PnP cousins of commercial games
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Have you ever enjoyed a game so much that you wanted to find similar ones to play?

Are you interested in a game but before buying want to try something similar to see if it will fit you or your group?

Or are you a keen PnP crafter who wants to experience a little of the buzz around a hot commercial game?

If so, you might be interested in this geeklist, which matches commercial games with similar PnP games.

This is not a list of commercial games that have free PnP demo versions. And it's not a list of fan-made expansions. It is more like "if you like (insert commercial game) then you will probably like (insert free PnP game)".

Feel free to add your own suggestions, following the format below (add the commercial game to the list, and in the description insert a link and summary of any similar PnP games).
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:50]
Board Game: 7 Wonders
JK
New Zealand
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If you like 7 Wonders you may like...

7 Dice Wonders

Just seven dice, seven cards and a score pad to create a civilization building experience.

Board Game: 7 Dice Wonders


Space Marvels 6 Express

The future is here! Build the foundations of the Future Ages of Exploration in Culture, Science, Trade and Military while forming the Organizations that will rule Mankind. Space Marvels 6 Express is a PnP Express tile laying game for 2 to 5 players in the vein of 7 Wonders playable in 15-20 minutes.

Board Game: Space Marvels 6 Express


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2. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:16]
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
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If you like 7 Wonders Duel you may like...

Micro Civilization

A two player civilization building battle. There are four starting civilizations to choose from: Rome, Greece, Babylon and Egypt. Each turn you may add a card to your tableau, using a unique mechanism of partial overlap. However you must make sure that your civilization produces enough resources of military, science and gold to cover its own growing needs. You may also collect prestige icons which have no effect during the game but convert into victory points at the end of the game. Each card also has a piece of wall on one of its 4 sides. By placing the cards in a certain way, you might be able to build a long wall and score a lot of points. But keep an eye on your opponent's military strength, lest she attack your developing micro civilization.

From gallery of JohnKean
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3. Board Game: Black Orchestra [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:467]
Board Game: Black Orchestra
JK
New Zealand
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If you like Black Orchestra then you might like...

Maquis

A solitaire worker-placement game with variable goals around resisting the Nazi occupation of the town of Maquis during WWII. The player places his resistance agents on spaces around town to achieve goals of blowing up trains, publishing underground newspapers etc. But at the same time Milice collaborators and Wehrmacht soldiers patrol the area. Agents who can't make it back to the safe house at the end of the day are arrested, and never seen again.

Board Game: Maquis
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4. Board Game: Blood Bowl (2016 edition) [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:472]
Board Game: Blood Bowl (2016 edition)
Kai Bettzieche
Germany
Ladenburg
Baden Württemberg
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Oh, Hey, I almost forgot!

If you liked this one, chances are you will like

BrawlBall

Board Game: BrawlBall


Which is all about creating your team and pitting it against the opponent's Team in a Game of bloody sports...

The best of it: all components go on 1 Page.
Throw in some dice and you're ready to go.

whistle
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:173] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
JK
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If you like Carcassonne you may like...

Pirates and Plunder

Essentially a pirate re-theme of Carcassonne, but with a few new rules added for combat etc.

Board Game: Pirates & Plunder
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6. Board Game: Cunning Folk [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:8846]
Board Game: Cunning Folk
JK
New Zealand
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If you like Cunning Folk you may like...

Bomb Squad #9

A microgame in which you aim to be the first to discover and disarm the hidden bomb. Coincidentally uses similar mechanics to Cunning Folk, but with special card actions and atmospheric artwork.

From gallery of JohnKean
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7. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:526]
Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Cate
United States
Mequon
Wisconsin
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If you like this game then maybe you would like to explore Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Please excuse my self promotion here but I just revised this game and put all the files up here on BGG.

This is it. This is where the weathered parchment pinpointed the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, lost since the conquistadors who had drawn the map disappeared over 500 years ago.

Pushing aside the great cycad fronds from the clearing you see the ancient pyramid before you. The entrance, you know, is at the top.

Climbing, you hear those sounds coming from the jungle behind you again. Something has been tracking you, waiting for an easy meal. It doesn’t matter. The treasures of the Incas lie within this ziggurat and an entire jamboree of ravenous jaguars couldn’t turn you away now.

Pushing aside the stone door at the top, you begin to descend the slick stone steps. What could go wrong now that you’re so close?

Temple of the Feathered Serpent (TotFS) is a tile laying game where you you are trying to navigate the ever changing maze to escape an ancient temple. Watch out for the deadly jaguars and snakes. The monkeys might sneak up and steal your hard won treasures.


