As it stands, we are less than a week away from being able to visit pubs and cafes once more and, although we can’t start gaming in large groups, we can still get our fix with a game outside and pretend that things are almost normal again. The bigger boxes on my shelf will be staying there for a little bit longer as I don’t fancy dragging Descent down to the pub and fighting the wind, small table space and the innevitable stares of fellow drinkers to be able to play. So what will I be taking? Here’s my top choices for small pub/cafe friendly games.
Red 7 (2-4 players)
If you’re not winning, you’re losing! The brilliantly simple concept behind this game means it’s not hard to learn and games are quick. Several games on this list are card game which is what makes them so suitable for outside but this one probably has the smallest footprint. A hand of seven cards is all you get to continually one-up your opponent on the hierarchy of colour and number. It’s easy to play 30 rounds in a row in an effort to win just one more time.
King Domino (2-4 players)
Possible the largest game on the list but each person is still limited to a 5×5 tile layout. Make yourself territories of sea, forest and more in the hopes of scoring big. The pieces are great for outside as they have some weight to them and your game isn’t about to be ruined by the table being jogged like Rhino Hero.
Munchkin (3-6 players)
A great game for friends to play because, lets face it, you need to be on good terms with someone to finish a game and not hate at least one person you played with. Hands of cards are all you have to deal with and games can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 days so there’s plenty of time to catch up after the long lockdown.
Azul (2-4 players)
Azul has a lot of components but they’re all contained within a bag so not a problem for the list. Each player has their own board so no need to get too close to anyone else, responsible social distancing of course, it’s also the prettiest one on the list. It’s also a little more indepth than some of the others and needs a good bit of thinking to play the game to its full potential.
There’s a lot of social deduction games that are perfect for the current situation and I’ve only mentioned five of them. Minimal or no components so not space dependant and really lets you know who not to trust out of your friends.
I know there’s more and at the end of the day if you want to take Gloomhaven down to your local cafe then there’s nothing to stop you so I’d love to hear other suggestions and add more games to the stack.
Happy gaming and stay safe!