grabbing this one out a lot, even more so than Lost Cities of late...
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3. Board Game: König von Siam [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:634]
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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I found out about this game via my other spouse-related geeklist, this has been a real hit since we bought it earlier this year - a game that offers complexity and thinking in a 30 minute two player game. This is more complex than Lost Cities and COTM, but without a big time giveaway...
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4. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:280]
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Coming in at #4 is Mr Jack, this is the longest of the games on this list, but again can be played in 30-40 minutes with practice. Of all the four, this is the most thematically fun game, and feels less of a math exercise and more of a genuine 'whodunnit' - great to get a fantastical theme in a short time game.
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5. Board Game: Roma [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:558] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Jason Root
Australia
Dubbo
NSW
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Roma is a quick and fun game that would suit your needs perfectly.
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6. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:429]
howl hollow howl
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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The great thing about Cribbage is it's a long game, but you can set it aside between hands in case the young one wakes up.

There are lots of other great 2p games you can play with that cheap deck of cards, including Casino and, our favorite, Gin Rummy.
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7. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:128]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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She enjoys it very much and I do too. It's also quite short so you can try several plays ("Is s/he still sleeping? Let's play it again!").
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8. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:382]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Nice and colorful game that plays in about 40 minutes, it's one that often hits the table during our son's daytime sleep.
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9. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:78]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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It plays in less than half an hour. It's also the best version for 2 player out there. So we play it quite often during the day. The only important thing to consider is that those trains can be a little bit noisy when you pull them out of the bag.
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10. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:356]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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And another one she likes to and asks me to play during the daytime sleep break. It's light but fun, it's also about 30 mins to play and can be played very silently.
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11. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:640]
Matthias Schmidl
Austria
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This one is really fun and doesn't take a long time to play, or a geek to play with. the rules are easy and quickly explained
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12. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:4220]
Matthias Schmidl
Austria
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this one is also quick to play and fun even when you are tried after a day of parenting. also it's not only a two player game, so if you are lucky enough to have friends over and your little one is still sleeping you can explain this game in 5min tops and play with any number of players.
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13. Board Game: Times Square [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1839]
George Buss
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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I've got to add Times Square to the list.

It plays real fast, and when you've got baby brain, isn't too deep...(so you might get some game time in at night).

I reviewed it with my wife here as a quick date...
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14. Board Game: Ubongo: Duel [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:998]
Matthias Schmidl
Austria
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if you are a little more awake than usual, play this one. (but watch out: gameplay might involve screams of agony should your spouse repeatedly solve the puzzle 1 second before you are finished
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15. Board Game: Travel Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1528]
Matthias Schmidl
Austria
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ah, i thought of one more. we also like to play this one, when our little one is asleep. to make it work as a 2 player game, we don't score the fields, because otherwise the game just revolves around getting enough meeple into "that one big field" to win.
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16. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:22]
Grace Whelan
United States
Tipp City
Ohio
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I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. By the time I get them in bed at night I find that if I'm going to play a game it needs to be quick. (they go to bed between 7 and 8 but I get up at 4:30am for work) I find myself pulling this one out alot. A game takes less than 20 minutes. (There is a bit of a learning curve to get used to the iconography...but its not too bad) This game would not be my first choice if I were having a game night with lots of friends, but I really like the 2-player version. So this is usually the first choice for a quick game after the kids are in bed.

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17. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:303]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Taluva is a wonderful game that takes deep thinking, has beautiful art and components and yet my 17 year old daughter and I play in 15 to 20 minutes.
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18. Board Game: Pick Picknic [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:995]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Light fun, but emphasis on the fun, and plays in 20 minutes!
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19. Board Game: Fjords [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:813]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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This is a great couples game and plays in about 30 minutes. It has beautiful art and great game play.
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20. Board Game: Mad Dash! [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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When our kids were a tiny bit younger, it was remarkable to get them both to sleep before we were ready for bed. So this "3 minutes across the USA" game fit in very well. And it's a good game to boot.
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21. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:144]
Isaac Milton
United States
Reading
MA
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Sometimes we play games with our 9 month old on our lap. Our daughter's mission when doing so is to eat anything she can get her hands on and knock everything else off the table. Hive is great because:

1. The pieces are too large to be a choking hazard
2. The pieces are so substantial that they are harder to disrupt than a pile of chits or tokens
3. If she does knock over a piece, it's a lot easier to replace than if she sends a Small world board flying
4. It plays in less than a half hour
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22. Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1464]
George Husted
United States
East Hartford
Connecticut
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This is a quick and fun little game that you can take on the go. It plays (2 player) in 10-15 minutes. You can learn to play and have it dealt out in under 4 minutes.

We have a 4 month old as well as two older children, so I know where you are at.

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23. Board Game: Battleship Express [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:9226]
George Husted
United States
East Hartford
Connecticut
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This is a fun little game that plays quickly. It has the advantage that there are two levels of play. Line up your fleets and fire for effect!
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24. Board Game: Monopoly Express [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:4306]
George Husted
United States
East Hartford
Connecticut
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This is a fine little "press your luck" game that plays fast and can travel in a diaper bag! How cool is that?!?

Even if you are not a Monopoly fan, this game is pretty fun. Give it a try.meeple
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25. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:159]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This is our most played nap game. It's easy to set up, quiet, quick, fun, and has great replayability.
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