If you’ve had a marathon gaming session and are now just looking for a few fast games, these board games with short playtimes will be right up your alley. Just because a game is quick, doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of mechanisms, strategies, or hilarities to be discovered.
So if you’ve got a few moments free and looking for a fun time, well, there’s nothing quite like a quickie now is there? Here’s our round-up of 20 of the best short and quick board games.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Short & Quick Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
Best Abstract Strategy
#1. 5-Minute Dungeon
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, 5-Minute Dungeon is the game for you. In this chaotic cooperative real-time card game, players take on the roles of brave heroes battling their way past each enemy in the dungeon. When working as a team, together you face off against five terrifying dungeon bosses. Again this is all done within 5 minutes! Time seems to fly by when your imagination is reeling.
5-Minute Dungeon is a card game that uniquely combines fantasy and fighting in which players have to learn fast and play even faster. With a fun focus on teamwork, 5-Minute Dungeon presses players to use their quick-thinking skills to overcome obstacles and escape dungeons.
The clock’s ticking…Will your team pursue victory together or will you perish alone?
- 5-Minute Dungeon is the most fun you can have in 5 minutes! Play...
- Tap into you battle instincts and use quick judgement to...
- Use your imagination in this fantasy-based card game to defeat...
#2. Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Playing as a team of adventurers trapped in a cursed temple, your goals are to activate magic gems, banish the curse and leave no man left behind… oh, and you have 10 minutes before the temple collapses!
Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a real-time adventure game in which cooperation is key. All players will roll dice and take actions simultaneously to enter new rooms and open doorways. The dice determine your fate, giving the game a fun luck component.
All players frantically rolling their dice while trying to keep players together is both stressful and thrilling, a wonderful combination for a fast-paced game.
Invaders are on your ship! Save yourselves from total destruction!
Fuse is a cooperative game of speed and strategy. Work together quickly as the app counts down to complete destruction. Quickly roll the dice and diffuse the bombs — you only have 10 minutes.
With more than 20 bombs detected on board and the countdown underway, players must use their dice and cards in a certain combination to diffuse a bomb.
Does your team have what it takes to defuse the bombs in time? Better get moving, this game will self-destruct in 10 minutes…
- Work together quickly as the app counts down to total...
- Roll the dice to defuse the bombs!
- Number of Players: 1-5
#4. Spyfall 2
Whatever you do, do not blow your cover.
The hit social party game is back with more players, more spies, more locations, and even more terribly vague answers and half-fake questions.
But one player will receive a spy card instead of the location card. This is when tensions run high, real-life friendships go out the door, and you must learn to trust nobody.
With accusations made and voting deciding whether a player must reveal their identity, Spyfall 2 follows the same premise as the original but keeps things interesting with a high number of players and fun new cards.
Spyfall 2 is a standalone game that is also fully compatible with the other games in the series, making this a great purchase.
- DON'T BLOW YOUR COVER: The hit social party game is back with...
- WALK A MILE IN THE SHOES OF A SPY: Players ask each other...
- NEW TO THIS EXPANSION: In SPYFALL 2, players can add a second Spy...
#5. Exploding Kittens
A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
Exploding Kittens is an immensely popular board game that exploded onto the scene in 2015. Already a household favorite, it’s a purr-fect party game for friends and family alike.
The game is fast-paced and players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten, thus losing the game. But don’t worry, there are cards to help you avoid exploding. Defuse cards distract the exploding kittens with hilarious things like laser pointers, kitten yoga, and even catnip sandwiches.
This easy-to-learn card game gets more intense with each card drawn and even more hilarious with each explosion avoided. Bring exploding kittens for a great game night for kids and adults.
- A Kitty-Powered Russian Roulette Card Game - The hit party game...
- Game Of The Year Award Winner - More than 10 million copies sold,...
- A Simple Card Game for Kids and Adults - Perfect for all...
Tsuro is an ever-changing mystery and with each turn, the maze grows bigger and bigger. You must anticipate other players’ next moves. The wisest player will remain on their path to glory.
Tsuro is a tile-placement game in which players use tiles to create paths leading them to safety, and hopefully their opponents off the board!
With its high replayability, Tsuro changes every time you play the game so it’s unique and fun for adults and kids.
Although this is a short and quick board game, Tsuro interestingly can bring network route-building and strategy. This tile-placement game works well in combination with a player elimination mechanism to keep the playtime short.
- Calliope Presents: An award winning game that is fun for any...
- Family Strategy Game: The board changes every time you play the...
- Never the same game twice: The Path is an ever-changing mystery....
