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7 Small Box Board Games You Can Toss in a Backpack

With board games being so popular right now, one would presume that we would have written about small box board games before. Hmmm…looking around…under a stack of papers…oh, there’s an article on 7 Co-op Board Games…but, not seeing…oh, wait, here is an article on 7 Games to Play Solo…rats.

It looks like we haven’t made a list of board games that are great to toss in a backpack. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

7 Small Box Board Games You Can Toss in a Backpack

7. Sushi Go speaks to its on-the-go portable nature right in the title of the game! Can we all just agree that there needs to be more truth like this in marketing?

The premise of Sushi Go is that while eating at a sushi restaurant, you are trying to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by you. It’s a silly theme that you wouldn’t think would be fun until you actually play it and realize how gosh-darned enjoyable it is.

It plays fast and you score points for collecting the most sushi rolls or making a full set of sashimi. It takes the popular card-drafting mechanism and distills it into a twenty-minute game that is fun for your entire family.

And in keeping with the spirit of this list, it comes in a little tin box that is perfect for tossing into a backpack, provided you aren’t trying to pass through any metal detectors.


6. Star Realms was such a hit a couple years ago that it spawned a fantasy-themed sequel.

It’s a deck-building with a spaceship combat theme. As you play, you use “trade” points to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards that are face up in a central purchasing row. You use the newly acquired Ships and Bases to either generate more trade or to simply attack your opponent and their bases.

The starter deck is enough to get you going and allow for a good time. But there are also some nifty little card packs that expand Star Realms. And it’s small enough that you can slip it into the back pocket of your 501 Levi’s.


5. Welcome to the Dungeon is actually part of a line of small box board games from iello, a board game company that autocorrect refuses not to change to ‘hello.’

Welcome to the Dungeon is a fun little push-your-luck game where the theme is a dungeon delve. Players take turns daring each other to go into a dungeon with less equipment than they start off with while also filling the dungeon with more monsters. Each round, the starting player can choose to draw a card from the monster deck or pass their turn. If you loss the round? Well, you flip your card over to the red side and try again.

Again, Welcome to the Dungeon is part of a line of games that iello calls ‘Micro Games’ and it would be worth your time to give them all a look.


4. Tiny Epic Galaxies is also a part of a line of small box board games, this one by Gamelyn Games. Designed by Scott Almes, the ‘Tiny Epic’ games typically pack in a meatier gameplay than most small box board games.

The game uses a dice-rolling mechanic. The number of dice you roll is determined by the strength of your galaxy and each die is faced with symbols that represent the actions you can take.

You take the actions available to you, but watch out, as each of your opponents can choose to follow each action you take if they choose to also expend their resources. This is nice because you can make a play even if it is someone else’s turn.

It’s a tiny box, but there is a lot of game packed in there.


3. Star Wars: Destiny is the new kid on this list and the bad news is that you can’t get it. I’m just lucky because I live in Minneapolis, the home base of the game’s creator, Fantasy Flight Games. But hopefully supply will soon catch back up to demand.

Star Wars: Destiny is a two player duel game. Each player has a 30 card deck and an assortment of dice.

It launched with two starter sets — Rey and Kylo Ren, each with nine dice and 24 cards. But it’s a collectable game, so there are booster packs that contain one die and five cards.

It combines Star Wars, dice, and cards, and is perfect for tucking into a backpack.


2. Bang the Dice Game makes the list because my kids love it. What’s more, they play it with their granddad, so it has cross-generational appeal.

It’s a Wild West theme and each player (up to 8) has a rootin’ tootin’ character card. Each player also has a secret role like Sheriff or outlaw.

Players roll five dice on their turn, using the results of the dice to shoot neighboring players or heal her life points, all while trying to watch out for the Gatling gun and figure out who the Sheriff’s deputy is.

It’s easy to teach and quick to play.


1. Dungeon Roll is a game that comes in a tiny treasure chest, which is nice.

Players are adventurers who assemble a party of Champions, Fighters, Clerics, Mages, and Thieves. Player’s collect experience points by defeating monsters, battling dragons, and amassing treasure.

Rolling dice allow you to defeat monsters such as oozes and skeletons, claim treasure, or revive downed companions with potions. But when three or more dragon faces appear on the Dungeon Dice, it’s time for the boss battle.

What about that doesn’t sound fun? Plus, it fits neatly in a backpack, as all the other games on the list do.

You have a suggestion for #8? Hop over to our Facebook page or Twitter feed to join the conversation.

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