I was thinking of developing a card version of Puerto Rico, the only component I need is some coins as citizens. All the other stuff can be put on cards. In this way, I am not afraid of losing any components of the game.
Lost Cities is the most obvious (to me) game that belongs in the category of 'Games that can play fine without a game board'. Not only can you play it just fine without the board, you can play it just fine without the game! A regular deck of cards and a single suite from a second deck and off you go.