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Subject: What to play on an airplane? rss

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Jan Salminen
Finland
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Hi.

I am trying to figure out what game would be best for killing time for a couple of hours on an airplane?

I need a two-player game that is interesting for both a near-newbie-boardgamer and a bit more advanced (though no pro) gamer. There is not much room to play on an airplane so I guess the game needs to be a small one.

Could someone help me by recommending a few games?

I'm not too keen on traditional playing cards, so something more imaginative would be nice. My own favorite games at the moment are Yspahan, Notre Dame, Mykerinos and Doom. All games that you can't exactly play on a plane.

Any help would be appreciated!
 
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Brian Alvarado
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Fontana
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Hmm, I used to have a Travel Chess Set.

The travel Blokus would be good.

I'm sure there are more but those are off the top of my head.
 
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Richard Johnson
United States
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This one might be a little odd but a real nice game to play on travel is Twixt which is an old 2 player abstract. If you go to the game entry the rules and boards are in the files section so you can just print a bunch of those out and take along two pens in different colors to differentiate. It's very portable only requiring paper and pens. You also can play quietly to not disturb neighbors on the plane.

Another that I have heard others having some success with is Lost Cities by not using the board and just playing each on their fold down tray. I think this would be a bit fiddly and I prefer pen and paper games for air travel.
 
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Aaron Silverman
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Halfway between Castro and Mickey Mouse
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You might check out the game Warchon, by Z-Man. It consists of a book and two sets of bookmarks -- each page of the book represents a map location and each bookmark represents a fantasy warrior unit of some sort. It was specifically designed to be playable when no tabletop is available. You move the bookmarks from page to page and pass the book back and forth. There are random number tables on each page (IIRC, each player picks a number and then you cross-reference them on one of the tables) for resolving combat and magic and such.

I haven't gotten around to actually playing it, but it's a very clever idea and the graphics are quite good.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Ingenious: Travel Edition has worked very well for me on my recent airplane trips with family. Only caution - scoring pegs are tiny - so might be better to keep score with paper and pen.

I haven't tried it, but Mr. Jack might work as all the components are fairly large (so harder to misplace). Needs only the tray to hold the board.

Of course, if you are travelling with a computer - you could download the electronic version of Yspahan while I suspect it might allow 2 players to hot seat (share the same terminal), a quick look at the interface shows that such an option isn't all that obvious - so might not be available.

 
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brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
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I have heard that Travel Blokus is an excellent adaptation of the game.

When we flew to Florida a few months ago, our game of choice on the plane was Citadels. It worked fairly well. We held our character cards with our hand cards. The city built out nicely on the trays and the little indent for your drink worked well to keep the gold in place. We used the box lid for draw pile and discards. And I think this is a good game with 2 players and can accomodate up to 8 once you reach your destination.

EDIT:
I recall someone made a 2 page travel board for Twilight Struggle. But trying to handle all the chits would still be a pain unless you used stick notes or someething. Otherwise one hit of turbulence and the whole world is in disarray.
 
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JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
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Greetings, Jan!

Here is a geeklist about this very thing:

Airpane Tray Table Games: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11726
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Antonio Chavez
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Monterrey
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Why two persons? Try to get a few more people interested and break out Cash and Guns.

Just imagine:



It's gonna be a riot! A riot, I tell you!
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Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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You might try San Juan. The only time I ever took a game with me on a flight it was San Juan and it proved to be a pretty good choice.

 
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Penny
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I just came back from a trip taking a plan from Europe to US, and the games that works are Jambo and Typo, and Pickimino. Maybe some other games like travel blokus would work too but it is too short.

Highly recommand those 3 games, especially jambo, we bring it everywhere and play it everyday, never get tired of it. just remember to put all bits in a bag you will be fine.
 
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Al Leo
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Last year on trip back from Budapest, my father in law killed lot's of time on the plane w/ Cribbage... which allows you take a deck of cards as well.
 
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Greg Berry
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pocket civ works well and it is free! You only need the games 16 cards and a pencil and piece of paper.
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Mike Betzel
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I'll second San Juan. Took that with on our last trip and it worked well both on the plane and in the hotel. Nice and compact, too!

