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Best Small Box Board Games

Bigger isn’t always better. These games are fun-size for a reason! Plus, our top picks for the best small box board games are easy to transport and won’t take up too much space in your game collection. 

The box size may be small, but the options are many! From solo or group games to cooperative and competitive, you are sure to find an option you enjoy. Find the best small box board games below.

🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Small Box Board Games

In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.

Best Set Collection

Splendor
  • STRATEGY GAME: Compete to build Renaissance Europe’s most...
  • FUN AND FRIENDLY COMPETITION: Players vie for control of gem...
  • COUNTLESS REPLAY OPPORTUNITES: Fast and intuitive, this strategy...

Best Engine-Building

Race for the Galaxy
  • For 2-4 players
  • 60 minute playing time
  • Check out all the great expansions to Race for the Galaxy

Best Overall

Cartographers
  • 30-45 minute competitive fantasy map-drawing game for 1-100...
  • In Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, players compete to get the...
  • Each season, players draw on their map sheet and score against...

best small box board games featured image

#1. Cartographers 

Cartographers board game box and components

Players: 1-100
Playing time: 30-45 minutes

The Queen conquered new lands and tasked her cartographers with the important role of mapping these areas. However, she has specific requests to follow – and the cartographer who meets her demands best will win the job. 

In this map-building game, players get their own blank map. Pick cards with different symbols: water, mountain, village, monster, forest, or farm. Now it’s your turn to draw it on your personal map. Be careful where you place it to maximize space and future potential. 

You should beware of the Ambush Card! If chosen, a player gets to draw for you and might sabotage your space. 

Cartographers is played over four seasons, each with a specific scoring system. So play for the present, but don’t miss opportunities to score future points.  

Can you draw your road to victory? Grab a map and start planning that route!  

Cartographers
  • 30-45 minute competitive fantasy map-drawing game for 1-100...
  • In Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, players compete to get the...
  • Each season, players draw on their map sheet and score against...

#2. Splendor

Splendor Board Game Box and Card Setup

Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30 minutes

Enjoy the Renassaince in all its splendor!

Splendor is naturally compact as it’s played solely with cards and chips. It’s a game of card drafting, set collection, and resource management.

In Splendor, you are merchants vying to gain more prestige than any other player. On your turn, you can collect chips, buy or build on a card, or reserve a card. Chips are used as currency to buy and build. You can pick two of the same chips or three of different colors.

Cards gain you prestige, as do visits from nobles. But they’ll cost you a pretty penny – so use that money wisely. The first player to reach 15 prestige points wins the game.

Splendor
  • STRATEGY GAME: Compete to build Renaissance Europe’s most...
  • FUN AND FRIENDLY COMPETITION: Players vie for control of gem...
  • COUNTLESS REPLAY OPPORTUNITES: Fast and intuitive, this strategy...

#3. Race for the Galaxy

Race for the Galaxy Board Game Box and Cards

Players: 2-4
Playing time: 30-60 minutes

It’s a race to build the best galaxy space has ever seen. 

Race for the Galaxy is a card collecting and engine-building game. Collect the most profitable cards and pair them wisely to gain even more victory points. 

Each turn, players pick and reveal a card. Cards represent stages that will be played that round: Explore, Develop, Settle, Consume, and Produce. Different actions can be taken at each stage. Settle a planet by playing it in front of you or produce goods to later trade for points.

The game ends when one player has placed 12 cards, or all the victory tokens have been used. Count up your card points and tokens – the highest scoring player wins.    

The game packs a decent amount of complexity and replayability in one deck. It takes a few rounds to catch on, but you always feel like you’re moving forward and building something out of this world. 

Race for the Galaxy
  • For 2-4 players
  • 60 minute playing time
  • Check out all the great expansions to Race for the Galaxy

#4. Archeology: The New Expedition

Archaeology: The New Expedition Board Game Box and Cards

Players: 2-5
Playing time: 20 minutes

Dig up or steal treasures while exploring the desert. As you collect rare pieces, you can sell them to museums for points – but waiting may be beneficial as pieces always sell better in sets of two or more. 

In Archeology: The New Expedition, players dig – or take cards – until they find a treasure. You can trade with the communal marketplace or sell to the museum. If you get a thief card, steal from another player’s hand.  

But beware of digging up a sandstorm – it can blow away your tent or treasure in one big gust! You only get one tent, but several sandstorms are headed your way, so use it wisely. 

Push your luck to see how many points you can collect. Players can pass when they’re satisfied with their hand, and when all players pass, it’s time to tally up points.    

If you enjoy exploration-themed card games, you just might dig this one!  

Archaeology: The New Expedition
  • 5 additional monuments, each of them altering the gameplay in...
  • Tons of treasures and relics to collect and bargain for the...
  • A brand new elegant design

#5. Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert Cheap Board Game

Players: 2-5
Playing time: 45 minutes

Your ship has crashed in unknown waters. You find yourself in a Forbidden Desert where you don’t want to be. 

You’ll need to collect four crucial parts to repair your ship and be on your way. Working with your shipmates, find these four pieces before succumbing to the forces of this Forbidden Desert. 