Here is the board all set up to play:

From gallery of Cate108
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8. Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:835]
Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar
Iyidin Kyeimo
United Kingdom
Liverpool
Merseyside
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If you like the Series: COIN (GMT) of games such as Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar and Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain you may like...

The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome

An entry into the 2018 9-card nano game contest, so an easy build: 9 cards and 18 dice (plus optional player aids if required).

It is 60 AD. Romans have occupied the wild lands of Britannia, and exist in an uneasy peace with the tribes of the land… When the Iceni king dies, Roman greed triggers a rebellion led by the Iceni queen Boudica that tears across the south-east of Britain. With the Roman forces spread elsewhere in Britain, the revolt could forever change the course of history.

This is an asymmetrical game of warring factions set in the turbulent times during the early Roman occupation of Britain.

Board Game: The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome
Board Game: The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome
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9. Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1854]
Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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If you like First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet you may like...

Good Little Martian

Good Little Martian is a cooperative survival game for 2 players (although it can also be played solo). The game strands one player on Mars while the other player must take the reins at Mission Control back on Earth. The aim of the game is to keep the Martian player alive while the rescue ship travels from Earth. If the Martian loses all of their Food, Energy or Shelter before the ship lands, the mission is a failure!
The Martian's resources are dwindling; their equipment unpredictable and malfunctioning. Mission Control can send instructions to help, but must also devote enough effort to keep the rescue ship on course and on time. Solar storms are a constant threat and the clock is ticking! Will the Martian survive?

Board Game: Good Little Martian
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:234]
Board Game: Hive
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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If you like Hive, you may like...

Cubeo

All you need is a flat surface and a set of distinguishable 6-sided dice, six for each player...

Board Game: Cubeo
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11. Board Game: The King Is Dead [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1384]
Board Game: The King Is Dead
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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If you like The King Is Dead you may like...

The Council of Colbridge

Use acts of charity, bribes or violence to propel your master or mistress to power. The twist: you don't actually know which of the three councillors is your employer, and must deduce it from the actions of the other players. This game is a thinky little political thriller set in a medieval city but is really an abstract at heart. As such, it shares a lot of common ground with The King is Dead in a tiny micro-game package.

Board Game: The Council of Colbridge
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12. Board Game: Limes [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2011]
Board Game: Limes
JK
New Zealand
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If you like Limes you may like...

Tour Guide

Another small-footprint tile-laying solitaire challenge with non-trivial scoring conditions. And it all fits into a mint tin!

Board Game: Tour Guide


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13. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:310]
Board Game: Lost Cities
Martin Sellmair
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If you like the indirect way you have to deal with your opponent in Lost Cities and the antique theme (and stacking cards!), you will also like:

Karnak & Louxor

From gallery of shiperu

From gallery of shiperu
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14. Board Game: The Lost Expedition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:756]
Board Game: The Lost Expedition
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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If you like The Lost Expedition you may like...

Adamastor

Captain a fleet of Portugese ships on a voyage of discovery across several map cards. Adamastor is a hand/tableau management game with multiple use cards, that can be played in 15 minutes. Each card in play has the potential to help or to hinder you during your journey. Different events will trigger when certain combinations of icons are in play. Most of these events will hurt, but some might help. You will contend with adverse weather, unpredictable storms, and the unrest, fatigue, and disease that will spread among your crew as the voyage advances.

Board Game: Adamastor


Snowbirds

Winter is coming, and your flock of snow geese must make their annual migration south. Your objective is to guide your flock from North to South, along a series of randomly constructed journeys. At each location, you will need to use hand management to make the best use of your limited actions to keep your flock healthy, well-fed, and always on the move. Success depends on balancing the resources available against the risks of the journey.

Board Game: Snowbirds


Lost Artifact

A mini version of The Lost Expedition. It has beautiful graphics but the outcome is very luck dependent.

Board Game: Lost Artifact
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15. Board Game: Lost Patrol [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:5477]
Board Game: Lost Patrol
Kai Bettzieche
Germany
Ladenburg
Baden Württemberg
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If you like this, but do not like the publisher, you WILL like

Patrol: Lost!

along with its plenty rethemes, its completely abstract set of tiles waiting for you to redesign them, and the option to play with whatever you want. Such as:

Board Game: Patrol: Lost!


whistle
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16. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:267]
Board Game: Love Letter
Ltn Koen
France
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If you like Love Letter you may like...