#7. Sushi Go!
Another modern giant in the board gaming world, Sushi Go! is a super fast pick-and-pass card game.
Everyone chooses a card at the same time, then passes their hands to the left. The goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they fly by. Gather the most points and consider yourself a sushi master!
With adorable artwork, Sushi Go! is a really fun easy-to-learn card game that’s a great addition to a game night or party. As everyone’s playing at the same time trying to collect their set, the game moves fast and can be a lovely introductory game.
- Includes 108 cards
- Rules of play
- Reinforces probability, visual discrimination and strategic...
#8. Dungeon Mayhem
Split the party and unleash the mayhem!
Generally, Dungeon Mayhem is a fast-paced game but players can play for hours or just 10 minutes, making each game wildly different.
In this action-packed card game, each player chooses one of four iconic Dungeons & Dragons classes, paladin, wizard, barbarian, or rogue. Use your mighty powers and wild combos to smash and bash in a free-for-all. The last adventurer standing wins!
The characters are quirky, brave, and full of unique characteristics, drawing in players from the get-go. Dodge magic missiles, slinging daggers, and bring home the glory!
- Easy-to-learn card game for 2–4 players.
- Party game for friends and family, ages 8+.
- Games are fast, 5–10 minutes.
#10. BANG! The Dice Game
BANG! The Dice Game is fast and unpredictable, just like a cowboy standoff!
It’s the Wild West in the glowing midday heat, officers of the law and bandits continue their fierce battle. Both sides reload their smoking guns when suddenly a swarm of arrows darkens the sky! Will you survive?
In this elimination-dice game, players are given hidden roles, either a sheriff, deputy, outlaw, or renegade. Each role has a few simple goals and players take turns to roll the dice. With special powers and beer that helps you heal, BANG! The Dice Game promises exciting duels all within a fun short game!
- All the emotions of BANG! in a handful of dice: BANG! The Dice...
- Five six-sided dice and nine Indian arrows; Will you be bold...
- BANG! The Dice Game is the perfect game for those with a little...
Simple enough that anyone can play but only the most cunning player will win. Knowing when to lay low and when to call bluff will lead to victory!
Coup is a quick and fun bluffing party game. It’s easy to learn and can be played over and over again. The more you play, the deeper your strategies go.
In the not too distant future, the Resistance, an underground organization has created discord and weakness among the elite, bringing the government to the brink of collapse. This is your opportunity to manipulate and bluff your way to absolute power!
With five roles, the Captain, Assassin, Ambassador, Duke, and Contessa, each with their unique abilities, endless fun can be had as you navigate your way through the game.
Bluff and call bluffs in strategic moves to drive rivals into exile during these turbulent times.
#12. Heist: One Team, One Mission
One team, one mission, one voice to follow!
Heist is a fast-paced electronic cooperative game in which players must team up to pull off the heist of the century in 5 minutes or less. The hilariousness that ensues when players get caught up in a frantic series of exchanges is well worth the purchase.
In this unique game, players must take on the roles of different characters, either the explosives experts, hackers, money men, or the lookouts. Think fast and listen carefully as three false moves could trip the alarm. Memory is an important skill in this game to complete the mission so focus throughout.
Will you crack the safe and collect $50 million in cold hard cash? Work together as a team, follow instructions, and walk away ridiculously rich. Does your team have what it takes?
- Get the $50 million: can you and your team pull off the Heist of...
- Choose your role: select either the explosives expert, hacker,...
- Follow the commands to perfection: think fast and watch out -...
#13. Love Letter
Love Letter, a game of risk, deduction, and a little bit of luck.
Eligible young men seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she’s locked herself in the palace, you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. Will your love letter reach her first?
Love Letter is a fantastic social deduction card game. From a deck of only 16 cards, players start with only one card in their hand. Players draw a card and play a card while trying to expose their rivals. Oh, and win the heart of the princess!
Love Letter is fast-paced with high replayability making it one of the best card games out there. Packed into only 16 cards is a surprising amount of strategy making this a great travel game too!
#14. Red 7
Red7 is an amazing amount of fun packed into a quick, fast-paced game.
Red7 is a set collection-style game in which the concept is simple: the highest card wins. This game is easy to learn but changes directions constantly keeping it interesting and fun.
Everything is done using a color spectrum and each color has a different effect on the game. A player must have the highest number card in play at the end of their turn. Luckily, with each turn you have the chance to change the rules! So play from your palette or discard the rules completely during your play!