Players complete four actions per turn: move your pawn, clear sand from nearby tiles, excavate a tile, or pick up missing pieces. As players progress, they’ll have to face the harsh elements. 

Players start with specific amounts of water and strength. The sun may dry up all their water, or sandstorms can weaken their overall power. 

If your team can fix the ship and make it out alive, it’ll be a success! 

Forbidden Desert
  • Thirst for Survival
  • 2 to 5 players
  • Playing time: 45 minutes

Prefer the island life to the scorching desert? If so, why not give Forbidden Island a try?

Forbidden Island
  • 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
  • Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to...
  • 2 to 4 players

#6. High Society

Players: 3-5
Playing time: 15-30 minutes 

High Society is all about flexing those elitist muscles. Gain more prestige than others to win the title of the most elite member of society.

Naturally, players start out quite wealthy with 11 money cards. Status cards are revealed in the center of the table one by one. These cards can increase your value with status – or lower it with a disgrace. Nobody wants a Faux Paux or Scandal on their hands! 

When a card is revealed, players bid to win or avoid it. The player to bid the highest wins. After all, being a member of High Society means keeping your cool – and putting on a poker face once in a while. 

The game ends when the third Avant-Garde Card is revealed, and players show their current wealth. The poorest of the bunch is cast aside while the other players tally up their status to determine who has won.

High Society
  • High society board gameContents
  • 55 Money cards
  • 16 Oversized Status cardsSpecifications

#7. King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo Board Game

Players: 2-6 
Playing time: 30 minutes

King Kong isn’t the only monster to rule Tokyo. In this game, players are monsters trying to overtake the city. 

In this dice game, players take turns rolling 6 action dice Yahtzee-style. For each roll, choose which you want to keep and which you want to reroll. After 3 rolls, resolve the actions on your dice. 

Claws enable you to attack opponents, the heart might be able to heal you, and lightning can give you energy. 3 of the same number gets you victory points. 

If your health plummets to zero, your monster has died. However, if you can get 20 victory points first- you are the King of Tokyo!

King of Tokyo
  • For 2 6 players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • New artwork by Regis Torres, illustrator of King of new York

#8. Sushi Go! 

Sushi Go! Board Game Box, Cards, and Logo

Players: 2-5
Playing time: 15 minutes 

Grab a seat at this restaurant! Sushi Go! turns a popular style of sushi cuisine into an easy-to-play card game. 

In Sushi Go! players start with 10 cards. Pick one you want to keep and place it face down on the table. Reveal the chosen cards. Then, pass the rest of the deck to the left, and repeat. 

It’s a conveyor belt of sushi making its way around the table. You get to choose one dish you like from each hand. 

Pick yours strategically as sets are worth more. That maki may get you a bonus, but nigiri can triple your score. Whatever you discard can be snatched up by your opponents — so don’t hand them anything too tasty. 

Sushi Go!
  • Includes 108 cards
  • Rules of play
  • Reinforces probability, visual discrimination and strategic...

Want to play Sushi Go! with more players? Why not try Sushi Go! Party? The more, the merrier!

Sushi Go! Party
  • It's a party! This party platter of Mega make, super sashimi, and...
  • Sushi go! For larger appetites! You still earn points by picking...
  • Customize your difficulty level! This deluxe edition features...

#9. Herbaceous 

Players: 1-4
Playing time: 15-20 minutes 

Do you have a green thumb? This card game may be for you! 

In Herbaceous, it’s your job to plant the most beautiful garden. Every player has four containers in their personal garden. Every turn, players pick two cards to keep or add to the community garden. If you add them to your garden, you may plant or pot them. 

Rules dictate which plants go in which containers. You may need two rosemary plants for one container or 3 different herbs for another. Potting might get you more points but cannot be moved. 

Each set is worth different points, so pick, plant, and don’t be afraid to push your luck a little! 

Herbaceous
  • Everyone has a green thumb when playing Herbaceous. Relax while...
  • For 1-4 Players. Ages 14+ with a 20 minute playing time
  • Herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable...

#10. One Deck Dungeon 

One Deck Dungeon Single Player Board Game

Players: 1-2
Playing time: 30-45 minutes 

The size is in its name. One Deck Dungeon requires just one deck of cards and dice. 

In this solo or cooperative game, you are a hero who must defeat a monster such as a dangerous dragon. This battle will take place down in the dungeon. 

But first, you must get there! Burn through the deck to get to the stairs. Three sets of stairs, and you’ll be face to face with your enemy. 

Along the way, you’ll encounter traps and creatures. Fighting these will determine what skills you acquire and what damage you incur. Roll the die to see how you fare… and hope that luck is on your side.

If you can make it to the end of the dungeon without dying, you’ve successfully slain the dragon!

One Deck Dungeon
  • One Deck Dungeon is a 1-2 player cooperative game
  • 30-45 minute playing time
  • With multiple sets, you can add more players

Wrap-Up

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best small box board games! Sometimes big things come in small packages. These games may be small in size but huge in fun and replayability. You can also pick them up for a very reasonable price. Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.

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