Portable Games

We just got back from a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is one of my favorite places in the world, and we usually take along a game or two to play. I do make a distinction between a travel game and a game that is portable. A travel game, for me at least, is a smaller sized version of a larger game that is designed for travel. A portable game is any game that meets the following criteria:

  • It must be easy to carry. What I do with most of the games we take with us on outings is take the game out of its box and place it in a small plastic bag with the rules. It has to be light enough and small enough to fit in my wife’s purse or in the pocket of my jacket.
  • It can be played on a small surface. Since we usually are limited to very small tables, it’s important that the game can be played on a small amount of square footage. Footage is a weird word isn’t it? Footage. Never mind.
  • It must be playable in 30 minutes or less. Even 30 minutes is pushing it. 15 to 20 minutes is best. Usually, we are just taking a break, or waiting for food when we play these games, so we don’t want to start a longer game.
  • It must not be noisy. We love dice games, but rolling dice in a public place is a little rude in my opinion. We don’t want to bother anyone around us with our tomfoolery. So while Blink is okay, Spot It is not, unless you play Spot It without talking, which would extract almost all of the fun out of that game in my opinion.

So here is my short list of games that we commonly take with us. We don’t take all of these, but we usually take one or two at least.

  1. Frank’s Zoo
  2. Pig 10
  3. King’s Breakfast
  4. Keltis: Der Weg der Steine
  5. 6 Nimmt!
  6. Duck Duck Bruce
  7. Escalation!
  8. Rat-a-Tat-Cat
  9. Blink
  10. Coloretto

There are others but that’s the top ten. What do you think? Do you take games with you when you are out and about? What about the footage? Does that seem odd to you too? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.

2 thoughts on “Portable Games”

  1. These are pretty much the same considerations I take into account when deciding which games to play at work over breaks and lunch (30m). So far No Thanks an Archaeology have worked really well. And after looking at your list I might try to scrounge up copies of Coloretto and Escalation.

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