With the goal of staying in the round for the longest, Red7 can feel similar to UNO. Give this game a try and be the last player standing!
#15. Incan Gold (Diamant)
Incan Gold, also published as Diamant, is an award-winning game in which players push their luck as they try to find the most jewels in ruined temples.
This quick and fun game has players venturing down shafts and exploring the jungle. With each turn, a card is turned over, either gold or a hazard. Leave the temple with the stash you already have or wait and push your luck. But be careful, there are many different hazards in the deck, like scorpions, poisonous gas, rockfalls, and even explosions!
In Incan Gold (Diamant), adventure through the jungle to explore deeper and risk losing it all. This game is quick and the stakes are high!
- Plays excellently with 3 to 8 family players as a push-your-luck...
- Light strategy game that incorporates risk-taking and...
- Exercises analytical and critical-thinking and develops good...
#16. For Sale
One man’s castle is another man’s cardboard box, treehouse, RV, skyscraper, or even igloo.
For Sale is a fast-paced game about buying and selling real estate. Players must bid and bluff to get the highest-ranking properties because it isn’t how much you pay for property, it’s how much you sell it for.
In For Sale, all players try to purchase the most valuable properties for the least amount of money and then ‘flip’ them, the players with the most amount in the end wins!
For Sale is an interesting quick board game that involves economics and auction mechanisms. ‘Flip’ your properties and become the king or queen of real estate, even if just for a quick round!
Hive, a game crawling with possibilities.
Hive is a two-player game that focuses on building strategy skills. Although the game rules are simple it’s still challenging and in-depth as players try to surround their opponent’s queen bee. With only 11 tiles, representing five different insects, a unique way of moving each insect brings in a lot of strategies and a fun challenge!
With similar mechanisms to chess, Hive changes with each person you play and the strategy required is what will win you the game. Move along in a hexagon grid movement and surround your opponent’s queen before they do yours!
- High quality
- Soldier ants and grasshoppers
- Made by Gen42 games honored for excellence by Mensa select
Build like a mortal. Win like a god.
Santorini is a strategy-based game that’s both fun and intellectually challenging. Created by mathematician and educator Gordon Hamilton, the game requires players to sharpen their wits and face off in a build to the finish.
With a stunning game set that makes you feel like you are in the picturesque city of Santorini, players use their blocks and builder pieces to move into neighboring spaces on the board.
Like all Greek mythology, divine intervention is necessary, and god cards help players bend and break the rules. Develop strategy skills and hone in on analytical skills while playing this fun and exciting pattern-building game.
- Santorini is a strategy-based board game that’s exhilarating...
- Play against an opponent or team up and play two against two.
- Race to build your way to the top of a stack of blocks! Use...
A game of goblins and gold, will you dare to venture beyond Dragonwood?
Dragonrealm is a strategy card and dice game in which players explore the mystical lands of Dragonrealm. Sneak into a witch’s cabin, search an ogre’s treehouse, and get ready to adventure into fantasy locations.
In Dragonrealm, adventurous players search different locations hoping to find treasure. But it’s not all smooth sailing, watch out for goblins who try to grab the treasure from you!
Dragonrealm is a quick-playing game from the Dragonwood world, but an added new level of competitiveness is brought into the game as you fight the monsters, and place meeples on these cards.
An exciting game for lovers of the Dragonwood world, Dragonrealm is great for kids and adults who are fans of the world as well as newcomers.
- Dare to venture beyond Dragon wood with dragonrealm!
- Collect sets of adventurer cards in order to roll dice, which you...
- Sneak into the witch's cabin, search the ogres’ treehouse, or...
#20. Between Two Cities
You are a world-renowned master city planner in the 1800s, a time of construction and mass organization. You’ve been asked to redesign two different cities, paired with a partner to execute your grandiose plans. Will you collaborate and build an impressive city?
Between Two Cities is a tile drafting game with a fun partnership twist. Each tile is a representation of a part of the city like a shop, factory, or landmark. Working with the player on your left, you design one city and working with a play on your right, you design the other. At the end of the game, each city is given points for its livability. To win you have to have shown devotion and attention to your cities and the player with the highest score wins!
Between Two Cities is a very unique game as it has a two-player component as well as a solo competition. With semi-cooperative elements, will you work with your neighbor or arrange a city to win high points for yourself?
- For 3-7 players
- 20 minute playing time
- A partnership-driven, tile-drafting city-building game
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best quick board games! Take a few minutes out to play one of these games. You’ll probably find yourself, hours later, on game #14 still entertained!
Drop us a comment below to let us know your go-to game!