Star Girl

Follow Star Girl and her group of friends on their adventures through the galaxies, in search of ancient alien artifacts and help them fight the Evil Space Queen!
In Star Girl, there are 24 cards, as opposed to the 16 in Love Letter. The mechanics and the objective of the game are the same, but the characters' abilities are different.

Board Game: Star Girl
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17. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1169]
Board Game: Magic Realm
If you're curious to try Magic Realm you might give this a go...

Magic Realm Light 30

is a light, solo version of Magic Realm (by Richard Hamblen) which can be played in about 30 minutes on a single A4 printed play-sheet.

The goal is to provide anyone curious enough about Magic Realm a taste of delving to the intricacies of exploring and fighting in the realm. Players can also use this mini-game to learn about the basic rules and gameplay of the original Magic Realm.

"Light 30" (or L30) is a Magic Realm game term, meaning "something Light-weight that takes up 30 units of time".

Board Game: Magic Realm Light 30
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18. Board Game: Palm Island [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:738]
Board Game: Palm Island
Scott Allen Czysz
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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If you like Palm Island, you may also like:

Count of Nine

From gallery of Narrow Gate Games

The photo shows a mix of both sides of the cards, structures in the game, with their build requirements on the left, and their victory point value on the right. Most cards also have resources available on the long sides of the cards. The names of other structures show you what structures are on the back of the card.

As I was working on the idea for this game (for this year's 9 card PnP design contest), I stumbled across Palm Island and was bummed that it was doing what I was trying to do: create a card only solo euro game. I didn't read the rules or any details about Palm Island and just kept working on Count of Nine. It is still a work-in-progress, but it is a fully functioning and fun, puzzly game.

9 double-sided cards, no other components. Play through the deck with the top 3 cards active, using the resources on the cards to build one of the buildings on those 3 active cards. Some buildings provide resources, others are required to build higher grade buildings, and the highest grade buildings provide victory points.
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19. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:89]
Board Game: Pandemic
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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Microbadge: Blorg in the Midwest fanMicrobadge: Black Sonata fanMicrobadge: Wolfe & Co fan
If you like Pandemic you might like...

Infection Express

Infection Express is a compact, 1-2 player dice game inspired by Pandemic. Using 5 dice instead of the many cards of the original game, it is much quicker to play, whilst maintaining the tension.

Board Game: Infection Express
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20. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:422]
Board Game: RoboRally
Elia - "Rainbow Hippie" Acca
Italy
Bergamo
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Robo rally inspired this dice-based PnP, aimed at having a shorter playtime.
RoboDerby: Express
Board Game: RoboDerby: Express
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21. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:201]
Board Game: Samurai
Ben Garbe
United States
Waukesha
Wisconsin
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A bit of shameless self-promotion but...

If you like Samurai, you'll likely enjoy Kegonsa!

Samurai:

Board Game: Samurai


Kegonsa:

Board Game: Kegonsa
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22. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:11] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Scythe
JK
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
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Microbadge: Blorg in the Midwest fanMicrobadge: Black Sonata fanMicrobadge: Wolfe & Co fan
If you like Scythe you may like...

Highlands

Designed as a light solo cousin of Scythe, with a theme set in the Scottish highlands.

Board Game: Highlands
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23. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:371] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Aleksandar Saranac
Serbia
Kragujevac
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Microbadge: 2018 Solitaire Print and Play Contest participantMicrobadge: Microscope RPG fanMicrobadge: Sentinels of the Multiverse fanMicrobadge: Apex Theropod fanMicrobadge: Spirit Island fan - River Surges in Sunlight
If you like Sentinels of the Multiverse or if you want to see Cyber punk version of Aeon's End, you might look upon the game called Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy – The Card Game.

Board Game: Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy – The Card Game
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24. Board Game: Space Hulk (Fourth Edition) [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:750]
Board Game: Space Hulk (Fourth Edition)
Kai Bettzieche
Germany
Ladenburg
Baden Württemberg
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So ..
Do you like it?
Yeah?
Do you?

Then you will surely like

Meeplecrawl

which is pretty much the same - just with meeples

Board Game: Meeplecrawl


whistle
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25. Board Game: Sprawlopolis [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:607] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Board Game: Sprawlopolis
Aleksandar Saranac
Serbia
Kragujevac
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Microbadge: 2018 Solitaire Print and Play Contest participantMicrobadge: Microscope RPG fanMicrobadge: Sentinels of the Multiverse fanMicrobadge: Apex Theropod fanMicrobadge: Spirit Island fan - River Surges in Sunlight
If you like Sprawlopolis you will also like

MICRO ROME

Board Game: Micro Rome
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