Top 100 short games! (20 min or less)
Geert Vinaskov
Belgium
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These are the 100 highest ranked short games.

I compiled this list because I think short games don't get enough love here on the geek. Short games are great, because we can play them when we're waiting for others to arrive, and we need something quick and simple that can be played and explained in 20 minutes.

Short playing time is for me very important, because people are more willing to play if the game takes 20 minutes or less, and six games or so can be played in one and a half hours, meaning there are six winners so, nooone will feel like they wasted their time. And at the end of the night you can convince your friends to play one last game, and one after that, and ...


I'm setting some rules here:

- The entry of the game must list 20 minutes or less. Our group plays Princes Of Florence 2player in 20 minutes, but I need to have some objective data to build this list from.
- No strict player count (so no 2 player games, no party games that require at least 5 players). At game evenings there will be a random number of people present, thus this list is about games that support a variety of player numbers. And besides, half of this list would be 2player games, where's the fun in that?
- No dexterity: no balance or sllding games, also no (visual) reaction games. But realtime games where you only have a limited amount of time to think are okay (space alert, ubongo)
- No traditional card games or print-and-play games.
- No doubles (no PR:LAI here)
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1. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:64] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Geert Vinaskov
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2. Board Game: Santorini [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:112]
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3. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:247]
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Essen 2012
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4. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:274]
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For Sale, High Society and Felix: Can In The Sack are three auction card games that pack a lot of fun in a short time frame.

Auctioning is a great mechanism for short games, because it combines communication, tension and conflict without the need for a buildup during the first few turns or an elaborate board.

For Sale gets a leg up before the other two because of it's elegance and it plays to 6 players.
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5. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:345] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
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6. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:403]
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7. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:420]
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Drafting game where you try to collect as few cards as possible. A card goes around the table, and you can choose not to take it by placing a chip on it. Problem is, you always seem to have too few chips.
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8. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:450]
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9. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:483]
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The hype of Essen 2012
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10. Board Game: Spyfall [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:526] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
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11. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:515]
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12. Board Game: Between Two Cities [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:535]
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13. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:593]
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Although some may advice against playing this with 3 players, technically it is possible (and I've done it and found it enjoyable).

Note that there are many other versions that also have a good rating and short playing time. I'm not including these in this list. Here they are:

Blokus 3D
Blokus Trigon
Blokus Duo
Blokus Junior
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14. Board Game: FUSE [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:600]
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15. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:604]
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16. Board Game: BattleCON: War of Indines [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:652] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
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17. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:669]
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Bruno Faidutti and Alan R. Moon team up. How can this go wrong?

This game is simple but rewarding and everyone, including their children and maybe even their pets, can enjoy it. It even supports up to 8 players. Downtime is minimized because of the simultanious action selection.

There's another version with different artwork that has a seperate entry. Diamant
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18. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:640]
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For Sale, High Society and Felix: Cat In The Sack are three auction card games that pack a lot of fun in a short time frame.

Auctioning is a great mechanism for short games, because it combines communication, tension and conflict without the need for a buildup during the first few turns or an elaborate board.

High Society is made by Reiner Knizia, considered by many to be the king of auction games.

Also note the retheming of this game in many languages, I don't exactly get how someone gets the idea to retheme a game about the rich and wealthy into a game about animals. Big thumb down here.
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19. Board Game: Qwixx [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:716]
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20. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:762]
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Simple game which is a lot more cutthroat than the theme might suggest.
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21. Board Game: Linko! [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:798]
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22. Board Game: Fairy Tale [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:862]
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Born before her younger brother, 7 Wonders, she's both more elegant and easier.
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23. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:865]
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Besides the fact that this game is short, it has three other selling points.

- Beautiful board, box and tiles
- 2 to 8 players
- Will Weaton
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24. Board Game: The Magic Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:957]
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The first "children" game and the first memory game on the list. For some reason the memory mechanism is often associated with children games.
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25. Board Game: Timeline: Inventions [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:971] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
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Simple, fast and you learn something. What more does a game need?
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