I haven't tried traveling with it yet (having just purchased it not long ago) but Sun Tzu might work as well. It's also fairly compact and while it has wooden cubes they're pretty decent sized. If my wife enjoys the game it might make it on our next trip.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
United States
Happy Valley
Oregon
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"the understandably frightening and chimeric semicolon" -- HiveGod
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Hive is an excellent game that packs small, and needs very little space to play. The rules are simple to teach and to learn, yet the game has some real depth and interest. The only drawback is that games are short and air travel is long -- but Hive is like potato chips; it's hard to stop after just one game!
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J Cale
Canada
Edmonton
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Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
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Something like Lost Cities would be perfect.
 
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Paul Elliott
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I've successfully played 6 Nimmt (a.k.a. Take 6 or Category 5) on two airplane tray tables. It also works for three players, if you have the 3-in-a-row seats in the middle of large jetliners.
 
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Jon Cormier
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I've only ever played Kahuna on the plane. No, wait, I played once at home, but all other times have been on a plane.
 
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Leo Zappa
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Aliquippa
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War on Terror This is a favorite of mine when traveling overseas!



The flight attendents get such a kick out of the mask!
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Dan Wilkinson
United Kingdom
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Try Plateau, a great little abstract that packs a huge amount of strategy and fun into a board which is just 4 by 4 squares (checker piece sized). You can download a little utility to teach you the rules and practice against a (fairly dumb) computer opponent.

Games will mostly play out in five to fifteen minutes for new players, so no worry if the game gets interrupted by the arrival of the inflight meal.

Each player has 12 checker pieces with colours on one, both or neither sides, so the whole game is tiny.

 
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Chris Heinzmann
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Atlas Games Pieces of Eight, Kahuna maybe. or Mario Kart on the Nintendo DS.
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Marco Grubert
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We've played Kahuna at the airport- but on a bumpy plane ride I would be concerned about the tokens sliding off the board. Ingenious pocket edition is very good for traveling due to its small size and the indentations keeping all the tiles exactly where you put them (though I still don't like the game mechanics).
 
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Mark Crane
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one previous treatment:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11726

Also this list on magnetic adaptions of travel games:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/20187

also, pen and paper versions of popular games:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14404

Through the Desert and Hey! that's my fish! have paper versions too, in their respective file sections, as does Medina.

Pocket Civ with the two player variant is a natural.

But the best possible game would pencil and paper Commands & Colors: Ancients. Or a simple magnetic version. See the magnetic list above for a discussion of magnetic battlelore and how certain problems were solved.
 
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FullContactGEEK
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Ghoulash is free, so it's worth having along.

If it were up to me, I'd have Icehouse pieces and a board for Volcano if you can trust yourself and your playing partner(s) not to lose the pieces. I guess there is the possibility that they may get confiscated for being so pointy.

Micropul isn't bad and it's also freely available to print and play. Also have a look at the original version of Rat Hot.

I'd also consider Hive.
 
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Todd McCorkle
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Anderson
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I would add buttonmen and girl genius: the works (both from cheapassgames).

In buttonmen, all you have are the buttons and the dice (and some people play without the buttons!). Girl genius has a 'board' of 12 cards in a 'basket weave plus' pattern that I think would easily fit an airline tray. (just browsed the above mentioned geeklist and was reminded of Set. gg:tw takes about the same space).

Devil bunny needs a ham or devil bunny hates the earth might work too.

+1 vote for icehouse pieces. volcano, homeworlds (binary homeworlds for 2), maybe some of the chessboard games (martian chess, pikemen).

Maybe a CCG or ccg-esque game. Depends on the individual games though.
 
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Welcome Rolling Stones
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I recently played Hive on an airplane trip.

The first thing that happened was I dropped one of the hex bits and it rolled a few seats down the aisle, but some friendly passengers passed it back.

After that, we had a successful game concluding with my victory.

I recommend Hive, just be careful with the bits. It is a very nice 2 player game, and the bits behave themselves quite well once on the ground.
 
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