I know I'm SUPER late to the party, probably because I haven't gone on any holidays yet myself this year so it hasn't really been on my mind.
These are the best games to fit in your carry on and take anywhere with you!
1. OK Play
2-4 players Approx. 15 mins gameplay
A game that was literally created as a travel game - it comes with a bloody carabiner for God's sake!
It's super simple, like an off road Connect 4 but waaay better.
Each person gets their own stack of coloured tiles and you take it in turns to lay them down, trying to connect 5 of your own colours in a line - straight or diagonally.
Sounds simple but the game goes up to 4 players and with 3 and 4 players you suddenly have a lot more eyes watching your every move, making sneaking that 5 way harder!
Even with 2 it can be tricky as you're not restricted to a grid (like in Connect 4) but play it on any flat surface, there's suddenly a lot more angles to come in from and so you really gotta think a couple of moves ahead to ensure your opponent doesn't sneak that 5 whilst you're doing your own thing!
The other interesting bit of the game is that once you run out of tiles and if no one has managed to connect 5 yet, you start to reposition tiles that are already down around and suddenly you need to remember why you put that tile there and are you now freeing up gaps that you shouldn't be?
100% one of my faves to take with me!
2. Love Letter
2-4 players Approx. 20 mins gameplay
I am fairly obsessed with this game anyway tbh so the fact it comes in a tiny red pouch and can be carried around super easily only makes it that much better! I play it during a lot of my lunchtimes (thanks to Boardgamearena.com!).
Seiji Kanai made a mega replayable game by creating 16 cards with varying powers!
There are 8 characters worth different values in this game, from the Guard worth 1 to the Princess worth 8.
The story is that you are each trying to get your love letters to the Princess and the character card you hold in your hand is the person who is currently in possession of the letter - the closer the character is to the Princess, the higher they are valued eg. The Countess is worth 7, but The Priest is a measly 2.
On your turn you pick up a second card and must decide which one you play down aka 'discard' to use their power. The general rule being that you want to hold onto the higher card but that's not always the case depending on their given ability, you may want to play certain higher valued cards.
The game plays over several quick rounds (the better you know the cards and their abilities, the quicker the game becomes) and each round you are trying to either be the last player remaining by knocking other players out or be left with the highest value card at the end of the round.
Each time, the winner of the round receives a tiny red cube which is a "token of affection". Awww.
3. Deep Sea Adventure
2-6 players Approx. 30 mins gameplay
Great things really do come in small packages!
I could've literally named any of the Oink games here, the whole blog could've just been Oink games! But alas, I've gone with the obvious choice because, well, why not!
A game in which you are all playing as deep sea divers diving for treasure but unfortunately all share the same oxygen tank and thanks to some greedy a**holes, you might not make it back up to the submarine before you run out of oxygen and end up losing all your treasure to the depths of the sea!
The game plays over 3 rounds and each time you must figure out how far down you want to go before making your way back up as time is of the essence, but you also need to get the most valuable treasure which tends to lurk towards the bottom - it is a conundrum & trust me I have been playing this game for a couple of years and I barely make it out alive.
Maybe I need to find me some less greedy friends...
But seriously, I'm a fan of almost all the Oink games & they are all PERFECT to take along as travel companions! Take Insider or In A Grove or Kobayakawa! They're all good!!!
3-12 players Approx. 15 mins gameplay
Ah Yogi. This had a recent rebrand and some of you might know this under another name - In A Bind? Still pretty much the same great game though!
Another fantastically simple card game, the well known Bez has taken the concept of Twister and made it SO much better! Never again wonder where the spinner went and worry about who will sit this round out to spin the damn thing!
No more monotone spinner person telling you left hand on green when your left hand is already on green to be told to go to another green when there is no more greens left!
No. This beautiful card game will give you instructions to follow and you will end up just as twisted (if not more!) and no one has to sit this one out!
On your turn, you reveal the top card of the deck and must do what the card says eg. Hold this card between two fingers, or Have your hands touching.
Eventually, it will become impossible to do all the things you need to be doing and if you fail to do even one, you're out until there is only but one true Yogi left.
This game is great for a belly laugh & perfect for everyone big and small to get involved in!
2-5 players Approx. 25 mins gameplay
I'm not a huge fan of co-op games myself I'll be honest, but Hanabi is pretty neat.
Yet another card game (what do you expect, cards are the perfect travel sized accessory!), but in this one you don't get to see your own hand of cards, instead you are holding them out so everyone else can see each others but no one can see their own.
The trick is to communicate with each other to create a perfect firework display.
Your cards will show both - a colour and a number between 1 and 5 and it is up to your team mates to communicate information to you and you to them.
What you want as a team is to put your cards down in the right order eg. a pile of 1-5 in red, a pile of 1-5 in white etc.
You are limited to the clues you can give however, and on top of it all you are running out of time as when the cards run out, you're sh*t out of luck!
You could definitely also stick my fave Star Realms in here (see my blog re: Best 2 player games for more info). Jussayin'.
I hope I'm not too too late and some of you still get some use out of this blog! People go on holiday all year round these days, right?