5 Games to Take with You on Vacation
For many of us summertime means summer vacation. I don’t mean just those of you that are high school and college students either. Even older gamers with full time jobs, families, and other commitments use this time of the year to escape and get a little R&R (rest and relaxation). The only problem is when you are off laying on a beach, camping in the woods, or adventuring oversees what will you do when (the inevitable) urge to game hits you?
After all you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to order a game off of Amazon, and have it rush shipped to your hotel. It’s not a great situation. Believe me.
Well not to worry there is a whole pile of compact easy to travel with games you can bring with you! These games are easy to pack. Most of them fitting into a standard backpack or tote bag with plenty of room to spare. They also don’t require much table room to play. That means you can take it to the beach with little worry of splaying cards across the sand. Or you can even play a few rounds in the car/plane!
5 Games to Take with You on Vacation
Carcassonne is a classic tile laying game for 2-6 players, that I think should be a part of every gamers collection. And I mean that you should have it even as a regular play at home kind of game.
Carcassonne is a strategically light European style game. Meaning that it is a bit more abstract in the way it plays, and features a light amount of player interaction. In Carcassonne players take turns randomly selecting tiles to add on to a map of the city of Carcassone, and choosing to place meeples on that tile to occupy the area. Players gain points by scoring areas they have placed their meeples by completing multi-tile cities, roads, and churches.
Carcassonne is fairly easy to play for new players. There aren’t a lot of rules to remember the actions you take are very straightforward. It is also very compact for a tile laying game, with the full map rarely spanning more than a 2’x 2’ area. While that might be big for a car backseat, it is great for a beach blanket or picnic table.
Gloom is an interesting 2-4 player game that combines take-that card play with storytelling. And it features some super durable plastic playing cards that are water proof and almost indestructible!
In Gloom each player takes control of a family doomed to live horrible lives and eventually and suddenly die. But don’t worry because that’s a good thing! Each round players use cards from their hands to terrorize their family members with horrible events and misadventures. The rulebook recommends that as you play these cards you tell the story of what is happening to the character, based on the card’s context guide. Building the story of your family becomes just as fun as playing. Each card gives your family member negative points (lowest score wins) until you kill them off. Killing them lets you score the points you have accumulated on them. All the while your opponent(s) are trying to play “good” cards on your family. Which are usually happy events or lucky situations which gives them positive points (bad).
Gloom is a very small easy to play card game. The box itself only measures about 6”x 4” and easy fits into a purse or small backpack pocket. Gloom also plays very well at 2, 3, or 4 players so fitting a small family is easy. It’s great for people who prefer head to head game play, but need that bit of levity so the game doesn’t get too cut throat.
Citadels is a drafting card game for and astounding 2-8 players. It combines drafting with hidden role selection and resource management for an incredibly deep game that feels light to play.
In Citadels players are trying to build the greatest city they can, by erecting beautiful and economically sound buildings. They do this by managing their resources and using the abilities of nobles that they secretly draft every round. A great deal of strategy goes into drafting your noble each round as many have take that style abilities that let you destroy other players buildings (like the warlord) or straight up assassinate another noble (if you can guess where/who they are). So you have to plan your picks and counter picks well, otherwise you could see yourself assassinated by a clever player.
Citadels is another small box game that easily fits in your purse. It also has a great 2 player version that my partner and I often play in coffee shops. So it can accommodate a couple, family, or party. It plays quickly in about 30 minutes and takes almost no room to setup.
The original drafting card game for 2-5 players. Fairy Tale is a fairly light card game that features drafting as its primary mechanic with a tiny amount of take that style player interaction.
Fairy Tale was one of the first games to take the drafting event format created by Magic: The Gathering (MTG) and turn it into a primary mechanic. In Fairy Tale players are secretly drafting cards from a set of hands that each player draws at the beginning of the round. From these hands of cards they are trying to create specific sets in order to maximize their points, or mess up their opponents sets. The main strategy behind the game is guessing what your opponents are taking, while also keeping track of what cards are still in the deck for you to score.
Fairy Tale is super easy to take with you as its box is little bigger than a standard playing card box. It requires almost no table room. You honestly could play this game on your collective laps if you were ambitious enough. And its player range again fits for most families and couples.
Guillotine is a tongue and check card game for 2-5 players set during the end of the French Revolution. You know, the part when all those French Nobles were beheaded?
In Guillotine players are trying to score points by beheading the most hated nobles in the line-up each round. The nobles are executed as according to their turn in line, but players have a hand of cards that allows them to manipulate the order and what the nobles are worth. This makes for a whacky, sometimes chaotic game, whose humorous take on a gruesome theme is a guilty pleasure.
Like the rest of the games on this list, Guillotine fits well in most travel bags. It does feature a small standing Guillotine that marks the end of the line, which can be a bit cumbersome. But the game doesn’t require it, it’s more of a visual gag.
Time for Vacation
So there you have it. 5 games to take with you on vacation. They are easy to transport, can be played almost anywhere, and accommodate such a variety of player that it will be hard to find a time they can’t be used. They are also some of my personal favorites. So pack up your bags this summer, but this time don’t forget your games!
Thanks for reading, and just f-ing play games!