Tabletop Gaming Nights – Quick Play

In the previous posts in this series on great tabletop games for teen events, we looked at cooperative games, where everyone came together as a team, and  competitive games, where everyone was looking out for their own best interests. Today we’ll look at quick play games (maximum playing time of 30 minutes with minimal setup or cleanup), for when you have some time to fill, but not enough for a full bout of one of your new favorite games. These can be great at the end of the day or as sidelines while folks are waiting for a seat to open in of your “main event” titles.



  • Number of Players: 2-6
  • Extensible: No, but there are numerous differently themed Fluxx decks–pick the one or two you think will suit your teens, programming, or disposition best from the likes of: Pirate Fluxx, Oz Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, Star Fluxx, or Cthulhu Fluxx
  • Duration: 5+ min.
  • Cost: $16
  • Awards: Mensa Mind Games – Mensa Select Award (1999), Origins Award – Best Traditional Card Game of the Year (2008 – Zombie Fluxx)
  • Publisher Description: The card game with ever changing rules! It starts out simple, with just the Basic Rule card: draw one card and play one card during each player’s turn. But New Rule cards quickly make things chaotic. Even the object of the game will often change as you play, as players swap out one Goal card for another. Can you get the Rocket to the Moon before someone changes the goal to Death by Chocolate?
  • Notes: some of the variants (Cthulhu, Oz, Monty Ptyhon, Pirate, and Star) play better than the original, but they’re all good fast fun.


Tsuro: the Game of the Path

  • Number of Players: 2-8
  • Extensible: No.
  • Duration: ~15 min.
  • Cost: $30
  • Publisher Description: Create your own journey with Tsuro: the Game of the Path. Place a tile and slide your stone along the path created, but take care! Other players’ paths can lead you in the wrong direction–or off the board entirely! Find your way wisely to succeed.
  • Notes: Easy to learn, quick to play, and elegant to behold. A fun and creative way to fill time.



  • Number of Players: 2-5
  • Extensible: No.
  • Duration: 30 min.
  • Cost: $20
  • Publisher Description: Guillotine is the revolutionary card game where you win by getting a head. Heads are going to roll – lots of them – and you want to earn top bragging rights back in the guillotine operator’s locker room. If you bead Marie Antoinette or King Louis XVI, everyone will be impressed, but who’s going to care if you lop off a palace guard’s head? So make sure that you collect the most prestigious noggins, and you’ll be head and shoulders above the rest!


Zombie Dice

  • Number of Players: 2+
  • Extensible: Yes, Zombie Dice 2 – Double Feature (not really necessary, though)
  • Duration: 10+ min.
  • Cost: $13
  • Awards: Origins Award – Best Family Children’s or Party Game (2011)
  • Publisher Description: Eat brains. Don’t get shotgunned. You are a zombie. You want braaains. More brains than any of your zombie buddies. Zombie Dice is fun for any zombie fan. The 13 custom dice are your victims. Push your luck to eat their brains, but stop before the shotgun blasts end your turn.
  • Notes: great for zombie enthusiasts. A fun and casual fast play.



  • Number of Players: 2
  • Extensible: Yes, with ladybugs and mosquitoes; if you want the extra bugs, just buy Hive: Carbon instead of the base game for about $5 more
  • Duration: ~20 min.
  • Cost: $30
  • Publisher Description: Hive is a board game with a difference. There is no board! The pieces are added to the playing area thus creating the board. As more and more pieces are added, the game becomes a fight to see who can be the first to capture the opposing Queen Bee. The soldier ants battle to keep control of the outside of the hive, whilst the beetles climb up to dominate the top. Spiders move into holding positions as the grasshoppers jump in for the kill. Keeping one eye on the hive and the other on your opponent’s reserves, the tension builds as one wrong move will see your Queen Bee quickly engulfed!

Did I miss your favorite filler game? Please let me know about it in the comments!


One response to “Tabletop Gaming Nights – Quick Play

  1. Pingback: Celebrate TableTop Day at Your Library | Field Notes

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