Help Me Find the Most Compact Gameplay
Ken Dobyns
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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My wife and I do a lot of traveling in a VW camper van. We are looking to improve the library of games that we carry with us. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, space is at a premium in our rig. As such, I'm looking for great games, but they need to be compact. The more fun per cubic inch, the better!

Another main criteria has to be relatively quick game play (nothing longer than an hour). We don't travel in the van with the intent of spending hours playing games. To the contrary, they are used as filler after the sun sets, but before we are ready for bed. No long strategic games need apply!

A third criteria is suitability for 2 players, since this represents the vast majority of our playing opportunities while traveling. Games that can expand to more players would be great, but it really should be playable by 2.

The best example of something that meets this criteria is probably a standard 52 card poker deck. Huge variety of game play in almost no space at all. This example doesn't really fit the board game genre, however, so more creativity is in order.

So, I'd love to hear your suggestions! Thanks to all who have responded to date. The response was much better than I expected. What a great community!!!

Thanks in advance.
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1. Board Game: The Book of Classic Board Games [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Ken Dobyns
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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This book really fits the bill. 15 games, selected by Sid Sackson, all in one book and a stack of game tokens. The games provide a lot of variety to choose from, suit a variety of moods, and are mostly quick to play.
 
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2. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:187]
Ken Dobyns
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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Battle Line meets our criteria as well. It is one of our favorite games in general. The fact that it can be compressed to a single deck of cards (using just about anything at hand for the game tokens) is icing on the cake.
 
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3. Board Game: Rage [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2761]
Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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4. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:234]
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
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San Juan fits the space of about 2 iPods stack on top of each other.
 
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5. Board Game: Mamma Mia! [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1316] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Fun little memory game with a twist for 2-5 players. If you're sure you'll only play 2 players, you can even leave some cards at home...
 
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6. Board Game: Pico [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:11697]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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11 cards, cute little game.
 
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7. Board Game: Ebbe & Flut [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3254]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Adlung generally has quite good games in tiny packaging. Some of them (like Verräter or Meuterer) play more like boardgames than like card games.
 
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8. Board Game: Flix Mix [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4556]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Another fun little Adlung - this time, it's fast pattern matching. Plays in a few minutes, no thinking required ;-)
 
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9. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:850]
Jeroen Harkes
Netherlands
Voorburg
Zuid Holland
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Does it have to be 2 player?

Meuterer is a boardgame made of cards. And the cards are relatively small. (Smaller than most playingcards)
 
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10. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1089]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Quick little dice rolling game, works very well with 2 (probably better than with 4+) players. You can even leave the box at home.
 
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11. Board Game: Canal Grande [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3281]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Another Adlung. This one uses the main idea of San Marco - one person divides, the other person chooses - for a very streamlined game.
 
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12. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:643]
Jeroen Harkes
Netherlands
Voorburg
Zuid Holland
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This version of mah-jongg is very small. Although it might be to small to play it. (You can also find mah-jongg a cardgame, which is the same game)
 
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13. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:595]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Another fun card game, scales well from 2-10 players.
 
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14. Board Game: Die Siedler von Catan: Paper & Pencil [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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Just take the cards & wooden components from Settlers and a stack of paper versions of the game board. However, this won't work well with 2 players.
 
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15. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:494]
Jesse Smit
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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One of the better light games imo, has a bit of 6nimmt and also a bit of Ra feel to it. Plus ive had good experiences playing this with non gamers.
 
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16. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:126]
Jesse Smit
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Lots of depth to this one and a great partnership element. But you need exactly four.
You could also put Gang of Four here which is similar but far less deep.
 
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17. Board Game: Aquarius [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:3627]
Jesse Smit
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Really fun light game in a tiny tiny box. Not sure why this game gets so much bad press. Just becuase theres a card which shuffles the goals doesnt mean theres no skill to this .
 
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18. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:205]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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A great small 2 player game for when you get tired of all the card games.
 
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19. Board Game: Wildlife Safari [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1337]
pronoblem baalberith
United States
Pleasantville
Massachusetts
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Is it just me or do my balls itch?
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Deck of 30 cards and 25 chips
 
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20. Board Game: Piecepack [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:4375]
Clark Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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Over 100 games, and all the bits fit in a VHS case.
 
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21. Board Game: Can't Stop the Turtles [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:11410]
JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
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My hubby's favorite game is Can't Stop. Can't Stop the Turtles is a compact version of that with some rules changes.

There is the opinion that the rule changes for Turtles ruined the game. However, on the game page there are a couple suggestions for playing Can't Stop the Turtles with the original Can't Stop rules.

Can't Stop is a great game and Can't Stop the Turtles comes in a compact case that's perfect for travel.
 
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22. Board Game: Cinq-O [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:11201]
JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
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Or if you don't want to mess with Can't Stop the Turtles, here's a decent push-your-luck game that comes in a very compact case.

This game is widely available, cheap, compact, fun.
 
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23. Board Game: Polarity [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2094]
Peter Schott
Germany
Franconia
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Polarity is a 2 player dexterity game with magnets - quite refreshing, quick, small and ... flexible...
I fell in love with this game
 
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24. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2370]
Peter Schott
Germany
Franconia
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Little quick boardgame for 2 players
 
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25. Board Game: Lightning: Midway – June 4th to June 6th, 1942 [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:4177]
Tim Deagan
United States
Austin
Texas
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The theme may or may not appeal, but Lightning:Midway is a really fun carrier battle game for two that consists of two small decks of cards. It's tense, highly portable, fast and fun. There are two other games in this system, but this is the one I like.

 
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