Lunch, that magical time that one finds time to interact with one’s colleagues in a non work setting. Unfortunately, plus the act of ordering takeout and eating, usually leaves less than enough time for another significant activity before most must return to one’s job.
Thus, we here at Geekculture have chosen 5 games that one can play even after the time it takes to eat a Subway foot long. The main criteria for the chosen lunch games are that they have to be portable, can work with a varying number of players, must be short in terms of play time (30 minutes or less) and of course be a dessert best served fun.
The first game is Imagine by Gamewright Games. This game plays up to 8 players and is a deduction game whose goal is to be the first to answer correctly a word, phrase, object and so on that a presenter is trying to give clues to.
The unique factor of the game is that the clues have to be conveyed via the use of clear cards with varying kinds of pictures on it without any verbal or facial clues. These clear cards can be manipulated in any fashion, such as combined, moved and even covered.
As these kind of games goes, it feels unique yet at the same time very familiar. It is most hilarious when a bold presenters chooses a really hard topic to do. My personal proudest moment being when I managed to convey ‘The Avengers’ successfully.
The Resistance and Coup have become staples in the boardgame world for social deduction games especially for newer gamers but in that now crowded market comes Secret Hitler for 5-10 players by Max Temkin, who created Cards Against Humanity.
In Secret Hitler, you play a politician in a country going through elections to choose a President and a Chancellor. You are also secretly divided into two groups Fascist and Liberals. The Liberals want to pass 5 Liberal policies or shoot the “Hitler” player in the game to win, while the Fascist want to pass 6 Fascist policies or have “Hitler” elected Chancellor after 3 Fascist policies have been passed. This is all done through manipulation and negotiation putting your observational skills to the test.
For myself, Secret Hitler has so many more nuances than, The Resistance. For instance, whenever a Fascist policy is passed, the President can choose to execute his powers. Thus strategically, the Liberals might actually want to pass Fascist policies so they can use these events to their advantage.
The game balances well as both sides have sudden death win conditions so games are almost never longshots. Secret Hitler is in my opinion the best of the genre. It amps up the social and strategical aspect of The Resistance with not much more rules and the “Hitler”‘ theme is only there if one looks for it.
Overall, I vote Secret Hitler as a winner and the next time I play, I might even retheme the game to a recent election that just came to pass in 2016.
The follow up to Codenames, the winner of the most prestigious boardgame award in 2016, The Spiel des Jahres. Codename: Pictures by Czech Games Entertainment is basically the same game but with pictures instead of words. The goal of the game is to get your spy team to guess your list of pictures faster than the other team by giving only a one word clue per turn that matches as many pictures of yours as possible. One picture is even an assassin that if picked by your team, loses immediately. Also the picture version has 20 pictures instead of 25 words per game of Codenames which makes picking the assassin all the more likely and all so satisfying when the team which is leading loses to one bad clue.
It is quick, fast, fun and fits almost any crowd. This game might not make you an artist but it definitely should be in your collection.
Schrödinger Hero by Kocchiya for 3 to 7 players is admittedly not an easy game to find as it is only produced by it’s parent company in Japan.
I was not instantly keen on the game as it has a title that does not fit the artwork at all and only made sense after playing the game.
The rules are simple, everyone has a card that represents their role. The leaders want to eliminate a specific character, the Hero wants to kill Satan, Satan wants to kill the Hero and Satan’s Hero wants to kill either of the other two.
The other players win by helping their side’s leader win. It is basically a social deduction game but what makes this game unique is during your turn you can either look at a card, kill another player if you are one of the leaders or switch cards with other players.
Thus as more information comes through and memory starts to falter. People are changing teams to be on the possible winning side and hoping not to be too obvious about it. Each game of manipulation and hilarious conversation can be play in 15 minutes or less and this game kills The Resistance for me.
The real challenge is actually finding someone who actually owns the game. I happened to have a buddy who had this procured by his friend in Japan.
Sushi Go Party by GameWright for up to 8 players is even more amazing than the rest as it can actually be played on the table as one eats.
This is the most recent edition which includes many new sets of cards than the original base game and allows different sets of cards to be mixed and played together, increasing replayability.
The reason why this can be played while eating is the base mechanic is just card drafting. Every turn you get a hand of cards, then you choose a card to keep and pass the rest to the next player, which you can even do with your mouth full! The scoring and rules are easy to understand yet the game still has strategy of risk and reward. I have not tried playing it in a sushi restaurant yet to truly get into the theme but even if I do not, this game is going nowhere from my collection.